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Art and Design

Exam Board: AQA GCSE Art & Design (Fine Art)


Subject Overview

The Art Department is strongly committed to giving students a broad experience of a range of visual arts, crafts and design disciplines and aims to provide a stimulating and dynamic learning experience for all students. Students are offered an innovative approach to making artwork which involves both traditional and experimental exploration of materials, concepts and techniques. Stimulating creativity and thought beyond the curriculum is also an important focus for the department. We encourage students to enter local and national competitions and embed visits and trips to museums and galleries and local places of interests into the curriculum. We are also forging strong links with local art organisations such as The Isle of Purbeck Arts Club, Burngate Stone Carving Centre and Purbeck Arts Week. We aim to have local and world famous artists and designers work with us to publicly display and celebrate students’ successes and value the achievement and participation of all our students.


Key Stage 3: Students learn in mixed ability groups and are encouraged to learn and develop basic skills including personal learning and thinking skills. Students learn the basic language of design (line, shape, pattern, colour, form etc) and are introduced to relevant historical and cultural references. Art projects include landscape painting, portraiture, abstract art, tie-Dyeing, weaving, fashion Illustration and shoe design & making. In Year 7 students will have Art & Design for half the year then rotate with Design & Technology. Year 8 & 9 students have Art & Design all year and have a one hour lesson every week.

Key Stage 4: GCSE Art & Design (Fine Art) is a hands-on practical creative subject and promotes a variety of learning experiences through different processes, tools, techniques, materials and resources. The course enables students to explore drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, fashion, textiles, lens based imagery and other forms of two-dimensional and three-dimensional outcomes. If choosing to study Art & Design at GCSE level you must be motivated to continue working in your sketchbook and portfolio out of school. Over the course of our two-week timetable, students will have 5 lessons.

Year 10: In Year 10 students begin with a project based on Sea Life and The Coast in Swanage. The project is in collaboration with local artists and designers at Burngate Stone Carving Centre and funded through PAWS. It primarily begins with drawing and painting and introduces students to the assessment process and objectives covered in the AQA specification, then develops with photography, printmaking, textiles and sculpture. Students will then carve their own piece of stone which will be part of a permanent art sculpture near the pier in Swanage! Students will then produce a project based on Pop Art which will include portraiture and screen printing and will build work for their portfolio which is worth 60% of the AQA course.

KS4 Year 11: Students will continue to build their portfolio up until Christmas, which also acts as their mock practical examination. In January, an externally set practical exam will be given to students which is worth 40% of the course. Students will have until May to respond to their chosen starting point evidencing coverage of all four assessment objectives. A final 10-hour practical exam will showcase their final piece of work. This is internally moderated in school and external moderating normally happens in June.