Welcome to the St Mary's family!

Art & Design

Art and Design Intent

 At St Mary’s Charminster, we are committed to excellence in education and also the utmost in care of our learners within a Christian environment. We value the arts as a central part of school life. Our newly-developed three-year rolling programme offers an Arts rich curriculum that contributes to the quality of a child’s life both within and beyond school. 

 It is designed to engage, inspire and challenge pupils by introducing them to a broad range of techniques, materials and artists, craftspeople and designers. We want to equip them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, explore, take risks, invent and create. Our curriculum enables them to be authentic and explore their own identity as well as being curious about respecting and connecting with others. 

 We want our children to love art, craft and design. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and to grow up wanting to be illustrators, graphic designers, fashion designers, curators, architects or printmakers.

Arts education is a powerful tool for raising self-esteem as it allows all children to succeed. We want to foster a positive, life-long relationship with the subject and most importantly, we want them to have fun.

Art and Design Implementation

The foundation of our art, craft and design curriculum is taken directly from the Early Learning Goals and the National Curriculum. 

 We then use the progression documents from our subject association NSEAD and our own progression of skills document to support or curriculum development further. These documents can be found in the link below. 

 At St Mary’s, Art is taught in every year group, once per week during one half of each term.

With the exception of Early Years, our children all use sketchbooks to document their learning and creative journeys; where they have the opportunity to record, review and revisit their ideas. 

 Throughout their St Mary’s journey, 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.

 Visits from local artists are planned as well as various theme days and events to promote enthusiasm and passion for Art and Design.  

 Extra-curricular provision such as Art club and Junk modelling clubs are offered after school to further extend children’s enthusiasm for creativity. These are provided for all pupils, regardless of their need or ability.

 Opportunities to reflect and develop, including through the use of sketchbooks, and chances for self and peer-assessment are planned into each unit of study in KS1 and KS2.

 We use Access Art for lesson content, projects and lesson ideas.

Effective CPD and standardisation opportunities are available to staff through the Access Art website to ensure high levels of confidence and knowledge are maintained.



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 carefully planned and well-resourced creative areas both indoors and out. 

Children are encouraged to create on both small and large scales. 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.


Art and Design Impact

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. 

It will lead pupils to be enthusiastic Art and Design learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice, their final pieces and sketchbooks. 

Our children will know that they are artists, craft makers and designers and will be pround of their achievements. Performance and exhibitions are a regular part of school life and are celebrated in classrooms during walking-galleries, corridor displays, class assemblies and through our online platforms Tapestry andClass Dojo.

 As our world becomes more adept to technology it also offers opportunities to access the wider world such as virtual galleries and museums. By tapping into this wider platform, we aim to develop our future artists and their appreciation of the art around them both globally and within our local community.