Art 2023 - 2024


The art, craft and design curriculum at St Stephen’s aims to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the disciplinary knowledge and substantive knowledge to experiment, invent and create their own unique works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they will be able to think critically and develop a more in-depth understanding of art and design. The curriculum builds over time but is designed to introduce children to a range of diverse and inspirational artists which reflects our school values of ASPIRE. This contributes to the culture, creativity and the wealth of our nation, encourage children to use art as a form of expression of spirituality. 

The intent is for pupils to 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 and to know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.  

A key intent of our curriculum is to have a range of artists reflecting modern British society i.e. different genders, ages, sexualities, gender identities, races, religion and beliefs and disabilities.  


  • 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.


At St Stephen’s, Art is implemented through:

  • A bespoke art scheme of work to reflect on our school’s values, diversity, culture which has been carefully mapped out for the school in 3 blocks throughout the year, ensuring that the knowledge and skills build progressively.
  • Each child has a sketchbook. We give the child ownership of their sketchbook in order to foster their sense of creativity. Children use their sketchbooks to make initial sketches, develop skills, record ideas and develop their opinions.
  • Every child has a knowledge organiser at the front of their sketchbooks. These knowledge organisers allow children to refer back to key vocabulary when needed and refer back to previous learning when needed. These also give children an insight towards what each module will be about.
  • Throughout St Stephen’s, every child is given the opportunity to learn the skills of drawing, painting, printing, sculpture and digital art through the exploration of an initial key artist, craft maker or designer and their work.
  • Through in-depth discussion, the pupils explore how their art can share commonalities with famous art and use subject-specific vocabulary to discuss key artworks and their own work.
  • In the development of confident art critics, the pupils share their opinions and make informed observations about what will improve their own practical work.
  • Cross-curricular links are promoted to allow all children to deepen their understanding across the curriculum, including the use of technology, and artworks from year group specific historical, geographical and scientific contexts.
  • Teachers follow a clear progression of skills which ensures all pupils are challenged in line with their year group expectations and are given the opportunity to build on their prior knowledge.


Through Expressive Arts children are encouraged to explore different media, explore how media can be combined to create different effects and develop a range of skills and techniques experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. Children are given daily access to a range of creative opportunities and enjoy our carefully planned and well-resourced creative areas both indoors and out. Children are encouraged to create on both small and large scales and our outdoor environment supports this well. Children are encouraged to develop their communication and language skills through talking about their creations and sharing these with others to build confidence and raise self-esteem.


The impact of this curriculum design will lead to outstanding progress over time across key stages relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Our Art and Design curriculum will also lead pupils to be enthusiastic Art and Design learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice, their final pieces and sketchbooks. Achievements are celebrated in classrooms during walking-galleries and corridor displays, and by building in increasing connections with local galleries, we aim to develop our future artists and their appreciation of the art around them.

Diversity and equality

The school is committed to support the Equality Act of 2010 and, as such, believes that all pupils should be exposed to curriculum content and resources which reflect modern Britain. Pupils are enabled to see themselves and others within the resources used and acquire knowledge and skills, understanding that curriculum content is relevant and has purpose for them. We continue to purchase resources so that all pupils, equally, are encouraged to make best progress possible.

Access and Inclusion

Every child has access to the Art curriculum and the Special Education Needs and EAL co-ordinators assist staff to ensure that children with additional needs have the necessary resources to access learning. A variety of resources such as additional support staff, laptops, specialist software, ipads, overlays, coloured paper and enlarged text support pupils to retrieve knowledge or present information.  We endeavour to ensure that all children make the necessary progress to succeed in their acquisition of Art knowledge and skills.

Deepening Spirituality

Teachers use a variety of resources including audio visual, texts, visits and visitors to enable pupils to understand the world they live in and to reflect on their own identity as well as that of others. A sense of awe and wonder is developed through study of the subject and a celebration for that which enriches the world for all. We encourage our pupils to believe that they can change the world for the better after continuing to acquire knowledge from this curriculum subject.


An integral part of our art and design curriculum is fostering the children’s ability to annotate their own work and make decisions about techniques and materials. An element of this will include the children self-assessing their own work where appropriate, highlighting successes and areas to develop. This will be part of usual sketchbook learning. Sketchbooks do not follow the school's marking policy; it belongs to the child. It's not just a book - it is a space where children can freely express, create, develop and learn, often with limited guidance from the teacher. The artwork that children create is theirs, it holds special value for them and does not require the judgement of others to be correct or incorrect. As a result, children learn that they possess the authority to say what the image is about and what it communicates. This increases their self-confidence and self-esteem.

Where necessary, post-it notes can be used to add any relevant feedback, from either the teacher or peers, without it being written directly onto the pages or artwork.



Useful websites


Recommended Books

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Files to Download

Aspire to Greatness