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St Nicholas Church of England Primary

Dream big, shine bright

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Intent, Implementation and Impact




Here at St Nicholas, we want our children to love art and design. We nurture their natural curiosity with a hands on, investigative approach to Dream Big and grow up wanting to be illustrators, graphic designers, curators or fine artists.  The progression within the art and design curriculum has been carefully crafted so that children develop their artistic capital, remember their lessons and embrace the opportunities they are presented with. This will equip pupils with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. 
We intend to increase children’s cultural capital by inviting them to know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. Opportunities for this are given during Black History Month, for example, whereby children from each year group study the life and work of a different Black artist. 
We intend to encourage pupils’ appreciation for a multitude of art forms through artist immersion days, whereby children will be able to view, comment on and show appreciation for a range of work by an artist, selected for their year group. This gives pupils an abundance of opportunities to experience a broad range of work by a range of great illustrators, graphic designers, curators and fine artists, discuss what they like and dislike about an artist’s work and as such, begin to develop their own individual preferences. 
Through whole school art competitions and activities, we hope to provide pupils with opportunities to use their own experiences and imagination to produce creatively designed pieces of art work, using a range of materials. This gives them further opportunities to experiment with techniques, tools and materials at their pace and in their own time and share their ideas and creations with their peers. 




Our art curriculum is designed to support pupils with progression and the development and advancement of their skills throughout their time with us at St Nicholas. For example, in Year Three pupils are taught to how to show facial expressions in art. In Year Four, this in then built on, with pupils learning how to show facial expressions and body language in art, in both sketches and paintings. By Year Six, pupils will be taught to create detailed portraits and develop chiaroscuro techniques. In Reception, pupils begin to experiment with clay through creating small clay pots, by Year Two, pupils are shown taught to use clay to create 2D printed patterns and sculptural form. In Year 4, pupils will then develop these key skills and creating sculptures.  
Pupils are given a multitude of opportunities to be creative, innovative and use a variety of tools, techniques and mediums to create a variety of artwork. This can be seen in Year One where pupils are taught to be able to use different effects within an IT paint package and in Year Three, pupils’ experiment with tie dye. In Year Six, pupils learn to create digital art using photography to create abstract and self-portrait pieces.   
Pupils in Reception and KS1, will be exposed to key art vocabulary. By Year Three, pupils will feel confident in discussing artwork and artists using an increasingly sophisticated use of language which then developed throughout the rest of KS2. 

Throughout KS1 and 2, pupils work in sketch books to record their observations and ideas. Pupils often refer back to previous work and are encouraged to comment on specific aspects of their work that they are proud of, alongside areas that they may wish to improve or develop. This gives pupils the opportunity to not only critically evaluate their work, but to recognise their own progress and how they have developed and refined their skills over time. We believe by giving children the opportunity to share and discuss their work with peers it strengthens their confidence as artists.  
Staff use the Art Skills Progression and our School Long-Term Plan to inform their own planning under the guidance of the subject leader. Each year group has an ‘Art Medium Term Plan’ that tailors the artistic skills and knowledge required over the year, to that year group’s termly theme. The Medium-Term Planning also ensures National Curriculum coverage, over the Key Stage, clear skills progression and a broad and balanced learning experience for children. By planning the art curriculum thoroughly, we ensure the skills pupils acquire are built on and developed throughout their time at St Nicholas.  



Our children have an appreciation for a multitude of art forms and can confidently express their preferences and opinions. They understand how a variety of tools and techniques can be used to achieve different outcomes and can apply this understanding when independently completing their own work. Pupils at St Nicholas show passion and excitement for art and thoroughly enjoy the process of viewing and commenting on artists work, being creative and experimenting with tools and techniques in order to develop their own style and preferences. 
Pupils are challenged within their own individual ability, by being given opportunities to advance their skills using different tools and techniques. Modelling is used at the start of the lesson and WAGOLLs (What a Good One Looks Like) is shared, so pupils understand expectations and are able to assess their own capabilities and progress towards the success criteria. Teachers use a variety of formative assessment and feedback methods in class rather than relying only on purely written comments. This is given live, as pupils are working, so that they can respond and improve as feedback is given. 
We use Insight to track each child’s progress on the key concepts identified in our skills progression. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through Learning Walks, Pupil interviews and Book Looks.  


Here at St Nicholas, you will see the impact of our art curriculum when talking with the children. They show genuine passion and excitement in art lessons and enjoy being creative and experimental. Pupil’s love of learning in art is also evident outside of lesson time – pupils are keen to show the same creativity in other subject areas, and outside of school while drawing and painting for pleasure or taking part in an art competition This enjoyment of art is a result of the passion shown by class teachers and an engaging curriculum, informed by the National Curriculum and designed to ignite pupils’ creative curiosity and innovative thinking.