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Expressive Arts & Design



Expressive Arts and Design involves the development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness and supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.

The Early Learning Goal for Expressive Arts and Design aims to ensure that all pupils, by the end of Reception:


Develop their skills in Creating with Materials so that they can:

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
  • Share their creations, explaining the process they have used.
  • Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

Develop their skills in Being Imaginative and Expressive so that they can:

  • Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher.
  • Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs.
  • Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.

Through our EYFS curriculum at Saint Patrick’s, we aim to ensure that our children develop their skills to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas creatively and imaginatively.

Our curriculum aims to ensure that pupils: 


  • Can create using different materials to create in 2D and 3D form.
  • Can use different tools and techniques in their creative work.
  • Can explore and experiment with colour in their designs, as well as texture and form, as they design and create for different purposes.
  • Can confidently share their own creations and describe and explain the process they have used to make them.
  • Can create and use props and different materials as part of their role play of stories.
  • Can invent their own narratives, adapt narratives and recount a range of different stories and narratives.
  • Can sing a range of different songs and rhymes.
  • Can perform confidently songs, poems, rhymes and stories with others.
  • Can move in time with music.



We recognise that we have children at differing stages of development in their Expressive Arts and Design and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities throughout our EYFS by matching the challenge of the task to the child’s ability.

We achieve this by:

  • Setting open-ended tasks which can have a variety of responses.
  • Providing a range of resources and learning experiences of different complexity depending on the stage of development of the child.
  • Using different levels of questioning to develop understanding.
  • Modelling and scaffolding learning in different ways.



Take a look at our learning and development throughout EYFS to see the journey

from our earliest starting points to achieving the Early Learning Goals:

Early Learning Goals



At Saint Patrick’s, we believe that the welcoming, respectful environment, enriched in Catholic morals and teachings, continues to enhance the educational and pastoral experience of every individual passing through our doors, to ensure that they develop and become well-rounded individuals within the community, with the ambition to reach their potential and succeed.

We recognise the unique needs of each child and support them in developing the whole child. We have a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing both their collaborative and independent skills. The impact of our teaching of Expressive Arts and Design is measured in the experiences, confidence and competence of our children within this area of learning. We ensure children receive the experiences they require, both within and beyond the curriculum, to develop their skills and knowledge and become confident in express their thoughts, feelings and ideas creatively and imaginatively.