Part of the joy of Art course is that you don’t just study Art: you make it.

Art enhances fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills, lateral thinking, complex analysis and critical thinking skills. No matter what career you choose, those who can arrange, present and display material in a way that is aesthetically pleasing have an advantage. Research shows that involvement in the arts (both Visual Art and Performing Art) is associated with higher levels of attainment in both high school and university.

“Catterall” also notes that studying arts can have other positive benefits such as greater involvement in serving the community.

Art begins with observation of the real world: recording, analysis and creation of a visual response to the surroundings. Art makes students look at the world anew – even mundane, ordinary aspects of the world. Art also fills the soul. There is something magical about smearing pencil and paint across a piece of paper and sculpting form with your hands. Communicating with colour and shape and form awakens the imagination; it opens the door to ‘now’.

The creative industry is an ever-expanding industry that offers a wealth of job opportunities ranging from advertising, architecture, art heritage (museum/gallery conservator), creative design (ceramics, fashion, interior etc.), digital art (computer games design, graphics etc.) display design (exhibitions etc.), photography (corporate, fashion, social, sports etc.) and visual art (animator, graphic design, illustration, fine art etc.). 

Curriculum Overview: Art

At Key Stage 4

Art: a broad course exploring practical and critical/contextual work through a range of 2D/3D processes, and new media and technologies. It is a course where students can work in appropriate art, craft, design materials and processes. Students should produce practical and contextual work associated with two or more of the course titles listed. They may also explore and develop ideas by combining and overlapping the areas of study in the course titles of Art, craft and design, Fine art, Graphic communication, Textile design, Three-dimensional design and Photography. The GCSE course is made up of two components:

  • Component 1:  Portfolio, marked out of 96 abd 60% of GCSE
    The student portfolio is selected from work undertaken during the course of study and must include more than one project. There is no restriction on the scale of the work produced. Students must demonstrate an ability to sustain work from initial starting point or project brief to the realisation of intentions. Explicit evidence of the relationship between process and outcome must be presented in such forms as sketchbooks, visual diaries, design sheets, design proposals, preparatory studies, annotated sheets and experimentation with materials and techniques.
  • Component 2:  Externally Set Assignment, marked out of 96 abd 40% of GCSE
    The exam board question paper is issued in the January of year 11. Students are given unlimited preparation time to respond to one of the seven starting points offered on the question paper. During the preparation period, students may discuss starting points with their teacher and must ensure that they evidence coverage of the four assessment objectives. Preparatory work may be presented in any two- or three-dimensional format. This is then followed by 10 hours of sustained, focused study where students will produce a personal outcome.  


AQA 8201 Sample Art Paper