At St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School, we aim to provide an Art and Design Curriculum that builds on a child’s early creative experiences, whilst continuing to engage, inspire and challenge all children, providing them with the tools and techniques required to deepen and master their skills.  We aim to create opportunities for children to experiment using different media and techniques, encouraging them to think critically and evaluate their design and final pieces of work.    

Our Art and Design curriculum has been well planned to develop and build progressively upon key skills and knowledge that are required to enable our children to think critically and explore their own ideas and emotions.  They investigate ways in which art has influenced and reflected history through investigations of well-known artists and link this to their own local surroundings and heritage. 

Assessment of the children’s learning in Art and Design takes the form of ongoing monitoring of the children’s understanding, knowledge and skills using key questioning skills built into lessons by the class teacher/HLTA.  Child-led assessment such as success criteria and evaluation grids (simple smiley face evaluation KS1) are also used.  Summative assessment is conducted at the end of each unit of work or completion of projects via discussion with class teacher/HLTA (responsible for the delivery of the unit of work or project) and the subject leader to ascertain the competences of skills, knowledge and understanding of the children.  This is recorded and tells us whether each individual child is below expected, at expected or above expected attainment for their age.  We ensure that children who are achieving well, as well as those who need additional support, are identified, and additional provision and strategies are planned and discussed with the class teachers/HLTA.   

Art and Design is further monitored by the subject leader throughout the year in the form of collection of evidence-photos, (video), book scrutiny and talking with pupils to discuss their learning and understanding of the subject (pupil voice}. 

Achievements in Art and Design are celebrated with children awarded ‘Artist of the Term’ certificates.  Artwork is proudly displayed within classrooms, corridors and the local community. 


The teaching of Art at St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School is in accordance with the National Curriculum 2014.  The art coordinator has designed a comprehensive, progressive Art curriculum, which enables children to build on skills, knowledge and techniques year on year.  It covers the four main strands of Art and Design teaching and learning – Generating Ideas, Making, Evaluating, and Knowledge and Understanding. 

In both KS1 and KS2, art is taught half termly.  Most art lessons are linked to topics in other subjects with a few discrete art projects, focussing on either a famous artist, designer or craftsperson; or a movement in art (e.g surrealism or impressionism). 

Generating Ideas – In KS1, the focus is on generating ideas through exploring media, skills and processes, looking at the work of other artists, and responding to the world around them.  In KS2, the children are still encouraged to experiment with new media and processes but also to emphasise planning and developing ideas and then creating with those intentions in mind. 

Sketchbooks are first introduced in Year1 where the focus is on trying out different media and techniques and documenting work produced.  This progresses to include more planning of final pieces in KS2 with annotations aiding the development of ideas, as well as experimenting with and refining skills and techniques. 

Making – In both KS1 and KS2 art activities and projects are planned to cover a broad range of skills, techniques and processes.  The making process is broken down to elaborate on the small step, progressive skills and knowledge to be taught in, drawing, painting, printing, sculpting, and other media (including ICT), beginning with exploration (children practise using media, tools and techniques) and developing into mastery (children use their knowledge of media, tools and techniques to create a final piece of artwork). 

Evaluating – Children are encouraged from an early age to evaluate their own work.  In KS1, this is mainly in the form of talking about their own and others’ artwork, with careful questioning from the teacher/HLTA.  Child friendly (smiley face) evaluation statements are also used to enable our younger children to self-evaluate their work against a set criteria.  In KS2, children are encouraged to analyse and evaluate their own work and that of other artists, designers and craftspeople, using their growing knowledge and understanding of media, tools, techniques and art processes.  Children are encouraged to annotate in their sketchbooks during the exploration of media, tools and techniques leading to more independence in the evaluation process. 

Knowledge and Understanding –Children are taught about the work of a wide range of artists, designers, craftspeople, architects (ensuring that this includes male and female artists from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds) and artistic styles and movements.  They are taught about a wide range of materials, techniques and processes and the key vocabulary to enable them to talk about these.  They also develop a thorough understanding of the formal elements of art – line, shape, space, form, tone, texture, pattern, colour and composition. 


In Reception, children are given the opportunity to explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult-directed activities.  In child initiated activities, teaching staff introduce and demonstrate new media, processes, knowledge, skills, techniques or subject matter, which children can then access and explore independently.  In teacher led activities, children are helped to generate their own ideas and are taught specific skills to create a piece of artwork.  Throughout the EYFS, children are encouraged to evaluate their work through careful questioning by adults and discussion with each other. 

The art coordinator has developed the art curriculum in the EYFS to provide more opportunities for the children to follow their own interests and use their imagination in their artwork, by setting up a table resource area with the media, tools and materials from adult led learning, where children can freely use to express their creativity independently. 

Attainment expected by the end of EYFS:

Exploring and Using Media and Materials.

Children can:

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

Being Imaginative.

Children can:

  • Use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes.
  • Represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, role-play and stories.

Physical Development.

Children can:

  • Handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.


At St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School we aim for our children to be exposed to a variety of great artists both past and present, male and female, local and worldwide, so that children are learning about multiple approaches and styles.  They will begin to understand the history of Art and respond with individual interpretation and critical judgement. 

The provision of a high-quality Art and Design education aims to develop within our children, a range of skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas particularly Computing and Design Technology. 

Through careful planning and focus on the National Curriculum objectives, we aim to ensure all children:

  • Produce creative work using skills they have learnt,
  • Explore their ideas and record their experiences.
  • Become proficient in drawing (including ICT), painting (including ICT), printing, sculpture and other art, craft and design.
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

By the time children leave St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School, we want them to have developed a passion for art and creativity, working both independently and collaboratively.  They will have grown in confidence when using a range of tools and techniques, becoming artists that can apply the skills and knowledge that they have developed throughout the years and respond critically to their own and others’ work. 

Please see below for our Art Progression of Skills:

Art & DT Progression of Skills