Year 9

During Year 9 students will learn how to use photographic techniques and processes, appropriate to their personal intentions, as well as how to use relevant media and materials, for example:

  • Lighting
  • Viewpoint
  • Aperture
  • Depth of field
  • Shutter speed and movement
  • Digital processes
  • Digital media, programs and related technologies
  • Graphic media for purposes such as storyboarding, planning and constructing shoots.

To do this they will complete several mini projects such as:

  • Alphabet Design
  • Magazine Cover
  • Miniature World
  • Fantastic and Strange

Students will be required to maintain a portfolio of work that shows thoughts, working process and skills for each project. A high level of homework is also needed.

Year 10 and 11

In Year 10, students will complete two main projects for their portfolio on Still Life and Identity.

Year 11 will see them complete their final pieces of coursework and make any necessary adjustments or changes, before beginning their externally set task in January.

For components one and two students are required to work in one or more area(s) of photography, such as: Portraiture, location photography (working from the built or natural environment), studio photography, documentary photography, photo journalism, experimental imagery, installation and fashion photography.

Both components involve some written work through annotation of ideas and research into artists.

Component 1: Portfolio of work worth 60% of the marks

Students will produce a portfolio of work based around two themes.  Student’s work for the portfolio is carried out under informal supervision, that is, under a sufficient level of supervision to ensure that the contribution of candidates can be recorded accurately, that work can be authenticated and that plagiarism does not take place.  Students are guided to carefully select, organise and present materials, which show work carried out during their course of study. They are expected to provide evidence of meeting all four-assessment objectives:

  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
  • AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

Component 2: Externally Set Task worth 40% of the marks

Question papers are issued from January 2nd in Year 11.

Having selected their preferred assignment, students then have unlimited preparation time, followed by a 10 hour exam in April/May.  All work is marked by the Academy and moderated by AQA.


After completion of the course students could advance to studying A Levels, the IBCP, BTEC Level 3, or to further training in the creative industries.