St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School

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The Arts


At St Thomas of Canterbury, children develop their creative skills in art, craft and design via an engaging, inspiring and challenging curriculum that spreads across a broad range of cross-curricular contexts.

We encourage children to experiment with the skills they are acquiring in order to invent and create their own art pieces in drawing, painting, sculpture and other crafts.

A particular focus at St Thomas of Canterbury is to learn to evaluate art work, using specific language, from a wide spectrum of creative work to shape children into informed critics.

Children are given the opportunity to visit galleries, explore a wide range of known artists and, in some instances, create work in-situ to equip them with the understanding that art plays an important part in our history and culture. 

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso 
Art - Progression of Skills

Please find below examples of artwork across the school from Early Years to Year 6.

School Art Work - Early Years to Year 6

Year 6 created WW1 trenches 3D models .

Nursery - we used paint and other materials to represent Fireworks!

In EYFS, we used various materials to create a self-portrait and created poppies for Remembrance day.

Year 1 - studied and replicated the work of African artist Kara Walker

Year 2 - designed and planned rockets and then created them using recycled material.

Year 3  - used pastels and charcoal to create Cave art

Year 4 - As there topic is 'Amazing Africa', year 4 explored African artist Gakonga and his use of colour to create a mood.  They replicated one of his pieces using pencil and oil pastels.

Year 5  - created a quilt based off the women in Gee's Bend, an area in Southern American. The quilt activity was inspired from a book.

Finally Year 6 created 3D models of WW1 trenches. 

We are very proud of their beautiful work.  

 Design & Technology  (DT)

In design technology our children develop a range of skills in many different contexts across a wide subject area. We aim to develop children’s ability to manipulate and test ideas and designs in order to create a good final product. The children are taught design technology in a range of ways through our topics to help them create links between different subjects. In each year group, children will look for ways to improve and develop their designs further using new techniques and skills they have learnt.

In design technology, we promote trial and error with a ‘hands on’ approach to help children face problems head on. We want children to realise that with failure comes success and learning from their mistakes is crucial to learning.

“It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.” — Paula Scher, graphic designer and painter.

DT - Progression of Skills



At St Thomas of Canterbury, our intent is for all children in the school to have access to an engaging Music curriculum and high quality teaching, which enables them to be confident, creative musicians no matter their starting point and engenders in them a love of a variety of musical genres. We want to give our pupils the tools to evaluate music and empower them to have the self-confidence to share their musical knowledge and insights.



Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in the way we do?

At St Thomas of Canterbury, we value music because it is a most powerful and unique form of communication that can change and impact the way children feel, think and act; improving self-esteem and supporting pupils in their future life choices. Exposing children to a variety of music during early development helps them to learn the sounds and meanings of words, dancing to music helps children build motor skills while also allowing them to practice self-expression. We believe that every child should have the opportunity to develop their musical potential and we aim to nurture and encourage musical development across the school.


What do we teach? What does this look like?

Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision, which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability or additional needs, to flourish and become the best they can be. We teach the National Curriculum for Music through our topic based curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. At our school, children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. During the year, all children will have the opportunity to develop their understanding, skills and techniques in music and to learn an instrument as a whole class.

Music begins in Early Years, integrated into classroom routines and activities.  Children learn songs and drama for their Christmas Nativity and other events during the year.  Similarly, the year one and two classes create their own Nativity production together.

Each class from reception to year 6 have a music lesson each week, blending singing and listening to music, exploring musical history and developing instrumental techniques, as well as music reading skills.

Early years and KS1 classes learn general musicianship skills on various percussion instruments, with year 2 progressing to begin the recorder in the Spring Term.  Year 3 this year are learning the ukulele, whilst year 4 and 5 have weekly djembe and West African song and dance lessons with a visiting teacher who is a professional drummer and performer. Year 6 consolidate their previous learning through composing, singing and playing Bamboo Tamboo.

We have an active school choir who perform annually at the O2 Arena as part of the Young Voices choir.  They also perform at local events and visit care homes to sing to residents there.

As part of our partnership with Merton Music Foundation, we are in the process of arranging for instrumental tutors to visit the school, giving pupils the opportunity to have group or individual lessons on a range of instruments.


What will this look like?

By the time children leave our school they will:

Have a rapidly widened repertoire which they will be able to use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance works. This will be evident through;

  • A musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of technical expertise such as the ability to read and play music from stave notation.
  • Very good awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.
  • An excellent understanding of how musical provenance – the historical, social and cultural origins of music – contributes to the diversity of musical styles.
  • The ability to give precise written and verbal explanations, using musical terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.

A passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities