Media literacy is a prerequisite for success in the 21st Century and at Beauchamps High School, the Media Department is committed to ensuring that each student develops their media understanding and achieves their full potential as a creative and innovative media producer. This is a subject where creativity is celebrated and rewarded and students relish the opportunity to gain practical skills in production and editing. As media influences our students at every stage of their lives, our study of representation and audience theory explores the power of the media to affect lives, analysing ownership, institutions and regulation to evaluate how political, historical, cultural and social contexts have evolved.
Media Studies as a subject is delivered by the Media Department at GCSE and A Level.
Year 10 and 11- Key Stage 4
Following the OCR GCSE Media Studies course, students are introduced to media language and learn the terminology required for effective analysis of the nine media forms. Our students are digital natives who move confidently in the world of new media technology; imaginative tasks are set to inspire students. Year 10 are encouraged to explore their own interests in early practical work with original images providing the basis for all their productions, using and exploring Photoshop as they develop their skills to create convincing music industry productions.
At an early stage of Year 10, a parent/student workshop is offered to all students who have no prior knowledge of Photoshop. An open door after school clinic takes place each week to allow students to develop their skills using contemporary industry standard software. Personalised learning is encouraged, students use record sheets to track their progress use of online tutorials which develop their proficiency with specific tools and effects. With a different coursework brief announced each March, it is essential that our students develop production skills for a variety of different media forms, from magazines to newspapers and advertising.
The department sets challenging targets, which are regularly reviewed. The Media Department prides itself on having the highest expectations of their students and to date, these expectations have been met both in results and the enthusiastic application of conscientious and ambitious students.
Creativity is at the heart of good media production and original images allow students true ownership and investment in their practical tasks. Key skills are reinforced to encourage lower ability students and to allow them to make good progress. Detailed checklists reinforce the need to complete tasks to meet deadlines. Ambitious extension tasks are issued to higher ability students to allow them to work at their own pace; they are encouraged to develop further understanding with more ambitious video tutorials, recording the content and benefits of these tutorials for future reference.
Students are set a series of practical tasks to finesse their skills. OCR issue a coursework brief late in the spring term. Students are required to organise and take original images to fit the brief, which changes every year. Alongside the practical tasks, real media texts are studied to allow students to draw parallels and understand the conventions required for convincing media productions in different forms. Theory is introduced and contextualised in terms of culture, social, political and historical significance. At the end of Year 10, students undertake extensive research into the form dictated by the brief, identifying conventions and genres. Students develop their coursework alongside preparation for the two examinations exploring social, cultural, political and historical media contexts in all nine media forms with in-depth studies into News and Long form television drama.
Y12 and 13- Key Stage 5
Students study the OCR A Level curriculum, which comprises three units, over two years.
The non-examined assessment takes the form of a practical production combining a moving image text and a promotional website. Students will develop a plethora of transferable skills such as project management, demonstrating response to a set brief with initial enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis of their market research. They produce original texts, shooting film using HD cameras, learning creative film editing using the Adobe suite and compose music soundtracks with online software, finally building a website to promote their production.
Critical understanding of both contemporary and historical media and their role in terms of society, culture, politics and the economy are the main focus of the two academic examinations, exploring Media Messages and Evolving Media. Students will apply theory to contemporary practice, analysing cross media convergence, synergy and technological advances within the media industry. Their own promotional website demonstrates their understanding of contemporary marketing practice. In depth studies into the news industry both on and offline provide insight to the dynamic and changing media forms. Case studies for English speaking and foreign language Long Form Television Drama allow students to demonstrate appreciation and critical understanding of the media’s role both historically and currently in society, culture, politics and the economy while developing an understanding of the dynamic and changing relationships between global media forms, products, media industries and audiences.
As well as excellent exam results, the Media Department prides itself on inspiring confidence, initiative and a love of learning that relishes the didactic opportunities offered by a rapidly changing media landscape. Media Studies at Beauchamps High School is both creative and academically challenging. The transferable skills of this subject in the twenty-first century cannot be overstated. With a greater understanding of the social, cultural and political media landscape combined with the digital skills necessary for effective participation and communication, Media students are a force to be reckoned in a wide variety of potential careers, from Advertising and Digital Marketing to Journalism, Broadcasting, Practical Production work and Project Management. This curriculum creates confident, creative and focused individuals who have developed resilience and determination through making independent production choices and dedicating themselves to translating their ambitious and creative visions into industry standard productions.