Key Stage 4


Examination Board: AQA GCSE Art & Design (Fine Art) 4201

Unit 1: Portfolio of Work 42011 60%

Unit 2: Externally Set Task 42012 40%

 Course Description

Art & Design GCSE aims to give students the opportunity to continue with courses they enjoyed in years 7-9.  It also acts as a foundation level that prepares students for A Level Art, further education and future careers. Our GCSE course provides all students, of all academic abilities, with exciting and challenging experiences.

During the course students spend the majority of their time producing Unit 1: a personal course work portfolio.

Year 10

Y10 Art students will explore three art areas during a Foundation course over the first term of the academic year responding to a theme such as ‘Collections’. These three areas are:

Painting and drawing: a wide range of materials including acrylics, gouache, water colour, collage, frottage, pastel, crayon, pencil, charcoal are explored.

Mixed Media: students experience printing techniques and also digital image manipulation using Photoshop techniques.

Sculpture: a range of materials are explored such as wood, clay, plaster, card, wire, textiles and found objects.

Work produced during the Foundation course will then lead into a mini project that is produced during the Autumn and Spring term of Y10. Students will learn how to develop and explore their creative ideas, eventually producing a final outcome using materials of their choice.

Another important part of the Foundation course and mini project is the study of the History of Art & Design. These studies are intended to inform and inspire the students developing coursework portfolio and externally set assignment units.

Year 11

During Year 11 students produce a smaller coursework unit based on a theme, for example ‘Everyday Life’. This unit involves project development and a final outcome. Unit 2: the externally set assignment also takes place during the mid Spring term and early Summer term of this year. This is the real opportunity for students to develop their growing individual art interests.

Teaching and Learning Styles:

The first stages of personal portfolio development are very much teacher led. However, as students develop their final ideas they are helped to work more independently in preparation for Y11 and Unit 2, the externally set assignment unit.

Everything about this exciting course is intended to allow students to continue with a subject which they already enjoy and to provide them with new challenges.


During the course you will produce Unit 1: a personal course work portfolio which accounts for 60% of the total marks required and Unit 2: the externally set assignment which accounts for 40%.


Art is taught in mixed ability groups.

Further information about Art & Design can be obtained from Mrs Nicholls, Head of Art.