To equip students with a range of knowledge and skills that will help them astute consumers of media in an increasingly digital world.
The media surrounds us every day, in all that we see and do. Messages are sent from producer to consumer. This plays a central role in contemporary society. Media Studies teaches pupils how to decode these messages. With a greater understanding of how to decode such messages, pupils are then able to encode their own products.
In times where access to media has never been so easy and we are saturated daily by it, this course teaches pupils the analytical skills to read the given messages with the skill to understand context, and reasons why producers have mediated their product in the way they have, trying to get the consumer to think a specific way. The subject teaches pupils to be active consumers not passive consumers.
Our Media Studies curriculum is implemented by:
Studying the development of the media through the years!
We explore with students how various contexts, social / historical / political, have influenced the media production over time. This provides a greater understanding of genre, stereotypes and media conventions to name but a few.
Alongside studying this theory, pupils learn a wide range of production skills such as moving image (recording and editing), radio drama (script writing, recording and editing) and photography (music industry and magazine design) with production work being created on industry standard software.
With the knowledge gained through research, pupils are able to produce work which is decoded by the chosen audience in a controlled manner. The success of this decoding would, in the real world, engage the audience to take action e.g. watch a film after seeing a film poster, buy a product after seeing a print advert.
The structure of teaching units usually follows an approach of studying the media form, e.g. print advert, supported by PowerPoints. Pupils analyse a given product of the same form, applying knowledge and skills learnt from PowerPoints and teaching support documents. Now familiar with the conventions of the media form, pupils will create their own adhering to the rules set out by the form’s conventions.
Peer assessment plays a large part in pupil’s learning, embedding their knowledge and developing their ability to challenge how a message might be received and acted upon.
Over time the course builds in complexity and challenge. Beginning with basic theory and progressing to the pupils producing a final piece of coursework for a brief set out by the examination board (NEA). Analysis and discussion of set products (adverts, film posters, radio dramas, music videos etc.) over the two years are examined at the end of the course in two exams. By the end of the course pupils can confidently use industry specific key words through the application of written work and discussion in class. End of unit tests indicate how a pupil is progressing, data from which allows pupils, and the teacher, to address gaps in their knowledge.
The intent of our Media curriculum is:
For students to develop analytical skills which enhance their understanding in all other subjects and the of the media in their day to day lives
For instance, we explore the concept of semiotics. Through increased confidence of analysing semiotics in Media, pupils will feel more confident when being challenged with such analysis in other subjects. Skills learned in Media are transferrable to all other subjects and life. They will be able to critically analyse in order to draw conclusions on what is being presented to them, arguing whether they agree with the producers message or not. They will be able to confidently design professional looking media for a specific purpose in many different forms.
Following completion of this course pupils have gone onto further education studies in more specialist areas such as Creative Media Production, Animation, Digital Marketing, and then higher education. Some progressing further into freelancing in areas such as TV production and radio.
Key Stage 4 Assessment
GCSE Exam Board: EDUQAS
NEA (Non Exam Assessment) 30% – Media production from a given brief
Component 1 Exam 40% – Exploring the media 1.5hrs
Component 2 Exam 30% – Understanding Media Forms and Products 1.5hrs
I’ve learnt to do video and photo editing. I like the mixture of written work and practical work as it means that I can show my understanding in different ways.
I’m much more aware of what we see in the media. I can spot things like whether a film has positive gender representations or how an advert encourages us to buy things that we don’t need!
I have found the different areas of media within the course interesting, gaining more confidence as a result of all the discussions we have had.