GCSE Art and Design (Photography)


In year 10 students are able to choose GCSE Art and Design (Photography) as one of their options. The course will develop the art and design skills students have gained in Years 7, 8 and 9 and give students the opportunity to demonstrate how they can apply these to a design brief meeting the assessment criteria.


The course provides students with creative and exciting opportunities to continue their exploration of Art and Design. Students will be encouraged to explore a wide range of techniques and processes, which will aim to identify their strengths. The course is designed to provide a secure foundation for students who may wish to study Photography, and Art and Design beyond GCSE and will aim to:

•broaden and deepen students’ knowledge and understanding;

•encourage independence; and

•develop problem solving skills.

How is the course assessed?

Component 1 – Portfolio (internally set coursework) = 60%

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


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


Component 1 - Portfolio (60% of final grade marked out of 96)

  • Skills based project – given students will not have previously studied Photography, to ascertain skills/understanding, students will be required to complete a skills based project. The project will expose students to various photographic techniques, genres and camera settings, which will prepare them for their next project.
  • Mixed media – this project encourages students to call upon their KS3 knowledge and explore a range of artistic techniques and processes to develop their photography work. They will explore painting, drawing, collage and digital editing. Students will explore the theme through creating research pages, edits, developments and personal responses.
  • Light and Dark – using contemporary photographers and creative photographic techniques as inspiration, students will be encouraged to explore a range of camera settings to capture various exciting light sources such as light trails and silhouettes. Students will explore the theme through creating research pages, edits, developments and personal responses.

Component 2 - Externally set assignment (40% of final grade marked out of 96)

  • Students will receive the AQA exam paper from which they will select a starting point. They will develop a body of work which will culminate in a 10 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 School's parent pay shop: 

  • Carry folder, sketchbook, double sided tape.

We would strongly recommend that everyone is equipped with a sketchbook.

Homework and learning outside of the classroom

Students are set regular deadlines for completing tasks. To ensure these deadlines are met, we expect students to work outside of school time on a regular and consistent basis. If deadlines are not met, students will be required to attend Study Support the following week.


Study Support:

Photography – Wed and Thurs 2:50-3:50

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