Contact: Mrs Hermione Best

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What are we studying?

Students will complete a two year course comprising of 3 periods of study a week. They will complete two projects in Year 10 and one in Year 11. The exam paper is given in January of Year 11; students will then use their lesson time to prepare for the exam. The final make for this is completed as a controlled assessment over a 10 hour period, (usually over two days). The exam usually takes place at the beginning of the summer term in Year 11. Assessment is weighted 60% coursework - 40% exam work. Their coursework portfolio is usually made up of one completed project (usually their Year 11 work) and a selection from previous work completed in Year 10.

Students develop both critical thinking and understanding through the study of existing photography as well as practical skills using cameras, lenses, tripods, lighting and photo-editing software. Students will be introduced to a range of photographic genres to include Portraiture, location photography and Studio photography

Year 10 projects

In Year 10 students will cover two projects that will introduce them to the DSLR camera and how to take better images considering their understanding of formal elements; colour, line, form, tone, texture, space, shape, pattern and in particular composition. They will learn how to document and develop their ideas using contact sheets and adjustments in Photo-shop.

The first project will introduce students to manual settings and how the adjustment of shutter speed and aperture will alter their images, this will accumulate in students investigating the use of light. The second project will develop more individual  ideas in response to the theme of ‘fantastic and strange’, here we will look at studio photography using controlled lighting and considering detail and texture; we will also explore location photography and consider the different ways photographers have captured a defined sense of space. Using photo-editing students will then create a personal response the project theme.

The Year 11 project:

At the end of Year 10 we run a trip to some London galleries, including Tate Modern and The Saatchi   Collection in Chelsea. Here students have the opportunity to observe art first hand, attend practical   workshops and draw and collect visual resources from the different locations visited. This forms the inspiration for their Year 11 project. Here they are given a choice of option to develop a final outcome using either the human figure or the built environment as a starting point.

How are we assessed?

Classwork (practical and theory work) and home learning is assessed throughout the Photography course. Students will be given success criteria and GCSE grade descriptors linked to all tasks. For each project   student’s work will be regularly assessed with a GCSE grade and written feedback that includes targets for improvement.

The four assessment objectives are:

Objective 1 - Developing ideas through investigation informed by contextual studies.

Objective 2 - Refining ideas through experimenting and selecting appropriate resources, media, materials,   techniques and processes.

Objective 3 - Recording ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions.

Objective 4 - Presenting a personal, informed and meaningful response.

How are we grouped?

The Photography option is aimed at Level 2 learners with target grades of a 4 or above. The maximum class size is 20.

What home learning are we expected to do?

There will be at least one home learning task set per week, which should take around 1 hour to complete. All the home learning assignments will relate to classwork activities either in the form of preparation e.g. recording ideas, planning shoots and research (books and internet) or completing a unit of work by - evaluating what has been learnt. It may be a recording task which generally requires students to be motivated and organised, to use daylight effectively and arrange to source their photographic shoot appropriately.

All home learning will be available on SMHW. Students will be given a Photography presentation book to complete both class and home learning into; it is their responsibility to follow given guidelines for the presentation of work and to keep their work safe as they transport their classwork and home learning to and from school.

What can parents do to help?

Encourage your child to discuss what they have learnt each week as they are looking through their work. Provide opportunities for work at home, to include a space to work and give support particularly with setting up shoots to facilitate their ideas, volunteer to model, give them a lift to a specific location that will allow them to get the recording they need. Encourage gallery visits. Look out for articles in newspapers or television and discuss them with your child.

Useful resources and equipment:

A set of sketching pencils, to include a white pencil or pen. Stationary, pritt sticks, and scissors,.

A Camera, preferably a DSLR, these can be expensive but a good second hand one is just as effective, you really want an entry level one, Nikon and Canon are the best names, we use Canon DSLR ESO 1100D at school.

Access to the internet for research tasks.

Photo-shop at home would be very helpful, photo-shop elements is cheaper and just as good.