Photography GCSE

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Examination Board AQA 8206
Subject Leader Mr Duffy
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Candidates will be 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.

The course encourages candidates to develop their own work with reference to other image makers in our own and other cultures, within a historical perspective and responding to current ideas.

Gallery visits, contextual studies and suggested courses of independent study, including using the internet, help candidates in personal research for their sketchbooks.

Homework/Preparatory Work:

It should be noted that throughout the duration of the Photography course, homework plays a big part and may take many hours. Students must be prepared and willing for this.

There is a cost of £10 per student, per year to cover ink costs and materials. There are cameras which would be suitable for the course which can be signed out from school on a short-term basis (although some students may wish to purchase a suitable camera before or during the course).

Portfolio of work:

The Portfolio represents 60% of the marks available. The Portfolio consists of two or more coursework projects which will include many investigatory shoots, experimentation and analysis.

Students develop coursework along broad themes that include still life, the landscape and portraiture. Students’ work becomes progressively more independent, using photographic media to explore their own ideas in order to show adequate refinement, experimentation and development of the project theme. The preparation work and supporting studies are as important as the finished pieces and should read like a visual diary, also including written notes and annotations.

Candidates keep all their work as each project is completed. Work is assessed at regular intervals and coursework is graded. Feedback is given regularly in order for students to improve grades and continue their progression in future projects. At the end of the course all work is handed in for marking and moderation.

Examination – 10 hours over two days

A final extended project worth 40% of the marks awarded.

The examination presents candidates with a theme set by the board. Approximately ten weeks are given for preparatory studies, which should include research, experimental studies, broad use of media and a personal approach. The final piece/s is created during the exam which takes place in the Photography room over two consecutive days.


Portfolio of work 60%

Externally set task 40%

Students are encourage to look at student work and course structure/resources here: