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Art & Design

Art & Design

At St John’s CE Primary School, we value Art because it contributes to the development of the whole child emotionally, aesthetically, spiritually, intellectually and socially. It creates, in the child, a sense of enjoyment and purpose and provides pupils with a unique way of perceiving themselves, which is essential to their learning. It also broadens the range of opportunities we provide for children to achieve. The Art Co-Ordinator in school is Lauren Cunniffe.


Aims and Objectives

At St John’s, through the teaching of Art we aim:

  • To promote children’s enjoyment of Art.
  • To encourage the development of imagination, original thought and personal expression.
  • To develop the children’s aesthetic awareness and help them to make informed critical responses about their work and the work of others.
  • To provide children with the opportunities to study and record both man-made and natural phenomena.
  • To ensure children develop an expertise in using a wide range of materials and equipment and techniques, so enable the realisation of their ideas.
  • To provide opportunities to study contemporary, historical, cultural and religious art and artists.
  • To provide opportunities to work in sketchbooks and develop their visual literacy skills when evaluating pieces of art.

What does Art & Design look like at St John's?

At St John's, we dedicate an hour per week to develop Art & Design, or Design Technology skills. The Art and DT co-ordinators work closely to ensure skills are equally distributed and a rich curriculum has been designed to help our children develop through the Arts. Lessons vary in each year group depending on the best link to the topic being covered within each half term. Within our Art & Design lessons, the children develop Artistic skills in drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, sculpture and digital art. 
At St John's, we pride ourselves on the focus of our own 'Skills Based Curriculum'. Throughout school, we ensure children learn specialist skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, collage and sculpture. By providing the children with first quality teaching, by very talented Teachers and Teaching Assistants, the children see how a skill such as drawing can be developed to reveal textures and in turn make our 2D drawings appear 3D. As well as our lesson time, we also offer extensive clubs which also focus on developing Art Skills. Take a look below at some examples of our skills based approach.

The Atelier

Recently, we have had extensive building work completed and during this time we were lucky enough to have our own Art area, the Atelier, created. This is an area where the children are invited to complete their Art & Design learning with lots of accessible resources to help them be as creative as possible. We encourage children to be proud of their Art work and use this area as our own little Art Gallery where the children can display work that they are proud of for everyone to see. It is constantly being developed as we encourage the children take ownership of this area and share their ideas of how it can be improved and become more inviting.

Making Art Come to Life!


Our St John's children are very lucky to have an Art Gallery so close to school. We have a very positive partnership with Turnpike Art Gallery in Leigh and frequently visit to work alongside local artists, or to see REAL art exhibitions. Within our Art Curriculum, we ensure that all of our children are introduced to the work of Artists and Craft-makers. Some are from the past and some are more contemporary to allow the children to see how art has changed over time. 


Showing children photographs of artists work, or copies within books is brilliant and the children love to explore the narrative behind its creation. However, a picture does not always give the art work which is being studied justice. At St John's we want the children to really appreciate Art and by taking them to Art Galleries, such as The Turnpike, Bolton Art Gallery or even Manchester Art Gallery, they are able to see art work up close and really start to delve deeper into the Artist's reasons and thoughts when producing it. It also helps them to see the textures and detail created during the process of using different types of media. This observation is what helps the children to realise that not all artwork is 'flat', but by using a range of brushstrokes, creating different marks and using a range of media, we can alter the final product.

Seeing REAL Art - Visiting Galleries and REAL Exhibitions!

Working with Real Artists!


Artists at St John's love spending time with other local artists. We regularly visit the Turnpike Art Gallery to look at a range of Artist's work, but also to create our own. Every year, we take part in the Leigh Canal Boat Festival. The children learn how to weave and manipulate wicker canes into a range of shapes and then tie them tightly together. After that, they use their collaging skills to create magnificent lanterns - the first year they were pyramid shaped, but last year we even created mini-beast sculptures. We have also visited Bolton Art Gallery to create some wonderful patterns after studying the fish in the aquarium, but due to the extensive building work that they have been having, our visit schedule is currently on hold. 


Have a look below at some of the beautiful creations that were made with the help of local artists.

Working with Artists in the community - Canal Boat Festival

Bolton Museum and Art Gallery

Animal Lanterns at The Turnpike Art Gallery

Cross-Curricular Links

Our St John's Artists have the opportunity to use their Art, Design and craft skills throughout our whole curriculum. We encourage the children to learn about local landmarks by recreating them in sculpture, as well as learning about historical houses by studying the features and creating 'life in the past' models. We use drawing and painting to explore the world around us too! As a Church of England School, we also use our Art skills to represent and learn about the Key Christian events and these are all displayed around school and in church! Our children and families absolutely love home challenges and are eager to complete wonderful creative projects at home. This makes the learning purposeful and meaningful. have a look at some of our cross-curricular learning examples below:

Cross - Curricular Links to History and Geography

Her Majesty The Queen 1926 - 2022. We pay tribute to our late Queen; her passing is a great loss to the British people. She devoted her life to her country and to the service of others. Thank you our kind-hearted Queen!