Subject Template - Art

Curriculum LeaderMs L Mather
Teaching Staff

Ms L Mather – Curriculum Leader for Art

Mrs J Winship – Curriculum leader PSHE, Design Specialist Technology teacher

Mr J Tierney – Technical support

KS4 (Years 10 and 11) Exam Board and Course

AQA GCSE Art and Design (Fine art)



Course Breakdown

60% Coursework/portfolio (component 1):

The coursework/portfolio includes at least 1 sustained project. This is in relation to a subject or theme for example ‘Textures and Surfaces.’ The project will evidence engagement with an idea, which culminates in a final-outcome. Students are required within their coursework portfolio to also evidence a selection of strongest quality work from other projects, experiments, gallery visit responses etc. Students over the GCSE Art course at The Vale Academy therefore produce one substantial project and several smaller projects.  Students will be supported in presenting and annotating their work sequentially through the course. Portfolio work submitted at the end of the course will be marked as a whole. Work can be presented in any appropriate format for example; on presentation boards, in sketchbooks, models, video etc.

40% Externally set assignment (component 2):

AQA Provide an external assignment paper in January (of year 11). On this paper there will be 7 different starting points. Students must select one starting point to develop and base their externally set assignment work on. Students must produce ‘preparatory’ work leading up to a 10 hour supervised time.

It is important to note that though the work is classed as ‘preparatory’ it represents the majority of the student’s marks for the external assignment and as such should be managed carefully.

Following the preparatory work time students will undertake a 10 hour period of unaided supervised study to produce outcomes to their work in exam conditions.


Preparatory work and final outcomes produced during 10 hour exam conditions will be marked as a whole and represent 40% of the final GCSE grade.

The assessment objectives for both the Portfolio and external assessment are:

Assessment objective 1 (24 marks):

  • Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrate critical understanding of sources.


Assessment objective 2 (24 marks):

  • Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials and processes.

Assessment objective 3 (24 marks) :

  • Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses


Assessment objective 4 (24 marks): :

  • Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.


96 marks in total

GCSE Fine Art

Enables learners to:

  • Develop and extend creative thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Build knowledge and skills with a variety of practical Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpting, and Photo manipulation techniques.
  • Build contextual knowledge of the work of other artists, photographers, and designers.
  • Develop the habit of reading about the work of others to develop understanding and knowledge
  • Develop research and documentation skills.
  • Acquire and use a wide Art vocabulary, including subject specific terminology to analyse artwork.
  • Write accurately, effectively and analytically about their own and others artwork.
  • Develop creative presentation skills.
  • Develop and refine their practise as an artistic practitioner, taking ideas from development to consolidation in culminating final outcomes.
Number of Lessons Per Week

1 lesson a week at Key Stage 3

3 Lessons a week at Key Stage 4

Useful Websites for Portfolio and external assessment support:

An Vale external assignment (exam) Booklet is posted out in January of year 11 to support all art students with effective development of their ‘Preparatory work’


Key stage 4 Year 10, 11 and Key Stage 5 after school intervention

Key stage 4 and 5 Trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Careers and workshops – coordinated links with external providers i.e. Northern Art School, The Grimsby Institute.

Sixth form Opportunities:

We offer the following creative options within the art department at Sixth Form Level:

AQA – A Level Art (Fine Art)

BTEC – Level 3 National Certificate in Art and Design, 4 units to complete, equivalent to one A level

BTEC – Level 3 National Diploma (Art, Fashion or Graphics) 9 units to complete, equivalent to two A levels (GLH 8 hours per week)