Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 students learn a range of different techniques and processes through various projects which are designed to cover the four progress objectives which students are assessed by at key stage 3. These four areas are: making skills, generating ideas, knowledge and evaluating. These four areas link to the assessment objectives at key stage 4 so that students are given the skills they require if they are to continue with art at GCSE.

Year 7

In year 7 students are introduced to the formal elements in art and carry out various activities so that they develop a clear understanding of these foundation art skills. As they progress through the year they are also introduced to a variety of different art movements for example, Pop Art, Cubism and Surrealism where they analyse artists work and develop their own pieces in response. Students build up their experience of using a wide range of medias and various techniques that they may have not previously used. Students are encouraged to explore and experiment with their art to develop confidence in their ability and understand how they can achieve their full potential.

Year 8

In year 8 students are building on the key skills that they learnt in year 7 and developing their practical skills by applying these to a variety of projects over the course of the year such as; Architecture, Under the Sea and Inside out. Through carrying out these projects students look at the work of a variety of artists work and the techniques associated to then create their own pieces in response. Students are encouraged to be more independent with using what they have learnt to make their own decisions and evaluate their work as it progresses.

Year 9

In year 9 students are given four projects over the course of the year which are; Sweet Tooth, Story Land, Recycle and Close Up. These themes are designed in a way so that students can really build on all of the skills they have learnt in the previous two years and to give them the skills for more in depth analysis of artist work and use of techniques and processes to prepare them with the skills they will require if they are to continue with Art for GCSE.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Art and Design (Fine Art)


Subject Leader:

Ms Cawte


Exam Specification:

AQA 8202/C  8202/X

QN Code:

601/8088/2    JA2



Summary of course content

The GCSE is made up of two components and students must complete both.

Component 1: Portfolio 60% of mark- internally set and marked; assessed throughout.

This is created by working independently on a theme each term as well as the inclusion of the internally controlled assessment.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment 40% of mark- The themes are set by the exam board and you pick one of the questions to develop work covering all four assessment objectives. Students are given a preparatory period followed by a 10 hour exam over two days in the art room


Both components are assessed using four Assessment Objectives (AO’s). Each of these four AO’s are marked out of 96.

These four areas are: Critical understanding, use of media techniques and processes, observational work and a personal response.

The work is internally assessed and then moderated by the exam board in June.

What type of activities take place in lessons?

Painting and drawing, mixed media, sculpture, printmaking and other various techniques and processes

What type of homework tasks will be set?

Drawing from observation, artist research, taking own photographs and making sure portfolio work is kept up to date.

How will it help me in the future?

On completion of your GCSE Art and Design course, you could progress to further education. Courses at level 3 include:

  •  BTEC in Art and Design
  •  A Level Art and Design

As well as other Art and Design courses such as graphic design, 3D design, fashion & textile, hair and make-up, photography, architecture, interior design.

If you choose to look for a work placement, you will have a portfolio of work that will evidence your ability to pursue a two-year GCSE course in art and design, covering different assignments and producing a range of work.

How will this course build on what I have studied in Year 9?

  • You are expected to have experience of using art materials and processes, together with some knowledge of contemporary and historical art and design.
  • More importantly, you should have a commitment to, and love, of the subject and feel motivated to develop your visual skills and express your ideas in working through projects and assignments.

What skills will I develop?

  • You will have the opportunity to experiment with different media in order to explore your strengths and preferences and may choose to work in several areas.
  • Whatever you choose, the main aim of the course is to develop your visual language skills and for you to build a comprehensive portfolio of work to progress to further courses or employment.