Students are encouraged to work independently and grow into confident young photographers as they explore artistic and digital media through a range of photographic and studio techniques. The course is highly structured and engaging, covers the foundations of photography and provides students with the skills they need to shoot sophisticated images and produce personal and imaginative outcomes.
Key Stage 5
Students work in a variety of settings both in the studio and in the world around them and support the development of their ideas through visits to museums and galleries and additional places of interest. The course begins with a skills based project, this is followed by the coursework unit and finally the exam project. Our students’ work is highly personal, engaging and innovative and we enjoy celebrating their achievements in our annual exhibition.
Through this project students develop their understanding of photographic techniques and processes. The emphasis is on developing students’ recording skills and use of a full range of digital and artistic media, and encourages independent thinking and planning in the development of personal ideas. Students are also taught how to successfully analyse their own work and the work of other artists using the specialist vocabulary.
This is the coursework unit and encompasses a practical portfolio and extended essay of approximately 3,000 words. This is a highly ambitious project which has personal significance for each student and is based on their individual interests and strengths.
This is the exam project and the theme is determined every year by Edexcel. Students select a starting point from an early release question paper and complete a fifteen-hour practical exam to develop their ideas into a final outcome.
Learning Beyond the Classroom
We run a variety of extra-curricular clubs which allow students to try out new processes and techniques and experiment with media. At KS4 and 5 sessions are run at lunchtime and after school to allow students to receive additional support with their coursework. KS5 students independently undertake two gallery visits to support their Personal Investigation and Personal Study. We enjoy celebrating the successes of each individual student at our end of year exhibitions.
At Ashlyns, we believe that the development of students’ love of learning is of central importance in our curriculum. In order to give students every opportunity to develop this, we have developed a Challenge Curriculum which provides the opportunity for students to enhance their learning across the subjects. The activities contained within the Challenge Curriculum are for students to undertake independently, and take lots of forms, including watching films or clips, visiting museums, conducting independent research, listening to podcasts, and watching lectures online. They are by no means exhaustive, and we encourage all activities that enable students to engage with subjects beyond the classroom and further their learning. Students should let their teachers know which activities they have completed, and are able to earn merits for doing so.