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St Francis Xavier

Media Studies

The media plays a central role in contemporary society and culture. It shapes our perceptions of the world through the representations, viewpoints and messages it offers. It has real relevance and importance in our lives today, providing us with ways to communicate, with forms of cultural expression and the ability to participate in key aspects of society.

The global nature of the contemporary media, coupled with ongoing technological developments and more opportunities to interact with the media, suggest that its centrality in contemporary life can only increase.

Media Studies GCSE at SFX School offers a broad, coherent and engaging course of study which enables learners to:

  • demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis
  • acquire knowledge and understanding of a range of important media issues
  • develop appreciation and critical understanding of the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture and politics
  • make informed arguments, reach substantiated judgements and draw conclusions about media issues
  • develop practical skills by providing opportunities for creative media production.

The curriculum offers learners the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of key issues and the ability to debate important questions about the media. It introduces them to a theoretical framework for analysing the media, which also underpins study of the media at AS and A level. Their understanding is contextualised through studies of texts across the 1950s-1980s.

Learners will gain a real awareness of the role of the media in society and culture, through the close study of a range of rich and stimulating texts.

 Links will be made for learners between their analytical skills in English and those required for analysing a media text. At Key Stage 3, students will have been introduced to basic concepts of text, purpose and target audience, as well as having opportunities to analyse moving image – all of which will thoroughly prepare them for GCSE Media Studies.

Learners will draw on their existing experience of the media, but will also extend their appreciation and critical understanding through the study of products with which they may be less familiar, including products for different audiences.

Learners will have opportunities to apply their theoretical understanding of the subject through creative, practical productions, designed to engage and challenge them in a variety of ways.

Curriculum Team

Helena Langford – Curriculum Leader & Teacher of English
Jodie Martin – English Curriculum Leader & Teacher of Media Studies

KS3 topics

Media Studies is not taught as an individual subject at Key Stage 3, however various aspects of the curriculum tie directly into the subject knowledge and skills that future students of Media will need.

For Example:

English: Understanding audience, purpose and form; Persuasive devices; Magazine/Newspaper articles; Editing; Analysis of techniques used within a text; Connotation; Evaluation and Comparison

Computing: Digital manipulation of photography; publishing and editing software

Geography: Demographics

History: 20th Century Contexts

KS4 topics

Students are taught 5 lessons per fortnight.

Students study a range of contemporary and historical set texts from across 9 different media:

Advertising, Magazines, Film Marketing, Video Games, Radio, TV Crime Drama, Music Industry and Newspapers.

They look at 4 aspects of Media across these set texts: Media Language, Representation, Industry and Audience.

Students will complete a variety of practical projects, creating their own media texts, in preparation for their Non-Examination Assessment.

GCSE assessment

The subject is 70% examination and 30% NEA

Students sit 2 examination papers, worth 70%. They produce a practical piece of media independently, including original photography. This is worth 30% of their total grade.

Wider curriculum:

In addition to the timetabled lessons the Media Department enhances the curriculum by offering an Intu Film Club.