GCSE Art & Design

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What is the qualification?
One full GCSE awarded at grades 9 – 1.

What will students be doing on the course?  How will it be structured?
This course allows students to explore and experiment with a wide range of art techniques and media. Students will be given two project themes over the two years for which they will have to produce a sketchbook and final piece.

During the course, students will be shown how to use printing techniques, paint, pastels, sculptural and textured materials, photography and digital media. Students will then be able to choose which media or combination of media they wish to use to produce their final pieces. All of the work produced for these projects will be submitted in a portfolio which equates to 60% of the overall marks. In addition to this portfolio, students are also given a selection of questions/ themes that have been written by the examination board. They will have a set number of weeks to produce a sketchbook based on their chosen question/ theme and then a ten hour examination during which they will have to make the final piece.

The examination unit will make up the other 40% of the overall grade.

Year 10
Summer Term:  project 1 deadline, to be assessed as part of Unit 1.

Year 11
Autumn Term: Project 2 deadline, to be assessed as part of Unit 1.

Spring Term:  Examination paper (Unit 2) preparatory period plus 10 hour examination time.

What skills do students need to develop to be successful at this course?
Students need to be extremely creative and the more ideas they have the better. Students also need to be willing to try using techniques and media that they find more challenging or with which they are unfamiliar. Students will be taught how to improve their drawing and making skills during lessons but they may be required to come after school to practise any that they find particularly difficult or to complete work that cannot be taken home. Students need to be able to manage their time well because artwork can be time consuming and require careful planning.

Students need to be able to research artists and designers using the internet, books and by going to exhibitions. Students will also have to develop an analytical writing style and be able to show that they think carefully about imagery rather than take it at face value.

What could this qualification be used for?
This qualification will allow students to go on and study an art based course at Post 16 and it will also help enhance research skills, analytical skills, independent and creative thinking skills and time management skills – all of which are very useful whatever courses students go on to study.

Careers in Art and Design include artist, illustrator, fashion photographer, teacher, graphic designer, animator and many more.