Key Stage 4 Art & Design

What will I learn about?
The Art & Design GCSE is a broad-based course which provides an excellent foundation for a diverse range of design-related and creative careers. It involves a wide variety of activities including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, digital photography and image manipulation.

How will my work be assessed?
UNIT 1: Portfolio of Work (60%)
You will complete coursework projects which allow for the development of individual interests and you are encouraged to work in a wide range of media. The collection of visual research through drawing and photography is essential and regularly evidenced in sketchbooks. The course allows for a certain amount of freedom but at the same time seeks to establish a sound knowledge of techniques and processes. The sketchbook is at the heart of the creative process.

UNIT 2: Externally set Assignment (40%) This unit involves selecting a project brief from an exam paper set by the examination board. You will then prepare, over a period of 8 to 10 weeks, a final piece of practical work which is produced in 10 hours under exam conditions. The exam sessions are 2 to 3 hours. You may choose any medium and are encouraged to work to your strengths.

Commonly Asked Questions:
Do you have to be good at drawing to do GCSE?
No, not necessarily. Some people have skills in other areas such as making in 3D and can still succeed but you must be prepared to work hard in order to improve your skills in all areas.

Can you specialise in one area such as painting, printing or ceramics?
You will have opportunity to do this towards the end of the course however; to begin with you will work in a range of areas until you discover your strengths.

Is there any written work involved?
Yes, you are expected to research and analyse the work of other artists and designers as part of each project and to show how this influences your own practical work. This can be presented in a creative way either on display boards or in sketchbooks. You will not have to write separate essays or sit any written exams.

​Which students are most suitable for GCSE Art & Design?
Anyone who wants to follow a career in a creative or design-related field, wants to study A Level Art & Design, loves the subject and just has to draw, paint, sculpt or would like a practical subject to complement their academic workload.

Who can I speak to for more information?
For further information about Art & Design please speak to Miss Bettey Curriculum Area Leader: Art.


Key Stage 4 Photography

GCSE Photography aims to allow you to explore the creative possibilities of the exciting world of photography. This course aims to allow you to develop a lifelong passion for photography. Creative themes such as Surrealism and Experimental Portraiture will allow freedom to learn and experiment. Photography is one of the most important art forms and to develop photography skills in composition and analysis will be an exciting challenge.

What will I learn about?
In this course, you will learn how to use a digital camera, other lens-based media and computer software to complete a series of creative projects. The course will involve researching the different genres of photography from documentary/photo-journalism to commercial and fine art photography. The main emphasis will be on experimentation and the development of ideas towards personal outcomes that show a strong visual and conceptual understanding.

You must be prepared to take extensive photographs in your own time. Artistic experimentation with materials/paint and processes may be used to enhance photography experimentation and presentation.

Your work will include both theory and practice but the emphasis will be on your own creative use of photography based on practical assignments.

You will need to learn how to use the camera and its controls, how to use a computer to modify images, how to use the visual elements in photography and how to effectively present your work. You will develop your ability to discuss and make judgements about your own photographs and those of others. You will also need to learn about some of the major photographers who have influenced people’s ideas of what makes a good photographer.

How will my work be assessed?

Within each unit, there are four assessment objectives (AOs) that are used to determine your grade: DEVELOP, REFINE, RECORD and PRESENT.

Who can I speak to for more information?
For more information about Photography please contact Miss Bettey Curriculum Area Leader: Art and Design

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