Exam Board: AQA

8206 - Photography: lens-based and light-based media

What will I be studying?

The Photography GCSE is a chance to explore both the historical and contemporary approach to image making. With advertising, apps and technology developing at a rapid rate we begin by investigating what creates a successful image, exploring camera techniques and formal elements of design. If you are interested in Art and Design but prefer working with technology this will be the course for you.

At Sidcot we tend to set broad themes which you respond to in a personal way. We teach you aspects that you individually want to develop, whether this is editing, darkroom or studio lighting or camera less techniques. It really depends on how and where you want your final project to go. The emphasis of the GCSE course is on ‘development’ and ‘process’, as well as on the creation of finished work for exhibition.

You will still have an element of drawing to record your plans for images but they could be called diagrams! Essays are not part of the course requirements but you will need to record research and written annotations explaining your interests and ideas.

How will I be assessed?

The examination paper will be given at the start of the Spring Term of the second year, when students
have several weeks of preparation time. As with the portfolio, you use this time to build up a sketchbook of research and development work, which culminates in ten hours of sustained focused study, spread over two consecutive days. The externally set task is 40% of the final mark.

Is there anything else I need to know about this subject course?

Since all of the work you produce is assessed, you need to work hard right from the start of Lower Fifth. All the work you produce will contribute to your final grade. Sketchbooks can be presented digitally or in books depending on the suitability of presentation for the project.

Portfolio of work 60%
Externally set task 40%


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