A GCSE student uses design work and imagery to portray a character as part of an assessed production task.

A GCSE student uses design work and imagery to portray a character as part of an assessed production task.Introduction


Media is a fast developing subject that has been received with enthusiasm by the students at Bishop Walsh. We now have media running in years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13! Only a few years ago the subject was only being taught at GCSE to students in Key stage 4! Since taking Media to A level and offering it to our students, we have been delighted to see they have received highly impressive results; several students taking the subject further to study at university. Future film directors, animators or journalists perhaps!

This is a subject highly relevant to today’s society. It allows students to become critical readers of the media and gives them the opportunity to develop analytical thinking. They develop the vocabulary of subject specific terminology to express this understanding. They can study products of immense cultural popularity and then go on to create their own.


At GCSE, students study the key concepts of media. This involves research, exercises in analysis and practical production. The range of units studied is flexible and changes to keep up with the movement in modern media technologies. At present students are working within the following media units: children’s comics; television situation comedy; magazines and advertising. It is possible to see how rich and varied the range of media is that we study! The production work of our students is of a very high standard and results have been consistently good. Most students achieve A or B grades at both GCSE and A level! AQA GCSE is offered at Key stage 4.

A Level

At Key Stage 5 the OCR syllabus is followed and this can be taken as a self-contained AS level or pursued into the second year to achieve a full A level. At A level students study key media concepts: audience; representation; institution and media language. They develop critical research skills; and the ability to deconstruct film with a close study of television drama. They study developments in the music industry and consider the widely debated subject of media regulation, with a close focus on film and advertising censorship. Coursework consists of magazine production for the foundation portfolio and film making in year 13. Students evaluate and present evidence of planning and research electronically ensuring that they develop a proficient use of modern technology.