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GCSE Photography

Mathematics - Year 7

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Below you will find more specific information about the curriculum in Photography for students who have chosen this subject for GCSE, explaining to you what students will learn, when, why and how. There is also information about how parents/carers are able to support students in their learning, extra-curricular opportunities in this subject and how it links to other subjects and the wider world.

While this information covers a broad range of areas, please do get in touch with the Subject Leader Mr Leonowicz if you have any questions.

Please click on the questions below to find out more.

Which exam board will students be examined by?


How are groups organised?

We organise our classes by mixed ability. The students have five one-hour lessons per fortnight.

What characteristics does a successful student have in this subject?

The most successful Photography students will be curious, creative and imaginative. They will enjoy the process of creating images and photographs in a variety of formats that expresses their personal identity

What are the key concepts students will study at this level?

  • Developing ideas with Critical Understanding
  • Exploring and Refining ideas and work
  • Recording ideas, observations and insights.
  • Presenting a personal and meaningful response

What will students learn at this level?


Component 1 (60%) and Component 2  (40%)

Students will learn:

  • How sources inspire the development of ideas
  • The ways in which meanings, ideas and intentions can be communicated through visual and tactile language
  • The characteristics, properties and effects of using different media, materials, photographic techniques and processes
  • the different purposes, intentions and functions of photography
  • To develop their ideas through investigations informed by selecting and critically analysing other photographers’ work
  • To refine their ideas as work progresses through experimenting with media, materials, techniques and processes
  • To record their ideas, observations, insights and independent judgements, visually and through written annotation
  • To use drawing skills for different needs and purposes
  • To realise personal intentions through the sustained application of the creative process

What skills will students develop at this level?

  • A wide range of practical photography skills
  • Analytical and evaluative skills
  • Visual Communication skills
  • Health and safety
  • Teamwork
  • Creative Problem solving

How will students learn at this level?

  • Most learning in Photography will be through doing, making and creating works of photographic images. Practicing skills and reflecting on the processes and outcomes.
  • Looking at and thinking about the work of other photographers, and how it could affect the students’ own artwork.
  • Use a sketchbook to record and track processes and progress.

How will students’ learning be assessed at this level?

Component 1 (60%) starts at the beginning of Year 10 and continues to the Autumn term in Year 11. Students will produce a Personal Portfolio which will demonstrate how well students have developed, explored, recorded and presented their photography.

Component 2 – The Externally Set Assignment (40%) – is a project that lasts for about ten weeks and culminates in a 10 hour period of sustained and unaided focus.

When do key assessments take place?

  • Component 1: Year 10 summer exam June; Year 11 Mock exam December.
  • Component 2: ESA April of Year 11

How can parents/carers support students’ learning?

  • Parents and carers should be curious about the student’s work and progress.
  • Visit galleries and museums
  • Encourage the use of a personal journal/scrap book

What equipment do students need for this subject?

A camera help greatly, but it is not essential.

Sketchbook and general stationery.

How does this subject link to other subjects?

  • English: Written annotations and narratives
  • History: Contexts and artefacts
  • Science: Processes of enquiry
  • Drama: Visual Communication and Expression
  • Technology: Practical skills
  • Art and Design: Visual Literacy

What websites or resources may be helpful to support students’ learning?

Exam Board information


What extra-curricular or enrichment opportunities are available for students in this subject at this level?

The Art Department is open every lunchtime, and specifically two lunchtimes and once after school every week where staff are available.

Gallery visits in Year 10 and Year 11

What sort of careers can this subject lead to?


What does student work look like in this subject at this level?


How does this subject support a broad and balanced curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, and developing traditional core skills?


How does this subject promote creativity, critical thinking, practice, perseverance and resilience, and making links?


How does this subject encourage enrichment and the development of cultural capital, deep learning, and inclusivity?