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St Michael’s Art Executive Summary


Art and Design Vision


Our vision is for all pupils to be engaged and inspired by art and to ‘get better’ at art by learning the practical knowledge and skills that enable them to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design (practical knowledge).  We want our pupils to learn to appreciate the work of great artists and understand how art and design reflects and contributes to the history, heritage and culture of our nation and beyond (theoretical knowledge). As well as teaching the substantive knowledge (practical and theoretical) we want pupils to become confident in evaluating and analysing art (disciplinary knowledge).


Our aim is that pupils will be able to express their feelings through art and be able to use creativity to lead mentally healthy lives, both now and in the future.


(See Curriculum Driver 1 People Skills – Communication and Confidence and Curriculum Driver 3 Creativity – Culture and Enrichment)


This St Michael’s vision for Art and Design is achieved by:


  • A curriculum which maps out practical knowledge and skills pupils need in order to produce art with increasing proficiency, in the areas of ‘methods and techniques’, ‘media and materials’ and ‘the formal elements of line, tone, shape, colour, form, pattern, texture’
  • A curriculum which builds progressively on pupils’ theoretical knowledge of the history of art, by considering the meaning and interpretations behind works of art that they study, by exploring artists’ materials and processes and by finding out about the culture and context in which pieces of art were created
  • A curriculum which provides the disciplinary knowledge pupils need to help them understand the subject, teaching pupils how art is studied, discussed and judged and supporting them to consider big questions, such as ‘What is art?’ ‘Why do people make art?’ How do people talk about art?’
  • A curriculum which provides opportunities for pupils to use the three domains of knowledge (practical, theoretical, disciplinary) and the interplay between them to generate their own ideas, create their own work and develop their own artistic identity.


Implementation of the Art and Design Vision

At St Michael’s, we have chosen to follow the Kapow Art and Design scheme of work because it offers a clear programme of study which meets our vision and enables pupils to meet the National Curriculum end of key stage attainment targets. The scheme gives pupils the opportunity to make their own creative choices and decisions, so that their art outcomes, whilst still being knowledge-rich, are unique to the pupil and personal.

We have chosen four Art and Design areas to teach in depth, and these are revisited across each key stage so that pupils build on their knowledge in sequenced steps:

  • Drawing
  • Painting and mixed media
  • Sculpture and 3D
  • Craft and Design


In every unit, the learning incorporates three strands:

  • Making skills (including the formal elements of line, shape, tone, texture, pattern, colour)
  • Knowledge of artists
  • Evaluating and analysing


Pupils have the opportunity to learn and practice skills discretely and then apply their understanding. Key skills are revisited again and again with increasing complexity in a spiral curriculum model. This allows pupils to revise and build on their previous learning. This progression of skills can be seen in the skills documents for Drawing, Painting and Mixed Media, Sculpture and 3D and Craft and Design. Progression of vocabulary throughout the school can be seen in ‘Building Blocks of Vocabulary in Art and Design’. This is in line with all other St Michael’s subjects.


Art in Early Years Foundation Stage

 ‘Expressive arts and design’ is a specific area of learning and development in the EYFS curriculum. At St Michael’s, children’s learning in Art and Design is outlined in ‘EYFS Expressive Art and Design Long Term Plan’. The St Michael’s Art and Design Curriculum helps Reception children to work towards the early learning goals, but also provides the foundations for future learning in Art and Design. The Reception Art and Design medium term plans and short term plans are taken from the Kapow scheme of work.

The children are taught four Art and Design areas in line with the rest of the school. In ‘Drawing: Marvellous marks’ children explore mark making and use a range of different implements on a range of different surfaces. In ‘Painting: Paint my world’ children learn to explore different techniques for using paint, learn that colours can be mixed and that paintings can be abstract or figurative. In ‘Sculpture and 3D: Creation station’ children make their own creations by manipulating playdough and clay. Children enjoy craft and design activities throughout the year, particularly when celebrating festivals.

In the Early Years the subject of art is often interconnected with many different areas of learning, rather than as a standalone lesson. Reception children develop their skills through themes or by following their own interests as part of child-initiated learning, where the process of creation and talking about their ideas can be more important than the end result.

Art in Key stage 1 and 2


In Key Stages 1 and 2, all classes cover three units of Art and Design during the year. These units are outlined in the long term plan. These plans include the key vocabulary and linked artists that pupils will meet during each unit studied that year.


Each Art and Design unit is informed by a medium term plan which outlines the practical, theoretical and disciplinary knowledge the pupils will learn, the National Curriculum coverage, prior learning, intended outcomes and end points of learning including assessment criteria. The key aspects of each unit can be seen in the pupils’ learning journeys which are placed at the start of the unit in the pupils’ books. Pupils are also provided with a knowledge organizer, a single page which gives key facts and definitions from the unit.

The short term plans include:

  • Clear learning objectives
  • Success criteria
  • ‘Recap and recall’ to remind pupils of previous learning
  • ‘Attention grabber’ to engage the pupils
  • Presentation and main teaching and learning activities
  • Plenary
  • Background information to support teachers’ subject knowledge
  • Assessment information – progress and understanding
  • Key vocabulary definitions
  • Example work


Cultural Capital / Significant Artists

The Kapow scheme of work provides pupils with an experience of a range of significant artists’ work across their primary school journey. Each year group takes one of these artists to look at in greater depth each year.


Measuring the Impact of the Art and Design Vision and Implementation


Expected impact

Pupils will:

  • Be proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and craft and design techniques
  • Produce creative work exploring and recording their ideas and experiences
  • Know about great artists and the historical and cultural development of their art
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using subject specific language
  • Be able to discuss big questions, such as ‘What is art?’ ‘Why do people make art?’ How do people talk about art?’


Formative Assessment

The curriculum is designed in such a way that children are involved in ongoing dialogue and evaluation about the quality of their outcomes and the improvements they want to make. Pupils have the opportunity to evaluate their own learning in each Art and Design unit through the use of the Learning Journeys in their books. Pupils also use their knowledge organisers to support self-assessment.  This self-evaluation links closely with the St Michael’s Curriculum Driver 2 ‘Learning skills’: Aspiration and attitude. Observations of pupil progress within each lesson are used to plan subsequent teaching.


Summative Assessment

Summative assessments are made twice each year (February and June) based on the progression of skills and intended outcomes for each unit.



Subject leader monitors provision in Art and Design through:

  • observations and learning walks
  • teacher/subject leader discussions
  • pupil voice activities
  • an annual 'deep dive' in Art and Design with the senior leadership team


Subject Leader Action Plan

Monitoring activities and an analysis of attainment and progress are used to formulate the subject leader action plan which is updated twice each year.



Opportunities are taken to embed Art and Design across the curriculum. A whole school Art Week is held each year.


Continuing Professional Development

EYFS Leader receives updates on latest research on the teaching of Expressive Arts and Design through association with Herts for Learning.


The Kapow scheme of work incorporates a wide range of teaching videos which support non-specialist art teachers to improve their subject knowledge and therefore teach with greater confidence and impact on pupil outcomes.


Subject Leader meets termly with other Art and Design Subject Leaders in the St Albans Consortium of Schools Subject Cluster Groups to share ideas and good practice.


The Senior Leadership team has regard to any Ofsted subject specific reports or reviews when monitoring provision in Art and Design at St Michael’s. Key messages are shared with staff and practice is adapted to reflect the most recent research.



The Art and Design Executive Summary is reviewed annually.

Latest revision: January 2024