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Photography, Lens and Light Based Media

Exam Board - AQA

Course Content
This course offers an expressive and/or interpretative response to the visual world which is produced with the aid of lens based media and may be manipulated by digital technology. It embodies knowledge and understanding of meanings, information and experiences through a body of photographic work. Understanding is demonstrated through the process of experimentation and is communicated by the production of outcomes. Photographic skills are developed through the use of formal elements, techniques and technology and their application to selected media.
The course is structured on two units for the full A-level certificate.  Year 12 will act as a period to develop skill base and personal style, whilst completing outcomes that will be submitted for the A-level coursework unit.
                    Year 12
First year of A-level course
Component 1
(Some work completed will be submitted towards the 60% of A- level)
2 workbooks which show experimentation and exploration of methods, techniques and processes in black and white and colour photography, in both digital and traditional format.
Research and explanation to show an understanding of context, styles genres, traditions.  Production shots to show use of: the camera, lighting and exposure, digital technology, printing, alternative manipulation and presentation.
Component 1
Teacher set examination period
A response over 8 - 10 weeks to an internally set theme evidenced in a workbook.  10 hour focused manipulation and production of a series of images.  A presentation of all the response to the theme with final outcomes and evaluative discussion.
           Year 13
Component 1
60% of A-level
Coursework -
Critical Investigation
Study of a chosen area with practical outcomes which include a ‘work book’ of investigation into the theme. 1 written response in either book, folder or typed in essay format that supports a personal project document in 1 or 2 sketchbooks – minimum of 1000 words.  Production of a number of resolved photographs which arise from the study and its themes.
Component 2
40% of A-level
A response over 10 weeks to an externally set theme evidenced in a workbook.  15 hour focused manipulation and production of a series of images.  A presentation of all the response to the theme with final outcomes and evaluative discussion.
Methods of Assessment
Year 12 Component 1 will be internally set and marked, with staff assessing outcomes against national standards for the examination board; this will result in a department awarded grade.  Year 13 Component 1 will be internally set and marked, then externally moderated. Year 13 Component 2 is externally set, internally marked and externally moderated.
In May/early June of each course year, students will need to present units for external moderation.  This will take the form of an exhibition.  Each student will be allocated one or two panels of display screen and a table.  Both components must be submitted for Year 12 and both components for the A-level.  (The exam piece and supporting work and the complete coursework units).
Assessment is based on the ability to:
  • Develop ideas through sustained investigations and exploration
  • Analyse and evaluate critically, showing understanding of purpose meanings and contexts
  • Record in an appropriate manner
  • Present a resolved response which realises intention
The four assessment objectives above are the same for both years.  The written investigation element assesses pupil’s written communication, use of specialist terminology and ability to express ideas fluently
Other Information
Students need to have a digital camera and be able to independently  be able to print onto photo quality printing paper at home with access to image based computer programmes.
A wealth of knowledge can be acquired through visits to galleries, museums and exhibitions as well as reading articles, magazines, books, blogs etc. to build up a wide appreciation of photography and its potential possibilities.
Entry Requirements
GCSE 6 Art, 6 Graphic Communication, 6 Photography.  Students who have not studied Art should see Miss Sagar, a portfolio of work will support their application.  Ideally students should achieve a GCSE 6 English.