“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

– Ansel Adams

Welcome to Photography!

Photography is a vibrant and popular choice within the Art Department. Students learn the dynamics and anatomy of a DSLR camera whilst developing skills and understanding of the formal elements of this diverse subject.

Photography permeates throughout all the Department courses and students at DCHS are encouraged to use this medium to explore ‘their world’ from KS3 – KS5. In this digital age, Photography and moving image plays a huge part in our everyday lives. The Photography curriculum has been designed to allow students to develop knowledge and understanding through a variety of learning experiences and approaches. This will allow students to develop the skills to explore, create and communicate their own ideas.

At DCHS we aim to provide an outstanding provision in Art education, to encourage and nurture potential talents of our students and develop cultural and creative awareness to enrich ,record and document their world , whilst gaining understanding of different Photographic practise and practitioners.

Key Stage 3

Year 7 students will follow a thematic cross curricular Create programme across 4 lessons, creating work which will form a collaborative piece for the Year group.

In Years 8 & 9, students follow a curriculum based on the formal elements of Art and Design, building upon prior knowledge to support understanding of line, tone, form, colour, pattern, mixed media, 2D/3D . Students explore the formal elements through a wide range of 2D and 3D mediums and through the work of Contemporary and Traditional artists, craftspeople, designers and designers from around the world. Where possible students are encouraged to take their own photographs to inform their artwork and creative practise.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Photography at DCHS

Students opting for GCSE Photography will be introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of lens based and light based media, techniques and processes including both traditional and new technologies. They will learn how to produce images using Digital SLR cameras and enhance, manipulate and create images using computer software such as Photoshop. The course aims to teach you to explore the world in a creative way, enabling you to apply creative, analytical and critical thinking and problem solving, in order to visually communicate ideas through photography. This awareness can also be employed to any other course that you do. Students will develop critical analyses of artists’ work helping to develop their own ideas through reaction, practical application and written reflections.

This course has a 60% Portfolio weighting and 40% Externally set assignment.

Key Stage 5

A Level Photography

It is anticipated that Students wishing to follow the AQA A Level Photography specification will have followed one of the KS4 creative subjects and achieved at least a level 4/5 at GCSE.

The course has been developed in a Foundation style, with a strong emphasis on skills, experimentation and specific project based work. Students are encouraged to explore their understanding of the wider world through a wide range of photographic processes, styles and mediums, before embarking upon their major study of work (Personal Investigation) around Easter of Year 12. Students can work in any discipline found within the A Level specification, which can include Still and moving image, Video and Film.

Students will have opportunities to participate in Photography workshops at a number of local Universities and Colleges , with gallery visits greatly encouraged and promoted by the Department.



At KS3, students work is assessed through the following core objectives;


Developing ideas

Personal response



Each topic / project will explore different combinations of skill levels and students will build up confidence in using a wide range of mediums which will be recorded through regular feedback within their sketchbooks.

GCSE Art: Photography

Students are required to submit two components of work – Portfolio 60% and Externally Set Task 40%. Work is standardised and assessed in accordance to AQA standards.

In their portfolio work and EST students are required to work in one or more area(s) of photography, which could include:

• portraiture

• location photography

• studio photography

• experimental imagery

• installation

• documentary photography

• photo-journalism

• moving image: film, video and animation

• fashion photography

A Level Art:Photography

Students are required to submit two components of work – Portfolio 60% and Externally Set Task 40%. Work is standardised and assessed in accordance to AQA standards.

Unit 1 Portfolio of work

Students produce a portfolio of evidence and an extended Personal Investigation creating digital and sketchbook portfolios.

Unit 2 Externally Set Task

Exam papers are issued to students from January 1st in the year of the examination.At the end of the preparatory period students will produce an unaided personal outcome over a period of 15 hours in the Externally Set Task.

Resources to Support Learning

Pinterest – DCHS Art_Dept Department resource pages

Instagram – dchs_artdept Celebration of students work

Students have access to ICT resources within the Department to support their engagement in class.

Links to Museums, Galleries, Universities and Colleges across the region – visits and workshops throughout the year.

Arts Award – Explore, Bronze, Silver and Gold offered by all Arts areas within the Faculty.

Careers Links

Throughout both KS4 and KS5 courses, students are encouraged to develop skills in using relevant materials, processes, technologies and resources. Develop understanding of how ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images. Further expand their knowledge of historical and contemporary developments and different styles and genres in order to relate to social, environmental, cultural and/or ethical contexts, and to the time and place in which they were created.

Careers in Photography are signposted throughout the KS4/5 curriculum and specific workshops are run at various points in the year to broaden understanding of career progression.

Photography careers are critical to a wide range of industries, and they often require knowledge of modern imaging technology as well as traditional photographic equipment.

Today, there are a multitude of diverse careers in the field, from portrait photography , commercial photography, scientific photography, photojournalism, Film Director / producer, Press Photographer, Magazine Editor, Medical journalist, Forensic Photographer, Animator to name a few.

Subject Staff

Mrs R. Brown – Head of Art & Creative Arts Faculty

Mr R. Hay – 2nd in Art & KS3/ Photography Coordinator

Miss J. Hynes

Mrs C. Moorhead