Ysgol Stanwell School

Archer Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 2XL

Film & Media Studies

Head of Department
Mr I O’Rourke
Mrs R Connor
Mrs L Crowter
Mrs S Hall

Media Studies at Stanwell School has been offered as an option at GCSE since 1985 and at A Level since 1996. The department achieves very successfully at Key Stages 4 and 5 and benefits from the best facilities available.

The media has a profound influence over our lives. Whether we use the media for pleasure, information, or to widen our interests, it is difficult to escape the media messages which permeate our lives. One of the most exciting elements for students is that they have already engaged with the subject matter and have accrued implicit knowledge about it. Media Studies is a subject whose parameters extend beyond the classroom and into the lives of the students who study it.

Students patently enjoy their Media Studies work, and take great pride in creating products themselves. It is a subject which offers the less able the chance to make maximum use of their own media experience and special interests. Yet at the same time it enables the able students to make full use of their abilities through comparative analysis underpinned by appropriate concepts, using complex terminology and creating production work to a supremely high standard.

Holly Framing a shotFilm Studies has been offered as an option at A Level since 2011. It has proven to be both popular and successful, with excellent results in 2013.

It has been argued that film was the major art form of the 20th century. The 21st century promises the development of new modes of cinematic expression and exhibition. Film Studies A Level offers students a challenging and thought provoking course that will enable them to develop their ability to critically analyse film texts and also develop their own creativity and practical skills, either in audio-visual or written form.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Media Studies is offered as an option to all Year 9 students, having had no previous experience of the subject. Media Studies is a course offering pupils the chance to learn about mass media forms – Film, Television, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers, Comics and Popular Music. They will learn about the history and organisation of the media institutions themselves and also about the process by which different programme, editions, songs etc. are actually made. One thing all pupils enjoy is the chance to critically analyse the media texts which interest them, using exciting new concepts and terminology, because it increases their previous understanding and enjoyment of them so much.

Media Studies pupils using an Canon 600D

Improved facilities and resources have resulted in more opportunities to experiment with different media forms, whether through varied methodology, a range of analytical tasks, or the actual production of media artefacts. There are 4 groups in Year 10 and 3 in Year 11. The WJEC specification changed in September 2009 and will be implemented from September 2009 with the current Year 10 and examined summer 2011.

The GCSE examination in Media Studies is assessed through an exam paper (40%) and three pieces of controlled assessment work (60%). One must be a production piece and two are textual investigations on different media areas. Pupils are given opportunities to create controlled assessment work that reflect their own areas of media interest and specialism. There are two tiers of entry for the written paper – the Foundation Tier can award grades from C-G and the Higher Tier can award grades from A*-D.

Examination results have been consistently high in recent years, and WJEC feedback has been extremely pleasing, paying particular attention to the high level of conceptual understanding and the high standard of a wide range of assessment pieces which Stanwell students have attained.

Key Stage 5

The A Level course changed in 2008 to become a four part modular course, the first two modules – MS1 and MS2 comprising the study of Year 12 students and resulting in an AS grade, and the final two modules – MS3 and MS4 comprising the study of Year 13 students and resulting in a final A2 Level grade.

Two modules are practical in nature and two represent written examinations. An outline of each one is found below.
In addition to summative modules, assessments also take place through formative assignments throughout the course, including oral feedback, simulation work, presentations and essays/reports.

Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced Level Overview

Unit Unit Name A2 Award Percentage Assessment Details
MS1 Media Representations & Responses 25% Written paper 2.5 hours Three compulsory questions, including one on unseen audio-visual or print-based material.
MS2 Media Production Processes 25% Coursework A portfolio of original work – one piece of pre-production; one piece of production which develops from the pre-production; and one report.
MS3 Media Investigation & Production 25% Coursework Three components: a written investigation; a media production piece; and an evaluation.
MS4 Media – Text, Industry & Audience 25% Written paper 2.5 hours Three questions based on different media institutions and industries

The WJEC provides the syllabus for the A Level course. There is a clear sense of continuity for students who opted for GCSE Media Studies in this course, although the AS course is designed to cater for students who have not taken it at GCSE Level, due to the initial induction scheme.

Students are allocated five lessons per week for each year of their A Level study. There are currently 3 groups in Year 13 and 3 groups in Year 12.

BTEC Creative Media

Choosing Creative Media Production as part of your Advanced Level programme will give you an understanding of the practical skills and knowledge needed to begin professional work in the media production industry. You will choose to focus on either the Radio Industry or the TV/Film Industry. It will take two academic years to complete this course, which is designed to be adaptable to your abilities and needs. There are three mandatory specialist units, plus a choice of four specialist units (totalling 360 guided learning hours over two years).

BTEC Creative MediaWith the international recognition of BTEC courses such as this, you can progress straight into employment or pursue higher study at university. Successful students should be well qualified for a number of future careers.

The course will offer four units to be completed in Year 12: two compulsory and two choices.

  1. Pre-Production Techniques for the Creative Media Industries (core)
  2. Communication Skills for Creative Media Production (core)
  3. Understanding the Radio Industry (Radio only)
  4. Understanding the TV & Film Industries (TV & Film only)
  5. Radio Commercial Production (Radio only)
  6. Single Camera Techniques (TV & Film only)

In Year 13 you will complete a further three units, all chosen from the following list:

  1. Research Techniques (core)
  2. Music-Based Programming for Radio (Radio only)
  3. Music Video Production (TV & Film only)
  4. Factual Programme Production Techniques for Radio (Radio only)
  5. Presentation Techniques for Broadcasting (TV & Film only)

Grading Systems and the UCAS Tariff

The qualification is equivalent to one GCE A Level and is graded pass, merit or distinction (P. M. D.). There is also a D* (Distinction*).

On the UCAS Tariff if you successfully complete the two year course:

  • D* = 140 UCAS Points (A*)
  • M = 80 UCAS Points (C)
  • D = 120 UCAS Points (A)
  • P = 40 UCAS Points (E)

If you only complete the Year 12 course the tariff is as follows:

  • D* = 70 UCAS Points (C/D)
  • M = 40 UCAS Points (E)
  • D = 60 UCAS Points (D)
  • P = 20 UCAS Points

Compatible Subjects

Creative Media is compatible with the English, History, Sociology, Psychology, DT, Art, ICT, Media Studies and Film Studies subjects.

Careers Wales Mark Eco Schools Healthy Schools Vale Network Welsh Baccalaureate Arts Council of Wales