Film Studies

Departmental approach to the curriculum

In film studies we have a Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 program that requires students to follow a rich and thorough sequence of study in which they build skills necessary to participate in films of increasing complexity. We focus on the intersection of performance, drama and complex film production such as editing, DOP, VFX as these aspects relate to complex and sophisticated film analysis from a cinematography perspective. Students also work on core production such as ADOBE cloud and AVID. A complex and significant change for intakes of film students is the rise of the digital auteur which has only just begun to be taught - even at university level - but has become a core component for examination.  At KS4 and 5 we have as a core ethos, a pedagogical approach which leads students from critical analysis into higher order thinking to take their place in a global community; embracing diversity, equality and inclusion. We extend this through a robust commitment to studying long standing theories and practices, whilst remaining equally committed to innovation and new film software, and the role of performance. We explore mediums of film commencing in 1927 through to the latest films on offer. We are obliged to update our own professional competence every 3-6 months to stay abreast of changes so that our students are not disadvantaged. We believe that filmmakers find their voice by having a thorough understanding of the complex technical processes involved in the telling of the story. Hence, the course familiarises students in roles such as: Director, 1st Assistant Director (assisting on peer productions), Editing (with core skills all students must master), Script Supervisor, DOP, Camera Operator, Sound Mixer, Boom Operator, Location Manager, Sound Designer, Script Writer and Call Sheet Supervisor.


 

Long Term Curriculum Overviews

Year 10 and 11

In Years 10 and 11 students follow the Eduqas exam board. This course is comprised of 2 exam components and one piece of Non-Examined Assessment. Further details about these components are as follows:

 

Component 1: Key Developments in US Film 

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

35% of qualification

This component assesses knowledge and understanding of three US films chosen from a range of options.

Assessment consists of four questions on one pair of US mainstream films and one US independent film:


Section A: US film comparative study

• one stepped question on the first of the chosen pair of films (produced between 1930 and 1960)

• one stepped question on the second of the chosen pair of films (produced between 1961 and 1990)

• one question requiring a comparison of the chosen pair of films


Section B: Key developments in film and film technology

• one multi-part question on developments in film and film technology


Section C: US independent film

• one question on one US independent film

 

Component 2: Global Film: Narrative, Representation and Film Style 

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

35% of qualification

This component assesses knowledge and understanding of three global films produced outside the US chosen from a range of options.

Assessment consists of three questions in three sections:

• Section A: one stepped question on one global English language film
• Section B: one stepped question on one global non-English language film
• Section C: one stepped question on one contemporary UK film.

 

Component 3: Production Non-exam assessment

30% of qualification

This component assesses the ability to apply knowledge and understanding of film to a production and its accompanying evaluative analysis. 

Students produce:

• one genre-based film extract (either from a film or from a screenplay) 

• one evaluative analysis of the production, where learners analyse and evaluate their production in relation to comparable, professionally-produced films or screenplays.

Year 12 and 13

Film Studies

Students follow the Eduqas exam board. Students will study Component 1 and Component 2, consisting of 11 films. Component 3 - 30% of their final grade - is a practical grade. This can be either a screenplay or a film and will also comprise an 1800 word essay, produced under exam conditions. Details of the Film A Level components are as follows: 

 

Component 1: Varieties of film and filmmaking 

Written examination: 21⁄2 hours

35% of qualification

This component assesses knowledge and understanding of six feature-length films.

Section A: Hollywood 1930-1990 (comparative study)

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two Hollywood films, one from the Classical Hollywood period (1930-1960) and the other from the New Hollywood period (1961-1990).

Section B: American film since 2005 (two-film study)

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two American films, one mainstream film and one contemporary independent film.

Section C: British film since 1995 (two-film study)

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two British films.

 

Component 2: Global filmmaking perspectives 

Written examination: 21⁄2 hours

35% of qualification

This component assesses knowledge and understanding of five feature-length films (or their equivalent).

Section A: Global film (two-film study)

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two global films: one European and one produced outside Europe.

Section B: Documentary film

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one documentary film.

Section C: Film movements – Silent cinema

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one silent film or group of films.

Section D: Film movements – Experimental film (1960-2000)

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one film option.

Component 3: Production Non-exam assessment 

30% of qualification

This component assesses one production and its evaluative analysis. Students produce: either a short film (4-5 minutes) or a screenplay for a short film (1600-1800 words) plus a digitally photographed storyboard of a key section from the screenplay and an evaluative analysis essay (1600 - 1800 words).

'The Big Picture' Curriculum Map

'The Big Picture' Curriculum Map

This document will provide a visual overview of the department's curriculum from Key Stages 3 to 5. This is in a student-friendly format to support them in their understanding the of the department's curriculum. 

Assessment

Department Assessment Matrix

This document will provide an overview for assessment for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.

 

Key Stage 3 Judgement Descriptors

This document will give you an overview of the criteria for Emerging, Developing, Secure and Mastery judgements at KS3 for this subject.

How can you help your child succeed in film studies?

The simplest way to support your child in their study of film is to watch great examples of film making and discuss what you watch. Being able to articulate not only why a film is of merit in terms of plot and characterisation, but also in terms of production, lighting, cinematography and sound, is what helps students to become informed and creative film makers. Discussions around the messages found within films and the receptions of differing audiences over time, can help students of film to have a real appreciation of film as an expressive and powerful art form.

Helpful websites and further information