Pre A levels 

A Level Photography

Welcome to A level Photography 

Photography at HendonSchool is an exciting subject that allows students to investigate a range of photographic genres based on their own aesthetic and interests. Students are encouraged to seek an expressive and artistic response to the visual world that surrounds them while exploring their cultural and personal identities. 

The resources in this pack include:

  1.  Introducing the key idea and skills
  2.  Examboard & assessment information
  3.  Useful websites to explore
  4.  Specialised facilities and computer equipment
  5.  Visits to museums and galleries  

Section 1

Introducing the key ideas and skills

AS and A Level Photography will teach you:

  • the ability to explore formal elements of visual language; line, form, colour, tone, pattern, texture
  • responding to an issue, theme, concept or idea
  • showing in your work the use of viewpoint, composition, focus control, depth of field, movement and narrative
  • how ideas, feelings and meanings are conveyed and interpreted in images
  • historical and contemporary developments and different styles and genres in relation to Photography
  • how images relate to social, historical, vocational and cultural contexts 

Students must have an existing passion for photography and art and they need to purchase their own digital SLR/compact camera. (Please ask Ms Schmid or Mr Keller for advice on which model to buy.) A Level Photography will complement subjects that require analytical enquiry and creative synthesis such as: art, film studies, theatre studies, Philosophy & Ethics, English literature and Media studies.

A Level Photography provides students with following career opportunities and academic pathways:

  • Art & Design subjects Foundation Studies in Art & Design, BA Honours and MA degrees
  • photojournalist, fashion photographer, fine art photographer, commercial photographer (e.g. food and clothing), advertising art director, film director, cinematographer, film editor, film production, TV production, script writer, animation designer, computer games designer, art critic, magazine and newspaper editor 

Section 2

Examboard & assessment information 

Examination Board: AQA

Practical Examinations:

AS Photography- Controlled Assignment- 10h controlled time/practical exam –May 2017

A2 Photography- Controlled Assignment -15h controlled time/practical exam-May 2018

Assessment Details :

AS Unit 1 Coursework Portfolio -50% of total AS GCE marks

AS Unit 2 Controlled Assignment -50% of total AS GCE marks

A2 Unit 1 Personal investigation - 60% of the total Advanced GCE marks

A2 Unit 2 Controlled Assignment - 40% of the total Advanced GCE marks 


Year 12 Photography

AS Coursework Portfolio-

Students produce a portfolio of work based on 5 projects: Photogram Animation/Still Life/Self-portraiture/ Identity Portraiture/ Location

AS Controlled Assignment-

Students select one starting point from a range of themes provided by the exam board and develop this into a creative project in preparation for the practical exam. They produce a series of final outcomes during a 10 hour practical exam. This series of work will be displayed as an exhibition in the HendonSchool library in June. 

Year 13 Photography

A2 Personal Investigation-

Students submit a major creative project investigation that has a personal significance and includes 3000 words.

A2 Controlled Assignment-

Students select one starting point from a range of themes provided by the exam board and develop this into a creative project in preparation for the practical exam. They produce a series of final outcomes during a 15 hour practical exam. This series will be displayed as an exhibition in the Hendon School library in June.                       

Section 3- Useful websites to explore                                    

Section 4

Specialised facilities and computer equipment

 Digital Technology/ Traditional SLR darkroom printing

Students use lens-based media which they may manipulate using darkroom facilities and digital technology: we teach the use of traditional SLR and Digital SLR cameras and run workshops on traditional darkroom processes, Adobe Photoshop CS6, Moviemaker and Microsoft Publisher.We have two professional darkrooms for black & white paper printing: students will explore their creative ideas and become proficient in SLR film development and high quality black & white paper printing skills.

  • We have two computer rooms fitted with 16 computers each: students will develop creative ideas using Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Moviemaker skills to an advanced level.
  • We provide a regular exhibition space in collaboration with the Hendon school library to give students a forum in which to discuss and display their
    work-in-progress to a wider school audience. All AS and A2 Photography students will have their project work displayed during an exhibition in June.
  • The Photography Department produces HendonSchool’s cultural magazine EGG in collaboration with our A Level Photography students. This provides them with the opportunity to work as a professional editorial team: they select images and written material from pupils in all year groups and design the layout using Microsoft Publisher. They also have to organise a marketing campaign. The proceeds of the magazine’s sales go to a Syrian Refugee Charity.                            


 Section 5

 Visits to Museums & Galleries

 Links to The Photographers Gallery

  • Our students take part in a conceptual critique session in collaboration with other North London Sixth Form colleges: HenriettaBarnetSchool, FortismereSchool and St.MichaelsSchool.
  • We will travel to the BRIGHTON BIENNIALE to visit a range of exciting gallery spaces.
  • Our department has a partnership link with The Photographers’ Gallery and they have provided our department with exhibition and workshop opportunities. As part of the John Lyons Charity sponsored Visual Literacy project Seeing More Things we visited museums and galleries to broaden students’ understanding of contemporary photographic practice.
  • HendonSchool’s A Level Photography and A Level art students are taking part in this year’s TEEN TOURS at The Photographers Gallery: they give a talk in the gallery space based on research of an exhibited photograph with the general public as an audience. They are guided to prepare conceptual and historical research on the chosen photographer and their names are advertised in the gallery’s monthly programme.  

We look forward to welcoming you at Hendon School in the next academic year!

If you have any other questions please contact:

Miss Schmid and Mr Keller









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