Film Studies

Head of Department: Emily Hughes

Film Studies is a dynamic, academic and creative subject, which combines many different disciplines. Through the study of Film, students build their skills in analysis, research and creativity and will develop understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of film; the major art form of the twentieth and twenty first centuries. Not only do students learn how to analyse films, they also make short films and sequences and explore the industry behind the film sector in the UK, US and World Cinema contexts. Film studies offers a broad and diverse range of study opportunities as we study film as an art form, as a commercial sector and as an important cultural influence which both shapes and reflects our society, our understanding of history and our appreciation and knowledge of other cultures.

Film Studies benefits from excellent facilitates. Pupils are taught in groups of 24 or under in a dedicated Film and Media Suite, which is equipped with 25 Apple Mac computers, loaded with professional media software packages with assistance from the expertise of two ex industry technicians.

Pupils’ progress is carefully tracked and intervention strategies are employed to support pupils who are underachieving. Twice a week, we also run a homework club, staffed by the department

Already established at Key Stage 4, Film Studies has recently been introduced as an A Level subject at the sixth form allowing a progression from GCSE to A Level study in this area and adding to the diversity of subjects available at the sixth form. At both Key Stage 4 and 5, our pupils follow the WJEC Film Studies Specifications.

KS4 curriculum (Years 9-11)

Controlled assessment 50%:

  • Write a pitch for a film adhering to genre and film industry conventions
  • Write a screenplay for the opening sequence of the film
  • Plan, film and edit a sequence from your film
  • Evaluate your project
  • Investigate the production, distribution and exhibition of a film of your choice
  • Analyse what meanings are created by a sequence from the same film

Exam Paper 1 30%: Exploring the Film Industry: Superhero Genre

  • Analyse how a sequence (screened in the exam) creates tension/ excitement for an audience
  • Explore how Superhero Films are positioned and marketed

Exam Paper 2 20%: Exploring Film Outside of Hollywood: The Wave

- Study the German film The Wave (Die Welle) within the social context of Modern Germany and analyse how themes and issues are explored.


KS5 Curriculum (Years 12-13)

The Coursework - Internally Assessed 40%

- The Creative Project: where you will plan, film, and edit a narrative film sequence

- Micro Essay: where you will explore how a director has achieved a particular atmosphere or established a theme within a film of your choice.

The Exam-Externally Assessed 60 %:

- American Film Comparison: In this section you will focus on the war genre looking at the films The Hurt Locker and Saving Private Ryan exploring and comparing their themes, issues, historical context messages and how they reflect attitudes and values within American society.

- British films: Living with Crime. You will study social realist films such as Harry Brown, London to Brighton and Fish Tank focusing on the representation of social issues.

- The Film Industry: Producers and Audiences. In this unit you will explore and the interplay between film producers and film audiences through the use of case studies.

Units of Study at A2:

The Coursework - Internally Assessed 50%

- Small Scale Research Project: You will produce a research portfolio in which you investigate a specific hypothesis on a topic of your choice. Short Film: A larger filmmaking project in which you will plan, edit and film a 5-minute short film.

The Exam - Externally Assessed 50%

- The exam consists of three core questions: The first looks at truth, bias and impartiality within documentary film making; the second question will focus on one core film Talk to Her which you will study in detail and for the final question you will look at World Cinema, at issues of poverty, power and conflict in films like City of God, La Haine and Once Were Warriors.


It is important that students are rewarded for their hard work and the academic progress and the effort they make over the year. We have the following rewards system in place:

  • Cinema Rewards trips
  • Key Stage 4 and 5- Film Student of the term
  • Positive Praise postcards home
  • Positive phone calls home

The best work will be screened at the Annual Moscars- Morpeth Oscars ceremony where work will be screened to other students and parents.


Students will attend regular screenings both in school, at local cinemas and at the British Film Institute. Students will have opportunities to work with ex industry technicians and speak to guest filmmakers. Students will have the opportunity to be involved in Film Futures, a festival of film making at the BFI and are encouraged to enter the films they make into national competitions. The best candidates work will be screened at the Annual Moscars (Morpeth Oscars) event at a local cinema. There are opportunities to go on trips both in London and beyond.