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The department offers high-quality Photography education which engages, inspires and challenges students. The curriculum provides students with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own photographs using a wide range of media, techniques and processes.

Students will gain critical thinking and understanding the history and culture of a range of photographers. Students will explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to traditional and / or digital photography. Students may use traditional methods such as photographic film and / or digital techniques to produce images. Drawing skills should be understood and developed as appropriate to the ways of recording and communicating intentions, ideas and emotions in the context of Photography.

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Key Stage 5

The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Photography consists of two components, both teacher assessed and externally moderated by the exam board.

Personal Investigation - Unit 1

This is a portfolio of work that demonstrates students' ability to research, develop, explore and analyse ideas. Students will undertake an induction period where they will complete workshop-based lessons and they will be introduced to a broad range of different techniques and processes.

Students will then create a mock project to help them understand the structure of an A-Level project. Within this project, students will study and analyse a range of photographers, create shoot plans, photo shoots, digital and manual edits, develop new ideas and experiment with a range of techniques. Students will produce a final piece for this project.

In the Summer term of Year 12, and through to the start of Spring term of Year 13, students will take a more independent path and develop their Personal Investigation further and effectively conclude a piece of work in a discipline(s) of their choice (60% of the full A-Level).

Externally set assignment - Unit 4

This is set by the exam board and papers will be issued in February of Year 13. Students will be given a 10-week preparatory period running up to the exam. In this time, they will complete preliminary research and studies supported by the department. The final exam is a 20-hour controlled period where students produce an unaided significant piece of work (40% of the full A-Level).

Resources: The department is very well-resourced with a dedicated room, photo studio and a range of digital equipment. There is excellent access to IT, including computer workstations, digital cameras, image manipulation software, two data projectors and graphics tablets.

The department is well-stocked with visual resources and a wide collection of reference books (the library additionally has an excellent collection of art / photography books).

Exams & Assessment

  • Examination Board: Edexcel
  • Personal Investigation - Unit 1 (60% of the full A-Level)
  • Externally set assignment - Unit 4 (40% of the full A-Level)

Enrichment & Extracurricular

Over the year, the photography department will offer various trips to A-Level students, including attending art / photography galleries, museums and workshops.