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Clyst St Mary Primary School

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The Arts

Art and Design






At Clyst St Mary we value art and design as an important part of our student’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Art has a very important place within our curriculum. We see art as a vehicle for creativity and individual expression and therefore seek to inspire, engage and challenge our students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. 

Our teaching provides an understanding of all the diverse art forms so that the children experience drawing, painting, collage, textiles, 3D designs, printmaking and digital media. We also endeavour to provide the children with as many opportunities as possible to experience art in the ‘real’ world, collaborating with professional artists and exposing the children to a range of cultural and creative experiences. As pupils progress they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design and be confident in their approach to the subject.


Our aim is to provide a curriculum that ensures all pupils:

  • Produce creative work and feel confident in exploring their ideas.
  • Become proficient in using a range of mixed media.
  • Can articulate their ideas and evaluate and analyse pieces of art.
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers and the influence they have had on culture and art. 
  • Are given opportunities to participate in a range of creative activities and events. 
  • Are introduced to an appreciation of the arts that will last a lifetime. 
  • Provide children with opportunities for self expression and enhance self esteem with a whole school approach to the celebration of the arts. 




The teaching and implementation of the art and design curriculum at Clyst St Mary is based on the national curriculum and other experiences and opportunities that best meet the learning and development needs of our students. Lessons may involve stand alone projects that explore different artists styles or can be linked to certain topics or themes. Our skills progression grid ensures that the children are building upon their skills each year and are exposed to a wide range of techniques and opportunities to use a wide range of different mediums. Children are taught art in discrete lessons throughout the year as well as linked to other curriculum areas and projects where appropriate to create a cross curricular approach to learning. In the summer term we have an art week where each class explores a specific element of art and professional artists come in to work with the children, culminating in an art picnic where the children’s work is put on display for the community. The importance of Art is evident throughout the school through the displays and the permanent works of art. We regularly work with DAISI on arts based projects to enrich the curriculum. 


National curriculum art programme of study



Pupils are given the opportunity to explore and see a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. They are given opportunities to:

  • Explore different textures and materials.
  • 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. Record ideas in a sketchbook. 




Using the skills progression grid to structure and inform planning students are taught:

  • To use a range of materials creatively to design and make products.
  • To use drawing, textiles, painting and sculpture to share their ideas. 
  • To develop a wide range of skills and techniques using colour, pattern, texture, line and shape.
  • About the work of a range of influential and important artists. 
  • To use sketch books to record their work as well as creating 3d and larger scale pieces of work for display. 



Students build upon the skills they have developed in KS1. They develop their techniques, increase their control and explore different materials and show an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design. 

They are taught:

  • To improve their mastery of art and design techniques, using a range of skills and materials. 
  • About great artists, designers and architects in modern day and throughout history. 
  • To use their sketchbooks to develop their ideas, explore different techniques and record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas. 




At Clyst St Mary we want our students to feel confident in sharing and displaying their work. To feel safe in exploring new materials and experimenting with their ideas and be exposed to a wide range of different experiences based around the arts. Each student will experience a broad and balanced arts curriculum with an emphasis on developing skills in art and design. Students will experience the arts through other areas of the curriculum and develop an awareness of the importance of art within history and different cultures. Our skills progression grid helps to track progress and ensures each year group is exposed to a range of different mediums, allowing each teacher to build on the skills taught in the previous year. In KS1 and KS2 three key assessment pieces are used to monitor progress across the year. Children in EYFS are assessed within the Expressive arts and design early learning goal and their progress is tracked using tapestry. Age related levels are reported to parents at the end of the year. 









To build a musical curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition of knowledge and  improved well-being.

To promote a love of music and singing across a broadened curriculum.

To enable children to:

  • know that music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity.
  • know how music is made through a variety of instruments. 
  • know and understand how sounds are made and then organised into musical structures.
  • understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.
  • know how music is composed and written down.
  • know how music is influenced by the time, place and purpose for which it was written.
  • to develop the interrelated skills of performing, composing and appreciating music.
  • know how music is influenced by the time, place and purpose for which it was written.

  • to develop the interrelated skills of performing, composing and appreciating music.



At Clyst St Mary Primary School we aim to develop a love for and appreciation of music which will enrich our pupils’ lives.  We believe that participation in music provides valuable creative, social and cultural experiences for our pupils, and contributes towards key cross-curricular skills such as reflection, risk-taking, teamwork and self-expression. It is our intent that we make music an enjoyable learning experience. Singing and music making play a foundational and significant part in nurturing our pupil’s emotional health and wellbeing. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to understand rhythm and follow a beat and through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music. We teach them to listen and to appreciate different forms of music. Children develop descriptive language skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent different feelings, emotions and narratives. We also teach technical vocabulary, such as volume, pitch, beat and rhythm, and encourage children to discuss music using these terms.




  • The music curriculum ensures pupils sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as the weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances and the learning of instruments. 

  • The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed.

  • In the classroom pupils learn how to compose focussing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. 

  • Through the musical program Charanga designed specifically for the teaching of music in primary schools, teachers are able to produce inclusive lessons for all children to access the musical curriculum in a fun and engaging way, further promoting a love of learning. Charanga lessons are planned in sequences to provide children with the opportunities to review, remember, deepen and apply their understanding. The activities include games, songs, challenges, listening to music and discussing music, playing a range of musical instruments, performing back, finding the pulse and composing music using notation sheets or technology. Open ended tasks are provided that can have a variety of responses and teachers also differentiate activities using the Charanga Bronze, Silver and Gold challenges.

  • The school also has opportunities for whole class ensemble teaching in targeted year groups using instruments hired from Devon Music Hub where children are taught a specific musical instrument for a term. These lessons incorporate teaching musical notation, singing, as well as learning to play an instrument. 

  • Opportunities are given during a school year for pupils to perform in class, in assemblies and also to parents and the wider community.

  • Additional opportunities are offered in music, such as the key stage 2 choir which performs regularly in school and at events in the local community and instrumental lessons with visiting peripatetic teachers who are also encouraged to give Showcases to inspire and encourage new pupils.



Throughout their years at Clyst St Mary Primary children perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians.

They learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others. They have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence. Music lessons help them to understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the interrelated dimensions of pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations. Children in KS2 now have their own log-ins to Charanga so that they can explore the site at home for enrichment, and follow up on class learning. Performance is at the heart of our musical teaching. Pupils take part in Harvest services, singing assemblies and pupils from Reception to Year 2 perform in our Christmas nativity, Years 3-6 perform at our annual Christingle service and also in our Summer production. In the Spring term we hold our Performing Arts evening for years 3-6 and pupils who are confident are also encouraged to give solo performances. Parents are invited and welcomed to watch all of these performances whether at school or outside of school. Pupils from reception to year 6 all attend local theatre group performances to see first-hand how music performance can be engaging and fun.


At Key stage 1 pupils are taught to:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes

  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically

  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music

  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the interrelated dimensions of music.


Key stage 2 pupils are taught to:

  • sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control

  • develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory

  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression

  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the interrelated dimensions of music

  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory

  • use and understand staff and other musical notations

  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians.




  • The impact of music teaching at Clyst St Mary can be seen in the confidence children gain by participating in the subject. Children are happy learners within Music. During their time here children gain wider audience performance experience; every child will have performed regularly, worked in groups and individually, and composed their own work. These experiences greatly benefit their self-esteem, well-being and confidence and contribute to their ability to communicate with a range of audiences. 

  • By the end of Year 6, all pupils will have performed on a number of occasions and have a grasp of how to read and record music, with some pupils able to read music fluently.  

  • Children participate in wider musical activities, many take an active musical role in the school and wider community, preparing them to make the most of opportunities in the next stage of their education.

  • Visits within Music have enriched the lives of the children and they are able to discuss how the experience      impacted their knowledge. They will have an appreciation of a variety of types of music and have an understanding of how music has developed through history.

  • Clear outcomes focus and guide all Music development plans and drive improvement.

  • Fundamental British Values are evident in Music and children understand how Music can celebrate    difference.

  • Children have the opportunity to foster their instrumental talent and use this as a form of expression.

  • Children have heightened awareness of musical opportunities available in and outside of school in the hope that access will be increased.




Children at Clyst St Mary Primary look forward to and enjoy their music lessons and wider opportunities for music making and sharing. Teachers planning demonstrates how music is regularly integrated with other subjects; children compose songs about PSHE topics they've been discussing such as bullying, they evaluate music from a country, culture or time they are learning about in history or geography, and KS1 classes regularly use songs to reinforce counting and number work.

Singing is a significant part of our school community which both children and parents value. It plays an integral part in nurturing our pupil’s emotional health and wellbeing. The children enjoy their weekly singing assembly during which they extend their song repertoire and the quality of their singing through working on timbre, texture and dynamics. They learn to sing songs in parts and in harmony. Performances to parents and the wider community take place in St Marys Church and our Village Hall. 

We hold our KS2 Performing Arts evening in our Village Hall during which every class performs a dance based around a theme. All KS2 perform songs demonstrating a range of musical genres and cultures. Children who learn musical instruments or who receive additional vocal tuition are encouraged to perform solo; these performances clearly demonstrate their progress throughout a year and build up their self-confidence. 

Children attend concert performances both in and out of school. Visiting musicians give the children the opportunity to talk with them about their musical journeys and be inspired and motivated to develop their own skills. We give opportunities and encourage the children to learn an instrument with lessons taught by peripatetic music teachers. To further inspire KS 2 classes and widen their experience of music we hire class instrument sets and ensembles for years 3-5 so that they gain experience of playing a variety of musical instruments.

Performing at larger venues such as with other Learning Community choirs is an exciting time for many pupils in our  KS2 choir. The choir regularly entertains the guests of a local charity, Estuary League of Friends, and songs are chosen especially for the guests to identify with and enables them to connect with previous times in their lives. In being part of this our pupils gain not only musical experience but are enriched by talking with the visitors.


National Curriculum Music Programmes of Study:




Drama is used as a key tool in developing oral skills, vocabulary development, building confidence and self- esteem, and as an essential tool in developing imaginative, expressive, and persuasive spoken and written language. ‘Hot seating’, and ‘response in role’ drama techniques are used in literacy lessons aid the development of speaking and listening, reading and writing skills. Imaginative role play is fundamental to developing the whole child, and we develop this through a range of curriculum opportunities to perform to wider audiences including our annual nativity and school play. There are increasing opportunities for our pupils to perform as they progress through the school. We welcome a local theatre group into school as ‘artists in residence’ for a term every year. We recognise that drama plays an important part in developing resilience and confidence.