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3 Draft Leaving Certificate specifications consultations

3 Draft Leaving Certificate specifications consultations

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Advice for teachers and students

To facilitate providing feedback to students during their engagement with assessment, the process of completing the practical coursework should be viewed as part of teaching and learning, and not solely for assessment purposes. It is envisaged that teachers will guide, support and supervise throughout the process.

Support may include:

  • Clarifying the requirements of the practical coursework and/or practical examination
  • Reviewing the brief issued by the State Examinations Commission in relation to the specification to identify learning outcomes that are most relevant to address planning for teaching and learning
  • Prompting the student’s critical thinking in relation to the brief by reflecting on such questions as:
    • Which theme from the brief do I wish to focus on?
    • What do I already know about the theme?
    • What do I want to know about the theme?
    • What do I need to know about the theme?
    • In which direction will I take my work?
    • What media/area(s) of practice should I choose to address the theme?
    • What are my plans for work that can be realised during the practical examination?
  • Facilitating access to appropriate resources where possible.
  • Providing instructions at strategic intervals to facilitate the timely completion of the practical coursework.
  • Providing supports for students with special educational needs (SEN).
  • If students are working on the same brief, then it is important to ensure that each student adopts a personal and unique focus in their own approach and work and that it can be authenticated by the teacher. The practical coursework is not a group project although discussion may be encouraged as part of ongoing teaching and learning.
  • Ensuring students are mindful of the instructions and regulations issued by the State Examinations Commission.

Each student must complete and submit their own, individual coursework, which can be authenticated by the teacher. Note that only work which is the student’s own can be accepted for submission to the State Examinations Commission.

For you, the student, Visual Studies begins as a local experience. You need to experience and understand examples from your learning in Visual Studies that are local to you. These can include the public spaces or sculptures as well as the design of objects you are familiar with. They can also include visits to galleries, museums, interpretive centres and heritage sites or to the studios and workshops of local artists and designers. This may even include working with a visiting artist.

Your teachers will use the Visual Studies Framework to develop your understanding of the importance of learning about, and learning from, contemporary/modern and historical examples of Visual Studies. For the written component, you will focus on an in-depth study of one section of focus in content areas 1 and 2. You will study all four sections of focus in content area 3. Your teacher will support you in this study and in the use and application of the Visual Studies Framework.

While you are studying these examples of Visual Studies you may also find that they are useful in terms of the work that you are currently making. They can be useful in helping you identify similar artistic approaches, materials and themes. Just as you create new work, all artists have looked to previous generations and work for inspiration as they develop their own approach to visually representing their ideas. Artists have always looked to the past for guidance, to help them in their thinking or to enrich the direction that their work has been taking. In doing this, artists are looking to make their own work more relevant for themselves and the society they live in. It is important that you gain an understanding of this through examples that relate to your own work on an ongoing basis throughout senior cycle.

Your teacher will support you as you develop your practical work by assisting you in selecting examples of art and artists. However, as you progress in your studies and work, it is expected that this level of support around selecting artists and artworks will become more collaborative or that some of these decisions are taken solely by you. It is important to note that examples of Visual Studies used to support the learning in your practical work can be chosen from the canon of art history. However, other relevant or recognised artists/artworks could be used as sources: examples might include architecture, film, animation, graphic design, craftwork, jewellery, fashion and examples from other cultures and times. This list is not intended to be exhaustive but serves to offer suggestions as to the possible choices of examples of Visual Studies that could be used.

As part of their practical work throughout senior cycle students should refer to elements of Visual Studies as appropriate. They should experience context through hands-on engagement as well as through discussion. For example, students should be aware and have knowledge of relevant examples of periods/movements from their learning in Visual Studies. When engaged in practical work, students should use their Art sketchpad to record, visually and through annotations, information about these examples and other examples that are relevant to their work. Artists and artworks can be explored by students in their practical, classroom work by engaging in the use of a thematic approach, for example. Students could also learn how work is developed by following an artistic process they have been studying.

Students will learn and practice the skill of analysis by observing and describing examples of Visual Studies. This will enable them to identify connections, patterns and links within a single example or across several examples. Students will also be able to use this skill to analyse their own, or another’s work. Students will learn to use different media and processes as they explore the art elements and design principles within their practical classroom learning and be able to explain the rationale behind their choices. Students will also learn about different media and areas of practice through their own practical work. For example, they will gain an understanding of the strengths and limitations of different media as well as their suitability in realising work or conveying meaning. When it comes to understanding how innovations and inventions have influenced artists, students could, for example, look at and experience for themselves the use of the camera obscura by artists during different periods of time and the effect this had on the work they produced.

As an important part of their practical work throughout Leaving Certificate Art, students will use and maintain an Art sketchpad. The Art sketchpad is a collection of ideas, processes and work, in physical or digital form (or a combination of both).

In junior cycle Visual Art, the sketchpad is a record of the student’s own, personal and creative journey and this will continue through senior cycle. Throughout these guidelines, the student’s Art sketchpad will be referred to as a single document which may be taken to include one or a number of sketchpads containing a variety of work. The Art sketchpad will be used by students to record the world around them through observation of primary sources, to capture, record and develop their ideas, creativity, experiments, explorations and even realised work, which they will undertake as part of their course.

Students will use their Art Sketchpad to record relevant information they will collect to contextualise work they are doing, whether it is through drawings, colour studies, sketches, photographs, annotations, observations, digital work or though researching the work of other artists based on their learning in Visual Studies. As their sketchpad documents the student’s learning in their practical classroom artwork and realised works it will act as the student’s own personal and professional collection of their thoughts, ideas, research and work. This will help them in understanding the real-world application of an artist’s sketchpad as well as to develop ownership of their own learning.

The learning outcomes in each strand support planning for teaching and learning, the results of which will be evidenced in the Art sketchpad. For example, in the Research strand, students will use the Art sketchpad to record and explore primary sources; in the Create strand, students will use it to develop their ideas, work and techniques; in the Respond strand, students will use it to reflect on their work or that of others, including examples from their learning in Visual Studies.

For the purpose of certification, the SEC will issue a coursework workbook in which to record the work undertaken during the coursework period.

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