How will my work be assessed?
The A-level Fine Art and Photography courses follow AQA's assessment criteria. To understand how your work will be assessed at the end of Year 13, you will need to be aware of the following...
The Assessment Objectives:
There are four assessment objectives (AOs) you will be measured against, each counting for 25% of your overall mark for each project. Ofqual sets assessment objectives and are the same across all A-level Art and Design specifications and all exam boards.
AO1: Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual or other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.
AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas and work develops.
AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting on work and progress.
AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.
Interpreting the assessment objectives:
Written material is a requirement only in Component 1. Where annotation is included, it may provide additional evidence of all four AOs.
Interpreting the assessment objectives in Component 1 written material:
The Projects:
There are two components (projects) to the A-level course:
Personal Investigation

  • A Sustained Project: due January of Year 13
  • Includes a 1000-3000 word essay
  • No time limit
  • 96 marks
  • 60% of the GCSE (both projects marked together)
Externally-Set Assignment
  • Final project: due May of Year 11
  • Preparatory period (from 1st February)
  • Followed by 15 hours of supervised time in May
  • 96 marks
  • 40% of the GCSE
Both projects are marked at the end of the course, but provisional or predicted marks may be given prior to that for the Personal Investigation.
Who will mark my work?
Each year, your teacher attends a course run by AQA, that familiarises them with the exam board's standards for assessment for that year. In short, they view examples of work from students of different abilities.
Provisional marking:
At the end of the A-level course (in May of Year 13), your teacher will mark your work, using the knowledge they have gained from the standardisation course and the assessment resources below. This will form a provisional mark that will be submitted to AQA.
Internal moderation:
After your teacher has marked your work, another teacher in the school (e.g. from DT or textiles) will check their marks and look out for accidental errors. 
External moderation:
A moderator from AQA will visit your school in June of Year 13 to ensure your teacher has applied the mark scheme correctly. This is to check the marks. It may result in some students' marks going up, down or remaining the same. If the moderator lowers your marks and you feel it was unjustified, you can apply for the work to be re-moderated. This would involve the whole class having their work re-moderated, not just you. Your teacher can advise on this process.
How are the marks awarded?
Your teacher will use the assessment grid below when allocating marks to your work. 
There's no such thing as 'losing marks'. Everyone starts at 0 and as your teacher spots evidence to support each assessment objective, they will add marks until they can't justify adding any more. Therefore, if a drawing isn't as good as earlier work in the portfolio, it doesn't then lower your mark. 
The marking process:
Below are the steps your teacher will follow:
• Your teacher will look through each project in detail, marking them one at a time.
• To ensure marking is consistent within your class, they will place everyone's projects in rank order.
• They will take note of your strengths and evidence of the different ways you have met each assessment objective.
• They will refer to visual examples of work (provided by AQA) to compare the standard of your work with work completed by other students from the previous year. 
• They will refer to the assessment grid, spider diagrams, mark band characteristics and 'unpicking the assessment objectives' documents above, alongside the visual examples from the previous year, to guide and confirm what level your project is at. 
• Having determined which mark band your project is in, your teacher will then look closely at the wording on the assessment grid, alongside the standards set by AQA at the standardisation meeting, to decipher whether each assessment objective has been met 'just', 'adequately', 'clearly' or 'convincingly'. These words help them to narrow down your mark. For example, a project that 'just' evidences a consistent ability to develop ideas from artists/sources would achieve 13 marks for AO1, while a project that 'clearly' evidences a highly developed personal, meaningful and informed final response would achieve 19 marks for AO4. 
• Much of your teacher's decision will be based on years of experience, reference to previous work at the school, as well as previous examples from AQA, not just the wording on the assessment grid alone. 
Internal and External Moderation:
Once your teacher has decided on a mark, another teacher will check that it has been done fairly and in line with the process described above.
You will then receive your provisional raw marks, which will be out of 96 for each component. You will not receive a grade because your mark is subject to change by the moderator, as are the grade boundaries, which are decided by the exam board in August.
Your marks will be inputted into AQA's website, which will generate a sample for the moderation day. Only work selected in the sample is moderated, although Kingsley's classes are nearly always small enough for every project to be included in the sample.
An external moderator will visit your school in June to look through your work and check that the marks awarded are in line with national standards. 
You will find out your final grade on results day in August.
The appeals process:
Your teacher will email your raw, provisional marks to you a few days before they are sent off to AQA.
When you receive your provisional mark from your teacher, it will hopefully be in line with (or higher than) your previous 'working at' grades. However, if you suspect a mistake has been made you can appeal. But before you do that you must speak with your teacher to see if things can be resolved before the appeals process is initiated. 
Appeals must be requested in writing and must contain evidence that the work has not been marked correctly. All appeals must be made before the deadline set by your teacher. To gather evidence, you must look through the work with your teacher, which means arranging an appointment with them to view your work alongside the assessment grid above under supervision. 
Once a request for an appeal has been made, the school will arrange for someone else to check that your teacher has followed the correct marking process and that your marks are in the correct rank order. This may be another teacher in the school who has not already been involved in the marking process or an art teacher from another school nearby.
The teacher who reviews your work in the case of an appeal will only offer recommendations to your teacher. If there is a disagreement the final decision is made by the head teacher.
Appropriate reasons for appeal:
• You have evidence to suggest an administrative error was made
• You have evidence to suggest the processes explained above has not been followed correctly.
Unacceptable reasons for appeal:
• You are disappointed you weren't awarded a higher mark
• You aren't happy with the quality of the teaching
• You think your teacher dislikes you
• You worked really hard and feel you deserved a higher grade
It's worth noting that your work will go through moderation after the appeals process, which will override all previous marks. Also, if your teacher does put your mark up, it runs the risk of your mark going out of tolerance during moderation, which could consequently lower your grade.
The moderator will check that the school's marks are in line with national standards and your teacher's mark is only provisional. The appeals process is for identifying schools that are not following the marking process correctly.