Years 10 & 11 Curriculum - Photography

(Lens-based and light-based media) AQA 8206



The Photography Course encourages students to develop their imagination and creative abilities to produce highly-skilled individual work. They will be given a series of themes and asked to respond in their own way. The first theme will be Structures and Unusual Viewpoints, followed by topics of the students own choice. Students will complete two coursework themes from Year 10 to Christmas of Year 11. Students will explore a variety of techniques and processes, creating personal responses to their own experiences, environment and culture.

The course can be very time consuming and it will require students to work on their coursework each week as homework. Therefore, a good home-learning record throughout Year 9 is essential.

Students do not need to have taken Art in Year 9 to apply for this course, however, they should have completed the pre-course assignment which was sent to all Year 9 students to complete. If students have not completed this assignment but would still like to please use the contact details below.



Students will:

  1. Analyse and critique the work of past and contemporary photographers to inspire their work. High quality written communication, annotation and analysis is required.
  2. Plan and carry out photo assignments and experiments using digital photography and editing software, such as Photoshop.
  3. Develop a technical understanding of using a digital camera with creative controls.
  4. Be expected to include sketches and annotations to explain and justify their ideas.
  5. Develop their ideas, through their photographs and edits, thinking creatively and imaginatively as they combine their work together.
  6. Use their development ideas to produce a unique, interesting and highly-skilled final piece.
  7. Maintain a portfolio of well-presented work, showcasing their skills and creativity.



(8206/C) Controlled Assessment – worth 60% of total mark

Students will have completed two coursework assessment projects by Christmas of Year 11.  They will be expected to undertake a project theme and respond by taking and editing photographs. They will photograph in school and at home, study a range of modern and historical photographers, complete design and development ideas and produce a final piece. Students are expected to print and mount their work at the end of the course in black portfolio books to get the top grades.

(8206/X) Examination – worth 40% of total mark

From January of Year 11, students undertake their exam. This will last around eight weeks of preparation time, with a ten-hour exam over two school days to complete a final piece. Students need to be able to work independently and in their final exam period, totally unaided. The internet is banned during the 10 hours and use of this will result in pupils being disqualified.

Students will need to demonstrate the following skills through each project:

  • Show appropriate use of colour, line, tone, shape, texture, pattern and form.
  • Show an appreciation of viewpoint, composition, depth-of-field and movement.
  • Be able to respond to an idea, brief, issue or concept.
  • Use appropriate techniques of developing and printing; presentation; lay-out and mounting.
  • Make appropriate use of the camera, lenses, filters, lighting and film.


  • Students are expected to complete two hours of home learning every week.
  • Students are expected to take their own photographs and organise their own photoshoots.
  • Students are responsible for providing their own digital camera for the course.
  • Students are responsible for all their printing and mounting costs.
  • Students are expected to have completed the Year 9 Photography trial tasks in preparation.


Equipment and Costs

  • Overall costs would range between £50 to £100 (excluding camera and trips).
  • A Digital Camera with creative controls (shutter-speed priority; aperture-priority and manual) will be essential.
  • An A3 black-paged portfolio which can be purchased through the school (~£8) for each of the three coursework projects (total ~ £24). (to be bought if needed at the end of the course)
  • Students will require a memory stick (around 4GB plus) to store their photographs.
  • Students are responsible for all of their printing. Students will be expected to print off their own assignments either at home or more cheaply elsewhere. The colours, quality and durability of the prints are much better quality from shops/on-line, such as Tesco/Photobox/Snapfish/Free Prints.
  • The school currently has ten digital cameras that students can use. Students are NOT allowed to take these cameras home. Most photo assignments will be issued over school holidays and weekends.
  • Students will be expected to provide their own batteries and memory cards.
  • Access to a tripod for use when using slow-shutter speeds.
  • Photography Trips cost between £15 to £40.


Photography is a popular choice for students year on year. If the course becomes over- subscribed students may be accepted based on the qualities mentioned above to assess their suitability for Photography.


Enquiries to: – Subject Leader – Art & Design