Photography as a curriculum subject has been growing rapidly, nationwide.
At Immanuel College, the subject is taught in an innovative and inspiring way, starting in Years 7 and 8, and leading into GCSE and A-Level years, with very impressive results.
Photography is taught in small mixed ability groups. We aim to teach students both the technical aspects of the medium, as well as developing their contextual studies and visual perception. Work is promoted around the campus through exciting displays, and the ambitious end of year Art and Photography Show.
In Years 7 and 8 the Photography curriculum provides pupils with the opportunity to acquire confidence and expertise in the use of digital compact cameras, and develop basic Photoshop skills. It engages students in projects that stimulate creativity and enhance design skills. In Year 9 our pupils can have the opportunity to opt to take Photography as an option subject for GCSE. Our examination board for both GCSE and A Level is OCR. They are both two year linear courses comprising of 60% Coursework and 40% Exam. GCSE is taught in groups of 10 or less and A-Level Photography is taught in groups of 6 or less comprising of independent learning and one-to-one teaching.
GCSE is a very popular option and pupils tend to do extremely well achieving 9’s and 8’s in last year’s examination. We work 1:1 with our pupils at this stage teaching them new skills on an SLR camera and more advanced Photoshop. Pupils get the opportunity to work in our lighting studio creating imaginative still life compositions as well as exciting portraiture work. The students are encouraged to work with many photographic techniques in order to find the one that suits them the best.
At A Level our students become more independent but still have the opportunity for 1:1 teaching. The coursework is based on the subject of ‘Identity’ and at this stage the pupils are encouraged to have in depth concepts behind their work. The students research many established artists to be inspired by and create work that pushes the boundaries of photography. Our A Level students usually gain A-A* grades. Students leave us in the sixth form having reached a level of excellence that fully equips them for a future in the photographic field. Many have entered esteemed art, media, and photographic courses, or undertaken highly credible positions in the photographic or media industries.
We provide an extensive range of extra-curricular activities at lunchtimes and after school which give students opportunities to develop their subject skills. In Year 9 we run a pre GCSE lunchtime club, and at GCSE and A-Level after school sessions. We have run GCSE day- trips to locations such as Kew Gardens in order to practise our photographic skills. We run an annual GCSE and A-Level trip into London to visit galleries and do photo shoots, as well as an overseas trip to give pupils the opportunity to produce imagery in richly diverse cultural contexts. Next year the students of Year 10 we will be joining the French Trip to Strasbourg. The GCSE and A Level students participate in a yearly workshop often run by our alumni.