Photography Curriculum Intent

In an increasingly media- aware and visual landscape, photography provides the alphabet for an international language that informs all forms of global interaction. The saturation of pictorial imagery in which we are immersed means that learning the nuances of ‘visual language’ is more important than ever before. If it is true that ‘Every picture tells a story’, is it not important to be fluent in the language the entire world has in common? 

Key Stage 4

Pupils opting for Photography will be studying the AQA Art & Design specification. You will learn how to use different camera and editing equipment. 

You will be immersed in technical language and experience various photographic techniques to improve your practice. You will also be taught how to use various forms of photographic equipment and shown how to produce images using any ‘light-based’ media. Help is given on how to produce your research into a given topic and create a professional body of work to take you beyond GCSE and into higher education. There is also a compulsory drawing element to the work, mainly digital. An opportunity to create your own website is also offered to showcase your work. 


All pupils are expected to produce photographs independently throughout the two-year course. Your own camera is highly recommended, but the school can loan out equipment on a three day returns basis if required. 

Year 10: 

Term 1&2: Technical skills, camera work, formal elements, digital editing skills, research and evaluating techniques, evaluating and assessing work of your own as well as that of professional photographers. 

Term 3: Beginning an artistic project based around the theme of ‘Portraiture’. 

Year 11 

As a year 11 pupil you are expected to be working more independently and have a more personal, creative input with your photographic work. The first two terms will focus on completing the ‘Portraiture’ project (started in year 10) studying a broad selection of photographers and artist to inspire and inform your own practice. You will learn more professional editing techniques and should, by now be more confident using various cameras and digital media tools to produce your work. Around half of your overall grade will come from written work (researching and evaluating work as you progress with each sub-topic of the portraiture theme). Where possible, there will be a field trip which will assist your main project. 

Term 1&2:  

You will be given a choice between two projects to work on (dependent on your interests) based upon past GCSE exam papers.  


Various photo shoots, working independently, location photography, digital editing skills, research and evaluating techniques. The outcome will be a comprehensive, digital body of work for presentation to the AQA exam board. Course work is worth 60% of the overall GCSE grade. 

Term 3: Beginning an independent project based around the AQA exam paper. Approximately 3 months to complete. Worth 40% of the overall grade. This year, however there will be no externally set exam paper and all grades will be attained from all coursework submitted. 

Scheme of Learning

Photography 2022 SOL

Freelance photography
Press photography and photojournalism
Clinical photography
Military Photography
Wildlife Photography
Photographic stylist
Vlogger/Media Influencer
Web Designer
Graphic Design
Fashion/Glamour Photography
Technical and laboratory work, photofinishing and processing