Mr D Rees
Students have the opportunity to take Media Studies at GCSE, AS and Advanced Level. The courses build on their already extensive experience as media consumers and, at GCSE, cover television comedy, soap opera and action adventure films. Sixth Form students have the advantage of the full professional guidance and resources of Kent Educational Television to prepare their coursework. This could be based on moving image or sound work and complements their more theoretical study of film, television, magazines and the use of new media technology in everyday life. Some students move on to film and production degrees.
GCSE MEDIA STUDIES COURSE OUTLINE.
GCSE Media Studies has been a popular option choice for Astor Students recently. Students are attracted to the vibrancy and excitement of the course content and often the idea of studying such a modern topic.
As we say to all students on the first day, however, “Do not be fooled. This course is much more than watching films. This course will require you to create your own media texts based on your superior knowledge of the media.”
·“Anyone can watch a film or a TV programme and then talk about it afterwards; only media students can talk about them like experts and with authority.”
Year Eleven have recently been out and about, enjoying the sunshine, as they filmed their very own ACTION ADVENTURE sequences around the school grounds. We were delighted at how creative and sensible the students were. They really enjoyed the freedom of the exercise and showed an ability to take on several different roles typical of the film industry. Even students who are a little quiet in class could be seen suggesting ideas or acting out chase scenes. Very exciting indeed!
The first year of the course is predominantly about COURSE WORK.
There are three main areas of coursework for each student to complete. Each one should demonstrate a wide range of knowledge and research based on their studies.
ADVERTISING AND REPRESENTATION:
Students study the way in which messages and values are portrayed though the representations found different advertisements. The students focus on the way in which the advertisements uses media language to target their audiences. They will look at a selection of both television and print advertisements, using their knowledge to complete a comparative assignment of their findings.
The purpose is to show students how important the media’s role and responsibility is in portraying different messages and values within their advertising and how these change to fit in with the society they represent.
PRINT ADVERTISEMENT PRODUCTION
Students are encouraged to be creative in the planning, research and production of their own fast food advertisements. They should use their gained knowledge of the media and representation to target their product at a specific audience.
CREATING THEIR OWN MAGAZINE!
Students seem to particularly enjoy this module! They have to research and produce a particular style of magazine, considering who might buy their publication. They also get to demonstrate their photography ·and ICT skills as they use programmes such as Photoshop and Publisher to produce their creations.
A wide variety of magazines of a very high standard have been produced this year so we are looking forward to the results! We think we have some budding journalists in our midst. (attatch a photo of an example magazine cover.)
Students study two interesting and exciting topics for their exam:
ACTION ADVENTURE FILMS.
This part of the course consists of studying many different comedies and the techniques and effects on their audiences. While this is a lot of fun, the students also have to demonstrate their ability to understand the importance of placing certain comedies on certain channels at certain times.
Students work towards being able to analyse clips from action adventure films in terms of the processes used to create a particular genre of film using specific conventions. This part of the exam is visual, as the students will watch a clip of an unseen film and be asked to write about the director’s techniques and their effects.
SO WHY CHOOSE MEDIA?
Media Studies is a very interesting course and teaches students to view the media not just as entertainment but as a very powerful source of information which can change the way people think.
There are many jobs which would require knowledge of how the media works and the GCSE course could lead to students taking A-LEVEL here at Astor and being able to make use of our unique film studio at the Barton Junior school site which has all of the latest equipment.
Astor offers AS and Advanced Media Studies to sixth form students. It is not necessary, although it may be an advantage, to have studied the subject at Key Stage 4.
The work mixes theory and practice and students should have a good standard of English and be interested in all aspects of the media – television, film, radio, print media and, especially, new media through the internet. Students can become involved in professional productions via KETV and the equipment is all industry-standard and of a very high quality.
The GCE consists of four related units; two studied in Year 12 for Advanced Subsidiaryand two in Year· 13 for the final, Advanced qualification.
The course is examined by OCR (ocr.org.uk).
Students joining Year 12 can expect, first, to produce a Foundation Portfolio in Media, a coursework unit where they develop, film, edit and produce a preliminary task and two-minute film. A full electronic evaluation will be produced and students are expected to upload their work for feedback and audience research. This is examined as coursework in January of Year 12.
The second Year 12 assessment is a two-hour exam, Key Media Concepts. In May of Year 12. ·This covers close textual analysis of television drama and a case study in the film industry. The unit is externally assessed.
Students progressing to Year 13 produce, first, an Advanced Portfolio in Media, a coursework unit where students use media technologies to produce a media portfolio, using at least two different media, of three pieces of work. Students choose the tasks from a prescribed list. This is more complicated than the Year 12 work and should show how skills have developed through the course. This is examined as coursework in January of Year 13.
Finally, an external examination, Critical Perspectives in Media, ·ends the course in June of Year 13. The paper covers areas of theoretical evaluation requiring students to reflect on their practical work in the light of concepts such as representation, genre and audience. The two-hour exam also includes a question on a contemporary media issue such· as postmodernism in which students are expected to link theory, explanation and examples in a sophisticated argument.