Media Studies Curriculum Vision
Our curriculum in Media Studies is innovative, balanced, and challenging to cultivate curiosity, citizenship, and creativity in our students. Through a two-to-one ratio of written analytical work and production skills, our curriculum dynamically shifts depending on current world events, the latest media fads, or new communication technology. The immediacy of the subject engages students not only in their school-work, but in what is happening in the world around them at a practical and theoretical level.
How do we help our student to ROAR?
Resilient: With a close relationship to our English department, we ensure students are aware that reading skills like analysis and evaluation are transferable between the two subjects. This allows students to make connections to the wider use of these skills both within the media industry and daily life. We also want students to develop their confidence in public speaking and expressing their thoughts through debate with peers and teachers. These are fundamental skills for future employment and life.
Open-Minded: All media texts are looked at within their historical, political, and economic context. This contextual approach allows students to explore and establish their own understanding of the world while at the same time questioning the media they consume for biases on politics, representations of people and communities, and communication technologies. Some of the articles and media texts we analyse may be perceived in very different ways by each student in the class and we want to encourage open mindedness to others’ views and opinions.
Aspirational: We want students to move from being consumers of media texts to critics, so our curriculum is crafted to engage them in both historical and contemporary texts that offer a wealth of critical analysis and a space to apply their key vocabulary and skills to make them more active participants in the world around them. By inviting in skilled and experienced people from the Media Industry to talk to the students we hope that there will be a spark of interest or a new passion created for a particular industry. We also want students to feel that they can get into the Media Industry as sought after as these jobs may be, with hard work and determination anything is possible.
Reflective: Through planned feedback improvement time, students are given space to reflect on their progress, make improvements, and set targets for future learning with the help of their class teachers. We don’t just use reflection for Assessments but in every lesson as we ask students to reflect on their understanding and knowledge through ‘Do Now’ knowledge recall tasks which involve interleaving knowledge from prior topics and learning.
Students begin Media Studies by developing the key vocabulary, theoretical concepts and skills. This maintains continuity with the aims of Years 7-9 English in their written work. Students learn to make connections between their new vocabulary and text with prior knowledge and skills from KS3 English. By the end of the year students will have been introduced to several forms of challenging media texts and technological skills which will allow them to begin their GCSE years with confidence. students utilise the key vocabulary, concepts and skills gained over the first year and apply them to the set texts for GCSE and their Coursework unit which allows them to showcase the skills they have developed over the year in Media. They delve deeper into theoretical concepts at the GCSE level and continue to develop their application and evaluative skills needed for their examinations.
In their final year of GCSEs students complete their theoretical investigation into two final forms of media text looking at TV Crime Drama and Music Video in detail. The culmination of their theoretical skills is put to the test with exam writing practice tutorials and mini mock exam question assessments. Students then prepare for their GCSEs through interleaved revision that reviews knowledge and skills for retention.
Students begin their two-year A-Level course y being introduced to theories and key concepts with a critical eye. Students at A- Level can develop from being analysts at GCSE to critics- another important attribute for future life. The rigorous academic nature of the A-Level specification allows students to grow as critics of media and become more informed citizens. Within the first year we study every unit within Paper 1 with rigorous testing and writing skill practice tutorials so the students are confident in how to respond to the exam questions. In the final term of the first year we begin practical skill development with a choice of Music Video or Print Magazine creation. All students are given the opportunity and time to explore each media form and then select their choice for their final piece.
Students study all the unit texts for Paper 2 in the start of the second year, focusing on Radio, Film, Video Games and Long Form TV Drama as a case study focus. Students then prepare for their exams through interleaved revision that reviews knowledge and skills for retention. In Year 13, along with previous years, my aim is for the students to always look at the bigger picture and consider the Media industries they could become a part of- through work placements, work experience and employment the students will welcome the idea of them being a part of something they will truly love and have a passion for just like their learning in Media has demonstrated.