Art & Design: Photography


Examination Board: AQA
Specification: A & D
Qualification: GCSE 

Head of Department:
Mrs Carole Austin

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Art, Craft and Design (Photography) Assessment:

Candidates will be expected to demonstrate a response to all of the assessment objectives in each component of the examination and the portfolio of work. All objectives are equally weighted. All work is continually assessed.

Candidates will be required to demonstrate their ability to:

AO1: Develop their ideas through investigations informed by contextual and other sources demonstrating analytical and cultural understanding.

AO2: Refine their ideas through experimenting and selecting appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes.

AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to their intentions in visual and/or other forms.

AO4: Present a personal, informed and meaningful response demonstrating analytical and critical understanding, realising intentions and where appropriate, making connections between visual, written, oral or other elements.

Homework: Homework is set 60 minutes per week and forms an integral part of the portfolio.

Course Content:

Art, Craft and Design (Photography) follows the AQA syllabus, which requires GCSE candidates to produce a portfolio of work throughout the two years of the course. This work is seen as a problem solving exercise and should demonstrate clear progression through a range of ideas or themes. The portfolio of work carries 60% of the total marks. Credit is given in the mark scheme for investigations and experimentation. In addition to the portfolio of work, a controlled test takes the form of an externally set paper, which gives candidates the opportunity to work independently within a ten-hour period and carries the remaining 40% of the total marks.

Candidates spend 2 hours per week in specialist rooms, which will enable them to submit a variety of work using lens-based and light-based media, techniques and processes, using new technologies. During the first part of the course emphasis is given to developing and exploring relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to lensbased and light-based media. Responses to these examples will be shown through practical and critical activities which demonstrate the candidates’ understanding of different styles, genres and traditions. In Year 11 more emphasis is given to pupils’ own research, development and lines of enquiry. Practice for the externally set task is given in both Years 10 and 11.

Candidates will work in one or more areas of lens-based and light-based media such as those listed below. They may explore overlapping and combinations of areas:

  • Portraiture
  • Landscape photography (working from the built or natural environment).
  • Still Life photography, (working from natural or manufactured objects).
  • Documentary photography, photo journalism, narrative photography, reportage
  • Fine Art photography, photographic installation
  • Photography involving a moving image, (television, film and animation).
  • New media practice such as computer manipulated photography and photographic projections.

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