Head of Department: Miss T Wilhelmy
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Curriculum Intent

Studying photography at Key Stage (KS)4 and KS5 provides students with the opportunity to develop creative and practical skills. Photography encourages students to look at the world around them in a variety of ways: using technical skills with both camera and phone, creative thinking and contextual understanding.

Students will develop skills in critical thinking, analysis and an understanding of historical and contemporary art, design and photographic practice. Using knowledge of project management and presentation skills, students are encouraged to work independently, taking ownership of deadlines, goals and targets.

The knowledge and skills developed through studying photography will create individuals ready to pursue careers in the art and design world, as well as supporting roles outside of the creative industry.


Lessons are built around the Creative Process; taking students through idea development to final outcomes and presentation. Students will be taken through the Creative Process on a number of occasions, demonstrating the iterative nature of the work.

The Creative Process is used throughout the creative industry, as well as other sectors such as manufacturing and engineering. Over the 2 year GCSE course, students will build up their knowledge and understanding of photography, as well as growing in confidence and independence enabling them to meet the requirements of the Exam Board to work independently on the Externally Set Assignment (released in January of Year 11.)

Throughout the GCSE programme, students develop their technical abilities using their mobile phones, Bridge and DSLR cameras to explore a range of photographic techniques and processes. Students will learn how to work in a photographic studio, understanding Health and Safety responsibilities. ICT skills are also developed, with students learning how to use the Google Suite, as well as editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.

At KS5, Post-16 students study the BTEC National Diploma in Photography; a qualification that is equivalent to 2 A Levels. Students study a range of subjects including Studio Photography, Managing a Client Brief and Non-Digital Photography. This allows students to build up their knowledge and expertise in a range of photographic styles, with assignments firmly based on a vocational context.


Our curriculum has been designed around the GCSE Photography specification and the 4 Assessment Objectives. We want students to achieve the best grade possible, as well as developing a portfolio of photographic images that they are proud of.

The BTEC Photography curriculum has been designed to ensure that students have the knowledge and skills to achieve the best grades possible for each of their assignments, as well as providing them with skills that can be used in the next stage of their lives. Each assignment is linked to a real-life scenario and is set with a specific deadline, reflecting life in the creative industries.

Students will develop knowledge and skills that will enable them to contribute successfully to the workplace and society in general. Studying this qualification will equip our students with the creative and technical knowledge needed to move on to the next stage of their lives, whether this is further photographic study, an apprenticeship or other career routes.

We believe that the skills our students gain will be of benefit to them in whatever discipline they study and work in. Links to potential careers in the creative industry are highlighted throughout the programme and students are made aware of how the skills will help them in their future careers.

Photography Overview

Photography Specification