This updated course focusses on meeting the demands of the higher level marking bands across the specification components. It will focus on exploring the characteristics of work produced by students working at the highest levels and will demonstrate teaching and learning ideas which will stretch and challenge able students and develop their higher level skills. Using feedback from the most recent results, the course will explore what is expected of high ability students and outliner ways to build your teaching practice around this.

Emphasis will also be on assessing with confidence for summer 2021, and will include practical examples, explorations, active discussions, to give all teachers valuable guidance and practical advice.


  • Find out the very latest on how the current situation will affect your teaching and assessment
  • Focussed on identifying the demands of Grades 7 – 9 students and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively.
  • Gain enhanced understanding of the specific assessment demands of the GCSE Art & Design for higher level students
  • Gain insight into what examiners are looking for at the highest grades
  • Explore exemplar materials to identify characteristics of outstanding work.

COURSE DATE London | Monday 13 December 2021

London | Tuesday 18 January 2022

  • Heads of Department
  • All teachers of GCSE Art & Design – Fine Art, Graphics, Textiles, 3D & Photography
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • 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


10.00 – 11.15am: Focus on Assessment demands for Grades 7 – 9 including feedback

  • Examine the holistic, cyclical & inter related assessment demands of both components including the use of assessment objectives as a framework for AQA assessment
  • Common misconceptions regarding Grades 7-9: What is exceptional?
  • Consider the most successful AQA national models for delivery of the course to ensure effective assessment practice across 2 years
  • Review characteristics of Grade 7-9 students in AQA GCSE Art & Design
  • Feedback on the most recent examination series based on National examination reports – what students need to do to ensure that they achieve the highest grades, providing feedback that makes positive change

11.15 – 11.30am: Morning Break

11.30 – 12.45pm: Achieving Grades 7 – 9 in Assessment Objective 1 and 2

  • What Grades 7-9 look like in Assessment Objective 1 and 2 and what AQA moderators expect to see to award marks across the top 2 mark bands in these areas.
  • Evidencing within your students’ work the ways that have used artists to develop their intentions, and experimented with a purpose
  • Use visual & written language critically as appropriate to their own creative intentions and chosen area(s) of study through effective and safe use of media  
  • Missed Opportunities: How to evidence reviewing and refining

12.45 – 13.45pm: Lunch

13.45 – 14.45pm: Achieving Grades 7 – 9 in Assessment Objective 3 and 4

  • What Grades 7-9 look like in Assessment Objective 3 and 4 and what AQA moderators expect to see to award marks across the top 2 mark bands in these areas.
  • Workshop strategies to ensure your students provide evidence of drawing in both their portfolio submission and externally set assignment taking different forms depending on intentions  
  •  Significance of drawing should be determined by the ways in which it addresses purpose and need rather than the extent to which it demonstrates technical mastery, unless this is the explicit intention.  
  • Ideas and approaches to refine the final realisations in high ability students’ work
  • How to ensure students extended creative responses explicitly evidence their ability to draw together different areas of knowledge, skill and/or understanding

14.45 – 15.45pm: Stretching and challenging the most able

  • Steps to success, success criteria and other strategies for teaching practical skills ensuring that high ability students improve performance across both components
  • Practical methods to structure your course to maximise opportunities for the assessment objectives
  • Challenging and stretching high level students to reach the highest grades with enrichment opportunities
  • Exploring ways in which to encourage the higher ability students to use the assessment criteria to greatest effect.  
  • HOTs not MOTs: Higher Order Thinking skills in Art

15.45pm: Finish

Dr Helen Jones

Dr Helen Jones is a Director of Teaching and Learning in Art with 11 years teaching experience. 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. Helen achieved a 1st Class honours in Fine Art and continues to be a practicing Artist from her home studio in Chester. She has also received additional intensive CPD in Finland, to understand their world class education system and to draw progressive teaching and learning strategies from the Finnish approach to education.