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I dream my painting, then I paint my dream.

- Vincent van Gogh

Art is everywhere – in our physical being and the world around us, in our imaginations, in our souls. Art can be found or created. Art can be expressed in various forms and in any media. All of us have the potential to be artists, and the study of Art and Design gives us the tools and experience to express ourselves and our passions through numerous art-forms. We also learn how to analyse and evaluate, how to critique, interpret and relate Art and what has been expressed – we can live vicariously through the visions of the concepts and worlds created.


In KS3, our pupils are with us for 12 weeks. Art is used to help our pupils in KS3 express themselves as well as achieve skills needed for further studies in Art at GCSE. We complete smaller projects in various media, have guest workshops in areas such as wire art and pottery, and help our pupils improve in their refection and evaluation abilities through meaningful discussion about the art and artists we explore.


We deliver AQA GCSE Art and Design – Fine Art to our KS3 cohort. We inspire pupils to think innovatively and to develop a creative practical understanding. Pupils are given opportunities to develop their skills using a range of media and materials. During the lessons, pupils learn the skills of drawing, painting, printing, collage, 3D work and some digital art. They explore and evaluate different creative ideas. During the course, pupils are introduced to a range of works and develop knowledge of the styles and vocabulary used by famous artists. They also have the opportunity to visit art galleries and museums, expanding their cultural capital. The skills they acquire are applied to their cross-curricular topics. Many areas of art link with mathematical ideas of shape and space; e.g. when printing repeating patterns and thinking about 3D shapes to support structures. The pupils are expected to be reflective and evaluate their work, thinking about how they can make changes and keep improving. Pupils are encouraged to take risks, experiment and then reflect on why some ideas and techniques are successful/unsuccessful for their chosen theme.

Assessment Information

Assessment Information:

The qualification features a wide range of titles including Art, Craft and Design, Fine Art, Graphic Communication, Textile Design, Three-dimensional Design and Photography. The specification has been designed to allow pupils to develop knowledge and understanding during the course through a variety of learning experiences and approaches, including engagement with sources. This will allow them to develop the skills to explore, create and communicate their own ideas. Pupils will demonstrate these skills through the development, refinement, recording, realisation and presentation of their ideas through a portfolio and by responding to an externally set assignment.

There are four assessment objectives through which pupils are assessed:

AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.

AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.

AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.

AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

Fine art practise is defined here as the need to explore an idea, convey an experience or respond to a theme or issue of personal significance.

In Component 1 and Component 2, pupils are required to work in one or more areas(s) of fine art, such as:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Installation
  • Lens-/Light-based Media
  • Photography and the Moving Image
  • Printmaking
  • Mixed Media
  • Land Art


They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas.

Component 1: Portfolio 60% 96 marks. This component must show evidence of working in areas of study drawn from two or more of the titles taking into account the distinguishing characteristics of art, craft and design. Each pupil must select and present a portfolio representative of their course of study. The portfolio must include both:

  • A sustained project developed in response to a subject, theme, task or brief evidencing the journey from initial engagement with an idea(s) to the realisation of intentions. This will give pupils the opportunity to demonstrate, through an extended creative response, their ability to draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and/or understanding from across their course of study.
  • A selection of further work resulting from activities such as trials and experiments; skills-based workshops; mini and/or foundation projects; responses to gallery, museum or site visits; work placements; independent study and evidence of the pupil’s specific role in any group work undertaken.


Component 2: Externally set assignment 40% 96 marks. AQA will provide a separate externally set assignment for each title, each with seven different starting points. Pupils must select and respond to one starting point from their chosen title. Pupils and teachers can access the externally set assignments on 2nd January (or as soon as possible afterwards) but not before. It is at the discretion of schools to plan when their pupils start work on their assignments after 2nd January. Following the preparatory period, pupils must undertake 10 hours of unaided focused study the first two hours of supervised time must be consecutive under supervision and the following eight hours can be timetabled at the school’s own discretion also under supervision. Pupils must stop work on their preparatory studies as soon as the first period of supervised time starts.