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 DATES Online | Monday 14 June 2021
  • All teachers of GCSE Art & Design
  • Heads of GCSE Art and Design
  • Heads of Creative Arts Faculties
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 – 11.00am
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
  • 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
  • How students must evidence how sources inspire the development of their ideas.
  • Where, when and it what form students should demonstrate the ability to develop their ideas through investigations informed by selecting and critically analysing sources

11.00 – 11.15am: Discussion and coffee break

11.15 – 12.45pm
Achieving Grades 7 – 9 in Component 1: Portfolio

  • What Grades 7-9 look like in Component 1 and what AQA moderators expect to see to award marks across the top 2 mark bands.
  • Exploring ways in which to encourage the higher ability students to use the assessment criteria to greatest effect.
  • Evidencing within your students’ work the different purposes, intentions and functions of art, craft and design in a variety of contexts which are relevant & appropriate.
  • Employing the above as a key strategy within the Component 1 Sustain Project & selected Further Work

12.45 – 1.45pm: Lunch and informal discussion

1.45 – 2.45pm
Achieving Grades 7 – 9 in Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

  • Analysing a top grade Assignment: applying the mark scheme with confidence and using it with your students
  • Challenging and stretching high level students to reach the highest grades
  • 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
  • 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

2.45 – 3.45pm
Stretching and challenging the most able

  • Teaching practical skills ensuring that high ability students improve performance across both components
  • 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
  • Practical methods to embrace particular value and 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.

Mark Coombe

Mark Coombe is an experienced Art & Design teacher of 25 years who has taught all areas of Art & Design.  He is renowned as a CPD leader, trainer and presenter across all disciplines of Art & Design.  He is a practising artist, in particular in animal portraiture – livestock & rare breeds – and his current portfolio is supplying The National Trust in Norfolk, Suffolk and other regions.