Subject Leader: Mrs Diane Bray

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What are we studying?

AQA Art and Design, Graphics

Students will begin by broadening their skills base, by developing and experimenting with their use of media and its application. The Year 10 graphics learning program consists of two small units of work, all of which have been designed as an introduction to the course requirements. The students become familiar with the structure as well as having time to further develop the skills and knowledge which will support them in Year 11.

The Year 10 coursework is based on developing, practising and evidencing skills by enhancing the students drawing, photography and design skills. During this year students specifically learn to address the exam criteria in detail, by completing a series of mini projects which sufficiently cover each of the key assessment objectives. These projects are based upon the development of logo’s, packaging design, corporate identification and the influence of graphic design on sales and media.

We begin with a small block of work which permits students to experiment and refine their use of media to enhance design. Computer aided design plays an integral part in presentation of ideas within this module.

The second module explores the use of photography to enhance design, students will explore and develop their photography skills learning how to enhance and manipulate imagery to serve a purpose.

The third is the beginning of the students initial Year 11 assessed coursework, although elements of Year 10 work is also submitted to highlight progression. In Year 11 students complete two projects, one of which is a more independently driven coursework project centred on a visit or trip, the other will be their Year 11 exam portfolio. In Year 11 the students will learn to piece together the objectives which will enable them to create a fully researched and informed design portfolio.

Over the course of the two years students will develop a whole range of creative designing and making skills, technical knowledge and understanding relating to graphic products and invaluable transferable skills such as problem solving and time management.


By studying the work of other artists, designers and photographers, students use a variety of materials and processes including drawing, painting, collage, printing, ICT, NET design and photography.

How are we assessed?

Classwork and home learning is assessed throughout the graphics course and will form the coursework portfolio. Students will be given success criteria and GCSE grade descriptors linked to the work. For each segment of work students will be given a GCSE grade, which enables their progress to be monitored. The assessments may be carried out in lessons or set as home learning.

AQA examination board

60% coursework projects

2 major projects completed during Year 10 and Year 11

40% Exam

The course is marked out of 96, 24 marks for each objective.

Exam preparation starts in January of Year 11, the exam is completed over 10 hours on two days in April/May

Controlled assessment (GCSE)

Coursework: Worth 60% of overall qualification:

Students have approximately 40 hours to complete the coursework under controlled conditions. This will equate to about two full terms of curriculum time, but planned within single and double lessons on a flexible basis.  

Students must complete the following:

  • ·Coursework projects must be submitted in A3 format.
  • ·The coursework will start with a design brief that fits with the AQA guidelines.
  • ·The coursework portfolio will include all preparation work and final outcomes for their chosen topic.

Students will complete 4 objectives in full which will provide the examiner with the evidence as to how they realised their final outcomes. Each objective is worth 25%.

Objective 1 - Contextual studies - Looking at the work of others to include a contemporary graphics  designers/ artists and Photographers.

Objective 2 - Design development and exploration of media.

Objective 3 - Recording using a variety of media to include drawing, painting and photography.

Objective 4 - Final making can include:

banner designs, poster design

web page designs, wall art

illustrations for books, packaging,

promotional material, textiles and fashion design

Magazine design.

Examination (GCSE)

Worth 40% of overall qualification

Exam: The exam question is set in the January of Year 11 and allows students approximately 14 weeks to create an independently driven exam portfolio. The final assessment is conducted over two days under controlled conditions and is where the students add the finishing touches to their folder or create their  final outcome which has been realised through their exam portfolio.

  • ·96 marks available
  • ·24 marks for each objective, three of which are partially completed before the final 10 hours.

How are we grouped?

Students are in mixed ability groups in Graphics. The maximum class size is 24.

What home learning are we expected to do?

There will be at least one home learning task set per week, which should take around 45 minutes to       complete. This will include research activities, work sheets, design and development work, evaluation of practical work and project based activities.

What can parents do to help?

  • ·Ask your child to explain the meaning of the scientific vocabulary that is new to each topic.
  • ·Encourage your child to discuss what they have learnt each week as they are looking through their D&T folder.
  • ·Look out for articles in newspapers or television and discuss them with your child.

Useful resources and equipment:

  • ·Paints, including acrylic and water colours.
  • ·Some quality pencil crayons and pencils.
  • ·A camera.
  • ·A3 flip folders and A2 storage folder.
  • ·Access to a computer is desirable, but it is possible to use the ICT suite or graphics room at school during lunchtime.