Children should study the arts till 16

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ElectronBlue's picture
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Children should study the arts till 16
You & your kids 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/feb/28/schoolchildren-study-arts-16-report

Ministers should consider making pupils study the arts up to the age of 16 amid concerns that cultural education in England is still "patchy", a government-commissioned report has said.

It warns that there is concern about how much the coalition government values cultural education in schools, adding that this has been partly caused by the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc).

To achieve the EBacc pupils must gain at least a C in English, maths, science, a foreign language and history or geography. However, it does not include other arts subjects such as dance, drama, design or music.

In his review of cultural education, Darren Henley suggests including a "sixth group" within the EBacc to cover these subjects.

Hm. What do you think about this? My view is that some people just do not flourish at arts- type subjects, or not as they are currently taught, they haven't got that kind of brain. I think 14 is a sensible kind of time to be giving teenagers some control over what they study from there on in and to start to specialise a little (so language heavy, or humanities heavy, or whatever...) Insisting on an art will guarantee failure for some children IMO.

But the eBacc. insists on a humanity doesn't it? And a language. So isn't it just fair and right to put an art up there on a level par?

On the other hand again, if we start prescribing too many must have subjects, one loses the choice element, after all kids can only do so many GCSE's!

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I'd have hated to have had to carry on studying the arts they really didn't interest me at all

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I am glad that DD has made her choices before this was made compulsory, or she wouldn't have been a happy bunny!  It will probably be introduced after she has started her options, yet made necessary for whatever it is she wants to do in the future causing huge trauma.  Cynic that I am!

There just isn't enough time for the students to study everything.

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Presumably if that happens she will be able to do an evening course GCSE Leeds. Or doesn't it work that way? Does anyone know, does the eBacc have to be done all at once, or can you do courses later and claim the eBacc later? 

Actually I have the right GCSE's, I wonder if one can apply retrospectively? I suspect not as there was no eBacc when I did my GCSE's...

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In theory I suppose she could, EB.  I would prefer her not to be wasting her time though!  And that isn't because I don't value arts sunjects, but because I would hope she was focusing on her A Levels instead of trying to put an Art portfolio together.  If it really did happen, there would probably be a number of girls at DD's school in exactly the same position, so I hope the school would run some sort of twilight class for them.

I don't know much about music GCSE, but the Art one seems to require more work than all of the others put together.  Drama has quite a heavy workload too.

I can't see any reason why all the e bacc subjects would have to be done in one sitting.  I'm not sure though.

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ElectronBlue wrote:
To achieve the EBacc pupils must gain at least a C in English, maths, science, a foreign language and history or geography. However, it does not include other arts subjects such as dance, drama, design or music.

In his review of cultural education, Darren Henley suggests including a "sixth group" within the EBacc to cover these subjects.

Oh what tosh. Fine, find space on an already cluttered curriculum to make these things available, but these arts subjects, more than anything else, are the kind of things that have little academic value at GCSE and can't really be quantified by the framework of a GCSE curriculum anyway. I would not be impressed if my child was compelled to take one of these fluffy subjects and reduce the amount of time available for academic subjects.

If I had been told that i HAD to take art or music or dance at GCSE, well, I would simply have not bothered making even the slightest effort in class and would have added a U to my list of grades. There are good reasons for studying humanities and sciences, even if you don't actively enjoy them, but there is precious little point in trying to take Music GCSE if you ahve a tin ear, or Art if you can't draw.

PS. EB, I don't think one "applies" for the EBacc as such, its just a term applied to that particular group of GCSEs. The term itself, 'English Baccalaureate" reminds me of the sort of faintly derogatory term when one applies a foreign term to something to show how rubbish it is, like French Pox or Dutch Auction.

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I think it's silly.  
Slightly o/t but also slightly on topic, my friends daughter wants to study Textiles at Uni, not in the arty sense but the chemical sense - testing them.  She is doing all the Sciences at A level and the first uni she went for an interview at asked for a portfolio!!   Her mum is bit puzzled.

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Christiesgal wrote:
my friends daughter wants to study Textiles at Uni, not in the arty sense but the chemical sense - testing them.  She is doing all the Sciences at A level and the first uni she went for an interview at asked for a portfolio!!   Her mum is bit puzzled.

Oh Lord, that sounds a bit worrying actually - was the poor girl actually in the correct interview (or even worse, has she put the correct course codes on her form??). Why would what is essentially a chemistry course ask for a portfolio???! A portfolio of what?

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How strange!  Did they tell her what they wanted to see in her portfolio?  You would think that if she'd put the wrong course code on the UCAS form, they wouldn't have interviewed her because, presumably, the three sciences aren't very important if you are applying to do fashion textiles.

I would be a bit worried, as it sounds as though something might have gone wrong somewhere.