Key Stage 4 Photography

GCSE Photography

42061 – Photography unit 1

42062 – Photography unit 2

4206 – Full course award Photography

Photography GCSE
Coursework 60% Exam 40%
Year 10 Year 11
September - December January - April May-July September-December January -April
My environment Still Life Portfolio Work Text and Image Exam
5 hour mock     5 hour mock 10hour exam

Unit 1 - Portfolio / Coursework unit 60% ( to be completed between September in Year 10 and Christmas of Year 11)

This Unit will last for 4 terms and cover a variety of subjects based on the generic theme of 'My Environment '. Specific work will be selected for the student’s portfolio. The student’s actual portfolio will be worth 25% of this unit and their sketchbooks the reminder 75%.

Suggested Portfolio Tasks

Unit 2 -Controlled test / Exam 40% (The exam papers will be handed out in January of Year 11)

This unit will last for the last two terms in year 11. A selection of questions will be provided by the examining board (AQA) in January of which students have to select one. Students will need to then research and answer the question they have chosen, culminating in a personal response ,the supporting sketchbook(s) worth 25% and 75% retrospectively.

From September 2014, Photography students will be presenting their coursework and exam online. This will enable students to present their entire photography portfolio in a professional, up to date and innovative way.



Grade A GCSE

Candidates creatively develop and explore ideas through investigations (art experiments: painting, collage, photography, mixed media etc…). They sustain related activity perceptively and effectively analyse and evaluate images, artefacts and products (see how to write about the work of others below). Responses, interpretations and subsequent developments are thoughtfully informed by an understanding of culture and context (own experiments related to the artist or photographer’s work). They thoughtfully develop and refine their ideas through experimentation, confidently manipulating and exploiting a wide range of relevant resources, media, material, techniques and processes. They combine their knowledge, skills and understanding in resourceful, discriminating and purposeful ways. Significant relationships are established between process and product through continuing evaluation, planning and modification as their work progresses. They sensitively and skilfully record ideas and interpret observations and experiences. They present imaginative and personal responses, communicating the results of thorough research and enquiry in appropriate forms that clearly relate to and facilitate the realisation of intentions. They make perceptive and informed connections between personal lines of enquiry and the work of others.

Coursework – what really makes a difference?

  • Completing homework
  • Outstanding presentation of the work in sketchbook (have a look at the A grade sketchbook on the school website under subjects > art > ks4
  • Annotating the work using the writing frame
  • Personal work to add to the portfolio (this doesn’t need to be related to the work done in class, for example a student studying art might also enjoy taking photographs, his photographs can be included in their portfolio as stand-alone pieces of work and will count towards the final grade)

Write about the work of others?

 Describe it.

  • What words would you use to describe this work?
  • How would you describe this work to a person who could not see it?
  • What things do you recognize in this work? What things seem new to you? 

Understand it.

  • What equipment, techniques and processes have been used to make this work?
  • What does this work remind you of?
  • How would you describe the lines in this work ? The shapes? The colors/tones? The textures and patterns?
  • What interests you most about this work of art? 

Analyse it.

  • How is space represented in this work?
  • Which part of the work strikes you as most interesting? Why?
  • What questions would you ask the artist about this work, if s/he were here?
  • What can you discover about this image and the work of this artist through research? How does this new knowledge affect your understanding of the work? 

Interpret it.

  • What title would you give to this work ? What made you decide on that title? What other titles could we give it?
  • What do you think is going on in this work? How did you arrive at that idea?
  • What do you think this work is about? How did you come up that idea?
  • Pretend you are inside this work. What does it feel like?
  • What do you think it would be like to live in this picture? What makes you think that? 

Evaluate it.

  • What do you think other people would say about this work? Why do you think that?
  • What do you think is worth remembering about this photograph?
  • Create a response to this image. What did you choose to create and why? How does it compare to the original stimulus?
  • What have you learned from exploring this work of art?