GCSE | Art & Design

GCSE Art & Design

The department

At Leighton Park we believe that art is for everyone, not only those who are considered naturally talented, since everyone is capable of creative and aesthetic responses to their environment. For this reason we feel that it is important for every student that there is an opportunity to be creative and to express individual thoughts, ideas and opinions in a variety of ways.

Selected alumni –

  • Award-winning photographer Richard Mosse’s (1997) work is exhibited worldwide
  • Juliet Bingham (1990) is a Curator of International Art at The Tate
  • Prof Julian Stallabrass (1978), lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art is a writer, curator and photographer
  • Sir Lawrence Gowing (1936) painter and art historian.


GCSE Art & Design

Exam Board: AQA
Syllabus Code: 8201

By responding to and using materials from the society and culture in which it finds itself, the Art and Design course should extend your understanding of the role of art and design in society. The study of art and design is thus an educational experience which is applicable to everyday life. Here we follow the AQA GCSE Art & Design syllabus, offering a variety of specialist areas of study. Through exploring the Art, Craft and Design course students are able to encompass and develop a range of skills, processes and approaches within their artistic practice, preparing them well for courses of further study at a high level.

Art, Craft and Design: This course should include at least 2 of the areas of study listed below.

  • Fine Art: painting and drawing, sculpture, printmaking, land art, installation
  • Graphic Communication: illustration, advertising, package design, digital media
  • Textile Design: fashion, printing, construction, embellished surfaces
  • Three-Dimensional Design: ceramic, interior, product and architectural design
  • Photography: portraiture, landscape, still life, documentary – 35mm or digital format

The Art and Design course demands a high degree of personal involvement and commitment. Throughout the two years you will consider ways in which you prefer to work. The course will provide an opportunity to experience a range of content from which an appropriate individual course of study will be ‘negotiated’ within an ongoing portfolio. Evidence of drawing and written annotation will form a key part of the portfolio and the externally set assignment.


Component 1: Portfolio of Work

60% of the total marks

The portfolio of work is selected from work undertaken during the course of study, which takes place throughout Year 10 and the Autumn Term of Year 11. The portfolio will include more than one extended collection of work or project which demonstrates an ability to sustain work from a project brief, through the research and investigation stages to a final realisation.


Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

40% of the total marks

The externally set assignment is an assessment set by AQA. Question papers are issued to candidates from the beginning of January in the year of the exam. Students then respond to their chosen starting point to produce a personal response. Preparation time is unlimited and a 10 hour period of supervised study will take place at the end of the Spring Term.


Trips and Visits

Local and London based gallery/museum visits take place at various points during the course. International visits tend to take place at the start of Year 11, usually over the October half term weekend.

AQA GCSE Art & Design Specification.


If you have any queries about this course, please contact Head of Department: Mark Wood.

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