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Teaching AQA A-Level Art & Design for the First Time

Course Code:


This new course is focussed on how to deliver all areas of the A Level Art & Design course to maximum success. It will focus on exploring the characteristics of work produced by students working at all levels and explore a range of teaching materials that will support and underpin effective teaching of this challenging linear specification. The sessions are designed to improve delegates’ understanding of the AQA specification and ensure that candidates have the best opportunity to maximise their potential grades. Delegates will receive new teaching approaches as well as key guidance in how to develop exceptional examination and NEA techniques in AQA A level Art to maximise students’ success when delivering the course for the first time. Using feedback from the most recent examinations, the course will outline what is expected of students and explore ways to build your teaching practice around this.


  • Obtain excellent understanding of the complexities of the AQA A Level Art & Design specification
  • Examine how to maximise success in the personal investigation coursework unit
  • Gain insight into the content, the exam structure and how the exam component is marked
  • Take away a set of resources for the 2 year course
  • Understanding of how to differentiate using scaffold and stretch strategies for essay writing
  • Develop your teaching in specific discipline areas to raise standard of achievement
  • Examples of A-level coursework and exam component sets: how to prepare students to get the most possible marks


Identifying methods that will enhance performance from the start

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
  • Recognising which areas will be the most challenging and preparing for these
  • What are the standards in each component?
  • Component 1: Portfolio – exploring in more depth
  • Component 2: Externally Set Assignment – exploring in more depth


Morning Break

10.55 – 11.15am

Component One: The key challenges of the Portfolio

11:15am – 12:15pm
  • 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?

Reinvigorated approaches to recording

12:15 – 1.00pm
  • Demonstrating intellectual rigour through the essay: Structure and samples
  • 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.



1.00 – 2.00pm

Component Two: Successfully Teaching the Externally Set Assignment

2.00 – 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 Assignment
  • Responding to starting points effectively – examples
  • 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 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?


London | Tuesday 19 November 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.


  • All A Level Art & Design teachers
  • Heads of Art & Design
  • Heads of Creative Arts


  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full 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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