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GCSE Art

Head of Department: Ms E Holland

Examining Board: EDEXCEL

Pupils will follow the Art and Design course, focusing on developing skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics, textiles and digital media. The course is an exciting and dynamic course  which teaches students to innovate, take risks and problem solve alongside strengthening analytical and critical thinking skills. Students will learn to interrogate sources, explore their own understanding of the world and learn how to articulate their thoughts and feelings visually. There is a strong focus on observational work, which drives the development of skills required to produce imaginative, individual and accomplished portfolios and final outcomes. The syllabus is designed to stretch, motivate and inspire. The process of understanding, evaluating and producing creative work demands decision making skills and is therefore an excellent training in independent judgement. 

The syllabus requires students to:

  • actively engage in the creative process in order to develop as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
  • become confident in taking risks and learn from experience when exploring and experimenting with ideas, processes, media, materials and techniques
  • develop critical understanding through investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills
  • understand and articulate how images and artefacts relate to their social, historical and cultural context
  • develop and refine ideas and proposals, personal outcomes or solutions

The award of a GCSE grade will depend upon:

  • Coursework (60%) Pupils submit a portfolio of work at the end of the two year course which contains supporting studies and a variety of personal outcomes.
  • Externally Set Assignment (40%) Pupils will research and develop their ideas during the Spring term in response to the theme set by the exam board. A final outcome must be produced within the 10 hour practical examination at the end of this period.

The course offers a balance of academic rigour and interrogation alongside practical exploration. Students are challenged to explore historical and contemporary issues and ideas, including political and social issues. The art and design syllabus shares common academic themes with other subjects and helps students to strengthen their understanding of broader issues and debates through practical work. Pupils who may be interested in pursuing careers that require skills in critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, independence and innovation should consider taking art, alongside those pursuing the more traditional art routes of the fine arts, design, illustration, architecture and planning, advertising, media and communications, film and the performing arts. 

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