St Mary’s CE VC First School
Charminster, Dorchester

Art & Design

Curriculum Overview

Our Art and Design curriculum is well sequenced to provide a coherent subject scheme that develops children’s skills and knowledge of visual elements, art forms, artists and art movements.

Our Art and Design projects are placed alongside other subject projects where there are opportunities for making meaningful connections. For example, In Year Three, Beautiful Botanicals has been placed in the same teaching sequence as the science project Plant Nutrition and Reproduction. Seasons are also a consideration for the placement of Art and Design projects. For example, if children are required to work outdoors, these projects have been placed in either the latter part of the Spring or Summer term.

Mrs Mandy Joslin

Mrs Mandy Joslin

Art & Design Leader

In Reception, children learn many skills and gain a great deal of knowledge which form the foundation for their Art & Deisgn journey. Much of this is through their Expressive Arts & Design curriculum strand which forms part of every project through their continuous provision. Above are examples of two Reception projects which have Expressive Art & Deisgn at their core.

In Key Stage One, we begin each year with the colour project 'Mix It'. The teaching of this project in Years One and Two enables children to be introduced to and then revisit colour theory and provides plentiful opportunities for children to explore primary and secondary colours. 

In Year One, children explore themes directly related to the children themselves, such as their facial features, the surrounding natural world and their local community.

In Year Two, the projects expand children’s artistic horizons to study a more comprehensive range of artists, artistic movements and creative techniques.

In Lower Key Stage Two, we begin each year with the colour project 'Contrast and Complement'. In Years Three and Four, the teaching of this project enables children to build on their previous understanding of colour and further develop their expertise by studying theory.

In Year Three, children expand their experiences to study a broader range of art forms, artists and genres. They also begin to study art from specific and diverse periods of history, including prehistoric pottery and Roman mosaics. Other genres studied in Year Three build on previous techniques learned in Key Stage One and include more complex techniques in printmaking, drawing, painting and textiles.

In Year Four, children develop more specialised techniques in drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. They explore ways in which ancient cultures have influenced art and crafts by studying, for example, medieval weaving techniques and the religious significance of Islamic art.