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As a learning community centred in Christ, we walk hand in hand with God on our journey in faith.

Intent, Implementation and Impact of Art & Design

"As a learning community centred in Christ, we walk hand in hand with God on our journey in faith."


Art and Design at English Martyrs' is centred around the idea of our children becoming global citizens to ensure they develop a greater understanding, awareness and appreciation of the world, cultures around the world and the cultures of the students attending English Martyrs'. Art and Design lessons are inclusive to ensure we maximise the potential of all students as they are given opportunities to learn new knowledge and skills, build on existing knowledge and skills and increase their ability to look at the world around them as artists. This includes using a rich vocabulary to express and communicate their thoughts and ideas by demonstrating a confidence in visual literacy throughout the key stages. We ensure all lessons are sequential in order to develop creativity. A creative approach is taken whereby we generate ideas from starting points, make by using learned techniques and evaluate our successes. Through our mission statement, Gospel values and Catholic teachings, we strive to promote the academic, social, moral, spiritual, religious and physical development of each child through the teaching of Religious Education, Catholic Social Teachings and UNICEF Rights and Responsibilities to ensure pupils have a secure understanding of shared values and grow to become highly skilled, cultured, educated global citizens, ready for the modern world.


We fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Art and Design by:

  • providing a broad and balanced curriculum; 
  • ensuring the progressive development of knowledge and skills so children have a more rigorous understanding of Art and Design through the Key Stages; 
  • enabling children to observe and record from first-hand experience and from imagination; 
  • developing the children’s competence in controlling materials, media and tools; 
  • enabling children to become proficient in various Art and Design disciplines;
  • ensuring children begin to develop an awareness of the key elements of Art and Design, including: colour, pattern, texture, line, value, shape, form and space;
  • fostering enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts and developing a knowledge of significant styles of art, artists, craftspeople and designers;
  • increasing critical awareness of the roles and purposes of Art and Design in different times and cultures;
  • analysing works of Art, using the language of Art and Design to develop visual literacy;
  • developing a cross-curricular approach to the use of Art and Design in all subjects.




Art and Design is delivered by teaching a specific discipline of Art termly across each phase, in order to allow opportunity for the progression of skills as the child journeys through each key stage. Each unit of Art has a theme relating to the elements of art, styles of art, cultures of the world or links to the wider curriculum, in particular History. The units of Art art creatively planned, using the creative process to sequence lessons and the Primary Knowledge Curriculum for Art, alongside our Skills Progression Map to ensure relevant skills for each discipline are being taught. We ensure lessons recap and build on prior knowledge, and are differentiated for inclusion. For instance, using a wider variety of skills and aids to encourage and support all learners.  


In addition to this, we also teach Art and Design through cross curricular opportunities, such as: accessing texts about famous artists, using digital media in other subjects and during celebratory days and focusing on and producing religious art in Religious Education. Furthermore, we also offer extra-curricular activities for Art, with after school clubs. We also have a whole school focus artist termly, which we encourage children to study to create inspired pieces of art in school or at home.


Every child has a sketchbook which includes an art history timeline and key artistic vocabulary. This is used to evidence their journey through the key stages, identifying progress by highlighting the child's knowledge, their ability to think and communicate like an artist, their mastering of skills and their ability to self-assess and evaluate themselves as artists.


Our classrooms and cupboards are well-resourced to ensure we have the necessary media and tools to teach a breadth of disciplines, and we ensure the key elements are Art and Design are visible and on display for learners to continue developing the ability to think and communicate like artists, thus visual literacy.


This year, we plan to encourage gallery visits, artist collaborations, to enter and run art competitions and have art days/half days to continue to excite learners and expand their enjoyment for Art. We are also going to select a school's Art Council, where ambassadors selected will take ownership of making decisions regarding the Arts in our school.



Staff training sessions for class teachers on the delivery of Art and Design and subject expectations has seen a great impact on the quality of teaching and learning of Art across the school. This is visible in sketchbooks and planning.


Our Art and Design curriculum is well thought out and planned to demonstrate progression. 

Children are given the opportunity to revisit Art disciplines throughout each phase.

We focus on monitoring the progression of generating ideas, artistic skills, knowledge of artists and artistic vocabulary and evaluation. We measure the impact of our curriculum and teaching and learning through the following methods:

  • Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught;
  • Using summative assessment sheets to track pupils' progress across units and year groups.
  • Recapping and building on prior knowledge each unit/lesson;
  • Making observations of the children’s practical learning;
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice);
  • Moderating sketchbooks during staff meetings, where pupil’s sketchbooks are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
  • Reporting annually on standards for Art and Design across the whole school.


Our school also works in collaboration as part of the Sursum Corda (a group of Catholic Schools across the city); here the subject leaders meet and discuss aspects of the Art and Design curriculum, sharing good practice and ideas for purposeful teaching and learning. We discuss and compare how Art and Design is monitored and its impact measured.