Art & Design - Photography

This course is not an introduction to photography but an opportunity for students to continue from GCSE and develop creative ideas within independent based portfolio projects.

Photography teaches many transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, visual literacy, risk taking, contextual understanding, research skills, project management, collaboration.



Develop your ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.

Experiment with and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining their ideas as their work develops

Record in visual and/or other forms ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, demonstrating an ability to reflect on work and progress.

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

Exam board: Edexcel
Syllabus title: Pearson Edexcel Endorsed Photography
Course code: A Level – 9YP0

Course content

Coursework – This is a body of coursework and a personal study. To begin you will be introduced to a wide range of working methods using the camera and digital editing techniques. Later you can choose your own theme to explore. A sketchbook is needed to document your ideas and to form links with other artists. The personal study is an investigation of an artist, theme or movement, which relates to your practical work. This is in a visual and written format.

Externally set exam

The title is set by the exam board in the second year and given to you in advance of the practical exam. It is similar to a mini project with the final outcome produced under exam conditions. It is usually a one or two word title. Environment or Ritual have been past examples.

Assessment and weighting

You are assessed on your technical skills, recording and research, creative process and outcomes. There is a separate mark for your personal study. Coursework 60%  Exam 40% Each assessment objective is equally weighted.


We will arrange visits throughout the course to use as a stimulus for work and to visit current exhibitions. Local trips will be made during lesson time to supplement ideas.  We aim to have a residential trip every two years

Future opportunities/ career

Careers - Fashion, Photography, Advertising, Architecture, Animation, Illustration, Film, Media, publishing, web based design, journalism, Design. In fact the skills learnt are transferable into many occupations

Qualifications/ School record


  • 4+ in GCSE Art or Photography.
  • Merit and above in BTEC Art.
  • Good attitude to learning in Art/photography KS3 and/or KS4


  • Creative
  • Enquiring mind
  • Willing to experiment and take risks.
  • Interested in the world around you.
  • Ability to solve technical problems



  • Organized
  • Visually aware
  • Able to record your ideas
  • Able to document
  • Ability to research
  • Good understanding of ICT


If you have taken art/ photography in year 9 at GCSE and have grade 3+ we will consider you on application


  • Has an understanding of how to use a sketchbook
  • Can structure a project towards a final piece
  • Has some knowledge of artists, photographers etc.
  • Able to use a digital camera
  • Able to use Photoshop


  • Photography experience
  • Digital editing
  • Enjoy making art outside of school
  • Takes an interest in art and culture