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 Graphic Communications
The Graphic Communications course follows the same path as the GCSE Fine Art – the units hold the same weighting, the projects are developed over 45 hours, and final pieces are given ten hours to complete. The course is also a coursework exam and lesson attendance is vital to success. Pupils also need to be aware of and follow the four assessment objectives; developing ideas, experimenting with materials, recording ideas and presenting a final piece. The key difference between the courses is the focus. Pupils are asked to develop ideas for illustrative projects such as packaging design, posters, stamps, advertisements and graphic novels. Therefore the use of media involves a lot more digital work and photography than the GCSE Fine Art course. The course is also completed at Easter of Year 11.
Details of any relevant websites and revision guides to support the qualification.
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.
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.