Art and Design

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At the end of Year 8 students are provided with the opportunity to specialise in Art and Design as a GCSE subject. Year 9 is an introductory course intended as preparation for the independent coursework in Year 10 and 11. The curriculum provision is four/five one hour lessons over two weeks. Art and Design has traditionally been a popular subject at GCSE level and always looks to bring out our student’s creative abilities.


An introduction to the course

Students will follow the OCR syllabus for Art, Craft and Design as an endorsement of Art & Design.

Link to examining body:

Link to specification:

You will follow a lively structured GCSE course that involves a range of 2D and 3D work. This will enable you to produce a portfolio of personal and creative responses to set themes. It will build on the skills developed in Year 9 and earlier years. In Year 10 you will undertake a media and technique-based project to allow you to work more independently and gain confidence ready for the main coursework projects.

Our projects are broad and designed to be tackled individually. Over the two years, you will be given help and advice, but you must be prepared to take ownership and responsibility for your work. Personal research is an important part of Art and you will be encouraged to put your own ideas and interests into your project. We have two very experienced Art teachers at NCL with a strong track record of achieving good results.

What the course involves

You will complete an Art portfolio of evidence which will focus on specific project briefs. This work will include exploration, research, development of techniques, skills and outcomes. The portfolio must contain:

  • Evidence of work that charts the progress of a theme from the initial idea to its conclusion
  • Links with the work of other artists showing that their work has inspired/influenced the project’s development
  • Increasing practical skills and confidence in the use of a wide range of materials and styles
  • Experimentation with materials to expand knowledge, understanding and skill
  • Self-evaluation to focus aims and objectives
  • A practical exam under controlled conditions in Year 11

How the course is assessed

The coursework project will form 60% of the overall marks for GCSE.

An externally set exam project will form 40% of the overall marks for GCSE.

The coursework and exam project are marked internally, and a selection moderated by the examination board.

Both projects use the same 4 assessment objectives which are all equally weighted (25%), these are;

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

Career Opportunities

Advertising Architecture Animation
Fashion Design Desktop Publishing Ceramics
Graphic Design Theathre/Performing Arts Illustration
Film Video Broadcasting Web Design Media
Special Effects Marketing Video Game Design
Teaching Museum and Galleries Photography

Post-16 opportunities

GCSE Art & Design will help you to develop your creative, technical, communication, analytical and problem-solving skills, skills that are essential in these and a wide range of other career opportunities. You can progress on to other Art based courses including AS/A2 Art and Design or BTEC Nationals in Art and Design.

Required resources/equipment for the course

An A2 portfolio/folder is needed and a basic art starter set including a range of different types of pencils, a ruler, a pencil sharpener, eraser and crayons.

For further information contact:

Mr Thomas (Head of Art) or Ms Hall.