Photography

The Photography rooms are is found in the CM Block. Photography is one of the optional subjects at KS4, with mixed ability groups used in all year groups. Students can elect to study Photography as post-16 courses.

What is the Curriculum within Photography?

All photography is the capturing of light (radiant energy) and includes images that are made without a camera or film. Photography may be traditional, wet processed, chemical, digital or experimental but without the use of light none would exist. Artists pay close attention to how light behaves and how it influences what is seen. Photographer Artists more so; exploring and controlling light to deliberate effect. The digital revolution has created a renewed interest in the materiality of photography and in traditional methods. In how important the photograph is as an object in its own right rather than just the subject it frames. This materiality includes a consideration of both the photographic object and the way it is presented to the viewer.

Taking photographs allows students to see the world through different perspectives. There are many types of Photographs and these are also grouped into Genres. The study of Photography enables students to explore the world around them and the roles Photographic images have had in shaping it. At Sprowston Community Academy we provide a Fine Art Photography course from Y10 that builds upon the learning experienced within Art lessons. Students explore a number of short technical challenges in the first term; this is designed to build their knowledge base, skill set and develop their understanding of what Photography is.

In Y8 students use Photography to record the environment in the Art lesson, exploring composition, texture and lighting: how does photography link to Science, Geography and History and finally how can it be incorporated into an Illustration project.

In Y9 students use Photography on their Social Media identity project where they consider the power of image manipulation and the social impact of Photographic images and how they are shared.

From Y10 the Photography introduction projects include opportunities to work digitally, with film and light sensitive materials, plus explore using studios and working on location. We aim to give students the opportunity to use SLR cameras in school. Using Adobe Photoshop students will learn how to edit their photographs and present and display them using various styles including digital, printed, projected and constructed. We aim for students to think as creatively as they can; they are expected to come up with their own photo shoot ideas that they can complete independently, allowing students to develop their own style of photography.

Academically we use Ten Threshold concepts to structure the course, developing students’ knowledge, creativity and ability to persuade an audience. They are a way of thinking more deeply about what Photography is, or isn’t; thinking about the Genres, Processes, Techniques and the Function and Purpose of Photography, why do people do it and what impact it has in the world. They also explore how the meanings of Photographs change depending on who is taking them, where, why and when they are taken

Photography requires students to be prepared to engage their brains thinking about what they are doing, to plan, to explore, to think critically and reflect on their own learning.it is designed to be a stimulating course that develops transferable skills, an ability to project manages and a way to tell your opinion in the modern world.

What will the students learn in Photography?

All photography is the capturing of light (radiant energy) and includes images that are made without a camera or film. It may be traditional, wet processed, chemical, digital or experimental but without the use of light none would exist. Photographer Artists pay close attention to how light behaves and how it influences what is seen; exploring and controlling light to deliberate effect. The course encourages students to explore news ways of seeing the world using a wide variety of photographic techniques and processes.

What is GCSE Photography like?

It is an Eduqas Art GCSE specialising in Photography and Lens based media. The course involves a lot of computer-based technology and creative Science. Students need access to a digital camera. Older style cameras are an advantage if you can find one. The course combines theory with practical work in a fun, challenging way that makes learning enjoyable. The course values the evidence of progress and discovery, refinement and experimenting as highly as the final outcomes. Evidence of progress is usually kept in a sketch-book, which is your work journal. Fill it with ideas, plans, experiments, thoughts and observations. You may also use websites, presentation boards or video to present preparation work

Term one: What is Photography: Techniques, Aesthetics and concept challenges: An introduction to the Threshold concepts. Students explore a number of short technical challenges in the first term; this is designed to build their knowledge base; skill set and develop their understanding of what Photography is and how to present it. This project lasts one term

In February, in Y10, students choose their own focus for Photography, exploring and developing their sills and ideas in their independent Major Personal Practical Project. Students can combine digital and/or traditional photographic techniques as well as other Art and Creative processes to plan, create and construct a final outcome in response to their theme. Outcomes may be Digital: OR Paper-based processes – creating a book and a series of prints These are some of the projects undertaken by current students for their component one project:

  • Portraiture: constructing a character through still images 
  • Opacity, transparency and translucency: modern versus traditional photography. 
  • ‘Fantasy and/or Reality, Weird and/or Wonderful’. 
  • Photography and branding 
  • Documentary – every photograph tells a story 
  • Paper and its qualities 
  • Selfie-harm – the role of social media in constructing identity
  • Photographic sculpture; working in three dimensions

Photography KS4 Curriculum Map

How are the students assessed at GCSE?

Component One is worth 60% of the GCSE and completed in lessons and at home. The coursework projects last from September in Y10 to December in Y11. Everything that students produce in that time is considered coursework and counts towards the GCSE grade. During the first term the work produced is considered supportive and experimental evidence for component one. The most important work is the Major Personal Practical Project which is begun in February in Y10

Component Two is an exam board Externally Set Assignment worth 40% of the GCSE and is in two parts. It is completed in the Spring term of Y11; at the start of January the exam board distributes a series of starting points; students must select ONE starting point for a personal project. They must complete their research and development work during a 10-week prep period and before producing a final outcome that realises their ideas during a final timed practical period of sustained work completed in exam conditions

SCA Grade Descriptors for Photography