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Photography is an exciting department that encourages students to be independent, creative and think outside the box to succeed. Students are regularly seen during lunch times and after school working within the department creating dynamic and exciting imagery. The department consists of one full time photography teacher who has a strong ethos on experimentation and a creative teaching style. Photography offers a wide range of projects with different skills interjected, from Digital Photography to Camera-less Techniques. The Photography Department encourage students to incorporate as many different art medias and techniques as possible, ranging from collage, textiles and 3D installation art, drawing inspiration from the art department and their encouragement of students to be aware of the world around them. Many of our GCSE students carry on with photography at A-level and continue to develop their own individual style and creative work.

Key Stage Three Photography

Photography is a new subject being offered at Key Stage Three within the Art rotation and is a popular option at GCSE.

Within Photography students learn to use compact digital cameras. During the Key Stage 3 scheme of work we try to incorporate Photography within our Art rotation.

The students learn how to point and shoot with the cameras, how to transfer an image from SD to make contact sheets. They edit and manipulate photographs inspired by famous photographers. We look at colour theory, selfies and drawing over photos using different editing tools. The students gain a more in depth understanding if they opt for the subject in Year Nine.

Year 10

In year 10, our students begin with a basic skills project that explores camera controls and the three key controls, Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO alongside side Photoshop tutorials which are specific to the photographs that the students take. Once key skills are covered students move onto an independent projects that is based on a GCSE past papers. In these projects, students are given a choice of themes and they develop their ideas based on one theme of their choice. This project gives students the opportunity to develop their skills further and identify their own strengths.

Year 11

In year 11, students begin with a mixed media based project using themes from past GCSE papers, where they create pieces of art that combine photography with a mediums of their choice. Students are given considerably more freedom to experiment, perfect and develop the usage of a variety of Medias such as collage, textiles and 3D installation style pieces combined with photographic skills such as depth of field and macro. This project ends with 10-hour mock exam.

Students are then given the choice of another exam style project based on 4 different themes. From there they identify their preferred type of photography and build a project based on their personal interests and likes within photography. Students are given the freedom to carry on developing their mixed media skills or develop further Photoshop skills, relevant to their chosen themes and ideas.

The final project for year 11 is the GCSE Exam. Which comprises of 15 themes for the students to pick from and then they develop an independent projects during an 8 weeks preparatory period that culminates in a 10-hour exam.

Key Stage Five

Students can opt to complete Photography at Level 2. This is for students who need to secure a Level 2 qualifications to be able to start A Levels. Students can also study A Level Photography.

Level 2:

NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Photography:

This qualification is aimed at those individuals wishing to develop an understanding of photographic processes and the photo imaging industry. The qualification will also allow learners to understand how to manipulate images and explore in detail one of the following areas of photography:

  • Explore photographic equipment, techniques and materials. (core unit)
  • Develop and adapt photographic ideas
  • Studio photography
  • Location photography
  • Experimental and alternative process photography.
  • Presenting a portfolio of photographic imagery

The objectives of this qualification are to support learners to progress into employment in the industry or onto further qualifications at Level 3 in creative subjects including photography, art and design, craft, animation and moving image production.

The course consists of 3 core units. To be awarded the qualification, students must achieve a minimum of 16 credits, 8 from the core unit and 8 from two option units. To achieve the NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Photography, students must successfully demonstrate their achievements in all three core units, showing their individuality and creative flare for image making.


Level 3 A Level:


Like the GCSE course, both the AS and A2 course is a demanding one as students have to be able to work independently and be self-motivated. Student will develop skills and knowledge within photography. Simply being able to take a photograph is not enough. Students must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, perceptive judgement skills, as well as risk taking and problem solving.

There are four major areas:

  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and cultural understanding.
  • AO2: Experiment and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • AO3: Record ideas and observations relevant to the investigation.
  • AO4: Present a personal and creative response relevant to intentions.


In our AS year, students complete 3 separate projects which are combined together to create the coursework grade titles Personal Creative Enquiry. This course is 100% coursework and marked out of 100. Each Assessment Objective is individually worth 25%. A2 is split into 2 components, the coursework which is worth 60% of the qualification and the externally set exam which worth 40% of the qualification. All work in both AS and A2 are internally assessed and externally moderated to ensure work meets the marking criteria AO1, AO2, AO3 & A04.


AS: Art and Design (Photography) Year 1

Personal Enquiry: An introduction to the studio with key lighting techniques, working with models, Photoshop editing, these skills will all be broadened by this unit as they learn the basic camera controls. They will experiment with ideas based on Photo-artists / artists / textile designers and Digital photographers of their choice. This should inform their design journeys art and photography processes this culminates with their own project conclusion.

Component 1: Photo-artists / artists / textile designers and Digital photographers will be looked at firstly then students will go on to investigate and area of interest or theme. Outcomes must be in the form of a mixed media image- Cutting / stencilling / drawing / painting / scanning / embellishing / 3-Dimensional techniques can be used. This unit will place an emphasis on lighting styles and studio techniques in order for students to understand the foundations of photography as well as a range of media.

Component 2: (Mock Exam): Lessons are structured around a theme chosen by the exam board. Students will develop and independent project allowing them to choose their direction and pick skills around their strengths. Outcome = 10 hour sustained focus examination with final pieces of work

Ending the year with a professional exhibition.

A Level: Art and Design (Photography) Year 2

A2 starts with a project titles Unit 2: Personal Study, where students are choose and theme based on areas of photography that they are interested in. They are given much more freedom and independence to create work based on their individual strengths and interests. They drive the unit and its subject matter. Workshops are tailored to their needs and skills are fine-tuned and developed throughout this time. Alongside the practical element of this unit, a written essay links with the theme of the work. This is 2000-3000 words and again driven by the students individual interests and strengths. Both are assessed in relation to one another and work together to form the coursework grade.

The final project for A2 is the A-Level Exam. Which comprises of 12 themes for the students to pick from and then they develop an independent projects during an 8 weeks preparatory period that culminates in a 15-hour exam. This project is titled Unit 3: Externally Set Assignment.

Ending the year with a professional exhibition.



Mrs S Erwin (Head of faculty):
Mr J Clifford (Deputy Head of faculty)

Mrs L Henson
Mrs J Hamaali
Ms H Collins
Miss B Vaus
Miss A Serghiou
Mr V Holland Leavens

Mrs E Runacres
Ms H Thorn

Ms A Howard