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Cambridge IGCSE Art & Design (0400)

Friday’s term time 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.

Sitting the exam Oct/Nov 2018.

Age 14+

6 places available.


Art studio, Dunstable, LU54HD.


£20 per 2 hour lesson which includes all studio materials, although you will need to purchase sketchbooks and materials to use at home.

Specification overview

‘The Cambridge IGCSE Art and Design syllabus aims to encourage a personal response by stimulating imagination, sensitivity, conceptual thinking, powers of observation and analytical ability. Learners gain confidence and enthusiasm as they develop technical skills in two and three dimensional form and composition, and are able to identify and solve problems in visual and tactile forms. They also learn how to develop ideas from initial attempts to final solutions. An ideal foundation for further study, Cambridge IGCSE Art and Design also develops a greater awareness of the role played by the visual arts in society and in history, broadening cultural horizons and individual experience.’

You can download a PDF file of the full 2017 specification here.

Course overview

Working from observation on a common theme, the initial part of the course will focus on building practical foundation skills in the following areas:

  • Drawing & Painting
  • Printmaking & 2D mixed media
  • Textiles – surface design
  • Ceramics & Glazing
  • 3D mixed media
  • Photography & Design

Students will then be able to choose which areas they would like to develop further and include into mock exam projects working on individual themes of personal interest.

All work will be underpinned with inspiration, knowledge and understanding of the work of other artists and designers.

Assessment and Examinations

Students will  will complete and submit the following for external examination;

Component 1 – Broad based assignment 50%

Max 4 sides of A2 preparation, 8 hour examination (max size A2)

Component 3 – Critical and Historical assignment 50%

1500-2000 written and illustrated study (max size A2)

Both components are sent to Cambridge and assessed externally against the same 5 assessment objectives:

AO1 Gathering, recording, research and investigation

AO2 Exploration and development of ideas

AO3 Organisation and relationships of visual and/or other forms

AO4 Selection and control of materials, media and processes

AO5 Personal vision and presentation

Exam fees

We are not an exam centre, it is the parents responsibility to enter and pay for their child to sit the exam. I have an agreement in place for my students to sit their art exam at a local centre in a specialist art room. The fees are £55.60 entry fee (set by exam board) plus £10 administration fee (to the centre) for each student, plus the costs of room hire, invigilation costs and fee to return exam work to be split between the group. I estimate about £150 each student in total, depending on final group size.

Suitability and Expectations

This course is suitable for students that are genuinely interested in art and design, open minded, happy to learn a range of processes and prepared to continue to develop their skills at home, between lessons. They need to be able to follow studio safety rules and work in a way that is respectful to themselves and others at all times.

This is a fantastic course for those wanting to progress to study Art and Design at level 3 and above. Many respected courses, colleges and 6th forms would require students to have achieved a level 2 qualification along with a portfolio of work. This is a rare opportunity for Home Educated students to acquire both.

You can look at an example of a past exam paper for paper 1 here, and the mark scheme here.

Testimonial from Home Ed parent

I cannot recommend Nancy more highly. We were in the midst of our prep for the CIE IGCSE Exam and were in need of some guidance. Nancy ended up mentoring Charlotte all the way through. Knowing the exam system well, she gave excellent direction and advice while always allowing Charlotte to explore her own ideas and concepts. She walked through the entire process with us right up to preparing our boards and ran workshops with Charlotte, helping her develop new techniques and ideas. She was always so encouraging, and we felt so much more confident going into this exam with her help. We could not have done it without her!

Chi-ann Rajah  – This student was awarded an A*. See examples of the work here.