• Head of Subject: Miss D Gillett
  • Year groups taught: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13


Welcome to Photography, whether you are considering working in the commercial photographic industry or become a practicing artist working with lens based media, our Photography courses are an excellent starting point.

Our exciting courses will develop a range of creative and technical skills, using both digital and traditional techniques to respond to challenging vocationally relevant projects. These will be underpinned by an awareness of design history, photographic theory and use of Adobe Photoshop.

A key aspect of the programme is the continual and formative assessment of coursework, so you will know how you are progressing at every stage. Your teacher will work closely to support you and help to monitor your development through regular 1:1 tutorials.

Why is this subject important?

Photography is a seriously creative and rewarding subject. Everyone should have a creative outlet. There’s no use pulling the excuse that you’re “not creative”. Anyone can push the button on a camera, and point it at something they think looks cool. It’s honestly that simple to be creative.  However, there is actually a lot more to photography than just pointing the camera at something and pressing the button. That’s where you start. But learning to become a great photographer is a serious challenge. You’ll always be learning something new, have new directions to explore, and new challenges to face. And that’s a good thing! This is a pursuit that you will never be bored with.

Resources to highlight

  • Studio equipment
  • DSLR Cameras (Nikon)
  • Adobe Photoshop

Key stage 4


Photography at GCSE is both rewarding and challenging. You will learn to manage your time effectively, and learn extensively the elements of great picture taking. You will organise yourself to manage your research and practical work effectively, enabling you to gain the skills to be an excellent independent learner.

  • Pathway: N, E and W
  •  Qualifications: GCSE Art and Design: Photography
  • QAN Code: 50045362
  • Examining body: AQA

The skills and qualities Students need to succeed in this course are

  • Imagination and creativity
  • Good literacy skills
  • The ability to research independently, analyse and evaluate information.
  • Good practical skills

What you will study

Year 9
When you begin Photography you will be introduced to other famous photographers. This starting point gives students grounding in the subject area. It will introduce you to using the digital cameras, the history of Photography, various famous Photographers and digital image manipulation. You will research and experiment recreating their images.  Learning new technical skills as well as creative ones! Learners record all their information creatively in their sketchbooks, detailing research, planning, and evaluation of images and development of ideas.

Year 10
Year 10 sees our students starting to develop as photographers; Creative and technical skills are developed through a series of practical assignments. Students investigate photographic media, techniques and technology.

Year 11
Students will produce a finished portfolio of work. Students research and produce practical work in one or more areas including theme-based photography (portraiture, landscapes, still-life, and reportage) photography, photo-journalism, experimental imagery and documentary photography. Year 11 students have the opportunity to advance their creative and technical skills and will be encouraged to increase their understanding of how these skills can be applied in a professional context.

Students are assessed by

Year 9
Students are assessed continually through 1:1 tutorials by their teachers. Formative assessments are given to each student as they work through their coursework.

Year 10
Students are assessed continually through 1:1 tutorials by their teachers. Formative assessments are given to each student as they work through their coursework and will sit a Mock exam.

Year 11
Students are assessed continually through 1:1 tutorials by their teachers. Formative assessments are given to each student as they work through their coursework and will sit their GCSE exam.

Final exam components

  • Unit 1: Portfolio of Work (4206), 60% of total marks
    Controlled Assessment
  • Unit 2: Externally Set Task (42062), 40% of total marks
    Unlimited preparation time plus 10 hours of sustained focused study

What might Students study after this?

This is the starting point for a career in the commercial photographic industry or as a practicing lens based media artist. Many students carry on to A level Photography at Ormiston NEW Academy. After which students could go directly into employment, but many wish to go on to further study on a Foundation Degree, HND or Degree. Students progressing from this course have taken further study in areas such as photography, photo journalism, editorial photography, fashion imaging, visual media and communication and fine art.

Possible careers

Photography: Forensic, Medical, Portraiture, Wedding, Press, Fashion and Advertising; Graphic Design Artist, Digital Artist, Journalist, Film work and Media.

For more information contact

Miss D. Gillett.

See also

Other subjects in Performance, Arts and PE: