Photography A level at Stratford upon Avon School
Here at Stratford upon Avon School we have an excellent track record and reputation for helping our A-Level Photographers become exciting, innovative and individual Photographers who often go on to pursue Photography/Art & Design at a higher level. We want you to make our reputation even stronger by learning how to express yourself visually in a way that makes you unique and then exploring in depth the project themes that will show off your artistic attributes.
Component 1 Skills Development Portfolio Year 12, Year 13 Component 1 Personal Investigation Component 2 AQA Externally Set Theme This specification consists of four main elements: Year 12 Coursework Assignments: 1. Camera control and technique. In order to become an artistic and creative photographer, first you need to master the basics. You will be shown how to shoot on film and digital formats, learning traditional wet processes in the darkroom and contrasting these skills to modern day digital processes using DSLR cameras and image manipulation software, such as Adobe Photoshop. This forms part of the Year 12 Skills Development folder. 2. Alongside this you will carry out research into a range of photographers/artists and design movements, producing critique, relevant to your own area of interest. 3. Once mastered you will then move on to create images using creative lighting techniques. This will involve shooting with studio lighting, flashguns, utilising off-camera flash techniques, as used in fashion/editorial shoots. You will also be shown how to make and adapt existing lighting gadgets for creative effect. 4. At the end of each assignment students carry out a short competency test to demonstrate their newly acquired skillset. Year 13 Coursework Project: personal Investigation (based on a theme of your choice via negotiation with tutor) Students research a genre of choice, carrying out initial research and experimentation to develop ideas. To maximise grades and demonstrate technical and creative competencies students are encouraged to shoot both traditional film, 35mm and medium format 120 and to contrast results against DSLR shoots or similar, to develop ideas fully. Alongside practical experimentation (darkroom and digital) students should research relevant photographers/artists/ designers, producing an essay of 1000 – 3000 words.
As part of the course students are expected to shoot in their own time off site, at their own expense, and to seek out and visit relevant art galleries/exhibitions to push their own creative processes and thoughts forward. (Funding support may be available through the post-16 bursary) All evidence should be recorded in a journal/sketchbook, showing what has been learnt from research, experiments, visits and clearly demonstrating how this has influenced the investigation. It is important to remember that the Personal Investigation relies upon the student working extensively in their own time off site, practicing a range of techniques across different formats – making the work stand out, demonstrating their individual creative goals. Year 13 EXAM: 15 hours This is the ‘externally’ set exam. It will feel very similar in format to your GCSE Photography exam i.e. you will receive the exam paper and have 8/9 weeks before the15 hour exam days to prepare your idea
Level 5 in Art or Photography and/or evidence of portfolio.
Photography is ideal for students wishing to pursue a career in either Journalism or the Media industries, and is therefore a popular choice with English, Media and Humanities students. A Level Photography can lead to a host of HE /apprenticeships, career pathways. Most common would be direct access onto a Higher Education course. Those with an Art bias may consider first completing a oneyear Foundation course. The Foundation course exposes students to Art & Photography techniques beyond A level. Our students have successfully gained entry onto the Foundation course at Warwickshire College, Leamington campus. Important: Prior to joining the course, students will be expected to purchase or at least have ongoing access to a DSLR camera or similar, for the duration of two years. The school has a limited number of DSLR cameras but is unable to guarantee ongoing access to cameras for sixth formers as the photography courses are very popular across the wider school cohort. (Funding support may be available through the post-16 bursary).
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Stratford upon Avon School directly.