A level Art & Design Assessment Criteria

A level Art & Design  [Fine Art, Graphic Communication, Photography, Textiles & 3D]

What do the Assessment Objectives mean?


25% of the overall mark

 Develop your ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.

 You need to demonstrate your ability to develop an idea in response to your given theme or brief. This journey should be open-ended and initially wide-ranging. Your ideas can be revisited and alternatives explored at any stage of the creative process but you must inform your development of ideas through your research of appropriate sources. These might include work of artists, craftspeople and designers, the built environment, the natural world, music, performance, poetry, the moving image, traditions, customs and beliefs, or issues-based materials.

Analytical and critical understanding could be evidenced through your personal engagements with selected sources and interests that emerge as a result of your own investigations. These interests might be determined by written or visual analysis of specific considerations such as content, working methods, formal characteristics, purpose, presentation, use of media, stylistic conventions employed or intended audience.


25% of the overall mark

Experiment and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining your ideas as your work develops.

For this assessment objective you must demonstrate your ability to refine ideas as your work develops. The refinement of your ideas should show a developmental journey. This journey could be carefully planned and sequenced stage by stage, reflecting a preferred way of working or the requirements of a given brief or starting point. Alternatively, it could be speculative, involve risk-taking and invite exploration of the unfamiliar. Work could centre on the refinement of a dominant idea or consideration of a wide range of possibilities and potential directions.

Your refinement of ideas might be informed by considering the use of media, materials, techniques and processes and your experimentation could be evidenced in various ways. For example, you could explore the distinguishing characteristics and mark-making potential of a range of media. You could try out different constructional techniques in two- and three-dimensions, look at scale or explore the creative potential of new media practices. Experiments could involve investigation of the visual and tactile properties of the media employed or it might feature as the primary consideration throughout your journey.

When selecting resources, media, materials, techniques and processes to be used, consideration might be given to the formal elements of art, craft and design such as line, shape, tone, texture, colour and form and how these might be most effectively used and explored. You may also make choices determined by your intentions to stylise, simplify or exaggerate elements in your work. Refinement of ideas might help candidates to decide if

they want to produce a functional, decorative or symbolic outcome or, for example, employ figurative or abstracted methods of representation. In any event, appropriate selection of resources, media, materials, techniques and processes is important.


25% of the overall mark

Record in visual and/or other forms ideas, observations and insights relevant to your intentions, demonstrating an ability to reflect on your work and progress.

For this assessment objective you should demonstrate your ability to record ideas, observations and insights. You can record ideas in a variety of ways including visual, written and digital forms which may be presented singularly or in combination depending on your intentions. Ideas might be recorded as mind maps, design sheets, personal journals, working drawings, new media presentations, recorded discussions, plans, diagrams, annotations, documentation and thumbnail sketches.

Demonstration of your ability to record observations could involve drawing, in its widest sense, from first hand experience. This could be undertaken as an end in itself or with the intention of gathering research and information for further developments. Drawing activity might be driven by highly personal interests, design brief requirements or craft-based concerns. Recording observations could also involve the use of a camera and

new media practices, such as computer generated imagery. It could require the production of annotated design proposals or sketchbook entries. Evidence might be in written form as, for example, when making observations during or following a visit to a gallery, museum or specific site. The crucial consideration when recording observations is that the approaches employed need to be relevant to your intentions.

The recording of insights could be informed by initial research, consideration of work in progress or reflections on outcomes and be presented in visual and/or written form as appropriate. Insights could be informed by previous experiences and memories, or be projections as to what might happen in the future. The nature of recorded insights will also be influenced by the focus of the work in question. For example, those responding to an issues-based theme could express highly personal insights informed by first-hand experiences and relevant research into appropriate sources. Alternatively, your insights in respect of a design-brief will be shaped by the requirements and restrictions of the brief. Recorded insights in a craft-based context could be located within the development of test pieces, maquettes or mock-up proposals. 


25% of the overall mark

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

 Your  personal response should be both informed and meaningful. Personal responses could take a wide variety of forms, but should be informed by the focus of the study, whether this is an individual activity, theme, starting point, brief or problem that requires a solution. For example, a project focusing on personal identity would inevitably be informed by the your individual experiences and insights and would be likely to have particular meanings for you personally. Alternatively, a prescriptive design brief with clear parameters and client expectations could similarly provide the candidate with an opportunity to present a personal response, but only within the limitations of the brief. If the response is to be informed and meaningful then you should work within these limitations and ensure that all stated requirements are addressed.

Your critical understanding could be embedded in the progress of your work as it develops. It might be evidenced visually in the relationship between preparatory studies and resolved outcomes; it could be evident in a completed piece of work or it might be explicitly evidenced as an essential element in the design process through the production of annotated design sheets or sketchbook entries. You might undertake formative or summative evaluations making use of your critical and analytical skills when reflecting on progress and the extent to which you have achieved their intentions.

 Where appropriate, you might make connections with sources that could productively influence, inform or provide an initial focus for your personal responses. This could involve engagement with such elements as written materials, images, objects, artefacts, the environment, cultural contexts, the media and the creative industries. Engagement with chosen elements could take place at the outset of a project or references could be accessed at significant stages as your work develops. You must ensure that such connections are purposeful and that they enrich and stimulate, rather than restrict, the nature of your personal ambitions and intentions.

The realisation of intentions could be presented in the form of a fully resolved end product or outcomes that might then lead on to further work of a developmental nature. You might choose to experiment with media, techniques and working methods and present results in forms such as collated samples, a series of studies or a new media collage. The intention could be to document a journey or experience in the form of a visual diary. Alternatively you

might have chosen to respond to a set brief in the form of a presentation for the client.

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