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St Michael's CofE Primary School

- Let Your Light Shine -

Curriculum Art

At St Michael’s School our curriculum reflects our school vision: Let Your Light Shine. We want all of our children to be excited and motivated throughout their time at our school, and to develop the skills and knowledge to enable them to make the best possible progress in their learning. 

We believe that high quality art engages, inspires and challenges pupils to experiment, invent and create. Through our art provision, children will increase their sense of achievement and self confidence to explore creatively in a visual way.

In both the EYFS and Key Stage 1, curriculum art is linked to topics and taught by the class teacher. At Key Stage 2, art is also linked to topics and is taught both in class as well as by Mrs Fraser in the art room.

We rotate our skills focus, ensuring that all elements of art are included and a progression of techniques developed. The skills of collage, drawing, painting, printing, textiles, 3D and use of IT are all covered.  


Our art curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:-

  • produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording experiences
  • develop control in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
  • evaluate and reflect upon our own and others work
  • explore great artists, craft makers and designers and understand their place in history and culture.

Intent, Implementation & Impact: Art

Progression of Skills

 ART Progression of Skills ALL mediums.docxDownload
 EYFS 2021 art and music for website.docxDownload
 St Michaels Whole School Progression of Key Skills in Art.docDownload
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Curriculum Overview (whole school): Art

Art Overview for KS2 Topics 

Upcoming Events / Competitions

A New Art Club at St Michael's - book here https://www.joyousmisfit.com/schools

Queen's jubilee art competition in conjunction with John Lewis  https://platinumjubilee.gov.uk/event/queens-platinum-jubilee-art-competition-for-primary-schools/

RWA - Scribble and Sketch - a free, monthly workshop plus other Family workshops (many free) Events for Children and Families | RWA Bristol

Arnolfini - Let's Make Art - family workshops   Workshops - Arnolfin

GoSketch offers free online art sessions (see link below)


Curriculum Art - Our Projects

Year 3

 Year 3: Stone Age 

We explored the importance of the handprint in Stone-Age art and how they created their own paints. (Yuk!) We created our own handprints in charcoal, chalks and ink, incorporating things that are important in our own lives. To decorate these we added a colour wheel (understanding that we can make colours now that they couldn't in Stone-Age times). 

Finally, we looked at the pots made by the Beaker Tribe and created our own, developing our manipulation of clay by making coil pots. 

Year 3: Artist Stydy  - William Morris

We began this project by learning about the life and work of William Morris. Looking closely at examples of his wall paper and textile designs, we noticed his use symmetry and translation when depicting flowers, leaves and animals. Drawing on this, we created our own compositions for a collagraph plate, using pieces of cardboard, string, pipe-cleaners, matchsticks and corrugated paper. We explored the use of the different textures to make our collagraphs interesting.  During this process we learnt that keeping our designs big and bold made them easier to make and created a clearer print! These are some of our collagraphs before we 'inked' them.

Once the glue on our collagraphs had dried we could then print from them. Lots of force was needed to get a successful print - you really had to get your fingers in to all the little corners. The results were fantastic and the inked collagraphs look like pieces of art in their own right too.

Year 3: Polar Landscapes

In year 3 we explored the way colours make us feel and how artists use them in their work. We looked at landscapes from cold climates, including those showing the northern lights, using them as inspiration for weavings.  A card loom was used to hold the warp thread, allowing the weft to go 'under over, under over'. It is very relaxing to weave but you have to remember to keep a gentle tension on the weft yarn.




During our printing topic we also explored rotational polystyrene press printing. Continuing to use William Morris' work as inspiration, we planned a design that could be rotated around a central point. We used the same sort of process as the collagraphs but rather then raising up the design we pushed it into the tile. We also added a sticker to the centre point to help us remember which corner needed to be in the middle. 

They look even better than we expected and many 'oooh's and arhh's' were heard when revealing them!

Year 4

Year 4: Roman Mosaics

We looked at a range of Roman mosaics and how the Romans created them. Beginning with paper squares, we had a go at creating lines and shapes, making sure there were small gaps in between them. This is harder than it looks! The Romans created very detailed pictures but as we were just starting out, we focused on the patterns they used. Once we had chosen a pattern we transferred it to a board using small tiles (tesserae). Some we had to cut with tile cutters which we had to use very carefully. 

Year 4: Surrealist Anglo Saxons!

We joined our history topic on Anglo Saxon with Surrealist Art. Yep, strange! In particular we looked at 'The Son of Man' and 'The Happy Donor' by Rene Magritte. Magritte wanted to see what was behind the things we can see so we created different overlapping layers. We also allowed a little corner of one eye to be seen, just like in the original. Here are some of our interpretations of these pictures using the computer programme Paint.net.

Year 4: Artists Study - Rosalind Monks

This year we looked very closely at the bodies of different British insects, many of which are endangered. We were really surprised at how intricate and beautiful they were. We were also inspired by the work of designer Rosalind Monks, who works in pen to create detailed designs.

Here are a few pieces of our pen work, some done at school and others whilst home learning.

Artist Response - WOW

Hi Mrs Fraser and Year 4,

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful drawings with me. I am so impressed with all the detail and care you took with your line work. Drawing in pen is hard because you can’t erase anything, you just have to adapt if you make a mistake! I am so honoured to have inspired you all to create your own beautiful artwork. Drawing is very special to me and I couldn’t imagine life without it. I love being out doors and finding new things to draw, the possibilities are endless. I very much hope that creating these brought you the fun and magic it brings me and please keep up the great work! 

Warm wishes,
Rosalind Monks 

Year 5

Year 5: Portraits

As part of our Tudor topic we looked at Holbein and how his portraits  helped shape our understanding of Tudor England. We explored the 'magic' proportions of the face and had a go at creating our own using pencil, then a larger try in charcoal. I was blown away by the mark making and effort the children put in to getting the features in the right places. We are now going to develop our portraiture work into the 3D medium of cardboard relief sculpture using Kimmy Cantrell as our inspiration.

Year 5: Ancient Greeks

We have been studying the architecture of Ancient Greece, in particular the different columns they created - Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. We learnt about their different sections through sketching, then created our own prints (reduction printing / foam block printing) inspired by them, printing on a variety of different types of paper, exploring the different results. Finally, we collated all our art together, selecting and choosing the prints we wanted to share. The foam blocks were still tacky with printing ink so we had fun adding ghost prints to our sketchbooks too.

Ask any year 5 and they will tell you columns have teeth, moustaches and sausages! Really, they do!

Year 5: Rainforests

During this term we have learnt about about different animals that live in rainforests. We chose our favourite to create on cushions. We explore their form and thought about how we could use harmonious or complementary colours to make them camouflaged or stand out. To create our cushions we used a range of mediums from fabric crayons, fabric felt tips to fabric paint. Once 'set' we stuffed them and finished the tops off with blanket stitch.

They look fantastic - well done Year 5.

Year 6

Year 6: Artist Study


Creating our own digital portraits, in the style of Julian Opie, is one of the projects we all look forward to. The key to making them look realistic is faithfully outlining the face and hair, plus (strangely) adding the chin line! Click on the pictures - can you see those chin lines? This year some of us wanted to explore the backgrounds a bit more and add details, rather than use a flat colour like Julian Opie.

These portraits will be included in our Year 6 Yearbooks. 

Year 6: Eyes

We studied the colour wheel, looking at making the primary, secondary and tertiary colours with smooth, careful brush strokes.  These we them used to create these stunning collage eyes.  

Year 6: Cogheart / Victorians

This project was based on our class book and the advancement of mechanisms during the Victorian era. We explored the medium of powder paint in order to develop our skills at mixing colours. Using the 'Power of 3' and direction of brush stroke we focused on creating different textures to paint a half animal, half mechanical design. These were finished off with Posca pens and some cogs for embellishment. 

Previous Projects

Year 3: Egyptians

In our Ancient Egyptian topic we created drawings of pharaohs, gods and other people using a grid, follow the same rules that they did. We also studied the landscape of Egypt, looking in particular at the River Nile, mud brought by the floods, green planted areas and the sky. We creating weavings to represent these layers, some of us even having a go at putting pyramid shapes into them - it's hard!

Year 4: Endangered

During our topic Endangered we studied some of the most threatened animals in this country. We looked closely at their form (shape) and the texture on their bodies and surroundings. Watercolour paints were used to add colour inside a frame, with us all really focusing on our colour mixing skills.

Year 5: Crime and Punishment

Studying graffiti has been an interesting topic and we've noticed many types around Bristol, particularly focusing on the legal street art variety! We created our own printed brick walls then added a oil pastel blended tag with accents.

Year 4: Winter Penguins

We created a sky watercolour wash and then collaged on top with our weird and wonderful penguin characters.

Year 4: Natural Disasters

As part of a topic looking at Natural Disasters, we explored the form of volcanos, creating them in collage. First, we used paint and lots of interesting items to create the different textures we observed in volcano pictures. We then tore, cut and arranged pieces to make the 3 distinct sections of an exploding volcano.  

Continuing our collage theme (and explosions) we explored the work of PopArt artist Roy Lichtenstein, making onomatopoeia compositions. 

Year 6: Mayans

We studied the glyphs and ceremonial headdresses of the Ancient Mayans. Looking at  fierce (and some not so fierce) animals from the South American rain-forests we incorporated them into our headdress design. These were then painted using powder paints  displaying our colour mixing skills.

Year 5: Tints and Shades

We explored the medium of powder paint and used them to create tints and shades. Once we were confident with the medium we used our skills to create landscapes (showing fore-ground, mid-ground and background layers) and a visual illusion cube composition.

Year 6: L. S. Lowry

As part of a topic based on the Victorians we looked at the industrial landscapes created by famous British artist L. S. Lowry. His work inspired our city collages, which included muted colours and focused on perspective.

Year 5: Artists Study

As part of our Crime and Punishment topic we looked at graffiti and street art - the differences between them and the legality of them. We looked in particular at the artist Jean Michel Basquiat and how his style developed from graffiti art. We explored how he used stylised, primitive-looking faces with backgrounds full of colourful imagery and phrases. Both the text and images on his work mean something to him and we did the same - adding our own words and images to our compositions.