Curriculum – KS4 Art (Fine Art)

Why Choose Fine Art?

  • You have enjoyed Art in the lower school, particularly in Year 9, and have found it challenging and rewarding
  • You have welcomed the balance it gives to your other academic subjects
  • You have enjoyed the ‘doing’ and ‘making’ aspects of Art
  • For some of you it has been your favourite subject that you know you will pursue through to A-Levels, you cannot do A-Levels without completing GCSE Art.
  • Most of the people who work in the following areas have some qualification in Art, many at degree level: graphic design, advertising, product design, interior design, illustration, fashion, web page design, textiles, set design, film and television

Course Content

The Art & Design GCSE course enables students to really develop their visual thinking and ‘making’ skills. The course is divided into three or four projects, each lasting about a term and using the following media:

  • Painting and Drawing – bigger and more complex work than at KS3, using various sources and mixed media, including acrylic and oil paint, oil pastels, and collage.
  • Ceramics – more complex techniques and processes are used, including using specialist glazes, and the building of much bigger, more personal pieces.
  • Photography and Printmaking – all students use photography techniques and many types of printmaking so they can modify images to help them develop their ideas.

Visits and Visitors

Trips to galleries and museums are an important part of the course. The trips to the Tate, Saatchi and other museums are a valuable resource and part of the coursework. Art history is embedded into the course; you study the art most appropriate to your individual theme.


Some investment in basic Art equipment is required to complete tasks at home; approximately £20 will cover the two-year course.

Exam Board – Edexcel
Final Grade – New GCSE Grades 1-9
Structure of Assessment
 For Year 11 mock and final examination pieces, students choose their best media and working style. GCSE grades are awarded based upon an end-of-course exhibition for which students select their best work together with their final examination piece – completed during a two-day examination. Although there is no written examination, there is an important written element when reflecting on each unit of completed work