Art KS4

KS4 overview.

The key to being successful at KS4 is determination, dedication, and creativity. Pupils who can express themselves confidently in written form as well as visually will be able to experiment with a variety of media such as paint, pastel, oil pastel, collage, printmaking, and digital media. Pupils must keep a separate sketchbook to record their investigations for each project they undertake.

GCSE Fine Art
Pupils will be expected to complete two coursework projects. Each coursework project takes 45 hours and will begin with a trip to a gallery to gather information, take photographs and make sketches. This information will form the basis of their project. Pupils will then undertake independent studies on their chosen theme in a variety of media. The most successful project created during year 10 will then be refined and developed into a final piece. The final piece will take ten hours to complete and will be created during the year 11 mock exam in December. The coursework project comprises 60% of the overall grade. In January of Year 11 pupils receive their exam paper. Pupils must then independently research a chosen theme for the exam over a period of six weeks. The exam is ten hours where pupils must create the final piece for the exam project. The exam is 40% of the overall grade. Pupils complete the Art and Design course at Easter.

BTEC Art & Design
Level 2 BTEC Art and Design offers Key Stage 4 pupils with the opportunity to learn and develop their Art skills in a vocational context. The course consists of 4 units (each being 30 learning hours) which include working with 2D and 3D visual communication and exploring specialist pathways in the Art and Design Industry. The largely coursework-based qualification includes one unit that is externally set and assessed. The BTEC course encourages pupils to develop their creative thinking and organisational skills by requiring them to respond to design briefs that are typical of professionals employed in the Art and Design industry. The BTEC course offers a real hands-on stepping stone to further study or employment in the arts.

Helpful Links

How will the KS4 qualification prepare my child for life in modern Britain?

The rigorous KS4 Art & Design qualification prepares pupils for life in modern Britain by building upon all the reasons it helps at KS3 and pushing it that bit further. Art is a language that all people speak, that cuts across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers, and enhances cultural appreciation and awareness. It provides opportunities for self-expression; bringing the inner world into the outer world of concrete reality. It helps pupils to develop both independence and collaboration. Art makes it possible to use personal strengths in meaningful ways and to bridge into understanding sometimes difficult abstractions through these strengths. Art helps improve overall academic achievement — enhancing test scores, attitudes, social skills, critical and creative thinking, and develops higher order thinking skills including analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and “problem-finding” –  all of which become useful attributes in the modern British workplace.

Information about extra-curricular sessions and extended learning opportunities available to my child.

Year 9 & 10 “Session 6”
Gifted and Talented Art pupils and those with a strong grasp of independent thought and show skills ready to begin GCSE will be invited to join “Session 6”. This is a class that runs for two hours after school, and gives selected pupils the opportunity to study Art and Design GCSE. Successful pupils will be entered for the exam and will gain an extra GCSE.

Enrichment Visits

The department runs regular trips to support the beginning of coursework projects and build a strong understanding of the world of Art. Trips include The Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, The Tate Galleries in London, and a 4 day excursion to Paris.


What Post-16 opportunities or potential pathways could this qualification unlock for my child?

GCSE can lead to A-level or BTEC at college and then university. This can lead to a variety of jobs such as:

Photographer, Fashion Designer, Architect, Ceramicist, Set Designer, Costume Designer, Jewelry Designer, Artist, Art Teacher, Film Director, Animator, Computer Game Designer, Interior Designer, Book Illustrator, and many more!

Does my child need any specialist equipment for this subject?

A lot of equipment is provided by the school but to thrive in Art it is important to have specialist materials of your own in order to complete work outside the classroom. A good set of coloured pencils, a 2B pencil, a fine-liner and a set of paints will stand you in good stead. Folders and ring bound sketchbooks are available to buy in school. Coursework sketchbooks are provided.

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