GCSE Examination Board:  Edexcel

Suggested support at home


Content and Skills

Students will be required to demonstrate the ability to:

  • develop their ideas through investigations informed by selecting and critically analysing sources
  • refine their ideas as work progresses through experimenting with media, materials, techniques and processes
  • record their ideas, observations, insights and independent judgements, visually and through written annotation, using appropriate specialist vocabulary, as work progresses
  • use visual language critically as appropriate to their own creative intentions and chosen area of study
  • develop a range of drawing techniques and processes in order to communicate developing ideas clearly
  • Annotation – the purpose of integrated annotation is to allow students to: analyse critically, evaluate and reflect on their own work and that of others
  • Critical and contextual knowledge and understanding. A student’s ability to understand their own work critically and justify their ideas can be developed through practical visual analysis, annotation and using the spoken word in critiques, discussions or interviews.


All pupils work is regularly marked. Lots of opportunities are given to pupils to respond to marking feedback during lesson time and as homework. Pupils are expected to work on areas requiring improvement.

Assessment opportunities

All personal portfolio work is assessed continuously. The marks entered each half term are based on marking that has taken place that term. At the end of year 11, all Personal Portfolio work and the Externally Set Assignment are assessed internally. A sample of students work is selected by the exam board for external moderation.

Extra-curricular Opportunities

Those students identified as under achieving will be targeted for extra catch up sessions after school or during school holidays. Students are encouraged to visit art galleries and museums.


Key Stage 3 Art (years 7 &8)

We aim to give pupils the key skills and knowledge in researching, recording, reviewing, refining and responding to their art work, to enable them to become creative and confident artists. Through the various projects students will develop an understanding of the work of different cultures, artists, craft makers and designers. All students have one lesson of Art at Key stage 3 (year 7 & 8).

Students will follow a programme of study which includes: –

Year 7 Art Curriculum:
Autumn Term ·         Understanding tone, form and colour. A drawing project looking primarily at still life; produce a Picasso style painting.
Spring Term ·         Exploring and experimenting with pattern. Further development of drawing and printing techniques. Exploring the use of pattern in Indian, African and Aboriginal cultures.
Summer Term ·         Exploring Abstraction by responding to music. Experimenting using the medium of collage to create an abstract collage/ oil pastel drawing in response to Kandinsky.·         End of year exam.


Year 8 Art Curriculum:
Autumn Term ·         Understanding tone, form and colour. A drawing project; looking primarily at natural forms; produce an O’keeffe style pastel drawing.
Spring Term ·         Self-portrait drawing leading onto Pop Art portraits inspired by Warhol and Litchenstein. Exploring and experimenting with drawing, collage and painting.
Summer Term

·         Metamorphosis and Surrealism hand project. Exploring transforming one object into another.·         Personal diary – responses to various artists.

·         End of year exam.

Key Stage 4 (years 9-11)

Art is an option subject at Key Stage 4 which students may choose to study at GCSE level, commencing in year 9. It consists of 60% Personal Portfolio and 40% Externally Set Assignment.

The Personal Portfolio (PP) follows the general theme of ‘Self-Identity’ and includes both teacher led projects and students independent diary / sketchbook work/ final outcomes. All classwork and homework goes towards the final assessment. Pupils start their personal portfolio in the September of year 9 and complete it in the December of year 11. All classwork and homework goes towards the final assessment.

Pupils produce two units of work: –

Unit 1 Symbolism- Frida Kahlo- Drawing and Painting.

Unit 2 Previous years exam theme/ Mixed Media Techniques.

The Externally Set Assignment (ESA) is a project set in January of year 11 by the exam board, who give a theme which is facilitated by the teacher. For example, last year the theme was ‘Beginning and/ or End’. Students are expected to respond to the theme by researching artists, ideas, drawings, exploring different media/ techniques until they come to a decision on what they are going to produce in their 10 hour exam. All classwork and homework goes towards the final assessment.

Year 9

Autumn Term

·         Introduction to GCSE art project.

·         Look at the work of Chris Ofili. Produce a layered painting.

·         Arman jar- a collection of personal objects presented in a jar.

·         Still-life drawing/ simple printing techniques/ collage work based on Gary Hume.

·         Experimental drawing/ sketchbook work.

·         Tracey Emin – lettering /collage response.

Spring Term

UNIT 1Symbolism- Frida Kahlo- Drawing and Painting.

·         Analysing and responding to Frida Kahlo

·         Trip to Art Gallery

·         Idea development based on symbolism and self-identity.

·         Personal diary.

Summer Term

·         Begin Frida Kahlo symbolism response.

·         Painting techniques.


Autumn Term ·         Complete Frida Kahlo symbolism response
·         Sustained Self-Portrait drawing. EXT task: simple photography project
Spring Term

Unit 2 -Previous year’s exam theme/ Mixed Media Techniques. 

·         Mind mapping

·         Analysing and responding to an artist that supports theme

·         Drawing and research to support idea

·         Experimentation using mixed media techniques

Summer Term

·         Initial Idea development based on theme

·         Experimentation using mixed media techniques


Autumn Term

·         Idea refinement

·         Final design for final idea/ outcome.

·         10 hour planned outcome produced at the end of November/ Yr 11 art mock exam. 5 hours to be completed in exam conditions, the rest completed in lesson time/ or during Christmas holiday.

·         Unit 2 –to be completed by January.

Spring Term

Start Externally Set Assignment –Papers sent out in January.

·         Mind mapping/ initial idea

·         Analysing and responding to an artist that supports theme

·         Drawing and research to support ideas

·         Experimentation using a range of media

·         Initial Idea development based on theme

·         Idea refinement

·         Final design for final idea/ outcome

Summer Term ·         ESA exam- 10 hour planned outcome – split over 2 days.