The Media department is a dynamic, technically ambitious department, which is underpinned by a sophisticated academic programme, comparable to undergraduate studies at Year 13. The department is run by Charlotte Bennett, Head of Media Studies, who is supported by Media and ICT Teacher Rebecca Doig, and Media Technician Sam Wilcockson. The department comprises two classroom areas, including a forthcoming addition, for September 2017, of a state-of-the-art Mac suite with a class set of twenty-two machines. This will go further in supporting the department’s already exceptional production record. Students have access to both Mac and PC computers for print and film editing and all filming is completed on brand new Panasonic HD cameras. Students leave the department proficient in a range of advanced software, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Indesign and Final Cut Pro X editing software. They consistently produce high quality production work, often liaising with specialized bodies, and professionals, such as renowned cardiologist Dr Aseem Maholtra, to produce professional works used in the wider community.

Recent successes have included the nationally distributed The Art of Artistry and Wired, two Year 13 productions which were picked up for promotion by the online television channel, leics.tv, and have featured in the local press. In 2017, our students have also worked with professional West End actors, renowned motivational speakers and leading lights in the world of academia. We strive to achieve excellence and this is borne out by our academic success.

Productions can be found on our Youtube channel

The subject has a history of excellent academic achievement; it is currently one of the best performing subject in the College at A level, in terms of value added, and students achieved 91% A-B at A level in 2016. We have experienced similar success in adding value to students’ academic performance at GCSE, where 80% of students achieved A*-B in 2016, and this has created opportunities for students in terms of moving onto higher education. A large number of students who pursue the subject at A level go on to read the subject at university, with Media Production degrees being extremely popular.

Academic Programme

Media Studies is offered at GCSE and A level.

At GCSE, the subject is 30% non-examined assessment (formerly known as coursework). This will involve the submission of a production log and an opportunity for students to produce their own print or video-based production. Under examined conditions students will be asked to analyse media products, for example, crime drama, by engaging with an unseen extract (e.g. a television drama clip). In a separate examination, students will be asked to explore media audiences, institutions, language and representation across a range of media texts including film, print advertising and online media. Texts may include World of Warcraft and the recent BAFTA-winning film I, Daniel Blake. The range of media texts studied and their broad appeal is a real attraction of GCSE Media Studies.

     

At A Level, students will explore a variety of media texts and their impact on the audience, due to the institutions and values which shape them. They will be given the opportunity to explore the impact of technological advances in areas such as film production and distribution, and in the ‘box-set’ culture, spearheaded by streaming services, such as Netflix. They will also be asked to analyse exciting media texts in depth, from the development of narrative in music videos to the role of audience participation in video gaming. The course also asks students to engage with wider political impacts of representation in newspapers and news media.

In addition to two examinations at the latter end of Year 13, students will be expected to produce original media of their own which showcases the technical skills they will have mastered throughout the course. They will be expected to produce media across three platforms, including television, print and website. Media Studies is one of the only linear A Levels to include such a significant and enjoyable alternative to examinations as part of its assessment.

All Media Studies classes are mixed ability.

Extra-Curricular Activities

We pride ourselves on a thriving extra-curricular programme.

Film Club initiates eager film buffs into the Media department. Students can join from Year 7, and have the opportunity to view a student-nominated film in a prep screening, and then debate its merits at a lunchtime meeting. Previous successes include Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys and Ryan Coogler’s Creed, whilst, unfortunately, Prometheus fell foul of our discerning viewers!

We also run two photography societies. Young Photographers is aimed at students in years 7-9 and introduces them to the tips and tricks needed to capture striking images. Links with the Art Department have led to a professional photography studio, complete with green screen and photography backdrops. Young photographers have embraced this facility, producing both still life images and light painting. The Sixth Form School Photographers group, on the other hand, is more designed as a marketing service, where students sign up to photograph key school events, such as church services, sports fixtures and Sixth Form socials. Both groups are very popular and develop both student confidence and technical expertise.

Staff

Miss Charlotte Bennett, Head of Department, cbennett@ratcliffe.leics.sch.uk
Miss Rebecca Doig, Media Teacher, rdoig@ratcliffe.leics.sch.uk
Mr Sam Wilcockson, Media Technician and Website Support, swilcockson@ratcliffe.leics.sch.uk