This is a two year GCSE course. There are two main components to the course which are the portfolio (coursework) and the externally set task (practical exam). The coursework element consists of one major project plus one smaller ‘satellite’ project. The externally set task consists of 8-10 weeks preparation (project design) and a 10 hour timed controlled assessment ‘exam’ to create the final art piece.
Portfolio: The first half-term in Y10 centres on exploring new techniques and processes and is presented as a ‘satellite project’. After this point in the course students are encouraged to embark on a major project which is based around an independently selected theme. Students create visual studies and written analysis to support their chosen topic. They are expected to research and record their own personal ideas with appropriate materials and processes. Students use their own work and the work of relevant artists to explore and develop ideas for a personal response to their chosen theme. The final outcome (final art piece) of the project should have clear contextual references and also strong personal connections.
Externally Set Task: For the externally set task students have to choose 1 question from 7 externally set themes. Each theme is general and allows students to respond in their own, personal way. Students are given several weeks to research, record, analyse, explore and develop ideas for their chosen theme. The externally set task is essentially a mini project in terms of the preparation time. The externally set task outcome must be completed in exam conditions over the course of 10 hours. Students are allowed to have all of their preparation work present in the exam to support the creation of their final piece.
Unit 1: Portfolio (major project and satellite project) = 60%
Unit 2: Externally set task (practical exam) = 40%
Level 6+. Students must come recommended by KS3 art teachers. We especially welcome students who have demonstrated enthusiasm, positivity and an open and adventurous mind.
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GCSE students are encouraged to work over an extended period of time on the development of their projects. This process is broken down into an easily understood and easily followed Art process list.
GCSE lessons can be strongly teacher led when exploring certain artists or processes as a whole class. Once projects are underway and the students are developing their own personal ideas, lessons can often become like workshops with the teacher acting as facilitator - offering individual advice, inspiration and guidance where appropriate.
Students should always have a set of personal targets to complete – these targets are likely to be detailed on the student’s Progress Log and found on the task list in their sketchbook.
Successful students need be imaginative, creative and positive. Students must be organised and prepared to work hard in their own time. Patience and peristence are key virtues, as is the ability to take criticism positively. Successful students need to be open, expressive and committed.
GCSE students are encouraged to work over an extended period of time on the development of their projects. This process is broken down into easily understood targets by the Art teacher and requires a mature and independent approach from the student in order to be successful.
Students should always have a set of personal targets to complete – these targets are likely to be detailed on the student’s Progress Log and found on the task lists in their sketchbook.
Ask your son/daughter about their artwork and their ideas. Take them to galleries and to places where they can gather photographs for their work. Provide them with materials and tools, and try to sort out a space in the house for them to study. Finally, ask to see their Progress Logs – it’s all there!
The Art Department opens its doors daily to students to come and work at break, lunchtime and after school on Tuesdays & Thursdays. We regularly arrange Saturday Workshops, sometimes inviting specialist artists to deliver a master class. There are many other opportunities to be involved more in Art such as mural painting, Rock Challenge set design and Saatchi Online (www.saatchionline.com/shtc)