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If students wish to be creative, enjoy learning new things and want a course that will help them to think independently then the GCSE Art course is for them. Art at The Oakwood Academy gives students the opportunity to develop their own particular strengths and interests in Art and Design, whilst continuing to learn new skills.

Although all projects are teacher led, students are expected to produce their own research and ultimately, as the course progresses, to begin self directing their work both in terms of ideas and materials.

The course is divided into two components: the Portfolio (coursework) and the Externally Set Assignment (examination).

The Portfolio is produced during Year 10 and the first term of Year 11. The content of this is quite structured and projects will be set for the group as a whole but there is always flexibility which enables students to develop these in a personal way and to make a personal response. Students will be encouraged to work with increasing independence as the course progresses.

The Externally Set Assignment begins in January of Year 11 and is carried out in lessons. Students are given a choice of topics to use as starting points from which to develop their work in an individual way. Students are required to produce a timed, supervised piece, which is carried out in the classroom.

Although most of the time students will be using traditional drawing and painting materials there will be lots of opportunities to include photography, digital art, sculpture, collages, print making, clay; well anything students can think of really!

All work produced for the Portfolio and for the Externally Set Assignment is supported by research which is intended to inform a student’s own practical studies. This includes studying the work of artists who have explored a similar theme, technique or subject. Students will make notes in their sketchbook but there is no written exam in GCSE Art.

The Portfolio is worth 60% of the final GCSE grade and the Externally Set Assignment is worth 40%.
Assessment is based on the following criteria:
  • developing ideas and investigating the work of other artists, designers or cultures, e.g. Andy Warhol. Banksy, Surrealism, Contemporary Art.
  • recording relevant ideas and observations.
  • refining ideas by experimenting and using appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • creating a personal final piece (or pieces).
Progression/Further Study
Arts/Media courses at College and University.

The Creative Industries is still one of the UKs fastest growing sectors of employment and jobs such as architect, illustrator, jewellery maker, teacher, art director, even tattooist, as well as jobs in advertising and the media usually begin with GCSE Art.


Period 6 is usually on Mondays from 3pm to 4pm.

Revision Central Links

Revision Checklist is HERE

Past Exam Papers are HERE

BBC GCSE Art Bitseize

GCSE Student Art Guide

GCSE Art Revision Notes