Why choose Art and Design for GCSE?

What is Art and Design all about?

It’s about having an adventurous and enquiring approach to art and design and developing the skills to express it. You will develop an understanding of past and contemporary art and design and be able to produce a personal response embracing a range of ideas.
The skills you will develop doing GCSE Art will be varied.
·        You will develop a working knowledge of the materials, practices and
          technology of art and design.
·        You will develop the skills to investigate, analyse and experiment using
          art, craft and design.
·        You will develop your imaginative powers and the skills to express your
          ideas, feelings and meanings.
·        You will develop an understanding of the language and conventions of
         art and design.
·        You will develop an understanding of the place of art, craft and design
         in history and in society.
Why choose Art and Design for GCSE?
It teaches you life skills - undertake research and investigation, problem solving, confidence building, visual awareness, ability to develop ideas, initiative and cultural and racial understanding.
How does it follow on from what I have learned before?
The GCSE in Art & Design follows on from what you have been doing at Key Stage 3 (Years7-9).
The emphasis in GCSE Art & Design is on the process of developing both ideas and work. Central to this is the work journal or sketchbook in which you will complete and store your GCSE art work.
Who can take GCSE Art & Design?
If you are interested in art, craft or design and if you have an aptitude for the subject – if you are creative, or ‘good at drawing’ – you may have the basic skills to succeed in this subject.

How is the course structured?

The GCSE in Art & Design consists of three parts.  Two units of coursework and one externally set assignment – the timed examination.
% of final GCSE grade
Method of Assessment
Coursework 1
Coursework 2
To be completed during lesson time and for homework
Internally set
Internally marked
Externally moderated
Must include work journal and must show evidence of all assessment objectives
Externally set assignment
Eight weeks preparation time
Ten hours timed examination
Externally set
Internally marked
Externally moderated
Must include work journal and must show evidence of all assessment objectives
faceWhat about coursework?
Your coursework should include research, supporting studies and work showing the development of your ideas, leading to one or more outcomes – usually finished pieces of work. Your teacher will set you assignments and tasks.
You will be working in a variety of different media i.e. pencil, pastels, water and acrylic paint, as well as using different techniques such as printing, drawing, painting and sculpture.
What about home work?
You will be required to complete at least two hours of art and design home work every week. Home work contributes a very important part of the coursework and exam preparation.  The home work could take the form of research i.e. taking photographs, collecting examples of art work from the internet, library or magazines etc., completing your own art work or writing up evaluations etc.
Will I take part in any visits?
You will go on visits to art galleries during your course where you will be expected to collect research material and/or complete your own pieces of art work. Your teacher may suggest that you organise your own visits to relevant places to collect research material for your projects. You may also have the opportunity to work with artists in the form of workshop.

How will my work be marked?

Your teacher will follow these assessment objectives when marking your work. Each objective will be considered equally and marks rewarded according.
Assessment objectives
% of
total mark awarded
Record observations, experiences and ideas in forms that are appropriate to intentions
Analyse and evaluate images, objects and artefacts showing understanding of context
Develop and explore ideas using media, processes and resources, reviewing, modifying and refining work as it progresses
Present a personal response, realising intentions and making informed connections with the work of others
ageWhat about the exam?
During the first year of your GCSE Art & Design course you will sit a trial exam which will be conducted in exactly the same way as the GCSE exam. During the second year you will sit another trial exam to fully prepare you for your  actual GCSE exam itself.
To complete your GCSE, you will have to take an externally set examination.  This will take the form of a broad theme – for example, it could be something like ‘Journeys’ or ‘Time’. The exam paper will also contain some suggestions for possible starting points, areas of study and ideas regarding your research.
You will be given the exam paper appproximately eight weeks before the date of the actual timed exam. You will then have the eight weeks in which to prepare for the exam.  During this time you must research and develop ideas and prepare for your final exam in your sketchbook, your teacher will be available to guide and advise you with this exam preparation.
You will find it useful to brainstorm ideas by writing down everything that comes into your head, and then choosing one idea you can develop further. This work will be assessed according to your investigation, experimentation, documentation and presentation.
At the end of the eight weeks, you will sit a 10 hour timed examination (broken up into 2 or 3 hour sessions), during which you will produce your final piece(s) of work based on your research and preparation.  Your exam preparation and developmental work, along with your final piece, will then be submitted for assessment.
It is vital that your exam preparation is completed and handed in to your teacher by the deadline.
What will the examiners look for?
·        Your ability to explore and analyse what you see, and to interpret the world around you in a creative way.  This might include drawings from observation as well as imaginative and expressive work in different media which conveys ideas and feelings.
·        Work that is skilfully produced, showing control of the media and a sensitive use of the visual elements.
·        Experimentation with various media.
·        Research using a wide range of sources and the ability to select and use the material in a coherent way.
·        Planning and making informed judgements about how to develop and refine your work.
·        Your awareness of different kinds of artwork from different times and places.
·        Knowledge of different ways that artists have produced work.
·        Well thought out opinions about art which can be justified, using a wide ranging and specialist art vocabulary in an 
         appropriate way.
Will my work be displayed?
At the end of your course you are required to put up a wall display of your best pieces of work. This along with the rest of your coursework and exam piece will be seen by the external moderator when assessing your work. This display will remain in place for the yearly art exhibition where your family and friends will be invited to view it.
What could I do next with a GCSE in Art & Design?
There are many things you can go on to do with a GCSE in art and design.  If you are unsure about what to do next, the best thing to do is to speak to your art teacher who will know about the choices on offer.
You could go on to take an AS level in Art & Design, or a Vocational A level in Art & Design or a related subject.  If you know the area of art, craft or design you want to specialise in, you could study for a National Certificate or National Diploma in Art & Design.