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Why Photography?

This course enables you to develop your analytical skills by furthering your understanding of visual language through the study of contemporary and historical practice.

You will develop your knowledge of photographic techniques, processes and materials in a personal and creative way. You will have the opportunity to explore image making in a variety of forms including traditional and experimental chemical darkroom practice, digital capture and manipulation, animation and film-making.

What do I need to know?

Exam board: We study OCR Photography.

Entry Requirements: You should aim to meet the standard Sixth Form requirements and also have a grade 5 or above in an Art-related subject at GCSE.

What is the work like?

As an example of the kind of work that you will cover during the A-Level course, please find to the right the pre-A-Level material that we asked Year 11 to complete before starting their Art course with us in September 2020.

Photography Phase 1Photography Phase 2Photography Phase 3

Who do I contact if I have any questions?

Miss Hurst-Levy will be happy to answer any questions that you might have. You are welcome to email her on

To ask a Photography student more about the course, please email and they will be happy to help you.


Additional Costs

We provide:  In class access to:- 

Cameras, tripods, lighting equipment, editing software and darkroom processing.  

Other costs:  To be met by students

Students will need to bear in mind the overall cost of printing and materials throughout the course, as work should be appropriately presented for assessment. 

They should also have a large memory stick (around 24GB) for storing and submitting work. Students can purchase 35mm film and printer paper from the art office.

There is also the additional potential of joining the annual Paris trip at a cost tbc each year.


Component 1: Personal Investigation

Candidates should produce two elements:

  • A portfolio of practical work showing their personal response to a thematic idea or starting point set by the centre or the candidate.
  • An Illustrated Contextual Study; a related study of continuous prose with a guided minimum of 1000 words.

This component is internally assessed and externally moderated, and is worth 120 marks (60% of total A Level).

Component 2: Externally set 40% of total A Level

Candidates select one starting point from an early release paper. This will be issued on 1st February and candidates will choose from a number of themes, each with a range of written and visual starting points, briefs and stimuli.

Candidates will have up to 15 hours supervised time in which to independently realise their response(s).

This component is internally assessed and externally moderated and worth 80 marks.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

The course is supported by visits to galleries and visits from practitioners to enhance your understanding of historical and contemporary practice. 

The art studios are also regularly used at lunchtimes and after school for workshops and personal study sessions.