Art and Design GCSE Exam Information

Course Overview

The aim of the course is to develop students’ practical and critical skills in Painting, Textiles and Ceramics.  They will be required to increase their capacity to work in a personal and creative way, informed by the work of other artists, using appropriate media and working methods.

The course content will enable students to meet the full range of assessment objectives.



Year 10:  Students will develop a series of outcomes based upon a starting point, theme or idea and move through the Painting, Textile and Ceramic areas (one area per term).

Year 11:  A different starting point/theme will be worked in an area of the student’s own choice (Painting, Textiles or Ceramics) from September to January.



Question papers, set by AQA, will be issued in January.  Students will be asked to develop an idea/theme into an area of their own choice (Painting, Textiles or Ceramics).  They are allowed unlimited preparation time which is submitted at the start of their first examination session.  A final piece will be produced during a period of 10 hours sustained focused study.

Skills and Application

A starting point, theme or idea may be based on the themes of food, landscapes, the figure, man-made or natural objects.  Work will involve a range of materials and techniques including drawing, photography, painting, printing, fabric/textiles and ceramic sculpture.

Throughout the course students will be encouraged to look at and study relevant artists, designers and crafts people by way of textbooks, visual aids and the Internet.  Appreciation and critical studies will be linked to their own practical work to enhance and develop the themes, designs and projects.  A visit will be made to a Gallery, Museum, Collection or Design Studio where and when appropriate to the studies.  Students will be encouraged to use a sketch pad and design sheet format.

Written Annotation. Students must record ideas, observations and insights both visually and through written annotation using appropriate specialist vocabulary as work progresses. Annotation must be explicitly evidenced in both Component 1 and Component 2.



Assessment throughout the course will be carried out by the Art and Design Department.  Students will be asked to demonstrate their ability to fulfil the following Assessment Objectives:

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.

COMPONENT 1:  Set and marked by the Art Department and moderated by AQA. (60% of final mark).

COMPONENT 2:  Questions set by AQA.  Marked by centre and moderated by AQA.  (40% of final mark).

Reading and Resources

This list is by no means exhaustive and students will be expected to have an active interest in local, national and international art events. Students should be actively engaging with exhibitions, artists and craftspeople. The following websites provide a good starting point:

Student Art Guide

Museum of Modern Art

Tate Gallery

BBC Bitesize

Exam Board: AQA Syllabus A – Art and Design