The subject of Photography at Hertswood Academy is devoted to promoting a love of photographic studies. We want to equip students with the skills they need to not only succeed in their photographic examinations but also throughout their lives beyond education.


Key Stage 4

We aim to ensure that basic photographic skills are rooted in the first year of GCSE and then revisited as the course develops, in order to give students the foundation skills to broaden their creativity, inside and outside the classroom. Students learn to give and receive critical analysis of work, they are exposed to iconic photographic moments that shaped our nation's history and current social climate, they learn to experiment and take risks in order to refine and present their visual creations. A considerable number of our students seek a creative future, with many GCSE photographers going on to study photography at A level as well as further education once they leave us at Hertswood.

Key Stage 5

The A Level course for photography runs in a very similar structure to GCSE, just at a much more advanced level. Students complete a 60% coursework unit where they learn the basics of photography in a “Building Foundations” phase, along with learning to use their camera and understand the history and placement of photography in society. Students are then given the independence to creatively explore the coursework theme of Fragments. Our photographers are encouraged to give and receive critique, recognise iconic imagery and keep up to date with the ever-evolving creative climate. These steps are all in preparation to ready students for the wider world and future careers.


Year Autumn Spring Summer
Year 9

Building Foundations & Understanding the basics

Photographic Montage and the DaDa Period

Still Life & Advertisement
Year 10 GCSE

Natural Forms

Contemporary & Historical
Year 11 GCSE

Forces Exploration

Externally Set Assignment
Independent project
Externally Set Assignment 
Final outcome
Year 12 A Level

Building Foundations

Fragments Project
Fragments Project
Final outcome 1
Year 13 A Level
Fragments Project
Final outcome 2
Externally Set Assignment
Externally Set Assignment
Final outcome

Extra-Curricular Enrichment

GCSE and A Level students are encouraged to attend extra curricular opportunities that run in photography. Students are granted the opportunity to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, along with experiential learning in “The Print Space” during an A Level trip.

Independent Learning Resources

  • The Knowledge
  • Quizlet

Useful Links