The media play a central role in contemporary culture, society and politics. They shape our perceptions of the world through the representations, ideas and points of view they offer. The media provides us with ways to communicate, with forms of cultural expression and the ability to participate in key aspects of society. The economic importance of the media is also unquestionable. The media industries employ large numbers of people worldwide and generate significant global profit. The globalised nature of the contemporary media, ongoing technological developments and more opportunities to interact with the media suggest their centrality in contemporary life can only increase.
The A Level and GCSE Media Studies courses at Wyedeanoffer learners the opportunity to develop a thorough and in depth understanding of these key issues, using a variety of advanced theoretical approaches and theories to support critical exploration and reflection, analysis and debate. The study of a wide range of rich and stimulating media products is central, offering opportunities for detailed analysis of how the media communicate meanings in a variety of forms. Learners work from the product outwards to debate key critical questions related to the social, cultural, political and economic role of the media. Wyedean students engage with the dynamic relationships between media products, media industries and audiences and consider established media forms alongside contemporary forms, developing an awareness of emerging and evolving media.
Although the primary emphasis is on the contemporary media, students at Wyedean will explore how the products relate to their wider historical contexts. Learners will also extend their experience of the media through the study of products with which they are less familiar, including those produced by or for a minority group, non-mainstream and non-English language products.
The Media department also recognises the fundamental relationship between theoretical understanding and practical work, providing learners with exciting opportunities to develop media production skills in different forms and become creators of meaning themselves. Learners are offered a choice of briefs and forms within which to work, enabling them to explore and pursue their own media interests.
Key Stage 3
Media Studies is not taught at Key Stage 3. However, there are a number of opportunities for students to get a taste of what Media Studies is through their English lessons. Students will also complete media-related activities on their Flexible Learning Days in Year 9 and a cross-curricular advertising project with Business Studies and ICT.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Media Studies is made up of two modules:
Unit 1 - Thinking About the Media: Investigating and Planning (40%). Students explore a topic set by the exam board and carry out creative tasks which demonstrate understanding of the convergent nature of contemporary media.
Unit 2 - Creating for the Media: Investigating and Producing (60%). Students complete three Controlled Assessments.
Key Stage 5
AS Media Studies - 50% coursework, 50% exam. Students study genre, narrative, representation and audiences in their theory lessons. Understanding of these concepts and theories are demonstrated through pre-production, production and evaluation tasks.
A2 Media Studies - 50% coursework, 50% exam. Students study three media industries in depth and complete three pieces of coursework.
Students are encouraged to engage with the media as often as possible and some students have set up their own film study clubs where they meet up regularly to watch films and discuss them. We are currently establishing links with local businesses and media companies which we hope to lead onto opportunities for students to experience the use of the media outside the classroom.