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Why Study Art? 

In Art, there are two main modules – coursework and the controlled assignment. For the former, you are required to produce a portfolio of practical work (over both years), and the latter takes the form of an 8-week controlled assignment (plus a 10-hour final session) at the end of the Spring Term in Year 11. The emphasis throughout is on improving the quality of our thinking and our making skills. Thorough research, investigation, exploration and experimentation is stressed at every stage, and students will be introduced to materials, techniques and approaches which will help expand both their intellectual horizons and their practical repertoires. 

The aim is to develop confidence and to produce ambitious, exciting artwork which reflects your strengths. Art history is made relevant through the study (and direct experience) of artists from the present as well as the past. Written work is in the form of research and annotation – there is no requirement to submit essays. We work hard but it is a very rewarding and enjoyable subject! 

Year 10 (two lessons per week) - two coursework units plus part one of a controlled assessment:

Term 1: Coursework unit based on direct observational study. 

Term 2: Coursework unit based on the figure and portraiture. 

Term 3: Begin AQA practical controlled assessment. Visit artist’s studio.  

Year 11 (three lessons per week) – controlled assessment part two plus a timed assignment: 

Term 1: Conclude controlled assessment. 

Term 2: Preparation for timed AQA controlled assignment, then 10-hour practical exam session. 

Term 3: Final CW portfolio assessment, marking and AQA moderation. 

All your practical work over the course is assessed. As well as producing ‘finished’ pieces, you will submit two sketchbooks for each component (coursework and exam) as a personal record of your development. 

How are you assessed? 

  • Coursework module = 60% of final mark.
    A portfolio is created over 2 years and marked in May of Year 11
  • Controlled Assessment module = 40%.
    You choose one starting point from the AQA-set paper, then produce preparatory work over 8 weeks.
    The final 10-hour session is in April of Year 11
  • In both modules you are assessed according to four equally weighted criteria: 
    • Practical ability (how well have you used materials) 
    • Research skills (how you have responded to the work of other artists) 
    • Investigation (how you have explored and experimented) 
    • Refinement (how your ideas have developed and progressed) 

All your work is marked internally, then moderated in Year 11 by an AQA examiner from the UK. 

Trips, Opportunities, Progression 

If you enjoy being creative and want to develop your artistic skills in a more independent way, then this is the course for you. At GCSE level you will be encouraged to explore ideas and experiment with new techniques and materials. We visit exhibitions and collections, and benefit from extended workshops with professional artists and creators. 

We also visit the studio of a local contemporary artist for a hands-on experience. You will have the opportunity to extend your skills in extra-curricular sessions, and there is no limit to the amount of work you produce for your portfolio – the emphasis is always on your individual progression. This course is designed to build on your previous knowledge and achievements, and to provide a stepping-stone to A Level Art (and beyond) if you choose to continue.


Miss Stephanie Rondel [email protected]