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Art & Design GCSE

Mr. T. Holbrooke Jones

Head of Department


(Fine Art Endorsement) 

Examining Board AQA 

Reasons For Studying This Subject: 

Creativity through art can lead to a new world of personal discovery, not just in the end result, but in the journey you go on to produce it. By discovering more about the process of making art you will find out a lot about who you are and how you view the world. Creativity is about thinking differently and finding ways to visualise that unique, personal idea. 

What You Will Be Studying: 

During the course, you will be investigating two main coursework themes in Yr10: ‘Identity’ and ‘Environment’, both aimed at encouraging you to look at yourself and the world around you. In the Autumn term of Yr11, you will choose from multiple Mock Exam themes which will conclude in Five hours of controlled assessment. You will then complete an externally set exam project in the Spring term. During both years you will look at a range of interesting old and modern artists, experiment with a range of drawing, painting and digital photography techniques, develop your own ideas based on the themes and then produce an amazing, personal final piece of art, which could be painting, drawing, print, sculpture, video or photography based. 

How You Will Learn: 

The aim of the projects is to encourage students to look at themselves and the world around them with a thoughtful, personal, creative eye. They will gather visual and written research, produce a series of observational drawings, paintings and digital images that explore and refine the use of a range of art materials and techniques. 

The students will learn how to use a sketchbook to record their research, experiments and observations. This will enable all students to develop personal ideas into their own unique final piece.  

Work is graded, with a comment on what you have done well and how you can improve, as the projects progress. Time is given in the project planning for students to reflect on the comments and to improve their work before the whole project is completed.

How You Will Be Assessed: 

  1. The Yr10 projects and the Yr11 Mock Exam will form the coursework component of the GCSE which equates to 60% of the overall grade.  
  1. The last project students complete is an exam component, externally set by the exam board, which forms the remaining 40% of the overall GCSE grade. This takes place in the Spring term of Year 11. 


General Comment 

Every student is given an A4 sketchbook at the start of each project, as well an A2 folder for storing larger work. The Art Department has a wide range of materials at the student’s disposal, in lessons and after school, as well as a comprehensive art kit for sale at £20 so students can continue with work at home.  

The Art Department at Ferndown Upper School is a vibrant and rewarding environment where all student creativity is encouraged to flourish.

Contact Mr T. Holbrooke-Jones – Head of Art & Technology Faculty

Careers In Art & Design

As an Art & Design- Fine-Art student, you will develop a range of transferable skills that can be of benefit in the workplace. Following explicit tasks, working to a time-bound framework and communicating about their own work and that of others, are skills that have universal relevance. Developing recording and handling skills, critical and contextual understanding and confidence in your own unique ideas, have benefits for a range of creative pathways.

Economic contribution of UK arts & Culture

The contribution made by the UK arts and culture industry* is measurable in terms of direct impact, indirect value through generated jobs supported by industries that supply goods and services to arts and culture organisations, and the induced impact from calculating the effects of spend by culture industry employees in the wider economy. Based on the Arts Council England report commissioned from the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), the arts and culture industry in 2016 was responsible for:

£21.2bn in direct turnover, £10.8bn in Gross Value Added (GVA), with £8.6bn of this generated by the market segment of the industry and the remaining £2.2bn contributed by the non-market organisations, 137,250 jobs, £6.1bn in employee compensation

When indirect and induced effects are also added in, the arts and culture industry is estimated to have supported £48bn in turnover, £23bn in GVA, 363,713 jobs and £13.4bn in employee compensation. *includes book publishing, sound recording and music publishing, performing arts, artistic creation and operation of arts facilities

Source: CEBR/Arts Council England report, April 2019.

The rate of growth of UK based creative industries is already providing a myriad of vocational pathways for FUS students. We are proud of the range and quality of creative pathways that our students have accessed via our leading Level 4 Btec Foundation Diploma- Art, Design and Media Practice course.  From Fine Artist, Illustrator, Set Designer, Animator, Games Art Design, Architect, Graphic Communication, Photographer, Interior Design, web designer, advertising, creative marketing, the range of careers where AI cannot compete with lateral, creative thinking is continuing to grow and our students are at the forefront of this.