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Ok (do you really want to know this on ArtEdNet?)
In the UK, that is the United Kingdom, at 16 years of age or when our
students are in what is called Year 10, everyone does GCSE (General
Certificate in Education) exams in up to 10 subjects (most do about 7 or 8).
The GCSEs are two year courses , so they start in year 9; About 5 are
compulsory (The Core). Art is not, but about 40-45% of students choose to
Art (or Art and Design as its called).
In 1988 a National Curriculum was introduced into the UK, (not without
controversy...) and for Art this has meant a number of things. Most
interestingly for ArtsEdNeters was the introduction of Critical or
Contextual Studies. As well as being an "artist" the student was to be a
"critic" too. A students response, reaction and relationship to the workof
other Artists, designers, craftspeople is now assessed.
The best Art Teaching, which in the UK has I guess always emphasised studio
practice, always did include a critical studies element, but now it was
compulsory. That is why ArtsEdNet and DBAE, which emphasises Critical
Studies over studio practice, is so interesting for me....
A Levels (or sometimes called GCE) are studied in the two years after GCSE.
Normally students only take 3 subjects, and this represents a major
specialisation. Places at University are awarded on the basis of A Level
Art and Design A level is an extension of GCSE.
for more details see the following Web site where you can download one exam
boards GCSE syllabus for Art
for examples of GCSE and Alevel Artwork have a look at some from my school
(if you want)
PS My name is James Nairne, not Mr James. Mr Nairne, perhaps, but then only
students call me that :-) or polite shopkeepers=8A