Curriculum Overview – Year 7
Media Literacy is a subject that encourages students to analyse and evaluate a variety of media products allowing them to then go on and create their own effective media texts. In Year 7 Media Literacy is taught as part of the thematic TRIOS curriculum, which is designed to help students acquire key skills such as teamwork, resilience, independence and oracy, alongside the development of their knowledge and understanding of the subject.
Over the year, students explore two main themes: ‘Roots’ and ‘Environment. ‘ In exploring the theme of ‘Roots,’ we examine the roots of film through the study of the silent film industry. Students view and identify the key aspects of narrative and the techniques that were utilised in this film style, before moving on to plan, film and edit their own group based silent films. In this process students become familiar with a range of technology and use video editing software to create their final products.
Under the theme of ‘Environment’ students create individual magazine articles around the topic, culminating in the creation of a whole class based magazine. Again, professional articles are examined to understand the form and style of these types of media products prior to students creating their own magazines using technology such as Photoshop.
Curriculum Overview – Year 8
In Y8 Media students continue to develop their understanding of the mass media and the techniques used to put forward messages to specific audiences. Students explore the contexts behind the construction of media texts as well as the conventions employed in different texts types.
In the autumn term, we look at the advertising industry, closely examining public service advertising and analysing how key messages are put forward and the techniques used to do so. Students will then move on to create their own effective adverts, highlighting both their understanding of the medium and their creative and practical capabilities.
As the course progresses, students will go on to study two further topics. Firstly, they will look at the newspaper industry, with learning involving the exploration of issues such as politics, funding and the different audiences that newspapers engage. Secondly, students will consider the cult of celebrity, looking at how celebrities are represented in the media and how they choose to promote themselves through social media formats, as well as critically evaluating the broader role of ‘celebrity’ in society.
Curriculum Overview – Year 9
In Year 9 students begin their GCSE Media Studies course and study the EDUQAS specification. The course begins with an introductory topic based on the study of the music industry, and through this students are introduced to key theories and concepts that underpin the GCSE course. We then go on to study the set texts from the exam board that appear in Section A of the Component one exam. These texts explore print advertising, magazine covers, film posters and newspaper front pages, and students are expected to explore the social, historical, cultural and political contexts of these texts, before going on to analyse them further under the concepts of media language and representation.
Alongside the study of these set texts, we continue to develop students’ practical skills adding to their understanding of key design software such as Photoshop. Students them go on to begin to study the set industries in Section B of Component one and look at the newspaper industry in more depth, focusing on aspects such as the impact of technological developments, funding and regulation. Lastly, the course in Year 9 explores the video games industry and students again examine how technological advancements, regulation and revenues impact upon audiences and the overall success of this key media industry.
Curriculum Overview – Year 10
As students progress into Year 10, we complete the coverage of Component one, by studying the two final Section B topics of the film industry and the radio industry. As in Year 9, the key areas to analyse in conjunction with these topics are how they are funded, regulated and how the changing nature of technology has impacted upon their success.
At the start of the spring term, we begin to look at the set texts for Component two, starting with the topic of crime drama. Closely examining the current set text of Luther, students explore the conventions of crime drama, key narrative theories and the technical components of moving image products such as lighting, set design, shot types and so forth.
The course then moves on to look at the music industry and we examine how key issues are explored in music videos and how these and the artists are represented to audiences. The study of this topic is set around two main musical artists, and we go on look at how they use a variety of social media platforms to engage with their fans and further their success.
In the final summer term, the non-examined assessment coursework based component of the course is undertaken. This accounts for 30% of the overall GCSE Media course, and following a set brief from the exam board; students create their own media products and justify their design choices in written form. The product created can take the form of film posters, DVD covers, magazine covers, and articles. All products have to be original and students must use original photography designed to meet the requirements of the exam brief.
Curriculum Overview – Year 11
In Year 11, the aim is for students to revise all of the content they have been taught and continue to practise and refine their exam skills. We work our way through the Component one and Component two topics covered in Year 9 and 10, and ensure that learning is fully embedded and that students are confident both in their knowledge and understanding of these areas and how they can apply this to exam based questions. We put specific focus on practising the longer 20 and 25 mark responses that can be particularly challenging for students to master, and in further enhancing the students’ ability to use key theories in supporting their analysis of texts.
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