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Coronavirus Updates

Further information about how our Trust and schools are taking necessary precautions since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, can be found in our Trust’s ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) website section’.

For responses to our National Writing Day #247challenge, please see here.

Students joining us in Year 12 September 2020: please see a page of resources for you here. 

Update 11.06.20: For an update about remote learning, to Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12, please see here.

Update 08.06.20: Year 10 and 12 parents and carers, please see the letter that has been sent out with your student’s bubbles. For FAQs, please see here.

Live Learning Timetables: Please see here for live learning timetables for this term for Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12.

For any key worker whose child is not currently using our childcare facility, and who subsequently becomes unable to provide childcare at home –  you must give the school 24 hours’ notice that you need to use this provision so that we can provide appropriate staffing. This means emailing or calling 03333 602130 by 9am the day before. For Monday provision, please ensure that you contact the school by 9am on the preceding Friday.  Students arriving without giving 24 hours’ notice may be turned away if we do not have adequate staffing. To access this provision, you must also have downloaded and completed the form that can be found here and you must bring it with you to the school when you arrive.

You can access Holcombe Grammar School’s COVID-19 latest update and archived letters for the whole school and year groups, including links to resources at

Art and Design

Key Stage 4

The aims and learning outcomes of the GCSE Art and Design course is designed to encourage candidates to:

  • Actively engage in the process of Art & Design in order to develop as effective and independent candidates and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds.


  • Develop creative skills, through learning to use imagination and intuition when exploring and creating images and artefacts.  Become confident in taking risks and learning from their mistakes when exploring and experimenting with ideas, materials, tools and techniques.


  • Develop competence, with increasing independence, in refining and developing ideas and proposals, and personal outcomes or solutions.  Learning to actively engage with the experience of working with a broad range of media, materials and techniques.


  • Develop cultural knowledge, understanding and application of art in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures.  Also, develop an understanding of the different roles, functions, audiences and consumers of art practice.


  • Develop critical understanding through investigative, analytical, experimental, interpretive, practical, technical and expressive skills.


  • Develop personal attributes including self-confidence, resilience, perseverance, self-discipline and commitment.


GCSE courses are divided into two units:

Component 1: Art and Design Portfolio (coursework)

60% of total marks

Candidates produce a portfolio of work developed from personal and/or centre-devised starting point.  The portfolio will be selected from the projects produced throughout the two years and must be produced under controlled assessment conditions – approximately 45 hours (15 – 18 school weeks as a guide).  These units is assessed internally (marked out of 96) and moderated by AQA.

Component 2: Art and Design AQA-set Task (exam)

40% of total marks

Candidates select one question from the exam paper (released January of examination year) to which they produce a personal response.  Candidates will be given a period of time determined by the centre in which to prepare and ten hours of controlled time in which to realise their intentions to outcome(s). This unit is assessed internally (marked out of 96) and moderated by AQA.


Assessment Objectives

A01     Develop Ideas

Develop their ideas through investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and cultural understanding.

A02     Explore Ideas

Refine their ideas through experimenting and selecting appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes.

A03     Record Ideas

Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to their intentions in visual and/or other forms.

A04     Present a Response

Present a personal, informed and meaningful response demonstrating analytical and critical understanding, realising intentions and making connections between visual, written, oral or other elements.


GCSE Art & Design

At Holcombe Grammar School we  offer two endorsements at GCSE – Art, Craft and Design and Photography

The GCSE requires candidates to develop and produce personal responses that reflect a broad exploration of art and design.  They should show evidence from at least two specialist areas:

  • Fine Art
  • Graphic Communication
  • Photography – Lens and Light-based Media
  • Textile Design
  • Three-dimensional Design


These areas should not be dealt with as distinctive projects but candidates should aim to produce work utilising a wide range of media and techniques within each unit in order to cover the criteria laid out by AQA.

All students in year 9 will complete a foundation year where they will explore a large range of different media, techniques and processes. Towards the end of year 9 students can decide whether to opt for Photography or continue with Art, Craft and Design

Please see full course overview here.