This course is designed for all teachers of GCSE Art & Design looking for fresh approaches and strategies to ensure the course is inclusive, engaging and maximises the potential of all students.

The course will focus on ways to ensure the skills students need to succeed at GCSE have been developed well and appropriately at KS3, how to design your course around the assessment objectives and practical approaches in your teaching to implement this,  how to develop students understanding of what is expected of them for exam success, how their work is marked, and so on.

The course is practically focused and teachers will take away a range of strategies, approaches, methods and ideas to ensure their GCSE Art & Design course works well for students of all abilities to achieve their maximum possible. Examples of work will also be explored and strategies practical discussed on ways to improve levels of work to build to achieve those top grades.


  • Find out what constitutes a successful and inclusive GCSE Art and Design course.
  • Find out which specification and awarding body suits the students in your school?
  • Find out how you make students GCSE ready through content and structure of KS3.
  • Increase your understanding of the assessment objectives and how to design a course around these and develop your student’s understanding of how their work is marked.
  • Assessment and tracking, standardising and moderation top tips.
  • Planning for and delivering opportunities to succeed in the externally set task.
COURSE DATES New date coming soon
  • Heads of Art & Design
  • Teachers of GCSE Art & Design
  • Teachers looking to change their GCSE Art & Design courses
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


What makes a GCSE course cohesive, motivational successful for students?  

  • Matching your students to your course – ensuring the most appropriate exam board spec
  • Look closely at the assessment objectives and structure of a GCSE course to enable these to be taught and understood by your students.
  • Adapting a holistic approach to designing a curriculum model around assessment objectives.

Real curriculum planning and progress from KS3 to KS4

  • How does KS4 build onto KS3 and how do you make them GCSE ready?
  • Ways to develop the right level of skills, knowledge and expanse of thinking at KS3 ready for KS4
  • Sharing examples of work from a range of successful schools in a range of specifications.
  • How do we develop independent learning


What makes a high grade portfolio of work?

  • Developing drawing in all specifications, and understanding drawing ‘for purpose’ across all specifications.
  • How do we develop annotation and written skills across a diverse range of students?
  • Strategies for making research relevant, meaningful and with genuine connections.
  • Teaching research skills, instead of just expecting they can do it!

Assessment, tracking, and involving students in this

  • Strategies to move students forward
  • Moderation in school and preparation for external moderation


The 40% Externally Set Assignment and how to nail it successfully

  • Timings of this, preparation time- what works best and what are the range of approaches to completing the ten hours
  • How do you ‘launch’ the externally set assignment?
  • It’s going to be the best piece of work they have ever done isn’t it? Tips for motivating students and for maintaining their interest
  • What to do with the students who ‘finish early’.
  • The do’s and the don’ts, as advised in examiner reports, which should be part of your annual curriculum review system.


Susan Coles

Susan is an independent consultant, school governor, creative coach, adviser and artist, with a national and international profile as an advocate for the subject and for creative education and approaches to leadership. As honorary fellow of, and past President, of NSEAD, she is a member of the Council and the Professional Development Board. Susan is also a member of INSEA. Susan works in schools, colleges, local authorities and with major galleries, developing resources, and running teacher inset training courses and workshops. She also lectures in several major universities across the UK. She is an Associate of the Big Draw and co-facilitated the national TEA (Thinking, Expression and Action) professional development programme on drawing. Susan has facilitated Big Draw events locally, nationally and across the world. Susan also facilitates many networks, both face to face and via social media platforms. Her north east network group won Big Draw national awards in 2015 and 2016. Susan is at the cutting edge of curriculum development and thinking in the subject and is involved in many other initiatives to develop an exciting 21st century curriculum for Art, Craft and Design. Susan is passionate about the visual arts and is an enthusiastic and popular trainer and lecturer.

You can find out more about her at www.artcrimes.org.uk

Twitter @theartcriminal