Media Studies at Lutterworth College is, in essence, a vibrant exploration of one of the most essential pillars of our society. Our study of the media recognises its impact on the way we think, the way we interpret meaning, and the way we view social groups. These ideas are introduced in Year 9 and are built on throughout the five years of study. Students will be asked to understand how media products create meaning, across a variety of forms including television, news, advertising and online media, to name but a few. They will actively enquire as to how these meanings are impacted by the agenda of the companies behind them, and the impact of social, cultural, historical and economic contexts. As students progress, they will view said meaning through sophisticated cultural positions, such as Feminism and Postmodernism. Students will also learn a technical vocabulary, which supports their ability to write logical and reasoned arguments about the nature of media products. Students will also be supported and challenged by the opportunity to produce their own media products, which demonstrate their understanding of macro elements, such as genre and narrative, and micro elements including cinematography and sound. Furthermore, we are keen to embed the Church of England CHRIST values into our curriculum, to prepare students holistically for the world beyond education. Students are able to demonstrate these values at various points across the five years in the following ways:
- Being Courageous in the way they empathise with different theoretical positions, including the examination of the representation of race and gender in the media.
- Being Hardworking in the way they approach, in particular, the crafting of exam-style answers, adopting tried and tested techniques to cover the appropriate key concepts. Also, being hard-working in seeing a practical production through to completion.
- Being Reflective in how they review their own technical progress and ability to meet a set creative brief.
- Being Inspirational in the creative challenges they take on board, when producing and editing.
- Being Supportive in sharing their understanding of meaning in media texts, in order to explore the breadth of connotation created.
- Being Tenacious in their ability to understand a variety of media texts, across nine media forms.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, students will first be introduced to the Theoretical Framework which covers the key concepts of media language, representation, audience, industry and context. Students will study a range of media products across television, film, video game, advertising, news, online media, music video, radio and magazine. They will gain transferable skills of analysis and inference, which can be applied to these multiple products, and will engage with identifying denotation and connotation. Students will consider the relationship between media products and their audiences, and begin to apply sophisticated theoretical concepts, such as uses and gratifications theory, to explain this dynamic. Furthermore, students will consider how representations of social groups are constructed, including the process of stereotyping, and inter-link these to the profile of the company creating them. Students should also gain a thorough knowledge of industry practices, with a particular attention to the increasing importance of digital media. All of these discussions should be supported by a detailed subject-specific vocabulary. At Key Stage 4 students will also engage with the process of researching and planning a media product before specialising in print production and editing of magazines.
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5, we build on the Theoretical Framework established at GCSE, but further extend the use of supporting theoretical material, with a prescriptive study of nineteen specified theorists. These allow students to engage with larger theoretical models, such as Colonialism and its impact on race representation in media products, as well as asking students to evaluate the validity of these positions. Students are given the opportunity to study two media forms in-depth in synoptic modules: news (print and online) and television drama. The latter also asks students to consider media on a global scale, as students are given the opportunity to engage with non-English language television drama. Through the remaining modules, students will also develop their competencies in close textual analysis covering macro and micro elements, in effective use of media-specific terminology, and in identifying and discussing contextual factors. Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to extend their technical proficiency to include skills in video editing, or, alternatively, seek to hone further and fine-tune their ability in print production.