Film & Media Studies Curriculum Overview
Media and Film are an important part of everyone’s lives, we are constantly surrounded by both Media and Film; these forms are evolving at a rapid and exciting rate. Our vision, here are Southmoor, is to build on enthusiasm and passion for Media and Film; exploring varying forms in a variety of contexts. Through the study of Media and Film, at KS4 and KS5, students will gain an analytical ‘toolkit’, develop creativity and explore original ideas in a fair and inclusive context.
Media and Film is an intensive and academic field of study with a specific film and media terminology and a range of theorists’ ideals to explore and examine. You will need commitment, drive, ambition; high expectations are the key motivators to inspiring, achieving and excelling within this exciting and unique area of study.
The curriculum includes formal teaching through subject areas, assemblies and extracurricular activities. We regularly review content to ensure we continue to meet our curriculum aims. The Media and Film curriculum is planned to enable all students to develop:
- Exceptional problem solving skills
- A High level of competency in regards to computer skills, including Photoshop and Video Editing.
- Basic knowledge of the difference between ICT and Computing
- Passion for the curriculum and interest in future careers in the relevant industries
Throughout our programmes of study, every attempt is made to make explicit links to careers and the world of work. In addition to subject specific links, we aim to explicitly reinforce the skills and aptitudes which support employers say are important in the workplace;
- Resilience (Aiming High, Staying Positive, Learning from Mistakes)
- Collaboration (Teamwork Leadership Communication)
- Creativity (Originality, Problem Solving, Independent Study)
The British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect of those with different faiths and beliefs are taught explicitly and reinforced in the way in which the school operates.
Sequence and structure
Key Stage 4 Media Studies Curriculum
Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum
GCSE Media Studies is an exciting opening chapter in the study of Media and Film and provides students with the adequate bedrock of skills which aid study through to Key Stage 5. Students will study a range of media set texts. Our GCSE Media Studies specification nurtures students’ ability to formulate their own responses to the range of media that saturates modern life – both old and new. It also encourages students to develop their opinions on how the media represents the world.
A choice of practical activities means that you can select according to your personal expertise, students’ interests, or skill set.
Media: Language; Representations, Institutions; Audience.
Section A will focus on Media Language and Media Representations. Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:
- advertising and marketing
Section B will focus on Media Industries and Media Audiences. Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:
- music video
- online, social and participatory media and video games
- film (industries only).
- online, social and participatory media and video games
Media One How it’s assessed?
- Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 84 marks
- 35% of GCSE
Section A will be based on a screening from an extract of one of the television Close Study Products and can test any area of the theoretical framework.
Section B will be based on either newspapers or online, social and participatory media and video games and can test any area of the framework.
Key Stage 5 Media Studies Curriculum
Key Stage 5 Media Studies
Media Studies builds upon the expertise attained at GCSE level, alongside introducing a more expansive range of media language and theoretical perspectives. The study of AS and A Level Media Studies is more expansive and accompanies more media forms: advertising and marketing, film marketing, music videos, newspapers, video gaming, radio, television, magazines and video blogs. Within each form, there is a specified set text for students to develop their understanding of the varying areas of the media studies theoretical framework: Media Language, Representations, Industries and Audiences.
At both levels of study, students will complete 2 examinations, as well as completing original production pieces using ICT packages. As an academic AS and A Level, there is an expectation of dedication to independent study and revision.
Year 13 – AS Level Media Studies (70% exam / 30% coursework)
- Advertising & Marketing: Tide, Kiss of the Vampire and Water Aid
- Film Marketing: Straight Outta Compton
- Music Video: Beyoncé – Formation
- Newspapers: The Daily Mirror
- Radio: Late Night Woman’s Hour: Home
- Video Games: Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation
- TV: Humans S1 E1
- Magazines: Vogue (July 1965)
- Video Blogs: Zoella
- Research portfolio into magazines
- Statement of Aims and Intentions (10 marks)
- Production – creation of a wholly original: Magazine cover, contents page and double page feature article
Year 14 – A Level Media Studies (70% exam / 30% coursework)
Set products involve a more in-depth study of text covered during AS Level study, alongside:
- Film Marketing: I, Daniel Blake
- Music Video: Vance Joy: Riptide
- Newspapers: The Times
- TV: The Bridge: Life on Mars
- Magazines: The Big Issue (Oct 17-23 2016, No. 1227); Vogue.
- Video Blogs: Zoella: Attitude.
- Research portfolio into films
- Statement of Aims and Intentions (10 marks)
- Cross-media production:
- 3 print products: DVD cover and 2 theatrical posters for differing global audiences
- A sequence from a new mainstream radio or television news, current affairs or chat programme to promote your film to its target audience.
Key Stage 5 Film Studies Curriculum
What’s A Level Film Studies about?
This course is ideal for students who want to explore how and why films are made. A level Film Studies focuses on the analysis and deconstruction of film over a wide historical time frame. It allows you to engage with films from early silent cinema to 1930s Hollywood films to contemporary and experimental cinema.
Film Studies A level, involves studying 12 different films. These are separated into set categories, which are;
- Silent Film.
These are analysed via a number of different study area frameworks, including:
- film form
- meaning & response
- critical debates
- theoretical debates.
You work with your peers to debate and pull apart the set film texts and to develop a sophisticated contextual understanding of the world at the time these films were made. Film Studies requires that you develop an inquisitive mind and consider the deeper social, political and economic contexts of those films.
You also explore the work of a wide range of influential film directors, such as Alfred Hitchcock, Spike Lee and the Coen Brothers.
Film Studies A level also takes in the forefathers of cinema by evaluating the impact of key pioneers on the film industry including The Lumiere Brothers, DW Griffiths, Charlie Chaplin, and Sergei Eisenstein.
What sort of work is involved?
Film Studies A level will introduce you to a wide range of film-making processes so that you develop, through discussion, analysis and debate, a wide range of technical skills for both constructing and deconstructing film. This will give you the ability to develop your own creative skills as you explore these film-making techniques from different times and places. The coursework element allows you to experiment with a variety of film-making technology and film-editing software to develop your creative skills.
You will be expected to think independently and to develop your own ‘voice’, and you will be expected to expand your knowledge outside of the classroom through reading about and watching film. This is likely to involve going to film festivals and exhibitions. In essence you will need to live and breathe the cinema!
What background do I need?
A passion for a wide range of cinema is essential for success in Film Studies A level but it is not necessary to have studied either Film or Media at GCSE. It is an academic subject and suits students who have flourished in essay-based subjects like English Literature or History. As a rule, students who have achieved a minimum of 5 GCSE’s 9-4 (equivalent to A*-C) will fare better in this subject.
Where can it lead?
A level Film Studies students can go onto study Film, TV or Media at University. Students have the option to study a practical degree, theoretical degree or a combination of the two. This can lead to a very broad range of professions with many students able to develop skills that will enable them to apply for production roles within the Film, TV and Media industries. Some students opt for careers within Journalism and photojournalism.
A good degree in a creative arts subject like Film Studies can also develop a wide range of transferable skills including analysis, visual communication, problem solving, as well as communication, presentation and organizational skills.
For the Eduqas board (WJEC) 70% of your mark is assessed through two 150-minute exams at the end of the two-year course. One focuses on American and British Film, whilst the other focuses on global, documentary, silent and experimental film.
Coursework makes up the remaining 30% of the Film Studies A Level. You can choose to create a either short film (4-5 minutes) or produce a screenplay for a short film of between 1600-1800 words. The screenplay must also be accompanied with a digitally photographed storyboard of a 2-minute section of the screenplay. and you must write an evaluation of your production, of between 1600-1800 words.
How does our Curriculum cater for students with SEND?
Southmoor Academy is an inclusive academy where every child is valued and respected. We are committed to the inclusion, progress and independence of all our students, including those with SEN. We work to support our students to make progress in their learning, their emotional and social development and their independence. We actively work to support the learning and needs of all members of our community.
A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age. (CoP 2015, p16)
Teachers are responsible for the progress of ALL students in their class and high-quality teaching is carefully planned; this is the first step in supporting students who may have SEND. All students are challenged to do their very best and all students at the Academy are expected to make at least good progress.
How does our curriculum cater for disadvantaged students and those from minority groups?
As a school serving an area with high levels of deprivation, we work tirelessly to raise the attainment for all students and to close any gaps that exist due to social contexts. The deliberate allocation of funding and resources has ensured that attainment gaps are closing in our drive to ensure that all pupils are equally successful when they leave the Academy.
How do we make sure that our curriculum is implemented effectively?
The curriculum leader is responsible for designing the Media and Film Studies curriculum and monitoring implementation.
The subject leader’s monitoring is validated by senior leaders.
Staff have regular access to professional development/training to ensure that curriculum requirements are met.
Effective assessment informs staff about areas in which interventions are required. These interventions are delivered during curriculum time to enhance pupils’ capacity to access the full curriculum.
Curriculum resources are selected carefully and reviewed regularly.
Assessments are designed thoughtfully to assess student progress and inform future learning and progression.
Work scrutiny is carried out within departments to check consistency of marking and feedback.
Analysis of pupil progress through use of SISRA to identify gaps in pupil progress / Target groups.
How do we make sure our curriculum is having the desired impact?
- Examination results analysis and evaluation
- Termly assessments-analysis and evaluation meetings
- Lesson observations
- Learning walks
- Work Journal/ text book scrutiny
- Regular feedback from Teaching Staff during department meetings
- Regular feedback from Middle Leaders during curriculum meetings
- Parental feedback