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Why study this subject?

This lens-based course centres around communicating creative ideas and personal observations. Both digital and analogue technologies are explored to provide students with a wide variety of learning opportunities and ensure a broad base of understanding. This is coupled with contemporary and conceptual presentation methods and making processes to ensure students are accessing the cutting edge of the art world.

The aims of the workshop phase, at the beginning of Year 12, are to extend learners’ creative and technical skills along with their ability to generate ideas. Students will investigate different approaches to manipulating photographic materials, processes and procedures. Research into the work of professional practitioners underpins each workshop and enables students to develop their understanding of contemporary and historical approaches as well as to inspire and inform their own studies.

The specialist skills and ways of thinking covered in this programme will begin to prepare students with the skills required to develop careers within photography and related industries, as well as provide a pathway into Higher Education to further their studies.

Summary of course content

Students will complete a 21-week workshop phase. During which they will explore pinhole, darkroom chemical processes, cyanotype, film photography, digital photography, movie making, digital and physical manipulation and several forms of presentation. After this initial phase, students will trial a longer form project, with their teacher guiding them through this process. The workshop stage and mock projects are not assessed as part of the overall A-Level submission. At the very end of Year 12, students will begin their Personal Investigation which contributes towards 60% of their final A-Level grade. Within this component, there is a 1000-3000 word related study, to help students learn how to contextualise their practice within the art world. To form the final 40% there is an Externally Set Task, with students completing a project from a selection of themes set by the exam board, ending with a timed final piece produced in exam conditions.

Where the course leads

There is a very well-trod route onto foundation courses where young creatives can identify their specific pathways within the industries of Fine Art, Fashion, Animation, Photography, Graphic Design, Model-Making and many other options. Several students each year are successful in gaining places onto BA Undergraduate courses. The portfolio produced during Year 12 and 13 will highlight your skills and show Higher Education providers that you are adept in many different making and presentation processes.

If you choose to take a different route Post-18 there are opportunities to gain apprenticeships with local photographers, studios or galleries. You can continue to develop your skills after leaving school and your ability to reflect, be critical, share your opinions and generate ideas will help you in any industry of your choice.

Entry requirements

You will need to demonstrate a strong commitment and interest in Photography. A basic understanding of Photography and some previous experience / practice is desirable.Students must seek further advice from the specialist staff before enrolling and be interviewed prior to being accepted on the course.

For further advice contact: Mr A Clarke (Head of Art and Photography)

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