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Photography - GCSE Option

Head of Department: - Ms C Muddyman
Examining Board: AQA

What Will I Study?

The key focus in this creative subject is to understand and express yourself through the visual form of photography. You will need to be committed to learn, motivated to work outside of the classroom and able to develop your own project ideas.

During Year 9 you have already been introduced to the basic concepts of Photography though your core Art curriculum lessons. During these you have been able to experiment with new techniques and media having developed photographic skills though completion of mini projects and workshops which have culminated in varied outcomes.

When starting GCSE Photography in Year 10 you will focus on one sustained folder of coursework (Component 1) that will develop over time taking into consideration the main course objectives. You will be given a broad starting theme for your project and then be able to specialise into your chosen area.

During the project you will cover the following; developing ideas being informed by the work of others, exploring varied media and techniques, refining recording skills and finally, presenting outcomes. During the first term of Year 11 you will complete an additional smaller project that will follow the same structure. In January of Year 11 all students will be given an exam paper from AQA which is a list of starting points from which they will then develop their Component 2 project which will culminate in a timed assessment to complete their final outcome in.

What Skills Will I Develop?

  • The ability to record high quality images taking into account the use of formal elements
  • Knowledge of digital SLR cameras, lighting and printing
  • Understanding of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom
  • An appreciation of the work of a range of photographers.
  • Ability to produce independent research through the development of written skills in order to analyse and understand varied photographic concepts

The Photography course is digitally based and so you must be IT literate. The course is taught through the creation of digital sketchbooks and all resources are available to you at all times online via MS Teams.

A very important part of the subject is being able to work independently in your own time. You may be required (depending on your topic) to go out and take photographs outside of school time. In addition to this working to set deadlines is essential.

Study support sessions are run weekly after school to provide access to studio facilities and one to one support as needed.

How Will I Be Assessed?

Photography is a Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) subject so both components are assessed internally by Arts Staff and then by the Exam board moderators.
Component 1 (Coursework) makes up 60% of the total marks and Component 2 (Externally Set Task) makes up 40% of the total marks.
Students will be given their marks in the Easter term in Year 11 for Component 1 and then in May for Component 2.

For more information please see The Arts Learning Journey and Photography Curriculum Overview.