GCSE Art and Design (Photography)


Subject Leader:

Miss Cawte


Exam Specification:


QN Code:

601/8088/2    KJ1



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). The 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?

Technical understanding of camera equipment and processes, understanding the formal elements of visual language through light based media, exploring a range of genres of photography such as portraiture, documentary, still life & image manipulation

What type of homework tasks will be set?

Internet research to study an artist, taking photographs, Drawing and planning photo shoots 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
  •  BTEC in Photography
  •  A’ Level Photography

As well as many other Art and Design based courses. 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 techniques and processes 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.