Media Studies is at the heart of everything we do in our lives. We are persuaded to buy products through advertising, we listen to the opinions of newspapers, we decide which gossip magazine is telling the truth, we choose which TV and Film shows we like the best and use computer games to escape or enhance our daily lives.
Media Studies at Accrington Academy includes both vocational skills and academic study of the media industry and its products. In Year 7 and 8 as part of the New Technologies curriculum students are introduced to graphic design and broadcast technologies such as Film posters, Stop frame animation and filming advertisements. At KS4 students study both the BTEC and the GCSE courses in Media and Film Studies ensuring they have both the knowledge to analyse and construct appropriate products for their target audiences as well as having the skills to produce these products.
Media Studies continues as a popular subject at KS5 with both BTEC Extended Diploma and A Level courses on offer. Many Accrington Academy students choose to continue their study of Media at degree level and we currently have ex students studying to become Games Designers, Editors, Marketing consultants, digital film makers and Radio presenters.
Your Child’s Journey in Media
You can download this document to view a term by term, year by year breakdown for the journey your child will have when they choose Media.
During this key stage students will study both the BTEC and GCSE specifications.
Students will study the BTEC First Award in Creative Digital Media Production in Year 9 and 10. They will cover a variety of coursework units including : Pitching a Product, Film production, Computer Game production, Digital Publishing and Audio Production. 3 of these Units make up 75% of their final mark. A further examined Unit is worth 25% of their mark and students are allowed 2 attempts at this exam.
Students will also study the GCSE Film Studies specification. This currently is 50% coursework and 50% examined content. The coursework includes an analytical study of a film they choose, creating a pitch, storyboard, filming and editing a 3 minute sequence and an evaluation of their film. The examined units are 2 exams. One is currently based on the Superhero genre and students are expected to demonstrate their knowledge of the conventions of the genre and then design their own marketing products for a film in this genre. The second exam is based on a South African gangster movie called Tsotsi which students analyse and review in a more traditional essay format.
Students can pick 3 different options to study Media at KS5. They can select the BTEC Extended Diploma in Creative Digital Media Production which is the equivalent to 3 A Levels. This includes 1 exam and a further 12 units covering computer game design and production, film production, radio production and further study of the Media Industry. Students could also select to study the one A Level equivalent BTEC Sub Diploma in Games Production. This covers similar content to the Extended Diploma but students only study 4 Units which included one external exam. The BTEC course is designed to prepare students for specific roles in the industry and students should leave the course with professional level knowledge in the industry.
Students can also study the Media Studies course. Both courses are 50% coursework and 50% exam. The coursework consists of one Print based creative product – magazine cover/DVD cover and one audio visual based product – film/advert/music video with accompanying research investigations. The exam in Year 1 consists of analyzing an unseen media text, discussing how audiences are targeted and how different groups are represented in the media today. On the Year 2 course students study 9 different media texts in more detail looking at how they were distributed, produced, regulated and marketed as well as how their narrative and genres are constructed.
The Media Studies department try to organize as many trips of possible to get a real sense of what working in the Media Industry is like. In previous years we’ve run events such as Women in New Technologies days with guest speakers such as a female programmer, executive producer for CBeebies, Interactive co-ordinator for ITV and a Marketing and Brand strategist.
We arrange a biannual trip to London for our sixth form students where in previous years we have visited the BBC Broadcasting House, attended the Media Magazine conference, watched a sitcom be filmed at the famous Elstree studios and visited the Harry Potter Studios in Watford.
We’ve also arranged trips to MediaCity in Salford, the Media Centre at UCLAN and the National Media Museum in Bradford as well as have visiting speakers such as film directors and radio journalists.
Mrs A. Hardy
Subject Leader Media
I was always told I would be a teacher but since my mum was a teacher, I wanted to rebel and I rejected this idea until I was a bit older. When I left Leeds University with my English and Media degree, I was determined to work in the Media so I wrote to every radio station in the area and eventually landed a job doing the competitions at WISH FM in Wigan. I then decided to go into Marketing and did a stint at two theatres in St Helens and Lancaster before I managed to achieve my dream job of working at ITV. I used to organize the competitions and votes for all the regional programmes across ITV working out of the old ITV Granada building. Eventually I realized that working in TV, although exciting, just wasn’t going to be fulfilling enough for me. My best friend was an English teacher and she very kindly let me visit her school to see what it was like and I loved it. I decided to study for a GTP programme and had a fantastic mentor teaching English and Media at Standish High School in Wigan. I then moved on to be Head of Media at Ribblesdale School in Clitheroe and then became Assistant Head of New Technologies at Accrington. The favourite part of my job is seeing the students grow in confidence throughout the years and sharing my passion for film and television with the students. Outside of school I have two little girls who keep me busy and I’m involved with my local am dram group acting, singing and dancing.
Mr D. Easton
Teacher of Media
I have been working as a professional photographer and videography for 20 years.
I completed my degree in photography at Blackpool and the Fylde College. I have been very lucky to have worked all over the world taking photos and making videos. I have been teaching Photography and Media for 13 years.
Most of my teaching has been in Further Education and Higher Education and I continue to engage in professional photography and video work outside of my teaching.
74% GCSE Film Studies A*-C
100% GCSE Media Studies A* - G
I have studied both the GCSE Film Studies and the BTEC Media course and enjoyed them both. My favourite part was analysing all of the films and getting a real insight into how director’s create successful movies. I’m going to study Media at A Level here at Accrington and I’m considering it as an option at degree level too because its a subject I find interesting and fun to study.Alex Owen