Chestnut Grove Academy
45 Chestnut Grove
Balham, London SW12 8JZ

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Subject Overview

Media Studies
Media Studies courses at A Level offers students the opportunity to combine an analysis of the mass media with the development of practical skills for media production.  Students learn about how media industries operate and are affected by changes in technology, research and debate the role of media in society, analyse both print, moving image and digital texts and produce print, moving image and digital practical work.  Students study a range of different topics including news and newspapers, television, the impact of digital media on established media institutions, video games and interactive media, advertising, radio, film promotion, magazines and music video

Film Studies
Film Studies courses at GCSE and A Level offer an exciting opportunity to combine the study of the history and structure of the film industry with the study of the technical side of filmmaking.  Film Studies involves the close analysis of films and the techniques used by great filmmakers and allows students to learn practical filmmaking production skills which they use to plan and create their own films.


Qualifications / curriculum offer

Key Stage 4

We follow the Eduqas specification for GCSE Film Studies which has an examination component worth 70% of students’ final marks, with coursework making up the remaining 30%.  Students study the history of film, and develop a thorough understanding of the techniques used by filmmakers to create meaning in their films.  Students study films from a range of eras and cultures.  Films studied include Rebel Without a Cause, Jojo Rabbit and Lady Bird. For coursework, students are required to produce a screenplay and shooting script for a film scene they devise themselves – or make their own short film

Key Stage 5

We offer both Media Studies and Film Studies at A Level:

Media Studies
We follow the Eduqas specification for A Level Media Studies which has an exam component worth 70% and a coursework component worth 30%.  Students study the ever evolving contemporary media landscape and issues including the impact of digital technology on legacy media industries, the changing relationship between media audiences and media texts and institutions, the ways that audiences use and respond to media, the role media texts may play in shaping audiences’ opinions and the ways that specific social groups are represented in the media. Students have to complete a coursework project that responds to one of a number of briefs set by the exam board.  Each brief requires students to produce elements of print, moving image and digital media production.

Film Studies
We also follow the Eduqas specification for A Level Film Studies which has an exam component worth 70% and a coursework component worth 30%.  Students are given a thorough grounding in the techniques used by filmmakers to create meaning in their films.  They study topics that cover the full range of film history, from the earliest silent films to films produced within the last ten years, and study a range of films and film movements from across the globe. Films studied include Buster Keaton’s short films from the 1920s, contemporary “social horror” Get Out and Pan’s Labyrinth.  Students are also taught how to plan, shoot and edit film and have to produce a screenplay and photographed storyboard or short film made in response to briefs set by the exam board.


Learning Resources:

  • Studio Binder Amazing website that tells you almost everything there is to know about how to make a film. 
  • The 22 Rules of Storytelling from Pixar - should be of use for screenwriting.
  • Every Frame a Painting is a series of video essays on different aspects of film form and how they’re used by filmmakers.
  • Sundance Film Festival have made many of their (usually very expensive) online filmmaking workshops available for free - give them a look, a great opportunity.
  • Mark Cousins - 40 Days to Learn Film
    Mark Cousins is a renowned film historian, his two hour video lecture “40 Days to Learn Film” is accessible and does what it says on the tin.
  • Futurelearn have collaborated with a number of renowned institutions (including the BFI) to create a range of excellent free online Media and Film related courses, highlights below:

Gender Representation in the Media

Introduction to Screenwriting

National Film and Television School - Explore Filmmaking: From Script to Screen

Film Distribution - Connecting Films With Audiences


Enrichment Activities

The Media and Film department runs both film and filmmaking clubs.  We also run a range of trips including BFI study days and the Into Film Festival (which provides free film school aged children).  We also have links with the BFI Future Film programme, Ravensbourne College and Fully Focused Productions – organisations that provide students with access to training in film and video production.