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GCSE Art and Design: Photography

Course Specification available here.

Assessment Details

Component 1: Pupil Portfolio consisting of 3 projects: 60%
Component 2: Controlled Assignment Timed 10 hour piece and supporting studies: 40%

Course Information

In order to meet all of the assessment objectives, students have the opportunity to work with a variety of photographic media over 3 projects, including darkroom/wet photography. The projects are designed by the department and will include portraiture, perspective, proportion and creating conceptual pieces of work.

Over both projects students develop use of the camera, studio equipment and use of the dark room for developing film. Students are also required to use a variety of Art related media when developing and refining their ideas.  Uses of drawing, painting, collage and photomontage, sewing are all employed to illustrate the pupils’ development, research, ideas and recording. The pupils will create two or three final pieces. Pupils will have the opportunity to visit galleries and museums throughout the course. As young artists, pupil’s work will be exhibited in a final exhibition at the end of the course.

EXAMINATION requirements. All of the assessment objectives must be met in order to pass the examination.

  • 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.

Steps to Success in GCSE Photography

  1. Spend at least two hours each week on homework.
  2. Visit London art and photography galleries.
  3. Use Photoshop to manipulate your images, investigate and develop your ideas.
  4. Learn how to control Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO as soon as possible and implement this in your photography.
  5. Research photographers, create images in their style, write about how they created their work and give your opinion on their work.
  6. Thoroughly annotate your work using the literacy help sheets. Label all images used with Artist’s Name, Title and Date.
  7. Attend Photography Studio Sessions at least once a week.
  8. Experiment with different techniques in the darkroom e.g. solarisation, photograms and double exposure.
  9. Use the school cameras to take photographs in your own time, based around the theme.
  10. Learn to use the Studio to photograph their subjects in a controlled environment.
  11. Keep your sketchbook up-to-date and tidy, use key photography words in your annotations.
  12. Create step by steps of how photographs are produced; include diagrams of studio set ups.

Useful websites:  (click on images, large images, save as jpeg)

Syllabus: GCSE: Art and Design (Photography)

Examination Board: AQA

More information: Miss V Parker