GCSE options - art?

(58 Posts)
JugglingChaotically Mon 28-Jan-13 18:36:15

My DD has to choose her GCSE options but is not sure yet why he want to do next. She'd talks of Oxbridge and other top universities and also of medicine. Don't know how realistic it is or whether she will be prepared to work hard enough - she can do, sometimes blush
Compulsory subjects are triple science, English language and literature, maths and a MFL. She wants to do history then 2 of RE, Latin and art.
She is leaning towards art and RE, her school says choices don't matter just grades.
Is 9 plus art enough? And is art so time consuming that it could make it difficult to get good grades in the other subjects?

JugglingChaotically Mon 28-Jan-13 18:37:00

Sorry for the typos but on my phone..

orangeandlemons Mon 28-Jan-13 18:41:22

We had a student accepted at med school because of her art a level. It showed breadth of study. Art is particularly useful for dentistry! It is no more time consuming than any other subject. In fact the more able students present concise work with little irrelevant detail.

I am an art teacher btw!

Remotecontrolduck Mon 28-Jan-13 19:15:37

Art should only be taken if you're a)very good at it, and b) prepared to put a hell of a lot of work in. It has an enormous work load and you can expect a lot of staying after school etc to get things done.

It can be very rewarding and is highly regarded, though you need to make sure your daughter is aware it's a lot of work. When my DD did it, quite a few dropped out in the first couple of weeks.

JugglingChaotically Mon 28-Jan-13 19:50:53

Thanks both. Good to know it is well regarded.
DD loves art - or rather loves to draw and paint. I'm not sure she understands what the GCSE involves though.

SlumberingDormouse Tue 29-Jan-13 09:37:57

My best friend got into Oxford to do a Science subject with 6 As at A Level including Art, so the fact that she'd taken Art clearly wasn't a problem. However, she is a VERY talented artist (at the level of winning national painting competitions when we were at school). She also said that Art took up as much time as her other five A Levels (all hardcore Maths and Science subjects) put together! So I would think carefully before taking Art A Level, though GCSE is a less crucial decision. Your DD could always drop it if the amount of work is a shock. On another note, could she take all three of these subjects? I did Latin and RS to A Level and loved them both! 10 GCSEs is really not that many; I did 11 and others do even more these days. If she is Oxbridge material, 10+ GCSEs shouldn't be an issue.

Theas18 Tue 29-Jan-13 10:47:56

Art isn't an issue re oxbridge grades, but jut let me say one thing.......

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DON'T DO IT!!

Art GCSE is a huge work load - eldest did it (she's a perfectionist and good at art but the 2 things are a bad mix) Loads of work in school, filling weekends etc too and she was disappointed to " only" get an A. The coveted A* was gained by only a few.

All of mine have done/are doing RE at GCSE. For a bright child it's not a tough course and A* is within reach without much stress.

Particularly for medicine applications the number of A* matters. Do the RE.

As regards numbers of GCSEs. If they are all academically rigorous 10 is enough. That is the " standard number" at DS superselective grammar and they send quite a few to Oxbridge and a lot everywhere for medicine .

Slumberingdormouse I disagree with " 10 GCSEs is not that many" it's plenty when you are just 16,if they are all academic subjects, aiming for "perfection" in all of them and, now, facing a totally terminal exam system. Don't take extra exams to boost numbers and drop grades.

SlumberingDormouse Tue 29-Jan-13 12:27:52

I don't think that 10 GCSEs is 'not that many' and I really wouldn't advocate doing more than 11 or 12 under any circumstances. My point was that a bright child should be able to do well in 10 or so GCSEs if they out the work in. At my academic secondary school, we were all advised to take 10 unless we would really struggle in which case, 9.

SlumberingDormouse Tue 29-Jan-13 12:30:20

Oops, just realised that I've contradicted myself! I think that 10 GCSEs is manageable (i.e. not 'too many') for a bright child but wouldn't advocate doing many more.

JugglingChaotically Tue 29-Jan-13 15:15:37

Thanks for this. RE sounds sensible. DD is also a perfectionist so I worry it will take up all her time as she polishes and polishes the course work.
If she drops it then 9 sounds too light from what others are saying but if she's starts with 11 and keeps going then art plus 10 others would be very time consuming and could make it difficult to get the grades - especially if basically living in the art rooms.....

Toomuchtea Tue 29-Jan-13 18:39:15

I'd back up what everyone else says about Art being a massive amount of work - particularly if your DD is a perfectionist. Mine is, and the hour after hour that she spent on art was absolutely killing. Your DD sounds as if she's the same. Avoid, avoid, avoid. She can always draw or paint at home if she likes it.

The really depressing thing for me was that art GCSE seemed to kill all DD's enjoyment of the subject. She produced some really lovely work at the beginning but then the relentlessness of it all, and the huge work load (and the attitude of her teacher, who had a real chip about teaching a subject not regarded as academic) destroyed all the fun of creating, and what she produced at the end was nowhere near as good. Heartbreaking. She used to draw all the time pre GCSE but after she'd finished threw all her art materials out.

I also think that 10 GSCEs is plenty.

JugglingChaotically Wed 30-Jan-13 00:33:25

Thanks toomuch tea and all. I have suggested that she can do art as a hobby without adding a gcse in it. Alternative would probably be Latin. She loves painting and sketching but is a perfectionist and I don't think appreciates what's involved. Will suggest she does more research and thinks of why she wants a gcse rather than to keep it as her relaxation which it is as the moment. Based on your comments, it would likely become quite the opposite!
If she is determined then at least she will have more appreciation of what's involved.

JugglingChaotically Wed 30-Jan-13 00:35:29

Orangeandlemons I appreciate your comments. My worry is the time commitment. How do your students manage it. Do you coach them on timing?

SlumberingDormouse Wed 30-Jan-13 15:01:03

I'm biased, but I'd like to put in a good word for Latin. It's not easy but it's very rewarding (and fun if you like that sort of thing!). It lays excellent foundations for future study because it's so logical.

Slipperyslopin Sat 02-Feb-13 10:57:46

I took art. I hated it. The amount of work is ridiculous, and the grades dont go to people who are good at it, they go to people who can "develop their ideas and use a variety of mediums" which is ridiculous as well. A friend of mine who was a BEAUTIFUL artist, seriously drew to a professional standard, got an A while another who frankly was a bit crap got an A* because they'd used loads of types of art and had developed their ideas. I had to give up studying time to do 4 straight 11 hour days of work on my sketchbook to get it up to standard for the deadline. My advice is don't do.

lljkk Sat 02-Feb-13 11:10:32

I had a chat with some Art GCSE students recently. THEY said (all boys btw) that the main thing is to keep on top of the work, plan when to get it done and do get it done according to schedule. With other subjects you can let the work slide & catch up on it later: not so with art. or it builds up to a mountain if not done quickly.

So I think other big factor is self-organisation and sustained motivation.

orangeandlemons Sat 02-Feb-13 19:49:17

Coursework is 60% and starts from first day of y10. The trick as previously said is to keep up and not let it slide. This is fatal, and is the biggest decider in who passes and fails. It is as much about organisation and time management as anything else. However, if it is kept up to date and not left to drift, it is totally totally do-able. Ansolutely

JugglingChaotically Sun 03-Feb-13 07:38:14

Thanks eveyone.
Slipperyslopin yes that's one of my worries. We have now talked to the art department and developing the idea seems key. And recording it step by step. A fab end product is not only not enough but doesn't seem to matter!?!
My DD loves to draw and paint and I think it will take all the enjoyment out and turn it into a chore if not a really stressful set of coursework.
My vote would be for Latin (where they are predicting A* blush) with painting and drawing kept to de stress iyswim. But you are not allowed in the art rooms after year 9 unless doing GCSE or A levelsad

seeker Sun 03-Feb-13 07:42:53

And if she loves drawing and painting, don't do Art.

It's huge amounts of work and a lot of it is doing stuff "in the style of". More tears in our house over Art GCSE than anything else. Dd put in loads of work and came out with a B. which is fine, but just doesn't reflect the workload.

And it made my incredibly bright, very artistically talented niece totally miserable, even though she got an A*

JugglingChaotically Sun 03-Feb-13 07:46:06

Thanks Oranges.
No one had explained to DD that you had to record every little step and how you link things together.
I think they thought it was a obvious!
DD didn't know but has been very public in wish to so art and now determined even though likely would not have if she'd known from the start. I fear it has become an issue of teenager v parent. Not for me as I just want her to think it through and make a reasoned decision.
Still shocked that no one had explained what it meant - DD thought it was all about the artwork you produced and not how or showing it.

Her

Trazzletoes Sun 03-Feb-13 07:50:30

I did Latin GCSE and can recommend it - it is a little unusual which can be a good thing - but also helps with other languages, and English, and logic... It's very versatile as a subject.

JugglingChaotically Sun 03-Feb-13 07:51:16

Seeker. Tks. I think DD in danger of similar to your experience.
She loves art and will be distraught if she works hard and does badly and then will have a huge question mark over her ability for ever over her favourite hobby and she is so self critical without that sad
She will not accept that the art was great but she didn't do all the back up.

ThenWeTakeBerlin Sun 03-Feb-13 07:55:21

I did art GCSE in the mid-nineties. Choose it as I thought it'd be a doss, as PP's have pointed out - it wasn't!

I ended up dropping it and taking 9 GCSE's instead of 10.

Your DD sounds like a far more conscientious student than I was blush

seeker Sun 03-Feb-13 07:55:47

Oh, if it's her favourite hobby, then really, really don't do it!

DN didn't have time for any of her own work for two whole years, and it made her very miserable.

twostepsforwardonestepback Mon 04-Feb-13 21:41:35

Thanks Seeker. DDis going to talk to her school about what is involved. She was quite shocked to hear end product is only worth 25%!
If DD knows what she is getting into, the that's all I can ask I guess. Time to let DD decide.

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