The Media Department was established in September 2006 and has quickly become a popular and thriving department. At present, there are two classes in Year 13 and two classes in Year 12 following OCR A Level courses in a designated Media room in the sixth form block.
Media is a “young” subject with an increasing status and importance in the academic world. Many universities offer degrees in Media, and it is a subject that combines well with other areas of study such as English and Languages. Media-based qualifications often lead to careers in communications, public relations, television, advertising, journalism and the media. The latest figures offered by Skill Set are extremely encouraging as 75% of Media graduates go on to work in the industry. The results for the department have been excellent to date, with 100% A-C at A2 level achieved in June 2010.
Media is a vibrant and ever-changing subject which strives to keep up-to-date with changes in the media industries, technologies and society. The focus of all courses is on the contemporary – the latest films, TV programmes, magazines, news stories and web innovations and their implications for our ways of relating to the world around us. It is a theoretical subject which relies on a body of established research and academic review to analyse new texts and create new theories.
There is also a practical side to the A Level course, and students will find that a significant part of their time is spent creating their own media products. The main focus is on moving image, and students will be given access to recording equipment, video cameras and computers, and a sophisticated editing package. There are also opportunities to make print media texts such as magazine and press pages using Desktop Publisher, Flash, and Photoshop and Dreamweaver software is used to create webpages which promote and support other media products.
In September 2008, the new OCR A Level specification was introduced. This, as with all the major exam boards, attempts to increase the technological focus of the course, offer more opportunities for practical work using different media platforms, and to keep the theoretical element of the course completely up-to-date.
The department is well-resourced with a wide range of DVDs and text books. Extra-curricular activities such as the recent animation workshop are also provided. Students are encouraged to relate their course to their own experiences as media consumers and are supported in every way possible to gain personally from the course and to achieve academic success.