GCSE Art and Design

Our curriculum at KS4 encourages students to become self-sufficient in their studies and allows them the freedom to explore their own ideas to become independent practitioners. The structure of learning is developed to ensure knowledge and skills are retained over the longer term and to enable students to recall and practise their skills and knowledge, giving them a solid foundation to progress. Fostering resilience is imperative in continuing to develop our student’s growth mindset and prepare them for KS5 or further life outside of education. 


  • The development of observational research and development of ideas. To develop primary and secondary research into their own ideas through collected imagery, photography, drawing, and annotating.
  • To use a variety of art techniques and processes when developing ideas. For example, a range of drawing, paint and print techniques using different media and methods. Selecting and using specialist tools, techniques, and processes effectively. Exploring a range of techniques and processes from relevant artists to further extend their own developing practise and ideas.
  • To develop and reflect on their work. Communicating the development of their ideas using annotation, sketches, plans and modelling. Identifying and resolving problems when exploring techniques, developing ideas and creating artworks.
  • Make informed decisions about the development of their own art. Allowing students to refine and develop outcomes to their best potential possible, and building problem solving skills, which support individuals in their further studies and in life.
  • Understand the relationship between context of artwork on the influence of subject, process, media and effects achieved. Analysing the work of past and present artists to develop their understanding.

Year 10 (3 hours per week) Guided Coursework Assessment 60% Award

GCSE Portfolio Development

GCSE Portfolio Development

GCSE Personal Investigation

Summer Tasks





Project 1: Growth and Decay                               Toward 60% of award. Focus on skill building and access to the topic for all levels. Exploration of Assessment Objective through themed tasks linked with Growth and Decay.   

Aims:                                                                        •To build and solidify skills and processes learnt in KS3.                                                               

•To introduce high skill process and outcomes linking into theme.                            

•To develop and understand the process of sketchbook creation and intent.                        

•To develop understanding of mark scheme in line with exam board Assessment Objectives.                                                            Learning:                                                                   Experimental Drawing, Paint, Etch, Monoprint, Observational studies, Photography, Artist Context Pages, Development of ideas.

(Continuation) Project 1: Growth and Decay                               

Toward 60% of award. Focus on development of ideas and final outcomes. Exploration of Assessment Objective through themed tasks linked with Growth and Decay.   

Aims:                                                                        •To understand how to develop your work in response to sources.                                                        

•To practice mastery with individual skills, processes and interest.                                                              

•To aim to develop work outside the sketchbook and familiarise with preparation and production of final piece.                      

 •To solidify understanding of analysis and evaluation of artwork of their own and others.                                                              

Learning:                                                                   Combining ideas through practical outcomes. Further development into specific skills of individual. Sustained planning and practise of final intentions. Written evaluation of body of work.                                      

(Continuation) Project 2: Personal Investigation                                                  

Toward 60% of award. Focus on personal intensions and areas of study through learnt skills and processes.                                          


•To respond to a directed theme and produce a body of work that emulates the process and techniques taught throughout project 1.                                                             

•To practice mastery with individual skills, processes and interest.                                                              

•To aim to develop work outside the sketchbook and familiarise with preparation and production of final piece alongside boards for Assessment.                                   

•To provide a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of artwork of their own and others.                                                               Learning:                                                                   To practise in line with Assessment Objectives.

Pupils will be able to work on their portfolio ready for assessment.              

•AO1 Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources                                                       

•AO2 Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.                                                           

•AO3 Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses. 

•AO4 Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

Project 2: Personal Investigation                        Toward 60% of award. Focus on personal intensions and areas of study through learnt skills and processes.


Year 11 (3 hours per week) GCSE External Assessment 40% Award

GCSE Portfolio Development

Externally set exam







GCSE Personal Investigation and completion of coursework portfolio

Question papers issued from January 1st. Pupils respond to their chosen starting point. There is unlimited preparation time with 10 hours sustained focused study.



Finalisation of coursework.

Exam Paper is released in January and pupils proceed to respond to the question from individual starting points. Pupils are to produce a body of work through personal investigations using the skills, process and techniques learnt. Culminating in a final piece or collection of final responses in relation to the exam paper. 10 hours of sustain study under exam conditions to be carried out in late spring early summer.



WBCA Art and Design GCSE Overview

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Recommended Reading

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