Year 9

GCSE Course OCR J171 GCSE (9-1) Fine Art Syllabus


This component comprises a portfolio of work.


Students will be given the opportunity to produce a portfolio of work with a starting point that develops and culminates in a final body of work.


Such a portfolio will reflect a project, theme or course of study. It may be presented in an appropriate format according to the specific title and area(s) of study chosen. For example, sketchbooks, digital presentations, mounted sheets, maquette(s), prototypes, animated work, scale models or illustrated written work.


Students must show they have:


Developed ideas through investigations and demonstrated a critical understanding of sources from a specified starting point.


Year 10

GCSE Course OCR J161 Syllabus


The aim of the GCSE course in Year 10 is to intensify and broaden the pupils’ understanding of Art and Design and to provide a framework for the continued study, both practical, critical and historical of different disciplines within the subject. In Year 10, pupils are encouraged to develop their drawing skills to enable them to deal more effectively when working within a chosen theme for the coursework and the final exam.


Coursework is based on principles within the syllabus but pupils should follow this pattern when developing and realising each project:


gather research through direct observation - sketches, colour work

  make larger scale drawings to identify and clarify focus

  experimentation with ideas based on the theme

  development of a chosen solution in larger compositions

  critical and historical (contextual) work

  experimentation with media and final composition in selected media 

  preparation to be gathered and presented


There will be particular ‘research’ days for outside visits to places of artistic interest and exhibitions as well as for figure work when models will be available.Within the general Art and Design syllabus, pupils will be expected to build up a coursework folder consisting of work undertaken  in a variety of suitable media - painting, drawing and mixed media, printmaking, sculpture, graphics, critical and historical work, textiles, photography.   Choice of media will be dictated by pupil research and resources available. Pupils will be able to choose two specialist areas, having spent some time in Year 10 experimenting with media.   This decision will be taken by the pupil and teacher in consultation.   Pupils are encouraged to purchase a basic set of materials for GCSE work.


A range of thematic starting points will be introduced to Year 10 pupils after an intensive period of work during which they hone drawing and observational skills.   These projects include for example, ‘Bones’, ‘Organic and exotic forms’ to encourage a wide range of individual responses. There will be an exam at the end of Year 10 based on a  variety of set themes and a project to lead them into Year 11.


Year 11

By the end of this year, students should have completed a personal portfolio that reflects approximately 45 hours of controlled assessment. There will be ‘research’ days organised for outside visits, figure work and for preparation for the final exam.

Year 11 pupils will intensify and develop thematic projects using the criteria for development above. Further specialised and personal and imaginative experimentation and research with materials will be encouraged - with the emphasis on thorough preparation with a base of sound drawing skills.

The final assessment of the GCSE is based on two components:

COMPONENTS 1 - Portfolio

For this unit students will need to produce a portfolio of work showing their personal response to a range of starting points.

COMPONENT 2 - Set Task

The early release paper will be issued in January and will provide candidates with a range of written and visual starting points, briefs, scenarios and stimuli. From these, students must select one on which to base their personal response.

Assessment throughout the course will be according to the syllabus: each piece of coursework produced in Years 10 and 11 will be assessed on the assessment matrix sheets extracted from the syllabus and a mark and grade given. 

Assessment for the Year 10 and mock exam will be based on both assessment sheets - to include all the marks from coursework projects plus the ‘examination’ marks to work out a percentage.  Marks will be moderated and adjusted to ensure a student's best work is rewarded. 

Resources: library, regional and national galleries, slides, videos, paint, printing equipment, sculpture materials, textiles equipment, drawing equipment.


Art - GCSE

Diss High School

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