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Art and Design Technology

We follow an exciting and ambitious curriculum from Reception to Year 6. Each topic has a question to focus the learning, which then has a set of steps towards a goal. The children's learning is also celebrated with specific outcomes at the end of each topic. For example, we might create exhibitions, perform plays or showcase work completed. Teachers plan for cross curricular opportunities in English and Maths wherever possible. The year is peppered with special days. These days provide pupils with an opportunity to examine a specific area in more detail, providing independent thinking and challenge.

Our Subject Leads work in teams so that they can share ideas and prepare and plan together for different subjects. Below is information for each group of subjects. For each of the subjects, we have developed our intent, implementation and impact statements to align with National Curriculum aims and with our school vision and aims.  In that way, the curriculum on offer to our Saint John's pupils is specific and relevant to each of them, ensuring that we grow their learning from their diverse roots, challenging them to reach up and reach out and preparing them for their lives in our community and beyond.


National Curriculum Aims

The National Curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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 by 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 Saint John’s CE Primary School, we want all of our children to have the opportunity to experience and be inspired by the work of a diverse range of artists and designers.  We aim to show the importance and value of human creativity across different cultures and historic periods, which enables our children to develop an understanding and appreciation of how art shapes, impacts and enhances their community and surroundings. Children will also be empowered to appreciate and celebrate cultural diversity. Our curriculum will engage, inspire and set challenges so that every child can flourish and develop their individual creativity.  All children will be encouraged to take risks, experiment and work with a wide range of materials.  There will be a clear progression of skills which will build on prior learning and techniques to develop confidence and mastery. Children will learn to evaluate, reflect and think about how they can make changes and improve their work. In addition, they will be encouraged to discuss and evaluate the work of others with sensitivity and respect, using appropriate technical and critical vocabulary.


At Saint John’s, we alternate termly between art and design technology to ensure that, despite their close links, children see these as separate subjects in their own right. We use Kapow Primary to support our planning, ensuring that our curriculum develops the formal elements of art (line, shape, tone, texture, pattern and colour), gives opportunities to work with a wide range of materials, explores the work of a variety of different artists and also provides opportunities for our children to apply their skills and explore their creativity.  Key knowledge is mapped across each year group and our cyclical curriculum ensures that learning is developed progressively. Skills are revisited several times across a child’s time with us; by building on previous foundations, each area can be explored in increasing depth, extending the level challenge for our children. Each child has a sketchbook, which they use to record their ideas and develop their skills. These sketchbooks provide an insight into each child’s creative process and shows their journey to their final piece of work. Alongside our curriculum, we celebrate and raise the profile of art by holding whole school art days. During these, we focus on one artist across the school, discussing their style and exploring their techniques before producing a final piece of artwork which reflects that artist’s style. This art day culminates in a celebration assembly where we share and celebrate children’s work.


Leaders monitor teaching and learning through pupil voice, book looks and learning walks, as well as through informal conversations. We aim that our children will develop specific artistic skills, as well as understanding and appreciating the art to which they are exposed during their primary school experience. The impact of our art curriculum is that all children will leave Saint John's, fully equipped for the next stage in their learning. We also want them to leave wanting to know more.:  to have curiosity about art and how it can provide a place of calm, excitement and challenge for anyone in any community. 

Design Technology

National Curriculum Aims

The National Curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  •  develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
  • critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
  •  understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.


Our aim at Saint John’s is to provide a design and technology curriculum to help prepare pupils for the developing world. We want to challenge and inspire  all pupils to flourish, becoming innovative and creative problem solvers, who use the ‘Plan, Make and Evaluate’ model. We want pupils to develop the confidence to take risks, through drafting design concepts, modelling and testing and to be reflective learners, who evaluate their work and the work of others.  Through our curriculum, we aim to build an awareness of the impact of design and technology on our lives and encourage pupils to become resourceful, enterprising citizens, who will have the skills to contribute to future design advancements.

During D.T. lessons, pupils are encouraged to be inquisitive about the way products work. We encourage pupils to ask questions to deepen their understanding of products and their design. They  have the opportunity to use market research to inform their designs and, as they move through the school, will be encouraged to draw more detailed designs and make prototypes, in order to refine their designs before creating their final piece. Whilst making their designs, adults will explain the technical skills they will require, modelling good practice and highlighting safety considerations with the pupils. Through the evaluation stage of our ‘Plan, Make and Evaluate’ model, pupils are encouraged to reflect upon their final products, considering how they could have altered their designs or techniques to impact the overall appearance and usability of their product.

We believe that working collaboratively in design and technology lessons, helps develop a caring school community, built upon mutal respect and tolerance, which values and celebrates different views, ideas and experiences. Children are encouraged to work in a democratic way, exercising the ‘give and take’ required for successful teamwork. In addition, pupils develop a respect for the environment, for their own health and safety and that of others, these provide the cultural capital needed to be active, healthy caring citizens.


Design and Technology skills are taught through four key areas:

  • EYFS and KS1: Mechanisms, Structures, Textiles and Food
  • KS2: Mechanisms, Structures, Textiles, Food, Electrical systems and Digital World

In addition,

  • Each unit follows the ‘Plan, Make and Evaluate Model.’
  • D.T. and Art are alternated each term.
  • The Kapow Primary scheme is followed. It is a spiral curriculum, with key skills revisited with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to build on previous knowledge.
  • Lessons consist of a range of teaching strategies including independent work, paired and group work including practical work and work on computers.
  • Whole school D.T. days enable different units to be taught as well as raising the profile of D.T.


The impact of our D.T. curriculum ensures our children will:

  • Understand the functional and aesthetic properties of a range of materials and resources.
  • Understand how to use and combine tools to carry out different processes for shaping, decorating, and manufacturing products.
  • Build and apply a repertoire of skills, knowledge and understanding to produce high quality, innovative outcomes, including models, prototypes, CAD, and products to fulfil the needs of users, clients, and scenarios.
  • Understand and apply the principles of healthy eating, diets, and recipes, including key processes, food groups and cooking equipment.
  • Have an appreciation for key individuals, inventions, and events in history and of today that impact our world both in our community and further afield.
  • Recognise where our decisions can impact our wider world in terms of community, social and environmental issues.
  • Self-evaluate and reflect on learning at different stages and identify areas to improve.
  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Design and technology.