Art Photography

At Key Stage 4 in this course you will study the history of photography and the technical developments made. You will study a variety of themes such, Portraiture, Natural forms, Landscape photography, Photo journalism, Narrative photography, and Reportage. Students will learn how to record ideas, develop and refine techniques using photography as a tool towards a final outcome.  A variety of skills are taught in using digital photography and various types of software, including Photoshop.

Students must be able to show the process of developing their ideas in a visual form such as creating displays, drawing diagrams, presenting their research creatively and showing evidence of knowledge and understanding as well as producing a final product. Students will use a variety of sketchbooks and work-journals to support their research.

Students complete TWO UNITS of work over two years:


Unit 1 Coursework: (60%)

 Students photograph a wide range of natural forms (such as shells, leaves, vegetables) and learn about formal elements such as Tone Texture and Colour.  They use a range of presentation techniques to develop personal responses. The work of different photographers is researched and analysed and all work is evaluated (written analysis).  There is a strong emphasis on the ability to create well-presented displays.

Structures Students study urban photography and research photographers who record the built environment.  Students plan and create a display of photographs in response to their research.

Mock Exam Project: Students prepare a portfolio of photographic work based on the exam topic of the previous year.  This unit has a similar structure to Unit 2, the external exam.


Unit 2 (External Exam): This exam project/sketchbook is similar to the coursework but the themes are dictated by the exam board (there are 7 themes to choose from).  Students spend their ‘exam preparation period’ researching photographers, taking photographs in response to the research and making photographic displays in response to one of the topics.


During the exam days (a total of 10 hours) they create a ‘final piece’.  Unit 2 requires intensive and independent work. 

The ability to complete homework on time, research photographers and write about the work (in detail) is essential for success in this subject.  Students must be enthusiastic about presenting their photographic work and creating displays.