Photography A Level at St Laurence School
Pupils will be introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of Photographic media, techniques and
processes. They will be made aware of both traditional and new technologies. Pupils will explore relevant
examples of Photography and resources relating to a range of Photography from the past and from recent
times. This will be integral to the investigating and making process. Their responses to these examples will be
shown through practical and critical activities, which demonstrate their understanding of different styles,
genres and traditions.
Areas of Study:
Candidates are required to work in one or more area(s) of Photography, such as those listed below. They may
explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas.
• landscape photography (working from the urban, rural and/or coastal environment)
• still-life photography, working from objects or from the natural world
• documentary photography, photo journalism
• experimental imagery
• photographic installation, video, television and film.
Skills and Techniques:
Candidates will be expected to demonstrate skills, in all of the following:
• The ability to explore elements of visual language, line, form, colour, pattern and texture in the
context of Photography
• The ability to respond to an issue, theme, concept or idea or work to a brief or answer a need in
• Appreciation of viewpoint, composition, depth offield and movement; time based, through such
techniques as sequence or ‘frozen moment’
• The appropriate use of the camera, film, lenses, filters and lighting for work in their chosen area of
• Understanding of techniques related to the developing and printing of photographic images, where
appropriate, presentation and layout.
Knowledge and Understanding
Candidates must show knowledge and understanding of:
• How ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts created in
the chosen area(s) of Photography
• Historical and contemporary developments and different styles and genres• How images and artefacts relate to social, environmental, cultural and/or ethical contexts, and to the
time and place in which they were created
• Continuity and change in different styles, genres and traditions relevant to Photography
• The working vocabulary and specialist terminology which is relevant to their chosen area(s) of
Photography What examinations will I have to take to get my qualification?
Unit 1 ARTF1, non exam portfolio. 60% of AS, No time limit,. Portfolio of work set and marked internally and
moderated by AQA
Non exam portfolio: forms the basis on which students develop their knowledge, skill and understanding.
Students will be encouraged to formulate ideas from a given starting point or design brief, developing a
personal response, through a series of ideas and outcomes towards one or more well considered conclusions.
Students will learn the skills required for analysis of their own and others work.
Unit 2 ARTF2, Externally set assignment,40% of AS, Supervised time (5 hours), Work produced will be marked
internally and moderated by AQA
The emphasis of this unit will be the development of ideas. The exam paper will consist of a choice of five
questions to be used as starting points. Work can be submitted in the form of Sketchbooks, workbooks and/or
journals; alternatively, work may be presented on mounted sheets or study sheets. During the examination
period, following a period of initial research pupils will undertake five hours of unaided, supervised time.
A level ARTF3, Personal Investigation, 60% of A Level, No time limit.
Personal investigations will be supported by a written element of 1000-3000 words, set and marked internally
and moderated by AQA
This will be practical unit with a written element in which pupils will develop a personal investigation based on
an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished piece or pieces. The practical elements should be linked
with some aspect of contemporary or past practice of artists, illustrators or designers.
exam ARTF4, A2 Externally set assignment, 40% of A Level Supervised time 15 hours, 80 marks. Work
produced will be marked internally and moderated by AQA
The exam paper will consist of a choice of eight questions to be used as starting points. Preparatory work
should be submitted in any appropriate form, such as mounted sheets, study-sheets, sketchbooks, workbooks
Towards the end of the examination period pupils will complete 15 hours of unaided and supervised time, the
first 3 hours of which will be consecutive. Pupils will produce a clearly defined selection of work that makes up
a whole, leading to a finished piece or pieces. Pupils will be assessed on their ability to work independently
within the specific time constraints, developing a personal response, and addressing all four assessment
We recommend that candidates should have acquired the skills and knowledge associated with a GCSE in Art and Design or Graphic Design course or equivalent. This may include an understanding of the basic elements of Art and some experience of working with creative computer software, such as the Adobe Suite (eg Photoshop). You should have an understanding of the place of Photography in the world, it’s history and purpose. Above all you should have an interest and a passion for creating and understanding Photography.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Laurence School directly.