KS4 - GCSE Art & Design

In Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to study art & design as their optional subject choice. This course is built up of an externally set task and a portfolio of work (Non examined assessment - NEA). 

Set task - Principles of Art, Craft & Design – 10hr – 80 marks (40% of overall grade)  

NEA – Portfolio of work – 60hrs (Approx.) – 120 marks (60% of overall grade) 

Within the course there will be exploration into a variety of fine art disciplines ranging from the Renaissance period to contemporary works of today. These include painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media, installation, and digital work. Students will build their knowledge of significant artists across this timeline, informing their practice by investigating movements, styles and techniques. They are encouraged to explore the use of different mediums and technical processes which will evolve and develop their own art skills and practice. 

Students will harness good time management skills as they build their independence in research and content exploration. Learning to understand how to be critically analytical whilst gathering information is fundamental to both their practice and response refinement. 

It is fully expected that students bring their own interests and passions to their art practice. Whilst core development and refinement of practical skills, theoretical understanding and contextual exploration are paramount; the engagement and optimization of imagination and creativity is hugely encouraged. This could include bringing influences from different industrial disciplines such as: design, architecture, fashion, engineering and many more. 

The building of good visual communication skills is important for applications in many industries within and beyond the arts.  

KS5 - A Level Art & Design 

In Key Stage 5 students can study A level Art, Craft & Design. This course is built up of a portfolio of work (Component 1) and an externally set task (Component 2). 

Our Aim with A level is to build upon the successes gained form the GCSE. Unlike many schools we choose to do the ‘unendorsed’ A level - this allows us to tailor make an individual curriculum for each learner on the course. This supports and nurtures the learners’ creative desires and allow them to develop as an independent artist. 

This course focuses on all aspects of Art and Design. In the first year learners are introduced to the idea of 2D and 3D representation through line, tone and colour based on figurative, representational, and abstracted work as well as wide range of practices that will develop their creative and problem-solving skills. In addition, learners are encouraged to explore links to artists/designers and cultures. As learners’ progress into the second year, they will be encouraged to work more independently and produce a series of work based on their own experiences and tastes. 

In Year 12 students start Component 1 and this continues all the way through to the end of January in Year 13. Students start Component 2 in February of Year 13. There is also an essay with a minimum of 1000 words which will analyse and evaluate their coursework development.

Component 1 consists of a personal investigation (Portfolio of work) worth 60% (120 marks). 

Component 2 (externally set task), an exam unit worth 40% (80 marks) 15 hours non exam assessment (internally assessed and externally moderated).   

In Art, Craft and Design – Combined Specialisms learners must work in two or more specialisms from those listed in bold below. Learners may work in an area or areas of study within and/or across specialisms. 

  • Fine Art: areas of study such as painting, printmaking, or sculpture 
  • Graphic Communication: areas of study such as illustration, packaging, or advertising 
  • Photography: areas of study such as traditional, digital, or moving image 
  • Textile Design: areas of study such as printed and digital textiles, fashion design or constructed textiles 
  • Three-Dimensional Design: areas of study such as ceramics, product design or jewellery 
  • Critical and Contextual Studies: areas of study such as art theory, artistic movements, or architecture