Fine Art GCSE

Full name of specification

GCSE Fine Art

Exam board specification link

Name of textbook if used

Why study this course?

This course is designed to help you explore a wide range of visual media and styles, both traditional and digital. You will develop ideas for projects based on your own interests and artists of your choice who inspire you. You can choose from a wide variety of options, from traditional painting media, to concept art and illustration, photography, digital art, 3D, and even fashion/textiles.

What can you expect from this course?

The course structure is designed to imitate the format in which professional artists and designers work in, including planning, research, sketching ideas, experimenting with materials, and drafting versions. Students have a structure to work in, but within this structure they have a lot of freedom to choose projects and artists they are interested in. This means that each class has a wide range of outcomes, and that you can choose projects that are based on your strengths and interests.

How is it assessed?

Coursework 60% (year 10 and year 11 work, up until January of year 11) Externally set project 40% (8-10 week preparation period followed by a 10 hour exam in which to make a final outcome)

What are the entry requirements?

You should have some drawing skills and be willing to work hard to be thorough in your work and to continue developing your skills.

How will this prepare me?

The creative pathway lays the foundation for both the technical, analytical and problem-solving skills required for future creative and academic endeavours. Students will not only create a portfolio of work to represent their skills and interests, but also will gain confidence and enjoyment in their abilities as creators. Students develop understanding of visual Art and Design skills which will prepare them for work in a number of creative careers, as well as transferable skills such as problem solving, divergent thinking, practical work, and learning as a result of research, experimentation, reflection, and resilience.

Future careers include:

  • artist/designer
  • illustration/ graphic designer
  • animator
  • concept artist
  • games designer
  • photographer
  • advertising and marketing
  • architecture
  • crafts
  • design
  • fashion
  • film, TV, video, radio
  • IT, software and computer services

What will I study?

In year ten, students will complete a series of small projects responding to a range of different themes (past examples have included identity, Greek mythology, and Japanese Art). The focus of the projects will be on developing a range of practical skills in various industry standard software such as Adobe Photoshop as well as more traditional processes such as printing and drawing. Students will build on their knowledge and skill with each project, with increasing independence so that by the end of the year, each student will have chosen their own themes and topics which fit with their interests and strengths.

In Year 11, students will begin by researching and planning a personal investigation project (with their year 10 work, worth 60% of their overall GCSE grade). This will be an opportunity for students to develop the skills learnt in year ten and specialise in an area that focuses on their interests and ideas. They will be able to work from a range of materials, including painting (oil- and water- based media), drawing, illustration, 3D work, digital, film/photography/moving image, fashion, craft, and more. Students are encouraged to be ambitious in their ideas for their personal investigation.

At the beginning of January, students will then complete an Externally Set assignment (Worth 40% of overall grade) which will follow the same process as previous projects, and will culminate in a practical exam where students can create responses to the project.

Additional activities within this subject

Illustration, photography, fashion/textile, concept design, digital art, 3D art

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Stephanie Mansfield