A Level

Exam Board AQA

Lead Teacher - Miss Williams

Enjoyment, enthusiasm and an appreciation of the World around you. Technical ability and willingness to make a commitment to work regularly outside of lesson times both in school and at home taking ownership of projects.

Specific requirements

Grade 5 and above

‚Äč**The course is open to students who have no prior experience at GCSE level. But you will need to put together a recent portfolio of key pieces, providing evidence of ability and interest and complete a task set pre-application if interested.

What will I study?

You will develop flair and creativity through the experience of varied techniques and processes that are relevant and appropriate to the influence of the Artists and Craftsperson's selected by yourself and by your teachers. 

Y12 focusing on technical skills and building ambition and detail through projects. Students enhance their knowledge on what a comprehensive project contains fulfilling the 4 assessment objectives. Term 5 onwards, students begin their Component1, Personal Investigation which is a project selected by the student.

Y13 Personal Investigation until the end of January which is mainly practical based with a written element of 1000-3000 words about the practical work. Key points for success:

  • clarifying the focus of the investigation
  • demonstrating critical understanding of contextual and other sources
  • substantiating decisions leading to the development and refinement of ideas
  • recording ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions by reflecting critically on practical work
  • making meaningful connections between, visual, written and other elements.

Beginning of February Y13, the exam board sets component 2, External Assignment where the students selects what they want to investigate. This is a shortened project over the 3-4 months culminating with a 15 hours practical supervised test rounding off that component.
Following receipt of the paper students should consider the starting points and select one. Preparatory work should be presented in any suitable format, such as mounted sheets, design sheets, sketchbooks, workbooks, journals, models and maquettes.
Preparatory work and the work produced during the 15 hours of supervised time will be assessed together, as a whole, against all four assessment objectives. Students will be assessed on their ability to work independently, working within the specified time constraints, and developing a personal and meaningful response.

Students achieve marks out of 96 overall for each component. 24 marks for each assessment objective. The marks are not achieved solely at the end of the course. Students must work solidly over the 2 years. Below are simplified descriptions of the assessment objectives that can be found on the exam website.

A01 Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations
A02 Refine ideas through exploring and selecting appropriate resources and techniques
A03 Record ideas, observations and insights
A04 Present a personal and meaningful response.

Where does it lead?

The creative industry is one of the largest employers in this country with a wealth of professions on offer such as interior designer, Architect, Computer games design to name just a few. Students could complete a foundation year after A level to help decide what creative avenue to take as there are many specialist directions or students could go straight to degree level. 

You could become a Doctor, a teacher, a drone controller, Scientific Photographer, Animator, Web page designer, Art therapist, the list is endless!

Wider Reading

https://creativejourneyuk.com/?fbclid=IwAR1bz7d9Q-knmVRos-q-_-8QOUIREjIocG68XDbLWh36z12yQRal-0xo45A_aem_Ad0Hi2rdqiQ4MVhRLyTU5-gAAWCA8Zi2rv4okrusY77uEb0LHPxiY6C5TMemtQhJGf4 For careers and creative journeys

https://www.tate.org.uk/ For a wealth of Art and Artists in the collection spanning the country

https://artsandculture.google.com/ For activities and virtual tours and insight to artists and Art theory.

Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture features content from over 2000 leading museums and archives who have partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to bring the world's treasures online.


Ways of seeing by John Berger

Art Now (vol. 3 ) by Hans Werner Holzwarth published by Taschen

The Shock of the New. By Robert Hughes

The Story of Art – Gombrich


Russell Tovey's Talk Art

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-great-women-artists/id1480259187  The great Women Artists Katy Hessel