The Photography Department has a very important role to play in the school life of St Anthony’s Sixth Form.
Photography is offered as an option at KS4 and KS5. The skills required to be successful at photography are taught throughout the year, with students being encouraged to explore both traditional methods and new media. The course starts with a comprehensive introduction to how a camera works and its settings. This grounding allows students to produce the best quality images later in the course and is one of the many reasons Photography is an extremely high achieving subject in terms of outcomes and grades. Students will look at a varied range of themes and approaches, supported by both historical and contemporary photographers. These subjects can range from Fashion Portraiture, Landscapes and even close-up compositions. This course will also be beneficial in developing skills which could help raise grades in other art and or design areas and is often partnered by students at A Level with Fine Art.
AS candidates are required to create a portfolio of work demonstrating a range of knowledge and skills based on lens and light based media. Skills in personal enquiry, experimentation and manipulation are demonstrated through different techniques. Two comprehensive coursework projects are completed at AS level and are accompanied by an AS exam. The two coursework projects include an introduction to the camera and its settings and portraiture; however, students are encouraged to be experimental and explorative within these fields. Staff facilitate individual creativity and ideas outside of these areas if necessary. The exam format is very similar to student’s coursework projects. Students have a set amount of time to complete preliminary studies and then have several hours off timetable to produce a selection of final outcomes for their selected exam question.
The A2 course takes these skills and experiences further, requiring the students to produce coursework based on themes and subject matter developed from their own personal starting points. Students use the art of photography to communicate their understanding through integrated images and text along with a critical studies essay. Past successful themes include Movement, Architecture, Nature, Surrealism and Beauty in the Media. This allows students to develop a creative portfolio of work which can then be used to take to interview and on into student’s further education and careers.
The following is a breakdown of the year 12 and 13 courses on offer along with the relevant assessment and grading criteria:
Students in Sixth Form have the same opportunity as students at GCSE to attend the trips planned for that year. Previous destinations include London, Barcelona and Paris. These have been very successful and help student’s portfolio, especially their contextual research element, enormously.
It is not a requirement that students bring any specialist materials into school, however, due to the level of work expected most students invest in paint and other materials at home in order to continue their practice outside of timetabled lessons. It is a requirement that students work on their portfolios at home and having the required materials aids this massively. Students are expected to bring a drawing pencil (several if possible of varying grades), an eraser, a pencil sharpener, a fine-liner, a writing pen, a ruler and coloured pencils. As the course progresses the girls will become more aware of their material needs and can therefore judge what is worthwhile investing in outside of the departments stock. It is also advisable that the girls have access to a PC and printer, ideally a colour printer, and a digital camera to assist with their studies and essay in year 13. We do have these in department but again most girls are able to source this outside of the classroom.
The following online resources may be of some benefit to students at AS and A2 level:
- There is also a comprehensive array of Art books in the school library which we continue to develop and grow each year.