Art Curriculum Overview

Year 7 - 9

Through a rich variety of termly project themes, students are given the opportunity to experience different approaches to Art, Craft and Design. There is a balance in the programme of study between investigating and making, which are the practical aspects of creating Art, and knowledge and understanding in which students are introduced to and study the work of artists from our own culture and other cultures both past and present.

Students have the opportunity to make both two dimensional and three dimensional work including collage, painting, print and ceramics. Students are taught to use materials, tools and techniques to develop their creative, imaginative and practical skills to enable them to express ideas and feelings, record observations and design and make images and artefacts. Through their own work and the study of other artists, students will develop visual perception and literacy so enabling them to express ideas and opinions using an Art, Craft and Design vocabulary.

The Years 7 and 8 are the building blocks for further study in Year 9 and at GCSE level. The Department views art as both an intellectual and creative subject; it is one of the means by which we interpret, express and understand our place in the world and as such is viewed as an important aspect of education.  Students in Year 9 begin their GCSE Art Foundation course and if they choose to study Art at GCSE level this work can be used to support and enhance their overall grade.

Artist focus Year 7 - 9: Hundertwasser, Leonardo Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Monet, Kandinsky, Picasso, Hockney, Klimt, Jim Dine, Thiebaud, Warhol, Magritte, Dali, Bridget Riley, Vaserley, Gormley, Harring, Henry Moore, Nick Park, Banksy.


Course Title:  GCSE Art and Design

Awarding Body:  Edexcel

Why study GCSE Art and Design?

GCSE Art and Design is the right subject for you if you enjoy:

  • developing your visual skills and engaging with the creative process of art, craft and design;
  • developing and refining ideas;
  • visits to galleries, museums, workshops and studios;
  • experimenting and taking risks with your work and learning from your experiences.

Course Outline

What does the course involve?

You will develop your visual skills and build a portfolio of work by completing a wide range of activities and in-depth assignments. Throughout the course, you will:

  • develop and explore ideas;
  • select and experiment with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes;
  • record your ideas, observations and insights;
  • present personal and meaningful responses.

GCSE Art and Design is a broad and flexible course.

Assessment Format

Edexcel (1-9) Art and Design (1AD0)

Component 1: Personal Portfolio

This component is worth 60% of your GCSE. You will produce a portfolio of work based on tasks agreed with your teacher.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (ESA)

This component is worth 40% of your GCSE. You will produce preparatory studies and personal outcome(s) based on a theme set by Edexcel.

Each component is assessed out of 72 marks against the four Assessment Objectives. Your teacher will mark your work and it may be moderated by Edexcel.

Edexcel (1-9) GCSE Art and Design 1AD0 - Assessment Objectives:

AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources - 25%.

AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes - 25%.

AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses - 25%.

AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language - 25%.

What skills will I need to be successful in this subject?

It’s really important that you have a passion for the subject and a desire to know more about historical and contemporary art, and how to use art materials and processes to develop and express your own ideas. This course will give you the skills to enjoy, engage with and produce visual arts throughout your life.

Possible Careers and Future Education

Through this course you’ll develop transferable skills, such as problem solving, communication and critical thinking skills, which will prepare you for further study or the world of work regardless of the subjects or career you wish to pursue.

If you wish to study Art and Design beyond GCSE, you could do a Level 3 course, such as AS or A level Art and Design or BTEC Nationals in Art and Design.

Next steps

If you’re interested in studying GCSE Art and Design, start finding out more about the subject by:

  • visiting the Edexcel website ( – there’s a lot of useful information about what you’ll be studying and how you’ll be assessed
  • finding out what is happening in the world of art by visiting galleries, museums, exhibitions and art shows, or by visiting gallery websites and the art pages on newspaper websites.