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The QKA Digital Media department are dedicated to deepening our students' understanding of the wider media as it exists in the modern world. Media products are now so deeply embedded into our daily lives and it is more important than ever that young people are able to understand the impact these products can have on individuals and societies. It is our core mission to equip students with a range of practical production and analytical skills in various areas of the media; both so that they may better understand how the media operate and develop the skills required to undertake further study or work in the industry itself. Students are able to access a broad and varied curriculum offering an overview of the media during years 9, 10 and 11, moving to a more specialised approach in the Sixth Form. Our department consists of Mr D Barnes (Subject Head) and Mrs L Holmes 

Key Stage Three

Year 9

The year 9 curriculum is designed to introduce students to basic theories and skills in each of the three media platforms.

Topic 1

Students will study the language of print media, focusing on magazine production. This will involve building knowledge of media representations and target audiences. They will develop basic image editing and digital publishing techniques using industry standard software to create magazine covers.

Topic 2

During the second topic we focus on broadcast media and develop skills in video editing to communicate character and story. During this unit students will conduct close study tasks on music videos looking at genre, camera work and editing technique. They will then edit existing footage to create a video for a song.

Topic 3

In the final topic students investigate interactive media products. They will analyse a range of websites, looking at how they are designed to attract specific audiences and perform a particular role (entertainment, information, advertising etc.). Students will then design and construct an interactive site in response to a design brief assessing their ability to apply their understanding. This will involve using skills learnt earlier in the year alongside new software to create the interactive features of the site.

Key Stage Four and Five

L1/2 BTEC tech award, Creative Media Production (Pearson/ Edexcel)

On this course students will develop a range of media skills and deepen their understanding of all three media sectors. This course will allow students to understand where their preferences lie and help them chose their specialism for Sixth form study.

Component 1 (Year10)

This component develops students' awareness of audience, purpose, genre, narrative and media production techniques. This unit is largely theoretical and requires students to analyse a range of media texts from all three platforms (print, broadcast and interactive). Alongside this, students will take part in workshops to learn a range of media production skills such as lighting, cinematography, editing, audio recording and mixing.

Component 2 (Year 10/11)

In this module the focus is on production and pre-production skills. Building on the knowledge and skills developed in component one students will work to produce media texts across one or more platforms.

Component 3 (Year 11)

In the final component students are required to apply the knowledge and skills developed across the course to create a complete production portfolio in response to an industry style assignment, from a project proposal and planning documentation to the finished artefact. This component is externally assessed by the awarding body.

Key Stage Five

Media Studies A level (AQA)

First year study (AS Level)

AS Media Studies engages students in the in-depth study of media products in relation to the four

areas of the theoretical framework:

• media language

• media representation

• media industries

• media audiences.

Students are required to study media products from all of the following media forms:

• television

• film

• radio

• newspapers

• magazines

• advertising and marketing

• online, social and participatory media

• video games

• music Video

In addition to the broad coverage of all nine media forms, students must engage in the in depth

study of at least one audio-visual, one print and one online, social and participatory media form.

These close study texts are set by the exam board each year.

This is assessed through a terminal exam worth 70% of the AS grade.

NEA (coursework) task

Each year the exam board provide a selection of briefs for students to choose from. They have to create a media text in one of the media platforms (broadcast, print or interactive). The NEA element requires students to apply their knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media studies to create a media product using one of the following forms:

• television

• music video

• radio

• newspapers

• magazines

• advertising/marketing

• online, social and participatory media

• video games

• communicate meaning to an intended audience

The NEA task is worth 30% of the AS grade and is assessed by the subject teacher and externally moderated.

Second Year study (A level)

A level study continues to build on the work students completed during the first year. Additional close study products are introduced, and new texts are covered. Assessment is through two end of year exams, providing a final grade for both years' study, as follows:

Paper 1:

Section A will focus on Media Language and Media Representations. Questions in this section will test the following forms:

• advertising and marketing

• music video.

Section B will focus on Media Industries and Media Audiences. Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:

• radio

• newspapers

• film (industries only).

 A range of questions are involved relating to an unseen source and Close Study Products.

Two essay questions (20 marks), one of which is an extended response question.

Paper 2

Questions will focus on the in-depth media forms of television, magazines and online, social and participatory media/video games.

Including; one medium length unseen analysis question and three essay questions (25 marks), one of which is an extended response question and one of which is a synoptic question.

NEA (coursework) task

At A level the NEA briefs follow the same pattern as at AS level. However, students are required to complete two, production tasks across two of the three media platforms. They may choose to continue the same brief that they worked on at AS, completing the second product in the final year, however they need to be aware that the grading requirements are higher at A level, and grades achieved for coursework at AS will not translate to the second year, meaning further development or improvements will likely be required to existing work.


L3 BTEC Extended Certificate in Creative Digital Media Production (Games Production)

This course is made up of four internally assessed coursework units and one externally assessed unit as detailed below:

Unit 13 – Digital Games Production

This unit of study develops a detailed appreciation of the aspects of game design. From core gameplay principals through to constructing a professional design proposal document for a client. All design work is carried out to a brief and students are required to apply their ideas to engage their target audience above all else. This unit is completed alongside Units 33 and 34 below; students will bring together their planning, animation and game engine work to create a working prototype of their game. This will involve developing basic programming skills and working to a strict production schedule in order to deliver the product to the client. Whilst programming for this course does not require or use scripted coding languages, it is beneficial for students to have had some prior experience in this area.

Unit 33 – 2D Animation Techniques

As part of developing assets for their 2D game design, students study the principles and practices of 2D animation. Both traditional and digital techniques are covered and students are required to plan and produce animation reels using a variety of these techniques. From traditional cell animation to programmed, vector and rotoscoping, this unit provides students with a deep understanding of the skills needed to create game animations.

Unit 34 – Game Engine Scripting

This unit teaches students core concepts of game scripting. While they do not need to learn a scripting language students will learn the universal terminology and logical processes these languages use. This knowledge is then applied to their game deign plan to create the underlying program on which their finished game will run. As part of this they will implement basic physics systems, user input conditions, and both simple and multi layered AI.

Unit 40 – 3D Modelling

Delivered at the end of the course, this Unit is intended to prepare students for the next phase of their game development career by introducing the core concepts and techniques required to design and produce 3D models for use in video games. Models are designed to fit with a specific genre of game and are modelled and textured accordingly. Students will then import these models into 3D game engine and demonstrate how they would work within the game environment.

Unit 3 – Digital Media Skills. (External Assessment)

This unit combines elements from throughout the course to see students develop detailed research, preparation and planning skills. They will analyse, investigate and prepare documentation in relation to a commercial brief, present a proposal and production schedule and then complete production and deliver the finished product to the client. This unit is completed under controlled conditions within a 20 hour timed window and all work is assessed externally by the exam board.



David Barnes Subject Leader-

Louise Holmes Teacher of Media-