Year 9 Options - Photography


“A picture is worth a thousand words” 

The art of photography has long since been used to capture precious scenes in time. We respond to photographs because of the way they record a feeling, expression or narrative from the past. The importance of photography cannot be underestimated as it is one of the most powerful artforms we have for story telling and expression. The subject offers huge scope and students will be able to explore the medium, discovering what it means to compose good shots, what equipment to use and how to use it, as well as how to edit and manipulate their photos into something more.

Careers in photography are also diverse, from commercial photography to photojournalism or even portraiture and wedding photography. The computing skills acquired in this GCSE can also be used in other subjects, and could act as a bridge to graphic design or lines of work relating to editing. 

It is advisable that students choosing Photography have good I.T skills for the purposes of photo editing and can work independently, showing initiative and curiosity for the subject matter. It is also advisable, but not essential that students have access to their own digital SLR camera.


  • How to respond to an issue, theme, concept or idea using artistic formal elements of colour, line, shape,  form, tone, pattern, texture and composition.
  • Research of renowned photographers that can influence and inform your own creative practice. 
  • How to effectively develop skills using a variety of photographic techniques and processes involving shutter speed, aperture and ISO levels.
  • Show an understanding of the manipulation and editing of photographs from lens and light based media.
  • How to present personal and meaningful responses that bring together your ideas.


Students will explore multiple themes and topics over the GCSE and document their experiences using a digital portfolio. This portfolio of work and evidence will account to 60% of total marks. 

Students will then receive an externally set assignment, a key word or theme given to them to investigate and once more produce a body of work towards. However, this time students will have a 10 hour period of time in exam conditions to create a well considered and meaningful final response to their project. The externally set assignment and final piece accounts for 40% of total marks.