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A member of Excalibur Academies Trust


Our Photography course is one which covers a wide and exciting array of skills and techniques.  Not only will you be working in a contemporary digital way but you will also  learn the traditional methods of darkroom photography. It is a very practical course with a heavy emphasis on coursework where you will go on your own visual journey, evidencing this through a series of contact sheets with digital and written analysis before then developing large scale outcomes.  You will create a physical portfolio of work which showcases your work and utilises your best skill set to reflect your personal creative journey.  This course is backed up with the use of Mac Computers and a bespoke darkroom, with the additional facility of a private photography student study space.


Exam board:

AQA, A-Level Photography


How is the course examined?

  • Coursework (60%). This is started in Term 1 of Yr12 and completed in January of Yr13.
  • 1 x practical exam with preparatory work (40%). This work starts in February of Yr13. It is a personal practical response to a given exam board starting point, with an outcome produced over 3 days in early May.


Year 12 Year 13

Coursework Portfolio Development.

(referred to as your personal study)

You will start the course by following a series of guided workshops in both digital and darkroom photography.  Here we aim to widen your skill set and start thinking in terms of advanced level working practice.


During the year you will be invited to self-select photographers whose work you are drawn to. We then go on a journey; reflecting on what you have seen and exhibitions you have visited, before then pushing the boundaries of your own work- pushing your own photography skills now.

Coursework Portfolio Completion (Sept-Jan)

Using your preferred medium or process of choice, this year is all about those top quality outcomes.  You will be tutored regularly and given the opportunity to build on success to complete your A-Level portfolio.


Exam (Feb- April)

Responding to a chosen starting point, you now have the skills and we will support and guide you as you work independently, pushing for those top grades to help you access your next step in education/career.


Why is the course sequenced this way?

Yr12 starts with a directed series of workshops as this gives us an opportunity to build on your photographic knowledge and introduce new advanced ways of working, which includes using the traditional methods of darkroom, digital and photoshop skills. Photography at Post-16 needs a higher level of independence. We will coach you during these early stages on how to access and use your dedicated Post-16 studio space in your own study time enabling you to maximise your opportunity for success.

We then start your coursework journey early in Yr12 as we find that students often need time to really consider and work around the peripheries of their ideas, before committing to a chosen theme. 

Towards the end of Yr12 and throughout Yr13 you will then be pushed to reach the full expectations of an A-Level Photography student. This is where you now become fully independent and lessons become one on one guided tutorials, exactly as you would experience in university.  This is an exciting time as you will then be a fully fledged photographer - really showing off your skills.  We know some students though need more support and with the bonus of fewer students in class we have the ability to provide you with exactly what you need.


How will I be assessed during the course?

  • Regular portfolio reviews with your teachers
  • A mock exam experience


What’s the best way to revise?

Revision techniques are not needed for this subject, however, the following will be the best way of achieving those top grades:

  • a dedication to a continual production of personal outcomes, both at home and using your dedicated 6th form personal study space studio
  • a commitment to visiting the wonderfully diverse wealth of galleries and museums we have in this city