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Leaving Cert Art: Mysterious Newgrange a bit puzzling

YOU had to look for Newgrange on the Leaving Cert art, history and appreciation higher level paper, but it was there alright -- in Question 2.

It wasn't named, which puzzled some candidates, but students could have spent 45 minutes comparing the construction techniques employed in building it with early Christian architecture.

Jane Campbell of the ASTI and St Joseph's Convent of Mercy, Navan, thought the technique, known as corbelling, was too narrow a focus for a question on which students were expected to write for 45 minutes. "It is the sort of thing you would do in a paragraph," she said.

It was one of a number of examples of questions that she felt represented a change in tone in the paper.

She felt some of the questions were a bit veiled and another -- on the main characteristics of one of a number of architectural styles -- was "more geared toward third level".

Maureen Roche of the TUI and Scoil Aireagail, Ballyhale, Co Kilkenny, said that while the question involving Newgrange took "a little bit of thought, it was well loved by those who attempted it".

Angela Griffith of Dublin's Institute of Education said some students may have found Question 2 difficult, if they had only prepared Newgrange itself.

Overall, Ms Griffith described the paper "as extremely straight forward, with a wide choice".

Ms Roche said that a reasonably well-prepared candidate should have been "very pleased", while the ordinary level paper was "very straightforward".

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