Quick Links

Quick Links

Ripley St. John’s CofE

Primary School & Nursery

Google Services

Google Translate

Google Translate

Google Search

Google Search


The Arts

Subject Information



A full afternoon each week has been dedicated to the arts in school to allow for all children to access a broad, exciting and balanced arts curriculum. This enables children to develop their artistic skills and knowledge of key artists through a high standard of art education within school and with the strong links developed within the local community. Cross curricular links will be used where possible to make the art as relevant and exciting as possible.



St John’s is supported by a dedicated arts team that ensure the arts continues to be integral to our values and vision at St Johns. Our team includes an Arts Co-Ordinator, two Teaching assistants who support the delivery of Arts award and a dedicated governor.

The subject leader and Arts team are responsible for:

*Developing and updating the schemes of work for all stages

*Supporting teachers and subject leaders with cross-curricular links

*Overseeing and developing resources

*Monitoring and evaluating through classroom observation, planning, work scrutiny and interviewing children

*Keeping staff up to date through staff meetings, INSET, courses in the Arts and alerting them to CPD opportunities

*Keeping governors informed and working with designated Arts governor

*Providing additional and extracurricular out of hours activities

*Working with visiting artists and other partners

*Planning for Arts Mark and Arts Award future developments through annual action plans and targets



Our creative and enriched Arts curriculum is personalised to meet the needs and interests of all pupils at St Johns. In addition to this we also provide a range of exciting out of hours opportunities for children. Staff provide a range of clubs for pupils, including many that are arts-based (choir, ukulele, band, sewing, knitting, drama, dance, arts award). Many pupils also take part within LA Music Events and we encourage pupils to further their Arts interests in clubs out of school.

When clubs are offered every child in the appropriate key stage is eligible to attend.

For example Choir for years 1 – 6.

Ukulele clubs for KS2

Karaoke club for KS2

Sewing Club as part of after school club

Where clubs are oversubscribed or limited by age group alternatives will be given at a different date where possible.


Through effective communication and liaison we ensure effective partnerships covering a range of Art forms including those of other cultures, venues and activities. Our partnerships offer a range of learning opportunities and we are always looking for new ones.

Children are able to experience these through:

*Gallery visits

*Ripley Music festival.

*Visiting artists and musicians

*Wider Opportunities Scheme for Music

*Participating within LA Music Service events

*Concerts with cluster schools – Ripley Music Festival

*Talented staff, parents and governors within the school

*Plays, Theatre company visits & Workshops

 *Performing in All Saints Church.



What art looks like week by week:

At St John’s we provide curriculum time for teaching in art, design, dance, music and drama to give all pupils a broad programme. Art focused teaching is provided on a Friday afternoon and Twinkl objectives are used as a foundation to facilitate and monitor progression of skills across the years. Objectives will teach art themes – drawing, exploring and developing ideas, painting, sculpture, collage, textiles, printing and work from other artists. Digital media is used to enhance the delivery of the arts curriculum.



In the Foundation Stage the Arts (Expressive Arts and Design) are incorporated into everything the children are learning to do on a daily basis. Continuous provision promotes the Arts both inside and outside.



In key stage one Art is taught weekly on a Friday afternoon. Throughout the year children are encourage to engage with the arts through weekly music praise assemblies (singing), Christmas Productions, Charanga (our music scheme), dance sessions, drama which is taught primarily as part of literacy with extra drama-based activities incorporated into other areas of the curriculum, creative Arts weeks/days, creative uses of ICT, peripatetic musical instrument tuition available from Year 2, visits to and from theatre groups/artists/Ripley Music festival/musicians/authors and poets; and through our arts award program which is delivered on a Friday afternoon.  



In key stage two again Art is taught weekly on a Friday afternoon or alternatively with DT/ music. Again children are encouraged to engage with the arts through weekly music praise assemblies (singing), religious assemblies/festivals involving drama, music, poetry, dance and art, dance sessions, creative Arts weeks/days, through guitar club, summer Production and Ripley Music festival, peripatetic music teaching of a variety of string, woodwind and brass instruments, Friday Arts Afternoons – Arts Award, wider Opportunities Scheme for Music (Years 3 and 4) - children learning a variety of instruments, regular arts activities and performances for school, parents and the wider community (Flash Mob), via drama partnerships with Swanwick Hall Secondary School, visits to theatre groups/artists/musicians, trips to YSP, galleries and exhibitions; and through creative uses of ICT.



Cross-curricular links are made through careful whole school planning and liaison between subject leaders. Examples of this include the use of ICT in art and music; the use of drama and art in history.

In terms of PSD, involvement in the Arts helps children to make choices, identify what they are good at and what they need to do to improve. Our multi-cultural work helps children to recognise and celebrate difference and diversity. Children learn the techniques of discussion when appreciating a piece of artwork or music.

Cross-curricular links between subjects and topic areas are highlighted within Medium Term Plans in all year groups.

Arts Weeks, days or events provide excellent opportunities for further links across art forms and other subjects.

These cross curricular links have enabled us to achieve our Artsmark and Arts Awards status.



All children regardless of gender, race, culture, background and ability have an entitlement to arts education at an appropriate and challenging level. To ensure that children experience high standards of success, creative development needs to be taught with regards to children’s abilities to ensure progress.

Through arts teaching all children are motivated, offered a range of resources to meet their needs, given diverse and creative teaching styles; and offered personalised learning opportunities linked to their interests

‘The arts are like your backbone. You may be  

able to survive without your backbone but  

what quality of life would you have?’  

Sir Simon Rattle

What are the children learning this year?

What do lessons look like for The Arts?


An art lesson will begin with an introduction to the key skills that the children will be learning to progress within the lesson and prior learning which links to this skill may be briefly recapped. (E.g. children may be focusing on shading or cross hatching using pencils.)  Each half term the year group will focus on a key artist which is linked to the core skills they are developing. (E.g. Leonardo da Vinci may have been focused on when developing the artistic skills of portrait drawing) and children will learn key knowledge about this artist and their life. 


Children will be given opportunity to look at various pieces of art work by their key artist, but also other artists who have important pieces of work, such as Picasso’s portraits in the style of cubism. Children will be encouraged to interpret, compare and discuss artwork.


Children will then be taught a skill for the lesson such as how to draw a portrait, and this is modelled by the teacher. Children will then be given time to explore and practice this skill to create their own piece of work.


The children may be given time to evaluate their own work or peer evaluate work in a constructive, supportive way.


The lesson is then drawn together in a plenary, giving children the chance to demonstrate their understanding and learning, as well as look forward to future skills and knowledge that they can build upon.

What else is happening for The Arts this year?


Our year 6 arts ambassadors set shining examples to younger pupils, and take great pride in helping to develop and support other children in their arts journey.  


They play an important role in our termly ‘Arts on the Yard’ week. 


Arts on the Yard 

Arts on the Yard week is an Arts week led by our Year 6 arts ambassadors. Each lunchtime a variety of different arts activities are led by Year 6 across a variety of art mediums. At the end of the week the most popular art activity with then be run as a lunchtime club across the next half term. All activities are available for all children from Reception to Year 6 to access as they choose to.  

The autumn “Arts on the Yard” activities consisted of:  

  • An acting group with a play written and performed by our arts ambassador. After this was performed, other children were then invited to join in and supported to partake. 
  • A dance group who performed and then invited other children to join in. 
  • A film club 
  • A ‘How to draw’ club; arts ambassadors taught other children how to draw a variety of images.  
  • Photography with iPads 


At the end of the week all classes were invited to vote on which arts activity they enjoyed the most. The winner was the ‘How to draw’ club. This is now being run as a weekly club by the arts ambassadors for all children to attend during lunch time.


Sky Arts Week – this provides an exciting week for all. We have linked up with Sky Arts Online who provide and organise a wealth of resources, artists etc in which we study over the course of a week. Children thoroughly enjoy this week and develop essential skills in developing self-esteem, confidence, pride and a sense of achievement which supports them through whole school activities and future learning.


Arts Award – is a program in which children take ownership over their arts journey. Children who participate in the program take a personalised planning approach to their learning where by their interests spark their discovery of the arts.


Discover – an introductory level designed for children and young people taking the first steps on their creative journey.

Explore - A qualification designed for children and young people who are ready to start exploring the arts world and create their own artwork independently.

Bronze - Young people undertaking the Bronze qualification grow their arts interests, look into creative career options and stretch their communication skills.

If you are interested to find out more please visit the links below...

Arts Mark – The ArtsMark award is the only creative quality standard for schools and education settings, accredited by Arts Council England. Having the ArtsMark award has helped us at St johns to embed the arts, culture and creativity across our whole curriculum, celebrating our commitment to cultural education.

St Johns was last accredited the award back in 2017 where we were delighted to achieve Platinum status. We are currently undergoing application again this year.

Arts Trophy – every half term our schools art work is showcased on display in the hall for all to see. Art ambassadors alongside the Art co-ordinator each select a child from EYFS/KS1 and one from KS2 to gain the ‘Amazing Arts’ trophy for that half term. Both trophy and certificates are awarded in our celebration worships on a Friday. Children are very proud of their achievements and having their work laminated and showcased on display.

Book looks - a recent book look from last November shows how these achievements are resonated when talking about work completed in arts lessons.  

Children's Gallery



 ‘This is Spiderman – I made it super special. It makes me feel happy’

Potato printing – Nursery



‘I’m really proud of this one (use colour to show emotion) I put some makeup on mine and mixed the colours (I have makeup at home) – I really worked hard on this one – I took my time’

Self-portrait (using colours to show emotion) - Year 1



‘I added lots of detail (collaged shapes). I like it because we did swirls and the moon and I like the sticking’

A version of Van Goghs Starry night - Year 2



‘I am proud of the effects and outline – using dark and light shades so it looks 3D’

Drawing body shapes using charcoal inspired by Henry Moore - Year 4



‘I’m proud of my dragon! Just thinking you can’t draw one but the step-by-step video makes it so much easier but then you have to do it independently in your book’

Practising sketching techniques - Year 5

The Arts at Home


Below are many useful links that you can use to support your child’s learning at home:


Arts Award


Sky Arts


Art Resources


The National Gallery of Art