At St Paul’s, we want to enable all pupils to feel able to think and act creatively. That means exploring all aspects of creativity: personal and social, exploring art for a variety of reasons, in a variety of contexts. Most importantly, it means enjoying the journey, so that pupils want to engage in creative activities, and so that they can grow to appreciate and value the importance of art as a highly subjective and individual experience, but one which is capable of bringing people together.

Our intent for art and design at St Paul’s

  • Children will be resilient, able to persevere and learn from their mistakes when creating art work. Pupils will take risks in their experimentation and see mistakes as part of their artistic journey and as a road to creativity and individuality in their artwork.

  • Children will record their artistic journeys in a sketchbook of their thoughts, in turn producing a creative journey.

  • To communicate effectively and confidently when discussing and critiquing their own work and their peers, as well as when conversing or challenging a famous artist’s work.

  • To be reflective and evaluate their work, thinking about how they can make changes and keep improving. This should be meaningful and continuous throughout the process.

  • To foster a deep respect for beliefs, cultures, different world views and all that makes us unique through the study of artists from all walks of life.

  • For pupils to have a rich culture capital by arranging trips to museums and galleries.

  • For pupils to have an opportunity to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas.

  • To foster pupils who are appreciative of art and design in how it both reflects and shaped our history, and contributes to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.

How and what do we teach in art and design?

All classes at St Paul’s enjoy regular art lessons, with KS2 classes having the support of an experienced art assistant during their art lessons. During the school year, year groups may have a whole art and design day so that there is more intensity in the work they do. Children are taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design. Basic skills are introduced and then built upon, including: drawing, printmaking, sketchbooks, painting and making. Skills are revisited throughout the years, and the use of sketchbooks underpins this process. Children use sketchbooks to record their artistic journeys and they become a working document, not a journal of finished pieces. By creating a safe and nurturing environment, pupils are encouraged to take creative risks and to learn from the journey, rather than head towards a pre-defined end result.

How is art and design taught in the Early Years?

In the Early Years, we recognise that all areas of learning and development are interconnected. However, Art and Design primarily sits with the ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ area within the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. The children’s progress and development is therefore monitored against the Early Learning Goals for ‘Exploring and Using Media and Materials’ and ‘Being Imaginative’. Foundation Stage staff use observations as the basis for planning. These observations will identify their achievements, interests and next steps for learning and then lead the direction of the planning. We deliver learning for all of the areas through purposeful play and learning experiences, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities.

Children have daily opportunities to develop their Art and Design skills and free access to a variety of carefully planned materials and resources. Children are encouraged to draw inspiration from a range of sources and to create and think critically. We value the individuality of children’s learning and the process as well as the outcome.

Art and Design across the school

At St Paul’s, we aim to encourage and enable a high quality exploration of the visual arts. Throughout different year groups, our activities and projects help build skills, knowledge and experience, and help nurture independent, explorative learners right from Reception all the way to Year 6. We place great value on the journey, knowing that the outcome will follow.

Take a look below at what each year group has been up to this year.

Year 1

Year 1 learnt about the concept of nature sculpture. The children had an opportunity to

learn about different kinds of nature sculptures and to explore the work of Andy Goldsworthy and other environmental artists. They focused on different techniques using natural materials, model making, observational drawing and collecting materials.

Year 2

“Hurt No Living Thing

Hurt no living thing:

Ladybird, nor butterfly,

Nor moth with dusty wing,

Nor cricket chirping cheerily,

Nor grasshopper so light of leap,

Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat,

Nor harmless worms that creep.”

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Year 2 created beautiful minibeast collages. By painting lots of pieces of paper with different colours, Year 2 learnt how to mix colours whilst also layering colours and textures to add depth. Once the paint was dry, Year 2 had the opportunity to start cutting out shapes for their minibeasts - bodies, heads, legs, antennae, wings etc. They were asked to not glue down right away but to play with the shapes and come up with a design by moving the shapes around trying out different outcomes. Once they were happy with their choices, they glued down very small parts to form their own bug. I hope you agree that they look wonderful!

Year 3

Year 3 children have been focusing on observational drawings, namely self-portraits. Using a mirror, they have learnt how to draw a face accurately and in proportion. Year 3 enhanced their self-portraits through shading and using different tones.

You can see below the progress Year 3 have made in their portraits.

Year 4

Children in Year 4 have produced work inspired by the artist Georgia O'Keeffe. They have carefully considered their colour choices and used a blending technique with oil pastels to produce these striking flowers.

Year 5

Year 5 gave themselves a challenge with a positive/negative space painting. Inspired by Australian artist Sarah Robey, they started by making a colourful underpainting with lots of texture, then they drew their design in chalk and finally painted the negative space with white paint. This has been quite a tricky concept to understand but Year 5 persevered and created these gorgeous paintings.

Year 6

Year 6 have been looking at the Pop Art movement and have created their own striking images. Their initial work was to research the movement, recording their ideas in their sketchbooks. Next step was to make a collage of packaging, from there the children completed an observational drawing - using grid lines to guide them through. The challenging part came with having to scale up their drawings. Finally, they have painted their scaled up section. It’s been a great project to see progression from initial research to final outcome.


The children at St Paul’s were very excited to invite their families to an exhibition of their artwork held at St Paul’s Church.

This special event was one of the highlights of the school year and we know the children were extremely happy and proud to show off their work. The pictures were professionally mounted, framed and catalogued, and were displayed on special boards, allowing parents, children and staff to stroll around our real “art gallery”.

A special thank you to St Paul’s Church for allowing us to use the church as an exhibition space. It was a lovely occasion to strengthen our ties with the community and the church.