Art & Design

Course Outline:

GCSE Art & Design is an exciting and stimulating course structured to provide students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to communicate their ideas in a visual way. The two year course builds on existing skills from Key Stage 3 and provides a solid foundation for future progression into Key Stage 5 and beyond.


Unit 1 compromises of coursework with a 60% weighting.
Unit 2 is a controlled test comprising of a 3-month research period followed by a 10-hour session to complete a final piece. This has a 40% weighting.
Coursework will be continually monitored through critiques and tutorials with frequent targets for improvement. In the sixth term you are required to take a timed practical examination. This is set externally and runs over the course of the Spring Term. You will choose from a range of topic themes as set by the Exam Board and you will have at least four weeks to develop ideas and carry out research. You then have ten hours to complete a final piece.

At the end of the course, and on the completion of the final examination, students are required to mount an exhibition of three units of controlled assessment and their examination piece.

Further Information:

The aim of the two-year GCSE course is to afford students the opportunity to: record from direct observation and personal experience; develop ideas using a range of traditional and modern processes and materials; develop & strengthen drawing and painting skills; understand the language of painting and an appreciation of art history.

Initially students will follow a prescriptive course where painting and drawing play the major role. Thereafter the department offers a whole range of disciplines in which pupils can choose to work.
These include:

  • Painting and Mixed Media
  • Textiles
  • Printmaking
  • Ceramics, Sculpture & 3-D Design
  • Photography and Digital Imaging
  • Photoshop
  • Contextual Studies
  • Life Drawing

Drawing is viewed as a language that will enable you to interpret what you see and communicate what you feel. Strong drawing skills are welcome. However, what is more important is: genuine enthusiasm, a creative mind, a lively imagination. The two-year course is an exciting one, and whatever your talents in the art arena you will be encouraged to maximize your potential and aim for a top grade.


We use both local and national galleries to provide creative stimulus for the students.

Possible Career Destinations:

Fine Art, Photography, Fashion & Textiles or Graphic Design.

For further information, contact: Mr M. Buckland & Mrs J. Macfarlane