Phone Email Search
search email phone translate arrow-left explore-more crucifix arrow-right Location close
School Logo

St Barnabas

& St Paul's Church of England Primary School

Art and DT

Reception Curriculum Progression and Expectations

Expressive Art and Design


It is expected children will be secure at 40 - 60 months by the end of the Autumn term, begin working on the early learning goals in Spring term and securing these by the end of summer term.


  • Children can manipulate and explore instruments and different media with an understanding of sound, changes, colour, texture, function and form. 
  • Children can access and use a variety of tools and techniques safely, accurately and for a desired outcome. 
  • Children can represent and express their own ideas and experiences through design, art, music, dance and role-play.   


Summer Term




They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques.


Adults build on the previous learning about using tools, techniques and materials to continue to model and support children to use them safely and effectively. Children understand how to use, hold and tidy away resources safely. Visual prompts may be displayed to support children with this.

They experiment with colour, design, texture, form and function.



Children have opportunities to both use their own imagination or follow a set of instructions to experiment with colours, design and texture. Adults continue to model techniques and encourage children to attempt with increasing independence. They use a range of techniques, for example using paper to twist, fold, and tear. Children understand the function of different tools, such as staplers and sewing needles. Large scale mark making is available outdoors using large brushes, rollers and chalk boards. 


They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology/art. 

Children have opportunities to think about a design before creating something e.g. creating a picnic blanket. Children are to build on previous learning to use a range of art and design equipment competently and for a purpose, for example, selecting between thick or thin brushes, choosing colours and mixing their own if needed or choosing the most effective way to join materials. Adults to support when needed but encourage children to complete these tasks with more independence.

They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through music and dance. 

Children think of their own ideas and interpret the sound of instruments and music with their actions (tiptoe to the sound of a xylophone, stamp their feet to the drum). Children also join in to finding a pulse to a song or music they are listening to. They are encouraged to communicate through their bodies by expressive movement linked to familiar stories, and use their imaginative ideas for dance in PE and use descriptive language to describe their actions. 

They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through role-play and stories. 

Children have access to props and dressing up materials in the role play area to expand their imagination. The role-play area is created according to a theme to stimulate and reflect the learning. Opportunities are provided indoors and outdoors to support the different interests of children. For example, outdoor construction area encourages narratives such as building and mending for The Three Little Pigs. Stimulating books that support the use of resources are provided across the setting, for example in the small world area and on the reading shelves so children can act out stories.



  • Exploration will allow children to put what they have learnt about different instruments, media, materials and techniques to adapt work where necessary and make improvements to an end product or outcome. 
  • Children will be able to physically manipulate media through safe techniques which can then be transferred across the curriculum. As their fine and gross motor skills develop, they will then be able to create and design with an intended purpose which has been planned for. They will then be more confident to select tools and equipment for an intended purpose independently. 
  • By being able to express own ideas, thoughts and feelings, children can take ownership of their own creations and be able to discuss their learning and design which they experience in different parts of the curriculum. Adults can observe children’s abilities to make links and connections in regards to their learning and exploration.