Art and Design


At Our Lady’s, we are situated in the centre of vibrant Manchester. To reflect and celebrate the many rich backgrounds, cultures and experiences, a stimulating, creative and varied bespoke curriculum has been developed in Art at Our Lady’s.

We teach Art and Design to support the development our children’s’ spiritual, moral, social, emotional and cultural understanding.  We teach Art and Design to our children so that they develop transferable skills to enable them to become aspirational, articulate and confident individuals.  The benefits of Art through the curriculum is that it can also support their mental health and emotional skills. According to Dame Benita Refson, President and founder of Place2Be – the children’s’ mental health charity ‘The creative processes involved in Arts help children to work through their problems and find ways of coping’. In collaboration with PHSE, engagement with the arts helps our children develop a sense of their own identity and value. This in turn develops personal responsibility within our school and wider community. Arts and cultural learning promote awareness, empathy and appreciation of difference and diversity and the views of others. We will be making links with our Healthy school’s targets.

Art can also develop Physical health. Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination skills are developed through drawing, painting, modelling etc.


Our curriculum at Our Lady’s is created to develop creativity, engage, inspire children and equip them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of Art. We use artists that reflect a wide range of genres, skills and mediums. For example, L.S Lowry is studied as he is famous for painting scenes of life in the industrial districts of North West England in the mid-20th century, Claire Brewster who has exhibited her work at Manchester Art Gallery and Artists from around the world such as Joan Miro. We also have included Jane Ray who is an Author and illustrator. Therefore, we are making cross curricular links where possible to present an enriched curriculum. An example of this is during Black History Month when the Caribbean and African cultures of our community can be explored with a focus on Art and design.

Through our bespoke Art curriculum, our children will be encouraged to make links with what they are learning in other subjects. The vocabulary that they use across all subjects will be appropriate to use in Art. They will be developing skills to think critically about images, asking open and closed questions, be given sentence starters “I like the way the artist has…….” “In this artwork, I can see ….”. They will use their knowledge and styles of other artists to experiment with their own work. They will develop the ability to express their feelings. They will use their geographical knowledge of physical features to create landscapes. The children will use their historical skills to create objects from the past and their shape, measures and geometry skills to create their art.

The children will have opportunities to use multi - sensory skills and mediums. For example, in ICT, the children will be using their research skills to create a piece of work through technology.

By having this breadth of exploration and experience, they will be encouraged to think artistically and scientifically. For example, they might be designing and making a model with moving parts. STEAM. These skills will also help to inspire children to think about careers in engineering, architecture, mathematic, designing and leadership, advertising and design, film-making, IT and games development.

Impact statement

Our Art curriculum develops creativity, engagement, inspires children and sets them challenges. This will equip them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent, use their imagination and create their own works of Art, design and crafts. The curriculum has appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding to explore, investigate, create and evaluate artwork as set out in the National Curriculum. This holistic approach will enable our children to reach and exceed their potential at Our Lady’s school. In partnership with our local museums, art galleries and Z Arts, we will be enabling our children to create art work with a real purpose when displaying, showcasing and sharing their work. Our children will be making links throughout the curriculum using their prior knowledge, skills, vocabulary and imagination to enable their abilities and creativity to shine. We will also make links with our Eco school’s curriculum, the children will apply their knowledge and skills to create art work by Henri Rousseau, related to the rainforest and use recycled materials to create a piece of art Staff will also develop their CPD working alongside these outside agencies. We will begin to choose areas of development throughout the whole school and work on these themes through staff meeting, and afternoons specific to Art. Below is the skills process that the staff and children will work upon in the Early years and build up throughout KS1 and KS2. We will continually update resources through communication between the coordinator and staff members.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Pupils explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. They have opportunities to learn to:

  • Explore the textures, movement, feel and look of different media and materials
  • Respond to a range of media and materials, develop their understanding of them in order to manipulate and create different effects.
  • Use different media and materials to express their own ideas
  • Explore colour and use for a particular purpose
  • Develop skills to use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately
  • Select appropriate media and techniques and adapt their work where necessary

Key Stage 1:

  • Introduction to the artist/ art form to be studied.
  • Learn about the background of the subject
  • Use a range of materials and media to develop art and design techniques in the style of the subject studied
  • Produce a piece of work in the style of the subject studied
  • Evaluate work, making links and comparisons between theirs and the subject studied
  • Use sketch books to further develop techniques when no designated topic

Key Stage 2:

  • Children should be using their sketch books frequently as a place for them to experiment and try out techniques at any point in the school week. They should be considered an art jotter to be used regularly and by the children’s own initiation so that ideas can be review and revisited.
  • Pupils should be taught to develop their techniques through topic work including their control and use of materials – increasingly being able to decide and choose which materials to use to produce a finished piece.
  • Pupils will be taught about great artists, architects and designers in history with equal attention being paid to men as well as women artists.

Get in touch

Our Lady's RC Primary School

Whalley Road, Whalley Range, Manchester, M16 8AW

Head of School Anna Ward and Executive Head Catherine Gordon

0161 226

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