Key Stage 4 - Fine Art

Aims of the Course

This GCSE Art and Design qualification requires students to:

Course content / structure

The course consists of two discrete components:

Component 1: Personal Portfolio 60%

The Personal Portfolio is a body of practical research and development leading to the creation of a personal response relevant to the project themes. The Personal Portfolio will include both supporting studies, which will illustrate the student’s artistic journey, and a personal response. For example students may be asked to produce a body of work from a title such as “portraits” or “Order and Disorder”. After initial input and instruction from the teacher, where key skills are taught and explored, individual students will be able to make their own responses to the theme using the learnt skills from the initial phase in the project.

Projects in the personal portfolio provide opportunities for students to make a personal artistic journey, progressing from initial ideas through visual and contextual research to a resolution that addresses the project themes. Students will gain expertise of a range of expressive media and knowledge and understanding of the critical and analytical aspects of Art and Design.

Component 2:Externally set assignment 40%

The Culmination of the Fine Art Course is the Externally set assignment which is set by the examining board and is issued to students in January of Year 2 of the course and is concluded in May. The Externally set assignment consist of two elements: the Preparatory studies and the timed test.

The Preparatory studies should show students’ development of ideas and progress through their work, answering the assessment objectives in critical and practical works. The Timed test is a period of 10 hours, usually taken over two days, where students will produce their outcomes to the theme. Students can produce work unaided, a single artefact or a series of artworks during this time. Preparatory work is concluded at the start of the ten hour session and the ESA element is concluded at the end of the ten hour period, with no further work allowed by the student on this component.

Assessment information

The assessment criteria for the Fine Art course are as follows:


Portfolio work will be formally assessed at intervals during the project work and will be continually assessed by the teachers in the department.

The Assessment takes place in the form of moderation internally and an external moderator visit from EDEXCEL.