Time is not on their hands

13th June 2008 at 01:00
Time - or the lack of it - was the overriding concern of Gourock High principal art and design teacher Ann Barr
Time - or the lack of it - was the overriding concern of Gourock High principal art and design teacher Ann Barr. All candidates at Intermediate 2 and Higher were "writing to the bitter end and could probably have gone on writing", a scene not unfamiliar from previous years.

The papers at both levels use the same format and source materials, although the greater complexity of Higher means candidates have an hour-and-a-half compared to an hour at Intermediate 2. Although the content was fair, Mrs Barr believes the time constraints are too demanding - even after the Scottish Qualifications Authority responded to teachers' concerns and cut back questions.

Candidates have to answer a question in separate sections on art and design, responding to a previously unseen image, then writing a longer piece showing their wider knowledge.

The use of some historical images in the design section this year may have confused some pupils, such as a historical costume and a period piece of jewellery. But once candidates got over any initial shock, they should have been able to apply the same principles they would use for modern images.

Other images were more familiar, such as a Bauhaus teapot by Marianne Brandt, a designer who should have been well known to pupils. In the art section, there was no repeat of a few years ago when a fur cup and saucer appeared in a question on still life - pupils had a more conventional notion of still life and were left befuddled.

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