GCSE Art Scheme of Work: The Blue Planet

We have recently started a new GCSE Scheme of Work, and since it is the first time teaching it, I thought I would share the progress of students in a series of posts.

The theme of the GCSE project is The Blue Planet, and I have asked students to start their research (assessment objective 1 / AO1) and present it however they choose. We are currently using the AQA exam board.

With the theme, we guided students to focus on textures and patterns of things related to the BBC series The Blue Planet. This seemed like a good starting point, and once students understood that we are not looking for ‘fish’ etc, but things more like textures and pattern, they were really engaged.

I am teaching a group of 27 Y10 students and they could work in sketchbooks or on design sheets, and they have all chosen to use design sheets of varying sizes. Some have said they want to create a book at the end of the project, which is really exciting. Here are some of their first sheets, they’ve been working hard on them since January:

GCSE Art AO1 Research 8GCSE Art AO1 Research 52GCSE Art AO1 Research 4GCSE Art AO1 Research 6aGCSE Art AO1 Research 3GCSE Art AO1 Research 1GCSE Art AO1 Research 7GCSE Art AO1 Research 6

I am extremely pleased with the results so far and can’t wait to see where my students go with this project. Students have all made an individual response, thinking carefully about their background colours, their titles, the presentation of their research and how they add annotation. They have helped each other with ideas and shared new skills, as well as working very independently.

If you are interested in teaching this GCSE Art and Design Scheme of Work, the first part is now available on tes.co.uk for free!

What do you think of the work? How do you engage students at the start of a project? How do you manage students who are working at different speeds and in different media? Let me know in the comments.

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7 thoughts on “GCSE Art Scheme of Work: The Blue Planet

  1. Thank you for sharing your students responses and the start of the SOW on The Blue Planet. It’s always challenging to get all students engaged on something new for the first time especially with a new group of students that start together for the first time. I feel your idea here is a great starting point especially the focus of textures.
    I would very much like to use your SOW in the summer with my new Yr9 GCSE group. I believe it’s highly topical with plastics pollution that will get the students talking and engaged. Could you please keep me posted on the future developments and outcomes. They are so exciting.
    Kind regards,
    Ilona Clifton


    1. Thanks Ilona. Feel free to use the SoW, I will add it to tes.co.uk and update the site next week, possibly tomorrow.

      It links with a lot of current issues and is ideal for cross-curricular activities, I’m looking forward to seeing student’s experiments with different materials.

      In terms of engagement, I played The Blue Planet series on the whiteboard to highlight colours, textures etc and have it on in the background, which helped!


  2. I really like this idea. Mainly for the links to current themes and the richness of the colours and textures students are able to explore.


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