Film Studies at Jesmond Park Academy

Film Studies

Film is one of the main cultural innovations of the 20th century and a major art form of the last hundred years. Those who study it characteristically bring with them a high degree of enthusiasm and excitement for what is a powerful and culturally significant medium, inspiring a range of responses from the emotional to the reflective.

Film Studies curriculum philosophy and intent statement

Film Studies consequently makes an important contribution to the curriculum, offering the opportunity to investigate how film works both as a medium of representation and as an aesthetic medium.

We believe that studying film allows greater insight into important issues and developments within history, society and culture. We teach that an in depth study of film provides an appreciation for film as an art form because of its capacity for visual storytelling. We also feel that film enhances understanding of the world in terms of competing values, attitudes and beliefs. Studying Film studies also equips students with the knowledge and skills for the study of Film at degree level and also future employment in the creative industries which employ over 3 million people in the UK and are worth over £100 billion to the UK economy.

We teach students to critically engage with films because we believe that film studies challenges students to think in new ways and question or change perspectives on a range of issues. Some of these issues might relate to the representation of race, gender, age (for example). We value the importance of visual storytelling in society and as such we promote students’ ability to create their own screenplays so that they can understand the full impact of film and develop their own ‘voice’. There are many benefits of the Film Studies curriculum; social realism is discussed in several modules and the course as a whole allows students to tackle, discuss and challenge issues of identity, culture and relationships.

Key moral issues are examined through adult-orientated texts. In Year 12 students study an exam topic on "identity", focusing on race, gender, sexuality and inequality. These issues are further discussed in Year 13 as part of the focus on ideology and representation.

A film may simply tell a story or it may educate and inform us. It may explore character and deeds, or it may challenge perceptions and understanding. It may entertain and amuse, or it may expand and spread culture and philosophical ideas. It may engage and develop an emotional response or it may invite empathy and understanding. It may manipulate viewer response while inspiring or disgusting its audience or it may warn of future dangers to society or provide lessons from the past. Film is a communal experience, and provides the ability to create meaningful social connections through a shared experience.

Studying Film as an aesthetic medium is valuable for students because it helps equip them with a vocabulary to critically evaluate the visual culture and codes that surround them. It enables them to be active spectators, challenging and decoding signs and signifiers onscreen, and then in the wider world. Students can develop a theoretical and intellectual response to film which allows them to analyse and understand the power relations and representations which dominate our society.

Film studies is designed to introduce A Level learners to a wide variety of films in order to broaden their knowledge and understanding of film and the range of responses visual texts can generate. Learners will consider how meanings and responses are generated and the different ways in which spectators respond to film. Teachers of A Level Film will demonstrate expertise in a diverse range of film, including documentary, film from the silent era, experimental and short film and will develop the understanding of their significance in national, global and historical contexts.



Film Studies curriculum content statement

We believe that the Film Studies curriculum should be founded on the acquisition of the core knowledge necessary to develop a deep understanding of the subject. This will be achieved by developing students’ fluency in the ability to express themselves in the language of Film. The design of the curriculum highlights the core knowledge, as students enhance their learning by revisiting key concepts related to the understanding of Film as visual medium throughout year 12 and Year 13.

The recursive nature of this approach to learning ensures that there will be a greater complexity and challenge every time a student returns to ideas and concepts that have been studied previously. The principles of these concepts are covered in every unit throughout the two year course, each time adding depth and detail. It is important students understand how core knowledge and key concepts apply across all units; understanding of terminology is also crucial so that students know how to use and apply it correctly.

Students should be able to recognise how core knowledge should be applied and transferred when they produce responses to different units of study. They also get the opportunity, when they complete coursework, to creatively apply their core knowledge. Similarly, we aim to ensure that students can readily access knowledge stored in the long-term memory so that they can build upon previous learning and extend their understanding. We aim to achieve this through the use of regular low stakes testing in order to promote the acquisition of subject knowledge and vocabulary.

Film Studies at Jesmond Park Academy

Our teachers are passionate about Film Studies and its importance both in a curriculum context and a wider cultural context. We aim to ensure that the delivery of the Film Studies curriculum is enhanced by our own subject knowledge and we will always seek to develop our expertise.

There are many core skills which we revisit throughout each unit. Students are required to develop their ability to denote meaning, identify significant aspects of film as well as summarise and analyse a range of visual codes. In addition, they explore and debate a range of theoretical approaches. The ability to analyse and debate is a vital aspect of our work.

The content of our curriculum also reflects the need for students to gain a secure contextual and cultural knowledge base. We understand that Film Studies is a subject that explores challenging concepts and issues and that our curriculum should provide the skills necessary for students to respond to this content with creativity and critical intelligence. Students will be exposed to differing opinions and theoretical arguments and will be encouraged to deal with some complex and challenging ideas through mature informed debate. 



Film Studies curriculum offer

KS5 - students will study Eduqas A Level Film Studies.