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Art GCSE - more work than other subjects?

(25 Posts)
Madsometimes Tue 26-Mar-13 08:34:32

Dd1 is only in Y8, but thinking about her options already.

She likes art, and is good at it, although she is less sure. Her school has a good reputation for art and there are some very talented artists in her form. Therefore she doubts her ability, because she isn't the best (although in top 3).

Her art teacher at parents evening said that he expected her to be in his GCSE art group. My question was that I have always heard that art is "a lot of work." His reply was that it is the same workload as other subjects, but that students and parents assume that it will be less. He felt that a child like my dd would enjoy the work, and so it would not feel arduous.

So does art GCSE require more work and time than other subjects? Can you guess that I have not an artistic bone in my body? grin

Theas18 Tue 26-Mar-13 08:41:15

What is her personality type? If she's laid back and able to submit work that's " good enough" she might be fine- but what you say about her doubting her ability because she isn't the best in the class doesn't fit with that....

My eldest did GCSE art. She is good and has a talent for it. She is also a perfectionist who can be hard on herself. Hence it sucked all her spare time up (OK there wan't a lot anyway she was a" committed child"), lunchtimes, after school, weekends etc at times.

Ultimately she " Only" got an A- there were very few A* in the year group and many lower grades. She was really disappointed... But as I said she sets herself high standards and works to get the targets.

This has put off the other 2 completely. Especially the youngest who already spends a whole day on a 2hr homework often...(we have argued muchly about this too!)

Startail Tue 26-Mar-13 08:57:49

DD1 is doing art, so far it doesn't seem to bad. However, she is relatively laid back. She does art for fun, she's not brilliant at it.
Her target grades an A, I don't think she's anything like that good, but she enjoys it. I don't think she counts art as HW, she paints to relax anyway.

Similarly you could count all the various choirs she sings in as practice for both GCSE music and public music exams, but she wouldn't, she's sung since she was 7-8, it's what she does. Music theory is another matter entirely, that she scowls at.

notfluffy Tue 26-Mar-13 09:05:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fortifiedwithtea Tue 26-Mar-13 09:29:20

Unless your DD really enjoys doing art as a hobby already, I wouldn't advise her to do it.

My DD is in year 10 and was pressurised by art head to take GCSE Fine Art. I thought it was a GCSE in the bag and would be relaxing as afterall its not a subject to revise for.

However, its a huge time commitment and there is alot of written research (which is very interesting) on top of practical workload. My DD is three pieces behind including the Christmas project!

horsemadmom Tue 26-Mar-13 09:54:26

Massive time suck! Same experience as notfluffy. DD is beginning to hate a subject that she once loved and has another year to go with it. The workload is ridiculous and DD wishes that she had done what her friend did and do a class outside school at a fine art college. She'll probably get an A* but she is now regretting not doing a 4th language instead.

hellsbells99 Tue 26-Mar-13 12:00:19

"The workload is ridiculous"
........says it all!

Lancelottie Tue 26-Mar-13 12:06:25

DS (very talented) found:
--it took more time than everything else put together, as said above
--it required daylight hours, a challenge when a chap gets home after dark most days: 'Go out and take several high quality photos of your subject, Photoshop them into a montage, adjust the colours for dramatic effect and paint the result', for instance...
--all the time he would normally have spent drawing, he now felt guilty that he was drawing the wrong things.

He got an A* but it's taken him 6 months to feel like doing any art on his own account.

bigTillyMint Tue 26-Mar-13 13:17:25

DD is doing art textiles. It's a good job she enjoys it given the amount of time she puts into it! There is no quick fix!

PhyllisDietrichson Tue 26-Mar-13 15:25:03

There is quite a lot of home work for Art GCSE (last year I was telling students to do a minimum of 2 hours to pass, and more if they want to get a really good grade) those that didn't bother all ended up with poor grades. I don't know how this compares to Maths or Georgraphy though. If a child loves their art and is used to drawing for pleasure then fiddling around for a couple hours on a Sunday and perhaps one or two in the week is doable. But if they're not naturals and are having to make themselves draw or do that artist research, or they assume it's an 'easy option' GCSE, then art might not be for them. Also other subjects do complain that the arts take up 'too much time' and they may have a point. It does take a long time to paint a realy good picture, and it's weeks of work to produce a play, but it's down to the child's love of those subjects driving them on to success.

Recently, I've taken an accademic GCSE course myself - condensed over a year rather than two, and had to work very very hard indeed, so I'm not sure how easy any of them really are TBH.

PhyllisDietrichson Tue 26-Mar-13 15:26:53

PS scuse typos, I was rushing

Madsometimes Tue 26-Mar-13 18:21:27

Thanks so much for the comments. Dd1 is indeed a perfectionist, and is much harder on herself than she should be. I have looked around the exhibitions that her school puts on of GCSE and A'level students portfolios, and the quality and volume of the work is astonishing.

She does draw every day for pleasure. I would not like to see her hobby being turned into a chore. I suspect she will take the GCSE but I shall prepare for lots of scrunched paper. I have to say that it does sound like a bit of a nightmare.

lljkk Tue 26-Mar-13 20:15:10

Alternative to consider is graphics design. I think I will steer DS that way.

Coconutty Tue 26-Mar-13 20:21:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsBartlet Tue 26-Mar-13 20:30:25

DD has just done Art GCSE and it was huge amounts of work which definitely took time away from other subjects. The upside is that she has one GCSE out of the way (they finished last week) and can now use her art lessons for private study for her other subjects.

Lots of the girls in dd's class are going on to take it for A level but thankfully dd is not!

Fairyliz Tue 26-Mar-13 20:59:35

My daughter did GCSE Art followed by A level art and is now doing an Art Foundation course. Yes it did seem a lot more time than other GCSE's but as she loved it so much it didn't seem like hard work iyswim.
Is your daughter likely to want an art career as obviously that would affect her decision.

Madsometimes Tue 26-Mar-13 22:16:45

I'm not sure that dd1 will have a career in art, (she wants to be a police officer) but she's only 12 still (summer birthday).

However, I always thought that a broad selection of GCSE's were a good idea for whatever career, as opposed to A'Levels which are more targeted.

barnetmum2 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:31:28

Can anyone advise what levels at Y9/KS3 to get the higher grades at Art GCSE ? Thanks

bigTillyMint Wed 27-Mar-13 21:47:20

barnetmum, DD is already started on GCSE's (Y9 - 3yr course at her school) and this is a new option, but she was only about level 5A in art in Y8 and is now A/A* doing art textiles according to her teacher's marking/assessmentsconfused But I doubt she would get as high grades if it was fine art.

TanRod Fri 29-Mar-13 21:07:51

My son did GCSE art and absolutely loved every minute of it. Art has always been his favourite subject and, as a result he never seemed to mind how long the work took him. From a parental point of view, he always seemed to be concentrating on art homework. My constant cry was "what about your other subjects?"

Quak Fri 29-Mar-13 21:26:11

Hi OP, I'm an art teacher. It is ridiculously time consuming but if you 1, super-organised and 2, you like drawing, doodling, poking and prodding, tinkering and fiddling until you get a great result, then it is going to come a lot easier and seem less of a slog. Getting an A in GCSE art requires a disproportionately large amount of time compared to other subjects. There aren't really any shortcuts, poor students wink

StephofArc Fri 29-Mar-13 22:16:28

Slightly different situation, but year 11 FDD has just gone back to school after almost a year out and we're desperately trying to salvage her GCSEs. Art has had to be dropped, because even though it has the advantage of not having to learn anything and raw talent wise she could probably get a pass without too much effort, the time that needs to be put in means it's actually going to be easier to try and salvage something 'academic' time wise. It's a hell of a lot of time commitment.

weblette Fri 29-Mar-13 22:23:07

Very similar situation, dd has been told by teacher she'll be 'v disappointed' if dd doesn't do it at GCSE...

Dd is far more Drama inclined so the teacher better be prepared for some upset!

Serafinaaa Sat 13-Apr-13 13:38:20

It's a while ago now but I did Art at both GCSE and A Level. I found that it was more work than other subjects. Considerably more. But I enjoyed it and was able to do a lot of Art homework whilst watching tv etc. so it didn't seem as arduous. I also enjoyed the excuse to make my parents take me to art galleries regularly. I wouldn't say I was a talented artist, I struggled with some of the more traditional painting and drawing work, but I focused on sculpture and photography and got an A* at GCSE and A at A level. My parents still have my art coursework pieces proudly on their walls over ten years later! I have no regrets about doing art at school.

Yellowtip Sat 13-Apr-13 16:07:35

Yes it takes up a lot of time but is a great antidote to other subjects.

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