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AQA GCSE Art & Design – A Complete Guide for New Teachers

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This course offers an introduction and overview of AQA GCSE Art & Design , providing essential skills and tips in how to effectively deliver the specification, ensuring maximum student engagement and maximum attainment. It is suitable for anyone just starting to teach Art, in their first few years of teaching or lacking confidence in teaching AQA GCSE Art. Whilst the focus of the day will be on the AQA course, many of the ideas will be applicable to all Art & Design lessons.


  • Provide teachers of GCSE Art with the material and confidence to teach effectively to all ability ranges.
  • Obtain an exceptional understanding of the key challenges in GCSE Art and how to teach them.
  • Learn how to take a Level 4 student and help them attain a Level 9.
  • Gain insight into the content of the course, the exam structure and how the exams are marked.
  • Leave with resources ready to use.
  • Understand how to scaffold lower ability students and stretch higher ability students.
  • Find out more about practical strategies for creative risk taking which leads to highest results.


Subject Content of the Specification

10.00 – 10.45am
  • What’s involved in the course? Exploring the key challenge spots, and ways to structure your teaching to give time to the most demanding sections
  • Review characteristics of exemplar work in AQA GCSE Art & Design
  • What are the standards in each component?
  • Component 1: Portfolio – exploring in more depth
  • Component 2: Externally Set Assignment – exploring in more depth



10.45 – 11.00am

Component One: The key challenges of the Portfolio

11.00 – 12.00pm
  • Choosing the project that will unlock student potential – building on prior knowledge
  • Practical strategies to experimentation with a purpose
  • How do I know when a student has reached the top of the assessment bands?
  • Teaching lower and higher ability students to ensure success
  • What does evidence look like in Component 1 and what do AQA moderators expect to see to award marks across the mark bands?

Ways to Develop Students’ Drawing Skills

12.00 – 12.45pm
  • Ideas and approaches to developing students’ skills in drawing as process, practice and purpose
  • Organising and presenting work effectively
  • Successful approaches to constructing a portfolio with drawing in its various forms at its basis
  • How to support students in realising their intentions in final outcomes.



12.45 – 1.45pm

Component Two: Successfully Teaching the Externally Set Assignment

1.45 – 2.45pm
  • Useful advice on how to approach the teaching of the Externally Set Assignment – effective strategies, methods and techniques
  • Scenarios and responses in the Externally Set Task
  • Responding to starting points effectively – examples
  • Choosing the project that will unlock student potential
  • Where and why students can struggle with this component
  • What are the key points for examination success in component 2?

Planning your course and assessments over 2 years

2.45 – 3.30pm
  • Effectively structuring your course to maximise end outcomes
  • How to confidently assess your students, give effective feedback, and ensure they remain on track throughout the two-year course – how to structure for this
  • Strategies to prepare your students for the assessments and examination.
  • How can you track and use intervention models effectively?
  • How can I challenge and stretch and challenge more able students to reach the highest grades?





Online | Tuesday 19 March 2024

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Dr Helen Jones was a Director of Teaching and Learning in Art with 12 years teaching experience. She now lectures at the University of Chester working with Art PGCE Students, and leading national CPD in the visual Arts. She has been an AQA A level and GCSE Art & Design moderator for the past 5 years. Helen completed an MA in Art Education and then completed a Doctorate in the subject. She has been assessed as an outstanding teacher by OfSTED, achieved record residuals at both GCSE and A level and delivered at a number of Art Education conferences. She has taught art primarily in Secondary schools in the UK, but also in Finland, Italy and Spain.


  • NQT’s in Art
  • Teacher’s entering their second year of teaching GCSE Art
  • Teachers wanting to build up their skills set in effective Art teaching.
  • Teacher lacking confidence in the AQA GCSE Art specification.


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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