GCSE Photography: lens-based and light-based media

Subject Overview

Pupils are introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of lens-based and light-based media, techniques and processes, including both traditional and new technologies. Pupils explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to lens-based and light-based media from the past and from recent times, including European and non–European examples which are integral to the investigating and making process. Responses to these examples are shown through practical and critical activities which demonstrate the pupils understanding of different styles, genres and traditions. 

Pupils create an online portfolio to evidence their ability to meet the four assessment objectives.

60% of the course is evidenced in unit 1 in which includes more than one extended collection of work, or project which demonstrates an ability to sustain work from initial starting points or project briefs to the realisation of intentions and include evidence of research, the development of ideas and meaningful links with critical/contextual sources. 

40% of the course is evidenced through unit 2, which is an externally set task. Pupils elicit a personal response from one starting point or project brief within the paper for which they have been entered. They are expected to develop their own work informed by their preparatory studies and in their total Externally Set Task submission, evidence coverage of all four assessment objectives.

Year 10

During year 10 pupils take part in a wide range of photography experiences. Pupils are taught the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding they need to complete their work that will be submitted for units 1 and 2. They take part in workshops that study the anatomy of a camera and learn how to use the camera in a variety of manual modes. A range of mini projects are completed that focus on using a variety of camera settings, such as using focus, viewpoint, aperture to understand depth of field and shutter speed to explore exposure. Pupils are introduced to the idea of responding to a theme or working to a brief and learn how to use Photoshop to edit their work and support in the development of their ideas. Pupils learn how to use correct terminology to evaluate their photography work and explore the work of a range of photographers and artists. During this time pupils begin to build a body of work that may be submitted as part of their unit 1 portfolio. Pupils are taught how to build a digital portfolio to record and present their work. During the summer term pupils experience a mock exam to prepare them for their year 11 externally set task. 

Year 11

During the autumn term in year 11, pupils will use all prior knowledge and experience of photography to respond to a theme in an extended personal project. They will evidence all four assessment objectives within this work. Pupils will select their theme from a previous externally set task to become more familiar with exam preparation. In January pupils will receive their Unit 2 externally set task from the exam board and begin preparatory work for their examination. Within this work they will evidence all four assessment objectives. The preparatory work will conclude with 10 hours of sustained focused study in which they create a response to the theme they have been exploring.

(Reviewed September 2018)