A Level Fine Art

Introduction – why choose this subject?

The creative industry is one of the largest sectors in the UK and contributes £115.9 billion (approx.) annually to the economy*, which makes for an abundance of possibilities for students to consider. Our A Level Art course seeks to unlock the potential of all our students and help them realise their ambitions, whether this is by nurturing existing passions, making new discoveries in creative abilities or by securing the most UCAS points possible to venture on to other academic routes; we ensure our programme is bespoke for the individual and their futures. Over recent years, we have established strong links with local Art Universities and are consistently helping students progress on to Further Education courses, ensuring students are making the next vital steps for their potential careers. There are many careers in the creative arts sector such as architecture, graphic design, interior design, illustration, games/concept design and fashion/costume design, which our students have progressed to in the past.


During their studies on our A Level Art course, students are required to undertake personal research, encouraged to make regular gallery visits and use the facilities that Leeds and the surrounding area has to offer. At the end of the first year, students will have the opportunity to attend a Creative Careers trip to London and gain an invaluable insight into the world of art. The trip includes visiting a London University, a major gallery, independent galleries, the arts/fashion trading stalls of Shoreditch and an evening activity.


* Department of Business and Trade https://www.great.gov.uk/

How is the course assessed?

Component 1 – Personal Investigation (internally set coursework) = 60%

Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment (set by the exam board) = 40%


All work is assessed against 4 Assessment Objectives (AO): AO1 – Develop ideas, A02 – Refine ideas, A03 – Record & A04 – Personal response.


Year 1

Unit 1 - when students join us in year 12, to develop skills and confidence in the subject, they will be required to complete a range of observational drawings. These drawings will give teachers a good idea of existing skills, so will be able to tailor support appropriately. At the first progress review, these drawings will be assessed against assessment objective 3 only.


Assemblage Art – after the introduction project, students are required to develop a project by selecting suggested artist or researching their own. The course structure is similar to that of GCSE; artist research, observational drawing, development work, final piece designs and a final piece. However, students are encouraged to experiment and explore with materials and processes which they are unfamiliar with, in order to develop new skills and make discoveries about their individual practice.


Unit 2 - Mock Exam. Students will be given an AQA Mock Exam paper. This will allow students to gain an experience of working independently on a sustained project. Students are allowed to select their own starting point and develop a body of work which culminates in a 10-hour exam.


Year 2

Component 1 - Personal Investigation (60% of final grade - marked out of 96): Students are required to create a sustained body of work based on the starting point, ‘Personal Histories’. By researching and selecting their own artists/photographers, appropriate to their intentions, students will work through a similar course structure to that of Year 12. They are permitted to work with any materials, process and techniques which are relevant to their aims - this could be traditional drawing, painting, sculpture, photography and digital media.

Year 13 Fine Art Essay. Students are required to write a 1000-3000 word essay based on component 1.


Component 2 - Externally set assignment (40% of final grade – marked out of 96): Students will receive the AQA exam paper in February from which they will select a starting point. They will develop a body of work which will culminate in a 15 hour exam. All preparation work must be handed in at the start of the exam and cannot be added to.

Students will receive their final grade at the end of the 2 year course in August.


Students can purchase the following equipment listed below from the parent pay shop.

  • We would strongly recommend that everyone is equipped with a sketchbook.
  • Sketchbooks, paint brushes, pencils, watercolour paints, oil pastels, chalk pastels.

Homework and learning outside the classroom

Every week, students will have a 1:1 tutorial with teachers where work/progress is discussed and targets set. Students are set regular deadlines for completing tasks and to ensure work is completed. We expect students to work outside of school time on a regular and consistent basis.


Post 16 Art and Photography drop-in also takes place weekly.

Students have the opportunity to travel to London on an Art/Photography trip.

KS3 Art and Design

KS4 Art and Design

KS5 Art and Design

Allerton High School
King Lane, Leeds
West Yorkshire LS17 7AG
ssat ssat Leading Edge Healthy Schools Ofsted