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St James's Catholic Primary School

St James's Catholic Primary School

‘Put out into the deep’


“Every child is an artist”     Pablo Picasso

Our Approach

St James’s does not attempt to define art but it recognises that art is the expression of ideas, thoughts and emotions in a variety of 2 and 3 dimensional media across the 6 main areas of art; drawing, painting, printing, collage, textiles and sculpture and a progression of skills within each of these areas. We focus on each main area per half term to ensure a development of skills across the years. 

At Key Stage 1, there is a focus on each of the ‘art elements’: Shape, Colour, Pattern, Space, Form and Texture. This is to introduce these concepts into the children’s vocabulary as they progress into Key Stage 2. From Key Stage 2 onwards, there is a progression in the vocabulary taught though activities which analyse the work of other artists and also through the work that they produce in their sketchbooks and projects.

Drawing skills are taught throughout the year.

As a school we value and are dedicated to the teaching of Art and Design. We see this as a fundamental part of school life. We are committed to providing an arts rich curriculum for our children. We believe by developing this we can contribute to the quality of our children’s lives both within and beyond school. We see Art and Design as a means to support learning in a range of ways. The skills that are developed in this subject can be transferred across the curriculum and thus support learning. We celebrate children’s art through our annual ‘Arts Week’. We have also participated in the national initiative, ‘Take One Picture’ and we enjoy visiting galleries and artists’ workshops.

Through Art, at St James’s we aim to:

  • Enable children to record from first-hand experience and from imagination, and to select their own ideas to use in their work.
  • Develop creativity and imagination through a range of practical activities.
  • Improve the children’s ability to control materials, tools and techniques.
  • Increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art, historically and in different cultures explored in terms of gender, ethnicity and country of origin.
  • Develop confidence and independence in the use of a variety of media and resources.
  • Foster an enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts and a knowledge of artists, craftspeople and designers.
  • Make links with ICT where possible.

Class teachers are responsible for teaching Art and Design within Early Years. Years 1-6 are taught discreetly by specialist art teachers.


Art Week - Take One Picture

Diversity in Art

We celebrate diversity in Art and Design at St James’s. We ensure equal opportunities and inclusivity for all learners. We have a learning environment where everyone is valued, feels safe and respected, as they are throughout the school. We teach children about Art and artists from a variety of cultures and backgrounds throughout the year groups.


Art, in particular, provides teachers with a unique opportunity to give positive representation to diverse populations. We incorporate artists and themes to connect with students from marginalised groups, while showing all students everyone is valued.

How is Art Assessed?

Concept Cards

Each child has a ‘Concept Card’ in the front of their Art Book. The concepts covered relate exactly to the National Curriculum Objectives for each year group. When a Concept is not achieved, the teacher will highlight the concept. When concepts not achieved, review tasks and teacher support are put in place to address any misconceptions.

Progression of Skills and Knowledge

Our Progression of Skills and Knowledge documents inform our planning. The National Curriculum objectives are listed in each term and broken down into progressive steps. The objectives are mapped out for progression across the year. In Art lessons, these objectives are broken down into microscopic steps, reflecting our mastery approach. We ensure that all of our children are secure on a step before moving onto another step.