Ofqual’s GCSE Subject Level Conditions and Requirements for D&T (February 2016) and Art and Design (March 2015) set out the regulatory requirements for awarding organisations offering GCSE qualifications. The appendices include the subject content, as published by the DfE in November 2015 (D&T) and January 2015 (Art and Design).
This Art and Design document can be found at: gov.uk/government/publications/gcse-art-and-design
Subject aims and learning outcomes in art and design In England
GCSE specifications in art and design must encourage students to:
- actively engage in the creative process of art, craft and design in order to develop as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
- develop creative, imaginative and intuitive capabilities when exploring and making images, artefacts and products
- become confident in taking risks and learn from experience when exploring and experimenting with ideas, processes, media, materials and techniques
- develop critical understanding through investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills
- develop and refine ideas and proposals, personal outcomes or solutions with increasing independence
- acquire and develop technical skills through working with a broad range of media, materials, techniques, processes and technologies with purpose and intent
- develop knowledge and understanding of art, craft and design in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures
- develop an awareness of the different roles and individual work practices evident in the production of art, craft and design in the creative and cultural industries
- develop an awareness of the purposes, intentions and functions of art, craft and design in a variety of contexts and as appropriate to students’ own work
- demonstrate safe working practices in art, craft and design
Listed under the Areas of study there is a specific definition of ‘Fine Art’ - this title is defined here as ‘that aspect of art, craft and design where work is developed primarily for aesthetic, intellectual or purely conceptual purposes rather than purposes that have a necessarily practical function.’ With the exception of three-dimensional design, not all of the other design orientated areas of study clearly articulate what the purpose of the work should be:
- Textiles: ‘This title is defined here as the creation of designs and products for woven, knitted, stitched or printed fabrics and involves an understanding of fibres, yarns and fabrics.’
- Graphic Communication: ‘This title is defined here as the process of creating primarily visual material to convey information, ideas and emotions through the use of graphic elements such as colour, icons, images, typography and photographs.’
- Three-dimensional Design: ’This title is defined here as the design, prototyping and modelling or making of primarily functional and aesthetic consumer products, objects, and environments. ‘
As an example, the AQA GCSE Art and Design Teacher’s Guide, March 2016 explains the terminology as it relates to their specification:
- Design-based study can be defined as practice that involves developing a response to a specific need, brief or starting point – taking account of established requirements, constraints and/or parameters. It includes elements of planning and making, taking into consideration purpose or need. Students can use any appropriate media, materials, techniques, processes, tools and technologies – either singularly or in any combination relevant to requirements. Design-based study can lead to personal responses that address functionality, ornamentation or decoration.
This document can be found at: aqa.org.uk/resources/art-and-design/AQA-GCSE-ART-TG.PDF
Design in Scotland - SQA National 5
- In the Scottish curriculum the SQA National 5 (GCSE approx. equivalent) there are also two courses with design in the title, Art and Design and Design and Manufacture and, however the, approach to the design element of the courses is more clearly communicated in the comparison of course content.
- The Art and Designcourse integrates investigative and practical learning, and knowledge and understanding of art and design practice. In the course, candidates draw upon their understanding of artists’ and designers’ work and practice. They follow art and design processes to develop their own creative work. They also reflect on and evaluate their creative processes and the qualities of their expressive and design portfolios.
The course comprises two areas of study:
- Expressive: This part of the course helps candidates plan, research and develop creative expressive work in response to a theme/stimulus. Candidates develop knowledge and understanding of artists’ working practices and the social, cultural and other influences affecting their work and practice. They select a theme/stimulus and produce 2D/3D analytical drawings, studies and investigative research, and use this to produce a single line of development leading to a final piece. Candidates reflect on and evaluate their creative process and the visual qualities of their work
- Design: This part of the course helps candidates plan, research and develop creative design work in response to a design brief. Candidates develop knowledge and understanding of designers’ working practices and the social, cultural and other influences affecting their work and practice. They select a design brief and compile a variety of 2D/3D investigative material and market research, and use this to produce a single line of development leading to a design solution. Candidates reflect on and evaluate their creative process and the aesthetic and functional qualities of their work.
This document can be found at: sqa.org.uk/sqa/47388.html
Design and Manufacture also comprises two areas of study:
- Design: Candidates study the design process from brief to design proposal. This helps them develop skills in initiating, developing, articulating, and communicating design proposals. They gain an understanding of the design/make/test process and the importance of evaluating and resolving design proposals on an ongoing basis. Candidates also develop an understanding of the factors that influence the design of products.
- Manufacture: Candidates study the manufacture of prototypes and products. This helps them develop practical skills in the design/make/test process. They gain an appreciation of the properties and uses of materials, as well as a range of manufacturing processes and techniques, allowing them to evaluate and refine design and manufacturing solutions. Candidates also gain an understanding of commercial manufacture. Integrating the two areas of study is fundamental to delivering the course successfully; it allows candidates to ‘close the design loop’ by manufacturing their design ideas.
This document can be found at: sqa.org.uk/sqa/47457.html