Exam Board Subject Leader
AQA Miss A Giesen

The GCSE course is designed for those pupils who wish to extend and develop their studies in Art and Design. We follow the AQA Fine Art course which allows candidates to produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas including drawing and painting, mixed media, sculpture, printmaking and photography.

The course has two components - a portfolio of work and an externally set task (examination). The coursework component is a portfolio selected from work undertaken during course of study and must include more than one project. It accounts for 60% of the final mark. Areas of study include drawing and painting form direct observation, imaginative and expressive work.

The externally set task takes place at the end of the course. Students have three months in which to prepare and fill a sketchbook with their response to a chosen title and then have 10 hours under exam conditions to complete a final piece. This accounts for 40% of their final grade.



Both components are examined by the centre and assessed by an external moderator. We expect students to spend some of their study time in the art department in addition to their timetabled classes. Homework is essential. Much of the sketchbook work will be done at home. The 4 Assessment Objectives are equally weighted:

  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
  • AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.


Skills and Commitment

Although this course allows for a wide range of abilities it is essential that students choosing this option have a keen interest and enthusiasm for art and design. Because of the quantity of work required for the portfolio of work (Unit 1) it is essential that a significant amount of work is produced outside of the classroom.