The Catholic School of St Gregory The Great Believe and Achieve

Art & Design Curriculum


In art, we aim for all of our children to see themselves as artists.  We endeavour to inspire a sense of curiosity in our children and develop their enthusiasm for art, recognising that the skills and knowledge they learn through art can be used to have a positive impact on God’s world around them.


To be able to be an artist, children will need to build up the skills, knowledge and understanding of artists.  They will need to understand and use the language of art and apply these artistic skills and knowledge across the curriculum, making connections both within art and across other subjects too.


To be an artist, children need to, be engaged, inspired and challenged and be given the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own work of art, craft and design. Through progression, modelling and support, children will be able to think critically and develop a deeper understanding of art and design. Through exploring and learning, children will understand how art and design influences and contributes to world cultures, including our own.  



The aims of the National Curriculum (2014) for Art and Design are:

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 the historical and
  • cultural development of their art forms


To facilitate this, children progressively build on their understanding of colour (colour mixing, tertiary/complementary colours, hot/cold colours, tones, shades); use and qualities of medium (brushstrokes, types of paint, malleability of clay and effects of tools/techniques, range of printmaking skills); the breadth of genre in art; the cultural similarities and differences and how these influence great artists, craft makers and designers throughout history; vocabulary of art and its use when evaluating and analysing art, craft and design:  throughout their time at St Gregory’s.


How we plan for progression in Art and Design at St Gregory’s:
The St Gregory’s Curriculum is designed around year group themes. Each has been structured and sequenced in order to engage pupils in purposeful learning by building on prior knowledge and helping connect knowledge, understanding and skills year-on-year both within art and across other subjects too.


In years 1and 2, art is linked to each of their topics. Years 3-6 link art to their topics in all but one term, avoiding the temptation of tenuous links and facilitating the focus on the skills and process within the unit. In all instances where there are links to the topic (history, geography or science), the art units enhance both their learning within the topic area and supports their learning of aspects pertaining to each topic area. In EYFS, art opportunities permeate their curriculum, supporting learning in all subject and child development areas. 


Teachers use bespoke plans and use opportunities within our local area wherever possible (museum and art galleries, exhibitions, sculptures, architecture and street art). Skills are thoughtfully planned and taught, taking into account previous learning and building to a final piece of artwork which should build upon those skills and showcase them.


We recognise that foundations for becoming an artist are laid in the Early Years Foundation Stage through all seven strands of the Early Year Framework especially art and design and the physical development aspects of all strands, to be ready for the next stage in their education, the starting point that we strive for every child to have upon entry to Y1 and working towards the aims of the National Curriculum is:

  • To be able to use their imagination to be creative.
  • To have experienced, engaged, explained and communicated through different media safely.
  • To be able to express opinions and emotions. 
  • To use a range of tools
  • To develop fine motor skills to use tools more accurately


Once children enter Y1, they work progressively towards the aims of the National Curriculum.  To ensure progression, the teaching team worked together to plan out curriculum coverage and then the subject leader identified the progression of skills and vocabulary required at each stage of learning to prepare children for the next stage in their learning.


Art and Design Curriculum Coverage
Coverage is based on the National Curriculum 2014 PoS with objectives allocated across phases and year groups, to ensure a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding.  


Art and Design Progression of Vocabulary
Vocabulary, at an age appropriate level, is paramount to the children’s understanding and ability to articulate their intent and enable questioning. It is, therefore, a key consideration in art planning.  Key subject vocabulary is introduced at the appropriate time, building on prior knowledge. Examples of a Year 1 and a Year 6 vocabulary sheet, which are introduced at the beginning of a new unit, are shown below. These act as an aide memoire as the unit progresses and also offer opportunities for retrieval and clarification of the children’s understanding.



See Art and Design Vision for more information