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GCSE Art and Design: Art Craft and Design

Course Specification available here.

Course Information

In Art, Craft and Design GCSE students will explore ideas, experiences and respond to a theme or issue of personal significance. They will look at different approaches to art and use a variety of different media, techniques and materials including drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and mixed media. In Art students will explore their imaginative, experimental side in their creative outcomes while gaining a knowledge of Art history as they research and analyse artworks. 

As a coursework-based subject, students will gain valuable time management skills and the subject can balance the pressure of revision-based subjects. Art is a form of self-expression and during the course students will develop confidence, as well as higher appreciation for a visual interpretation of Geography, History and Culture. An Art, Craft and Design GCSE can be a gateway into many creative careers including graphic design, architecture, animation, illustration and museum/gallery curation.  In exploring a wide range of artists and media, students will find is a type of art out there for everyone!  

Students will develop their skills in line with the AQA GCSE Assessment Objectives:  

  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.  
  • AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.  
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.  
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.  

Across year 10 and 11, students will complete three projects. 

Component 1: Coursework. 60%  

Still Life (Introductory project) : Students will visit the Tate Modern gallery in Central London to explore artists that have looked at a similar theme. After visiting the exhibition, students will explore 2D and 3D work in order to produce an experimental individual response. 

Distortion/Buildings : Students will be given choice of two themes to pick from. They will be introduced to a range of traditional and contemporary artists that link to this theme. Through making individual creative choices students will explore different mediums and create individual responses to their chosen theme

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment 40%   

Externally Set Assignment:  

In the spring term of year 11, students receive an Externally Set Assignment from AQA with 7 themed questions. The students will then spend approximately 2 months researching and experimenting with artistic ideas which will lead to the creation of a final piece in a 10 hour exam that takes place across two school days. Here students will have the opportunity to experience what it is like to be an artist working in a studio towards an exhibition of their work.  

Steps to Success in GCSE GCSE Art and Design

  1. Spend at least two hours each week on homework.
  2. Visit a London art or photography gallery with a friend!
  3. Attend Studio Session after school and at lunchtime.
  4. Thoroughly annotate your work using the literacy help sheets. Label all images used with Artist’s Name, Title and Date.
  5. Experiment with different mixed medias and techniques; drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, photography and mixed media.
  6. Work on different scales, e.g. larger scale or work within a different shape.
  7. Work from life as much as you can! Create your own resources and starting points for your artworks (draw and photograph objects or scenes that are in front of you.)
  8. Use a camera as an ‘eye’. It is a great way of recording things around you and creating your own resources.
  9. Make your sketchbook look good. Research the life and work of each artist you investigate. Write your findings in your own words. Use sketchbook to develop and refine creative ideas and experiments. Ensure each page of work follows on and links from the previous work.
  10. Make sure you look closely at other artists’ work that is relevant to what you are studying and analyse what they are trying to say. Always express your thoughts and opinions and always use your own words.
  11. 1When downloading images from the internet, use colour and make sure they are appropriate size files so they print a good quality image.

Useful websites:  (click on images, large images, save as jpeg)

Syllabus: GCSE: Art and Design (Art Craft and Design)

Examination Board: AQA

More information: Miss V Parker