Media and Film Studies

Media and Film Studies are two exciting option subjects offered at GCSE (Media Studies) and A level (Film Studies) at Shenley Brook End School.  They are analytical, reflective and creative subjects that encourage critical and discriminatory thinking – both skills highly valued by universities and employers.  Both Media and Film Studies are intellectually and conceptually demanding subjects that can make significant demands of students, but at the same time they are highly accessible and great fun to study.

Media and Film Studies encourage students to become more confident and critical in their media and film consumption; teaching them how to deconstruct and decode media and film texts and appreciate how they affect viewers and audiences.

Media and Film Studies fit particularly well alongside arts subjects like English, Drama, Art, Law, Theatre Studies and Humanities, but also offer breadth and contrast next to subjects like Maths, ICT the Sciences.  If you have an interest in technology, news, popular culture, film and literature then Media and Film Studies may well be for you.  Likewise, if you are considering a career or university course in the creative or liberal arts then either of the subjects would be a good foundation.

  • Media and Film Team Staff

  • Lead Teacher for Film Studies – Mr J Stephens

  • Lead Teacher for Media Studies - Mr M Quin

  • Film and Media Teachers – Mrs N Chambers,  Miss K McDermott and Mrs. J Lovell

Facilities

Media Studies is taught in a specialist ICT suite within the English Department, with regular classrooms also used on occasions.  Students have access to classroom computers and the schools additional ICT resources, including laptops and iPads.  Students are also encouraged to bring their own device to certain lessons, where they may use their smartphones or tablets to take photographs, record audio or video or access applications – where the curriculum demands it.  Lessons frequently see staff and students using technology in innovative and creative ways.

The department has an extensive stock of film and visual media resources, from classic movies through to the very latest multi-media resources.  There are also some video cameras and tripods for production work and a range of software available for video and sound editing to professional standards.

Additional media and film resources are placed on the school network, a department blog and on the school’s VLE – Moodle, for students to access at any time.

Key Stage 4

Media Studies – Year 9

The Year 9 Media Studies course offers students an introduction into the world of media education.  Students have 5 x 50 minute lessons each fortnight.

As part of the Year 9 Media curriculum, students get the chance to participate in the BBC’s School Report Day, and spend the day as working journalists in a school-based newsroom.  Shortly afterwards, their work is presented on the BBC’s own website for millions to read.

As well as completing some slightly scaled-down versions of the final GCSE coursework essays, students are encouraged to be creative and explore a range of media forms, including:

  • Television drama, TV production and the TV industry
  • The world of advertising and advertising agencies
  • Online, printed and broadcast journalism
  • Digital photography
  • Online applications
  • The video game industry

Media Studies – Years 10 and 11

Following their introductory year, students in Years 10 and 11 follow the WJEC Media Studies GCSE specification.  Students have 5 x 50 minute lessons each fortnight.  This is a two-year, linear GCSE course with two, 90 minute exams at the end of Year 11 and a practical coursework project to complete in Year 11.  The coursework brief is prescribed each year by the exam board and will be different each year.  The coursework is worth 30% of the students’ total mark, whilst the exams are worth 70%.  Award grades are numerical – from 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest).

Students will study a range of interesting topics for their exams, including:

  • The world of television – with a case study on situation comedies

  • The music industry – including the use of music videos and online media

  • Media marketing – including film posters and printed advertisements

sixth form

Film Studies – Year 12

Students study the new WJEC AS level Film Studies specification.  Students are required to sit two exams at the end of the year worth 70% of the total mark, and submit a folder of coursework worth the remaining 30%.

The Film Studies course in Year 12 offers students a unique opportunity to study the medium of film, and cover:

  • Three American films from 1930s to the present day
  • Contemporary American independent films – produced after 2010
  • Two recent British films
  • A European, foreign-language film

Assessment

  • Students make an extended screenplay of their own, demonstrating their understanding of film language and production. (1200-1400 words).  This is followed up by an evaluative analysis, comparing their screenplay to professionally produced films and screenplays. (1000- 1250 words)
  • Students sit two final exams – the first on their three American films and the second on their British and European films.

Film Studies – Year 13

Students study the new WJEC A level Film Studies specification.  Students are required to sit two exams at the end of the year worth 70% of the total mark and submit a folder of coursework worth the remaining 30%.

The Film Studies course in Year 13 offers students a rich and challenging curriculum, covering:

  • Three American films from 1930s to the present day
  • The study of documentary and short films
  • Contemporary American independent films – produced after 2010
  • Two recent British films
  • A European, and a global foreign-language film
  • Film Movement - The study of early, silent movies and Modernism
  • Film Movement - The study of Avant-Garde and Postmodernist film

Assessment

Students make a short film of between four and five minutes

or

Write a screenplay for a short film of 1600-1800 words, accompanied by a digitally photographed storyboard to reflect two minutes of screen time.

Students sit two final exams.  The first paper is based on their American, Documentary and Short films.  The second exam is based on their study of Global Cinema, Silent Film and Avant-Garde cinema. 

Extended Learning

Students enjoy a number of contrasting and stimulating films as part of the curriculum and are encouraged to watch a variety of films outside of school.  Additional viewings of interesting movies out of lesson time are also held – during afternoons and after school.

Viewing and reading lists are provided for students, compete with individual recommendations to help them broaden their cinematic knowledge.  Students are encouraged to share their viewing experiences and discuss their critical viewpoints with their peers – about films seen at the cinema or stumbled upon whilst watching TV at home.  New films and forthcoming collaborations are also discussed in lessons, to keep students’ fingers on the pulse of trends and new projects in the film industry.

Trips to an IMAX cinema, film festival showings and even the Harry Potter Studio Experience are pencilled in for next year.