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Ivybridge Community College

Ivybridge Community College


Head of Department: Sara Elston

"A picture is worth a thousand words"

The power of photography is to witness, to prove, to relate, to reveal, to celebrate, to protect and to explore.  At Ivybridge our creative endeavour serves the purpose of developing curiosity, sensitivity and visual literacy, which enable students to observe and perceive the world with increased awareness.  Exploration through photography, engagement in the acquisition of knowledge, skills and exploring the processes of experimentation encourage the development of creativity while engendering a sense of self-worth.

At higher levels, the artistic journey is not only about acquisition of knowledge and mastery of skills, but very much about building independence and resilience in the pursuit of originality, individual creativity and one's awareness of self and others.  In a future where the creative sector is seeing faster growth than any other sector in the developed world, a study of Visual Arts serve students in good stead and helps set them apart.

The teaching team is comprised of five multidisciplinary practitioners, supported by a full time technician.

We have five fully equipped purpose built classrooms, a tertiary studio space, IT suite, Etching press, digital and SLR cameras, Dark Room facilities and firing kilns.

Students are able to explore lens based media working in a broad range of materials and processes.

Photography rooms are open for all students at lunchtime where they can develop or extend their coursework/exam preparation.  After College classes are available for students to pursue photography projects further.

Key Stage 4 Photography

The GCSE Photography course is aimed at introducing students to a range of photographic media, materials and processes, linking their work to photographic history and theory. Students will work from their imagination as well as from the world around them, developing their own visual language and approach to the subject as the course progresses.

Students who choose Photography at this Key Stage follow the AQA GCSE Photography Course.  This is divided into two units

  • Unit 1 : Portfolio of Work which accounts for 60% of the final grade
  • Unit 2 : Externally Set Task, which accounts for 40% of the final grade


The coursework unit consists of three components of work, each based on a theme designed to teach different and specific skills and using a range of media both analogue and digital.

Students own work will be informed by and linked to investigations into the development of photographic practice and theory throughout history as well as examining the various contexts in which photographs are taken.  Practical photography ranges from early non-camera based techniques such as photograms to contemporary practices such as digital imaging and studio practice.

The GCSE Course at Ivybridge has been designed to ensure that not only your practical artistic skills and abilities are developed but that a range of other important skills are developed and that students move towards becoming independent learners who take responsibility for their own development; understanding and knowledge of the subject.

Areas of Study

You will work in several areas of light and lens based media, including:

• Portraiture

• Landscape photography

• Still Life photography

• Documentary photography

• Fine Art photography

• Photographic installation

• Photography involving a moving image

• New media practice such as computer manipulated photography and photographic projections


Photography rooms are open for all students at lunchtime where they can develop or extend their coursework/exam preparation.  After College classes are available for students to pursue art projects.


Awating content - please see the 6th form courses and options for more information