Our aims for the teaching of art and design at St Michael’s link with those of the National Curriculum.  We want to engage, inspire and challenge our children and ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Our art and design curriculum is designed to give children every opportunity to develop their ability, nurture their talent and interests, express their ideas and thoughts about the world, as well as learning about the rich artistic heritage and culture of our county and the wider world. 

Our curriculum is an adaptation of the scheme published by Kapow Primary which is designed with five strands that run throughout: 

  • Making: painting, drawing, printing, creating 2 & 3D art and crafting 
  • Generating ideas and taking inspiration from a range of artists and crafts people 
  • Formal elements: colour, form, line, pattern, shape, texture and tone 
  • Knowledge of art movements and key artists’ work and techniques  
  • Evaluating: critiquing their own work and that of others 

The children encounter three or four art and design topics every year.  Each half term children are either taught an art and design topic or a design and technology topic.  These curricula are usually taught in discrete weekly lessons of at least an hour in length.  Lessons are always practical in nature and encourage experimental and exploratory learning.  Children use sketchbooks to document their ideas.  The art and design topics taught each term are listed here:  art and design curriculum overview. 

The five curriculum strands are revisited in each art and design unit.  Children have the opportunity to learn and practise skills discretely and then apply them.  Key skills are revisited with increasing complexity allowing children to revise and build on their previous learning as they progress through the school.  Information about progression in the art and design curriculum can be found here:  art and design progression. 

Creativity and independent outcomes are encouraged and children are supported in learning how to make their own creative choices and decisions so that outcomes are unique and personal to them.  We celebrate this by displaying the children’s art around the school. 

Throughout the year the children also engage in a range of experiences that enhance their learning. Each year every child enters a piece of artwork in the Young Art Oxford competition, shortlisted entries are displayed in the Ashmolean Museum.  In previous years St Michael’s children have achieved second place in the competition and have received commendations. The children also receive bespoke art appreciation sessions from a specialist art teacher and we run art clubs after school.  Where appropriate art topics link to other areas of the curriculum and we access local examples and collections of art:  Year 5, for example, visit the Islamic art collection at the Ashmolean and Year 6 go to Cowley to look at the street art. 

Children also have the opportunity to use their developing artistic skills for different purposes, for example:  creating backdrops and props for theatrical productions; illustrating their work in English and history; making maps in Geography; observational drawing accurate diagrams in science; making posters and programmes and creating digital art. 

The children are taught how to evaluate their work, how to make decisions about the creative process and how to improve their outcomes.  Our aim is for the children to leave primary school equipped with a range of techniques and confidence and creativity that will prove a strong foundation as they start as artists in secondary school.  Our expectation is that they are able to: 

  • Produce creative work, exploring and recording their ideas and experiences 
  • Be proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques 
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using subject-specific language 
  • Know about great artists and the historical and cultural development of their art 

To this end children’s progress and attainment is assessed at the end of each half term’s unit of work.  Teachers review results with the Art and Design Lead and the Head Teacher, which allows for a discussion not only about the success of each child, but of the curriculum content and delivery.