KS4 | Art & Photography

Head of Department:

Ms S. Jimenez

Key Stage Four Overview

Students opt for AQA GCSE Art or Photography at KS4. Year 9, 10 and 11 have 2/3 periods per week, depending on their timetable.

What do students learn?

First Year – Yr 9 Key Skills and techniques course, Start Year 10 Portraits/Self-Identity project

Second Year – Year 10 Portraits and Self-Identity, Summer GCSE Exam set as a mock exam (7 different questions)

Third Year Mock Exam (Summer GCSE exam) and Real exam (Exam questions arrive January).

The AQA GCSE Art and photography courses follow the syllabus of AQA (60% Coursework/40% Exam). All work completed in class goes towards the 60% of their coursework grade. Students are able to use the 10 weeks prior to their actual exam to complete preparatory work that fits the four assessment objectives. This leads toward their final piece. The emphasis of both courses is on the personal and artistic development of the student. Work is designed along formal lines at the outset with a gradual loosening of the imposed structure in the second year of the course. In Art the development of technical skills in drawing, painting, computer-aided design, painting, 3D Media and mix-media enables students to build on a visual language with which to express themselves. In Photography students learn how to use a DSLR camera and how to manipulate an image using Adobe Photoshop. Photography students learn to understand different techniques such as the depth of field and cropping an image. They will also learn the skills required for different aspects of this field, both Commercial Photography as well as Fine Art Photography.

Independent learning is encouraged by student visits to Art/Photography galleries with the school and on their own. This is to ensure a close interest in current contemporary Art and Photography practices. Skills in finding and using primary and secondary resources are greatly encouraged alongside the viewing and understanding of Art and Photography in a historical and cultural context.

What Will I Learn?

You will be required to develop an understanding of Art, Craft and Design through the practical activities of making and investigating.  You will learn how to evaluate your own work and the work of artists, craftspeople and designers from different periods, cultures and traditions.  You will learn how to improve your skills of observation, co-ordination and presentation.

Component Titles and Assessment Methods

Component 1: Portfolio (8201/C) 60% Coursework (marked out of96) – Two or more specific themed projects

Component 2:  Externally  set assignment (8201/X) 40% Exam (marked out of 96) – Preparation time and a 10 hour practical exam.

The course of study will be broadly based on the development of knowledge and understanding, as well as making and investigating and will include work from two or more of the following areas: Drawing and Painting, Printmaking, Graphics, Textile design, Photography and Three-dimensional work. 

Additional Course Specific Information

You must be willing to work outside of class, attend galleries and art club in your own time.

Higher Education Courses and Careers Progression Pathways

If you wish to progress to a Level 3 (AS/ALevel, BTEC) in this subject, you are required to have a minimum of a B grade at Level 2 (GCSE).  GCSE Art and Design may be required in a number of training programmes, by employers or as an entry requirement for other subjects at advanced level. See career board in the Art area.