You are here


Year 10 and 11 GCSE Photography

Description of the course

This fast paced and engaging course provides students with a wide range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to explore their interests in ways that are both personally relevant and developmental in nature. This two unit specification enables students to develop their ability to actively engage in the processes of Photography. Teachers design projects that help students build creative skills through learning and doing. We encourage students to develop imaginative and intuitive ways of working. They gain knowledge and understanding of media, materials and technologies in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures. Students will work across a range of disciplines including dark room processes and digital experimentation. Students look at the work of other photographers and artists to inspire them and document their shoot plans, ideas, experiments and refernces in their sketchbooks. Students will have the chance to work independently and collaboratively. Educational visits are an important part of the course and past trips have been to the Eden Project, Plymouth Aquarium, Plymouth Museum & Gallery and TR2. Students may get the opportunity to work with professional photographers  during one day workshops and in lessons. This is a popular course, with a history of excellent results here at Plympton Academy. We look forward to welcoming the next generation of creative individuals!

Assessment Procedure

This course is a strong foundation for further progression to Art and Design related courses and careers.

60% Unit One – Portfolio of Work }
40% Unit Two – Externally Set Task }

Grade 1 - 9 GCSE Art & Design

Portfolio of Work: Students must submit a folder containing one major project and further experiments and records of gallery visits etc. They will use a variety of materials and techniques. They will need to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding.
Some examples of past projects are: My Generation, Journeys, Landscapes, Portraiture and Identity and Nature.

Externally Set Task: Students are given a list of starting points. They choose one and then over a period of eight weeks they produce a personal artistic response, showing development of their ideas. They then complete a final outcome during a 10 hour examination held over two days.

Students can following many interesting pathways after completing a GCSE Photography course such as; Photography, Media, Graphic Design, Fashion, Art History, Advertising, Teaching, Publishing, Animation, Product Design, Web Design.


Sixth Form: Photography

Course Content

We live in a visual age. Complex, structured images enrich our daily lives. Photography is a relatively recent invention and has become a dominant influence in the way that we relate to the world. Television, the internet, film, advertising and journalism all exploit photography’s potential. We shall consider these aspects along with the development of our own ability to ‘shape’ images. Cameras have never been so readily available, but how many people really know how to use them? By pursuing creative projects of your own and using a combination of scientific technique and aesthetic judgement, you will learn how to get the best out of this extraordinary activity.

Core Requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE Art and Design or Photography is preferred but if you did not take these subjects at GCSE level then a consultation with the Head of Department, Mrs Romanski, is needed before you submit your choices.

Assessment Information

Continuous assessment is made by your teachers who will be working in partnership with you. They will give you practical advice and demonstrate skills in a way that will be easy and exciting to learn. You will be awarded grades for the standard of your ideas as well as your ability to use materials. You will gain an insight into the philosophy of selected artists and you will have an opportunity to discuss and write about your own opinions. The examination board sets a controlled test at the end of the year, the results of which are added to school assessment grades.

Student Statements

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course as I was able to explore a variety of techniques that I would never have known about if had not chosen photography. This course has made me more confident in expressing my own ideas and I have grown to understand and appreciate the work of other photographers. There has not been any negative part of the course and I have enjoyed learning new skills. I have also learnt how to correctly record and analyse my favourite subject, nature. From the course, I know that I would like a future career in photography. I would recommend this course because you are able to work in a positive and enthusiastic environment, with teachers who are happy to help and advise you on completing projects to the highest standard.”

Career Options

The creative industries cover a wide variety of areas including: animation, advertising, computer games, craft, cultural heritage, design, digital media, interactive media, fine art, fashion, film, photo imaging, textiles and TV. When considering which direction you’d like to take your creative career, it’s important to explore the full range of creative opportunities that may be available to you.

Below are some examples of career pathways that Art and Design students may choose to take:

  • Animation
  • Applied arts
  • Art education
  • Computer games
  • Fashion
  • Film and TV
  • Fine art
  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
  • Interactive media and web design
  • Interior design and spatial planning
  • Photography
  • Textiles

Meet The Staff

Mrs Maria Romanski – Head of Art and Design
Mr John Henson – Art and Design teacher, Photography lead teacher
Miss Donna Hawkshaw – Art and Design and Photography Teacher
Mrs Jessica Thomas – Creative Arts Technician and Teaching Assistant