Thursday 17 August 2017

Caravaggio exhibition helps students master Art exam

Students Alannah Bates and Elsie Van Dam, of Loreto Secondary School in Clonmel, reviewing the Leaving Cert Art exam. Photo: John D Kelly
Students Alannah Bates and Elsie Van Dam, of Loreto Secondary School in Clonmel, reviewing the Leaving Cert Art exam. Photo: John D Kelly
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Caravaggio, the subject of a major exhibition in the National Gallery this year, also turned up on the Leaving Certificate higher level Art paper, to the delight of students.

Gerard Lane, a teacher at Presentation College, Athenry, Co Galway, said a question on the baroque period would have allowed "any art student who went to see the exhibition, and nearly everyone did", to write about the Italian master.

Mr Lane, a subject representative for the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), said overall any reasonably well-prepared student would have been "very happy" with the papers, at both higher and ordinary level.

A Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) subject spokesperson described higher level as "straightforward". He said that while the gallery/museum interpretive centre demanded the students describe and discuss how to display artefacts - an unusual twist that had not been seen for a while - they should have been able to apply what they knew about exhibitions to the artefacts on the list.

Earlier in the day, Leaving Cert students sat the Business papers and Ruairi Farrell of the TUI described higher level as a "good test of student knowledge, with plenty of choice".

Not unusually in this year's exams, Brexit featured, but Mr Farrell said there was an interesting slant to the question, with candidates asked whether Ireland should leave the EU, and to outline the reasons for their answer.

At ordinary level, Mr Farrell, of Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, Kilcoole, Co Wicklow, said students were "very happy".

Margo McGann, for the ASTI, agreed that the higher level paper was "very fair", with "no question being too difficult and ruled out automatically".

Ms McGann, of St Augustine's College, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, noted students had to answer questions on two different forms of legislation, consumer and data protection, where normally it is only one.

She said students may have been put off by the (c) part of the question, requiring them to draft a report outlining a named company's obligation in relation to data protection. She said: "My students hate drafting a report. The (a) and (b) part of the question were lovely but (c) could have been a deterrent."

Irish Independent

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