Art & Design


At Holy Name, we are situated in the centre of vibrant Manchester. To reflect and celebrate the many rich backgrounds, cultures and experiences of our community, a stimulating, creative and varied bespoke curriculum has been developed. 

Our Art & Design curriculum has been designed to support the development of our children’s spiritual, moral, social, emotional and cultural understanding. 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 young people to develop a sense of their own identity and value. This in turn develops a personal responsibility exercised within our school and the wider community. Arts and cultural learning promote awareness, empathy and an appreciation of the differences, diversity and the views of others. Art & Design can also enhance our physical health by developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination: skills that are refined through drawing, sculpting, painting and modelling etc.

Our Art & Design curriculum at Holy Name is created to develop creativity, to engage and inspire children and to equip them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. As well as promoting imagination, we have selected artists who reflect our community and the world beyond; through whom we can allow children to learn about a wide range of genres, skills and mediums. The Salford-born painter L.S Lowry is studied because he is famous for creating scenes of life in the industrial districts of North-West England in the mid-20th century. Claire Brewster, a paper sculpture who studied in Year 2, is an artist who has exhibited her work at Manchester Art Gallery alongside contemporaries from around the world, such as Joan Miro. Jane Ray is an author and illustrator studied as part of our English curriculum in Year 5. Through our bespoke Art & Design curriculum, our children are encouraged to make links to learning in other subjects. An example of this is during Black History Month when the Caribbean and African cultures of our community are explored and celebrated. The vocabulary that they use across all subjects are also applicable in Art & Design. Children will develop skills to think critically about images, ask open and closed questions, be given sentence starters to generate opinions and be provided with opportunities to use their knowledge and styles of artists and designers to experiment with their own work. Children will develop the ability to express their feelings, they will use their geographical knowledge of physical features to create landscapes, use their historical skills to create objects from the past and their mathematical knowledge of shape, measures and geometry to accurately design and create unique pieces. The children will have opportunities to use multisensory skills and mediums. For example, in computing, children will be using research skills to create pieces of work through technology.

By having this breadth of exploration and experience, our children will be encouraged to think artistically and scientifically. For example, as part of our connection with STEAM, children might be designing and making a model with moving parts. These transferable skills will help to inspire children to think about careers in engineering, architecture, advertising and design, film-making, IT and games development to name a few, as well as developing their leadership and time-management skills.


Our Art & Design curriculum develops creativity, engagement, inspires children and sets them challenges. This will equip our children with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent, use their imagination and create their own works of art and design. The curriculum has appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding to explore, investigate, create and evaluate artwork. This holistic approach will enable our children to reach and exceed their potential at Holy Name in partnership with our local museums, art galleries and Z Arts, enabling our children to create pieces with a real purpose when displaying, showcasing and sharing their work. Our children will make 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 through our Eco-school’s curriculum, e.g. our Year 4 children have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to create art work by Henri Rousseau, related to the rainforest, then using recycled materials to create a piece of art. 

Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of Art & Design are laid out in the ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ section of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) and in the National Curriculum in England: Key Stages 1 and 2 (2014).  

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 their own pieces and the subject studied
  • Use sketch books to further develop techniques 

Key Stage 2

  • Children should be using their sketch books frequently as a place for them to experiment and try out techniques 
  • 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 and women artists.

Opportunities for staff CPD will also develop through working alongside outside agencies. Through Curriculum Leadership, we will continue to choose areas of development through the whole school and work on these themes through staff meetings. We will continually address resources through communication between the coordinator and staff members. 

Contact Us

Holy Name RC Primary School

Denmark Road, Moss Side, Manchester, M15 6JS

T: 0161 226 6303


Head of School: Damian Regan
Executive Headteacher: Catherine Gordon

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