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Christ Church CE Primary School

'With God,
all things are possible' (Matthew 19:26)

  Art & Design  

To be an artist is to believe in life.

Henry Moore


At Christ Church CE Primary, our vision is firmly rooted in our belief that ‘With God, all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26). We strongly believe Art and Design fuels the imagination and stimulates creativity and we nurture, develop and celebrate these God-given talents within a caring Christian community. Our Art and Design Curriculum is designed to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. Our Christian values are at the heart of all we do and underpin the teaching and learning of Art and Design. These values are what influence our behaviour and our motives, helping us to aspire to become local, national and global citizens. They are based on our belief that CHRIST is within all of us.

Our ambitious Art and Design Curriculum has been designed to take account of the legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the Primary National Curriculum. The National Curriculum for Art and Design aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences;
  • Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques;
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design;
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand that historical and cultural development of their art forms.

Art and Design is an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Children are provided with opportunities to develop and extend skills and an opening to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas. Learning about the role and function of art enhances our pupils’ cultural experiences within our local, national and global community. We strive to reinforce the importance of having a great enjoyment and appreciation for art to enrich and enhance the lives of our pupils, as we firmly believe we are here to create and celebrate aspirations for life and to inspire individual growth. Our values, vision and key principles run throughout our Art and Design Curriculum. We want our children to develop a love of Art and Design and to understand that there are no limits to their future ambitions.

In order to create a firm foundation for individual growth in all learners, it is crucial that procedural knowledge is embedded into the long term memory. This pedagogy is built on John Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory being central to developing learning and understanding. At Christ Church, common concepts that run between subjects and through the curriculum are linked together through threshold topics. Children are able to process information in relation to previously learned knowledge because they are presented new information as another example of the threshold topic. This is supported by the use of vocabulary in Art and Design and ensures that all learners have a good exposure of vocabulary to enable them to learn, develop and move on. In addition to this, we have adopted a whole-school approach of collaborative learning within lessons to further the Sweller approach and to promote inclusion. This is apparent in Art and Design lessons, as well as Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset, which empowers children to achieve their best and persevere in the face of challenges. This approach allows children to build resilience and encourages personal growth.

We bring the subject together and aim to create an enhanced curriculum in Art through the creation of a specialist area for Art and DT. This allows children to leave their classrooms and become specialists within their subjects. In addition we use resources around us to put Art in to context. This is achieved through visits to the local Williamson Art Gallery, topic or whole school “galleries”, allowing children to have their art work displayed and have other people visit and appreciate their work. Where possible we try to work with local artists to provide enhanced opportunities and experiences for our learners. 


At Christ Church, faith is the foundation of everything we do. Learners develop skills and understanding which equip them with the skills they need to make positive choices, widen horizon and create aspirations for life as local, national and global citizens. We implement an Art and Design curriculum which builds on this and on prior knowledge and skills across phases.

As a school community we strive to ensure that our pupils’ voices are heard and valued throughout all aspects of school life, including the curriculum. Pupil Voice surveys are carried out in Art and Design to ensure that pupils’ voices are heard in the shaping and reviewing of the Art and Design Curriculum.

At Christ Church, Art and Design is carefully planned, structured and sequenced to ensure progression across units of work and phases. Our threshold topics ensure consistent and a drive to support all of our pupils. Planning for Art and Design is based on the 2014 National Curriculum and follows a progressive approach. Each learning sequence is carefully planned to ensure the relevant knowledge and skills have been taught. We use Chris Quigley’s Art and Design Curriculum Companion to support in the planning and delivery of Art and Design across KS1 and KS2. Explicit vocabulary links and progression documents are planned to ensure that teaching is sequential with staff ensuring that knowledge and skills are linked throughout the school. The teaching of key vocabulary is a primary feature of Art and Design and is prominent in the environment.

Art and Design is taught in every year group, in a two hour session every two weeks, in the first half of each term. This is done using a two year rotating planning cycle. This cycle focuses on Drawing, Painting and Sculpting. Delivering lessons across phases means that all children have the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge across all units delivered and are able to develop these skills further in the second year of the cycle. We achieve this through three cognitive domains: basic, advancing and deep. This means that procedural knowledge can be embedded into long term memory to create a firm foundation of knowledge and skills, which is in-line with the Sweller approach. Art is taught discretely, making relevant cross-curricular links where relevant and purposeful. These lessons take place in our dedicated DT and Art provision room which provides the children with the space and resources they need to develop their skills and knowledge with increasing independence and confidence.

Each child has a Sketch book which they use to make initial sketches, develop ideas, record ideas and develop opinions. Children have ownership of their sketchbooks in order to foster their sense of creativity. Every child is given the opportunity to learn the skills of painting, drawing and sculpture through the exploration of an initial craft maker or designer and their work.

In Early Years Foundation Stage, Art is taught through links across the curriculum where they are considered to be relevant and meaningful. Through Expressive Arts children are encouraged to explore different media, explore how media can be combined to create different effects and develop a range of skills and techniques experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. Daily opportunities are given to children to access creative tasks and these are carefully planned and well-resourced. Children are encouraged to create on both small and large scales and out outdoor environment supports this as well.

We ensure that staff have the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver the highest standards of Art and Design. As a school we are committed to ensuring teachers have good subject knowledge and are supported to maintain and improve this knowledge through coaching, training, observing best practice and undertaking relevant research. Staff are supported by the Art and Design Subject Leader, ensuring clear progression of both skills and knowledge across phases underpinned by a robust assessment system.

A diverse range of both local and worldwide role models are explored and celebrated through Art and Design. To enrich the curriculum and empower learning after school activities are used and there are purposeful opportunities to explore the local and wider environment including local galleries including the Walker Art Gallery. We want every child to see themselves as an artist and designer and to never stop being inspired by Art from across the globe, both past and present. All of our pupils should feel confident to explore the possibilities open to them across this field. To support us in achieving this we are committed to working in partnership with parents as we believe that when home and school work closely together we able to get the best outcomes for our pupils. 


At Christ Church, our approach to the teaching of Art results in high quality lessons and enthusiasm for the subject throughout school. Children are provided with opportunities to develop and extend skills and an opening to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas. Learning about the role and function of art enhances our pupils’ cultural experiences within our local, national and global community By creating a firm foundation for individual growth, all children will make good progress academically, from their starting points. Staff across school use INSIGHT on a termly basis to assess statements pupils are working towards, secure in or exceeding. At the end of the academic year, each pupil is then be given a level to show their attainment for the year.

Pupil voice is used throughout the year to provide an insight into enthusiasm for Art throughout school; as well as, pupil understanding of concepts they had studied. In order to evidence the knowledge and skills developed throughout the Art curriculum, each child has their own sketch book, which shows the progression of skills across phases. Blippit is also used to showcase practical activities, discussions and extra-curricular activities which take place throughout the Art curriculum. There will be a variety of learning opportunities evident in these recording methods including: the use of a variety of materials and techniques; a demonstration of skills developed; and an exploration of key artists and their work. To evidence skills developed throughout the Art curriculum, pupils understand and utilise subject specific vocabulary. In lessons, pupils demonstrate their ability to combine the knowledge they have developed with the skills they had refined through various projects. At the end of key stage 2, pupils will be able to:

  • Continue to develop and extend knowledge and skills;
  • Understand and apply subject specific vocabulary;
  • Learn about the role and function of art, enhancing their cultural experiences;
  • Develop a great enjoyment and appreciation for art;
  • Develop their knowledge of a wide range of artists and the impact their work has had on the world;
  • Understand that there are various careers in Art which they can explore;
  • Learn through an Art curriculum which focusses on drawing, painting and sculpting.

Additional Information and Resources

Please click on the links below to find out more about our Art Curriculum:

National Curriculum Programme of Study: Art & Design

Art & Design Long Term Plan

Art & Design Progression Document

Art & Design Vocabulary Progression Document

Art & Design Early Years Overview

Art & Design and Development Matters

Art & Design Reading Spine

Art & Design  Risk Assessment