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(27 Posts)
kilmuir Tue 18-Dec-12 11:14:57

whats it like? My eldest DD is very creativeand is looking at choosing options next term. How does it differ from graphic design.
We are new to all this and in my day it was home economics and woodwork!

lljkk Tue 18-Dec-12 11:18:07

Interested in replies because DS is interested but rather lazy.
I've heard it's very time intensive. There are said to be certain courses your offspring should only take one max of. So if they take Art then no DT (for instance), because together too time consuming. Not a soft option.

shivermetimbers Tue 18-Dec-12 11:20:57

I hope it is no too intensive as my dd has taken it as an extra gcse, she will be taking the exams without actually having the classes. No idea how that will work.

NotMostPeople Tue 18-Dec-12 11:28:31

I was talking about this with dd just this morning. She's in year 9 and we know that she will be taking art as a GCSE option because at the moment it looks like she will want to do an art degree. However we both agreed that it isn't a GCSE to take unless you are likely to head in a creative direction as it is very time intensive. I wouldn't encourage a child to take graphic design, art gsce would lead to art A level and then a foundation. At foundation stage they try all different disciplines and so if graphic design is something they have an affinity to they can follow it up at that stage. To do as early as GCSE's is a bit restrictive imo.

Muminwestlondon Tue 18-Dec-12 11:30:08

It is a very heavy course. DD started in the summer holidays before year 10 and barely finished all the course work. She has 5 A3 size books full of drawings and paintings. Several canvases and a sculpture were brought home recently. I reckon it took on average 2-5 hours of independent work a week, plus lunchtimes and staying late after school.

There is research about artists as well as actual art and at DD's school she was given a list of stuff to do and basically had to do it within a certain time. Some stuff she found a real chore. There was one or maybe two exams at the end of the course, but most of it was coursework.

She got an A*, basically because she has a brilliant teacher and she finished all the work. Of all the GCSEs she did, it was the most difficult to manage time wise and the volume of work expected.

There were a couple of trips and girls were expected to organise their own gallery visits (and pay) in addition. We had to pay for canvases including those used in school and the art materials she used at home.

alardi Tue 18-Dec-12 11:39:48

Isn't the workload less intense for those who "only" get C or B? I imagine the load depends on what the child hopes to get out of their GCSE results.

Muminwestlondon Tue 18-Dec-12 12:37:50

I think there would still be a lot of work to cover. Most at DD's school got A* with a couple of As. I would have thought a child aiming for a creative career and A levels would be at least aiming for an A. My DD did it as a light relief subject but she was sadly mistaken!

TimeChild Tue 18-Dec-12 13:10:15

Agree with muminwestlondon. Definitely not an 'easy' option. My dd is in first term of it and it has been a lot of work already.

Also quite demanding intellectually as well as practically. Not just techniques but also concept and ideas as well as art history! It also pretty relentless. For eg she was not let off homework when preparing for exams and controlled assessments of other subjects.

Having said that they produce fantastic work and it looks very interesting. I wouldn't mind doing it!

dottygamekeeper Tue 18-Dec-12 13:23:58

I have a DS in Yr 11 and DD in Yr 11 both doing GCSE Art (DS also doing textiles, DD taking RM). I agree with the posters above, art and textiles are the most time consuming of all their subjects and involve working at lunchtimes, after school and putting in lots of effort at home - working on sketchbooks, portfolio work etc (including quite a lot of written content such as statements of intent, evaluations etc). What they are doing is fascinating, however (and each is very different), and I have really noticed their skills developing, and we have all enjoyed going on family trips to exhibitions and galleries.

DS is hoping to go on to do A level Art and A level Textiles, then a foundation course, with a view to then doing a degree in a design related subject, so he doesn't mind putting in the hours, but it is definitely not a soft option. However, it does make a good contrast to subjects which involve a lot of written work. We have been looking at Graphic Design at A level - it wasn't an option at GCSE - and the work I saw was interesting but I thought the Art was more wide-ranging in content.

The GCSE Art exam consists of, I think, two 5 hour exams to produce a final piece of work - I believe the brief will be given in January, with the exam taken in March. The benefit of this is that it should be over and done with before we get into the intensive revision period for the main GCSEs in May/June.

lljkk Tue 18-Dec-12 16:16:42

DS art teacher said that he'd never had a boy get above an A. I'm sure there are plenty of Cs & Bs. If doing art is what motivates you to get any GCSE pass, I don't see any harm in Cs or Bs.

Dd is doing it as an extra one after school and is really enjoying it. She's not finding it hard and she's not particularly academically bright - wont get a's and b's in her gcse's.

She loves it and is perfectly happy doing extra on it every week .

bigTillyMincePie Tue 18-Dec-12 17:12:27

DD is doing Art Textiles and is loving it. It involves research and creative reponses to the topic/research and has been really varied so far.

She puts hours into her work (can't see how you could do it in a short amount of time anyway!) No idea what the exams will be like - it's all coursework ATM. She is in Y9 - her school starts GCSE in Y9!

mummytime Tue 18-Dec-12 17:23:53

My son did Computer Graphics, it is a lot of work. You need to create 2 to 3 portfolios, full of work and background to your work including studies on designers.
He was close to a break down (as was I) and it was affecting his other grades. In the end he did virtually no work outside class and came out with an F.

It is a lot of work and even computer graphics involves a lot of drawing. I wouldn't recommend doing it unless you love it.

Art is more fine art based, where as Graphics is more commercial eg. design items for a Cafe or a theme park.

wordfactory Tue 18-Dec-12 17:25:40

An art GCSE is hugely time consuming. And for those with a tendency to perfectionism, not, IMVHO, to be recommended.

That said, it does show a good deal of grit and perseverence.

Theas18 Tue 18-Dec-12 17:28:18

GCSE Art..............................

Torture on toast as my eldest would say!

She did it and got an A (as in " only an A.... I wanted an A*!) .

She is a hard working perfectionist. It took up huge amounts of time - weekends at home, evenings at school. The other 2 have learned and wouldn't take it if you payed them (though DD2 is just as artistic)

bigTillyMincePie Tue 18-Dec-12 17:29:20

wordfactory, yes that is why DD is spending so long on it. But it's like a hobby to her ATM!

TimeChild Tue 18-Dec-12 17:44:38

Yes, the comment about those with perfectionist tendencies is worth noting. Also as the work is so graphic and visible, and not like an essay where you have to read it to see if it is actually any good, I think it can sap self-confidence if a student compares him/herself unfavourably with others in the group.

Kez100 Tue 18-Dec-12 17:57:18

My daughter didn't take GCSE Art - in her school, drawing/painting skills seem to be a large part of the course and she wants to be a photographer.

She worked at home on a portfolio of work and managed to secure, through interview with the portfolio and personal statement, a competitive place at Art College to study photography. She has just scored a double distinction in her first two units of year 12, so having no GCSE didn't matter and her drawing is still as shocking as it ever was.

She says she found not having GCSE only a disadvantage mentally - the not actually knowing how good you are or not. It was quite scary going to Art College at 16 with no formal Art qualification and meeting all the others (most with A*). But, equally, she says if you believe in yourself and are dedicated you will get over that.

Many of her friends who did do GCSE Art found it took a lot of their time up when they were trying to revise for their other subjects.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 19-Dec-12 07:40:49

Interesting and timely thread. DD is in Year 9 and her art teacher has asked her to consider taking GCSE art. I'd heard it was a big workload and was planning o put her off. She isn't going to come out with a bunch of As and Bs and I am wary about her doing something that could result in her other subjects suffering.

Her school is a visual arts colleg and also offers Photography which she was keen on doing before the teacher suggested art. Does anyone have any experience of this at GCSE ?

Gunfleetsands Wed 19-Dec-12 12:00:20

DD just coming to the end of her first term of Art GCSE. It is a never ending work load. She loves art, is currently up to date with the work and really enjoys the course. However, the commitment required is huge with long hours necessary to keep up to date. Oil paints take forever to dry so those pieces are always a problem getting in to school on public transport. My advice to anyone would be to only take Art GCSE if you are excellent at the subject and actually gain pleasure and enjoyment from all the work required. It definitely is not a soft option.

notreally Wed 19-Dec-12 12:05:10

like gunfleetsands, my dd is just at the end of her first term doing Art GCSE. It is a HUGE amount of work, probably 7 hours of homework a week. She is enjoying it, though feels that the teacher is being too directive. I think however the teacher is just taking the syllabus into account! She is doing some photography as part of the GCSE, as well as pottery.

OneMoreMum Wed 19-Dec-12 13:02:51

I took Art GCSE (am just coming up 40 so a few years back!) followed by A-level, and although I didn't take it any further than that and it was a huge amount of work I really enjoyed it.

I got a B at GCSE and a C at A-level, although have no idea what that means compared to current grades. My son (year 9) chose it for GCSE, although as they run a 3-year GCSE program he won't start any coursework that counts until next year. I certainly wouldn't discourage him from doing it because he may not get an A*, he has enough academic subjects for that.

I think it's an excellent subject for a broad education, I still love visiting galleries and a knowledge of colours and art is great for all sorts of real-life skills like home decorating and helping little kids with craft projects, it's been a lot more use than my Chemistry A-level I can tell you...

hotsummer Tue 18-Jun-13 14:15:44

It seems from all your comments that it is more than just the final piece of work and a lot of organsation so this maybe an impossible question to answer. However, any idea of level required at end of Y9 to get predicted higher (ie. C and above) GCSE ? I appreciate some art students are super talented and will get 8 + , my DD has 7C BTW

Kez100 Tue 18-Jun-13 14:23:47

There is more to it than just talent, I believe.

Even if the final outcome is incredible, to get the high grades there needs to the back up work. The sketch book, inspiration, research, techniques tried out, evaluations and links through to final piece.

Although my daughter didn't take GCSE, the teacher said he would be likely to predict her a B (or A if she was prepared to really put a lot of effort into the back up work). She had a level 6 at KS3.

hotsummer Tue 18-Jun-13 18:17:37

Kez100 - thank you that's helpful.

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