Art & Design

 Learning at Key Stage 3 

Year 7: Learners follow an introductory course in Art and Design throughout the first year, which will cover:

  • Drawing skills – LINE, MARKING-MARKING, TONE

  • Painting & printing – COLOURS AND PATTERN


Year 8: Learners will focus on two key themes for the year.

  • How to structure a portrait

  • Contemporary Portraits – LUKE DIXON – Mixed Media



In addition to classwork, learners are set homework tasks, which sometimes involve accessing the internet to research visual and written information on artists and their work. They will also complete drawing and sketching activities. Work is formally assessed at the end of each unit.

Key Stage 3

Art & Design Course Overviews 2019-20

 GCSE Art & Design  

Learners will be introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of two-dimensional and three-dimensional media, techniques and processes, including both traditional and new technologies. They will explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples which should be integral to the investigating and making process. Responses to these examples is shown through practical and critical activities that demonstrate the learners understanding of different styles, genres and traditions.

The themed projects are mainly teacher led with plenty of opportunity for the learners to develop their own ideas independently.

Weekly art homework tasks are set throughout the course and these are an important and integral part of the syllabus. Interesting, well-planned homework tasks in sketchbooks are vital to gaining a good final grade. Deadlines are crucial, so good time management and organisational skills are essential. If you have struggled with producing homework tasks in Key Stage 3 think carefully, as Key Stage 4 tasks take longer and are more in depth.

There will be opportunities to visit museums and Art galleries and other places of interest to enhance the learners' knowledge, skills and understanding in this subject area.

During the Spring Term of Year 11, an Externally Set Task from the Exam Board is undertaken, whereby the learners are given a question to research, develop and then have a ten hour sustained period to produce a final outcome – this is performed totally on their own and is the practical 'exam' element of the course. This, together with their portfolio of work, is mounted and displayed as a final exhibition at the end of the course.


Areas of Study

Learners will produce practical and critical/contextual work associated with two or more of the endorsements listed below:

  • Applied Art

  • Fine Art

  • Graphic communication

  • Textile Design

  • Three-Dimensional Design

  • Photography

Assessment Details

Unit 1: Portfolio of work – this is work undertaken during the course and must include more than one extended unit of work – 60%

Unit 2: Externally Set Task – Candidates respond to a chosen starting point with an unlimited preparation time and 10 hours of sustained
           focused study for the final outcome – 40%

How Parents/Carers Can Help

Much of the work undertaken will comprise of mixed media tasks but developments into more individual and imaginative projects will evolve, whereby learners eventually choose their own area of study. In order for this to take place it is necessary that class and coursework be supported by regular homework studies and learners will be encouraged to keep personal sketchbooks throughout the two years and will be advised to buy art materials to use at home. There will be the opportunity to purchase a basic kit of materials at the start of the course via a school order form. Art books about favourite artists or general art movements or particular crafts would be a great help to have and use at home. Visits to art galleries and museums should be encouraged whenever possible.

Careers in the Creative Industries

Apart from being an important vehicle for self-expression and creativity, a GCSE in Art and Design opens the door to many diverse opportunities particularly the aesthetic and visual fields including:-

  • Architect

  • Animator

  • Art exhibitions administrator

  • Art therapist

  • Florist

  • Fashion designer

  • Fashion illustrator/freelance designer

  • Fine artist or sculptor

  • Graphic designer, illustrator or photographer

  • Interior designer

  • Product designer

  • School art teacher/lecturer/nursery & early years teacher

  • Signwriter/signmaker

  • Theatre or TV set designer

  • TV, film maker or advertising career

  • Textile Designer

  • Visual/special effects Designer

  • Make-up Artist

  • Web author/designer

  • Costume/set design

  • Hairdresser

Post 16 Progression

A good grade at GCSE will prepare learners for entry onto an AS/A2 Level Art & Design course or any of the Level 3 BTEC courses offered by other local providers. This course will also provide an opportunity for progression onto an Art Foundation course, an Art related degree and a career within the creative industries.

Key Stage 3
Art & Design Course Overviews 2019-20