Curriculum Vision

Art and Design is an important part of our curriculum and it is our aim to engage and inspire all students through a wide range of creative opportunities. We believe that Art and Design encourages children to develop their imagination, nurture their creativity, and provides students with a variety of ways to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Underpinned by both the school and Christian values, we want our children to know how Art & Design has contributed to our culture and understanding of our history and the world. At St Michael’s Church of England High School, we hope to foster and continually grow a love of Art and Design as the students progress through our school, giving them the opportunities and skills needed to explore what is possible.

Key Stage 3 

Pupils will be taught to develop their creativity and ideas, and increase proficiency in their execution. They will develop a critical understanding of artists, architects, and designers, expressing reasoned judgements that can inform their own work.

Pupils will be taught:

  • to use a range of techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks, journals, and other media as a basis for exploring their ideas
  • to use a range of techniques and media, including painting
  • to increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials
  • to analyse and evaluate their own work, and that of others, in order to strengthen the visual impact or applications of their work
  • about the history of art, craft, design, and architecture, including periods, styles, and major movements from ancient times up to the present day.

Curriculum Journey

Option Video

Options Information

Qualification Name

GCSE Fine Art

Exam Board


Type (e.g., GCSE/BTEC Certificate)

GCSE (9-1)

Level (1,2 or both)


GLH (Guided Learning Hours)


Course Content Outline

(What Will I study?)

Fine Art is defined as the practice of creating work that is primarily for aesthetic, intellectual or purely conceptual purposes, rather than purposes that have a necessarily practical function.

Students are required to work in one or more areas of Fine Art, such as those listed below. Combinations of these areas are also possible:

  • Drawing
  • Installation
  • Lens/light based media
  • Land art
  • Printing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture

The course has two assessed components:

  • A portfolio
  • An externally set task

Both components are internally marked and externally moderated.

Typical Lesson/Homework Activities

(How will I study?)

Students must explore, acquire and develop skills, knowledge and understanding through the application of techniques and processes specific to their chosen areas of study of Fine Art.

Students must explore practical and relevant critical and contextual sources such as the work of historical and contemporary fine artists and the different purposes, intentions and functions of fine art as appropriate to their own work.

Students much demonstrate the knowledge, skills and understanding through area(s) of study relevant to Fine Art.


Students must demonstrate the ability to work creatively and processes and techniques appropriate to the chosen areas of study such as: painting (various media); drawing (various media); printing (e.g., screen printing; etching; aquatint; lithography; block printing); stencils; carving; modelling; constructing; mosaic; mobiles; environmental art; graffito; kinetic media; light based media; digital media; mixed-media.

Students are required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how sources inspire the development of their ideas.

Success Criteria

(How will I be assessed?)

The portfolio is worth for 120 marks, which is 60% of the overall course. In developing their portfolio, students must show that they have:

  • developed ideas through investigations and demonstrated critical understanding of sources from a given starting point
  • produced material informed by context that is relevant to the development of their ideas
  • refined work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with media appropriate to their chosen specification little and areas of study
  • recorded ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses
  • presented a person and meaningful response that realises intentions

The externally set task is worth 80 marks, which is 40% of the overall course. Students will be given a choice of five themes, from which they will chose one to produce a piece of art in their chosen form within a 10 hour supervised time period.

Succession Paths Post-16

(What can I do with this qualification?)

The course will enable students to pursue further education courses in art, media and design.

Exam Specification

Art GCSE KS4 Exam Specification


Art specification changes – Download