Media Studies at NAC will offer a broad, coherent and rigorous course of study, which will prepare students to make informed decisions about further study and employment.
The intent of the Media Studies curriculum at Newton Abbot College is to help each student to understand the impact the media has on our society and how the process of mediation affects audiences. The aim is that every student who learns Media Studies leaves NAC empowered to: analyse media bias, learn critical thinking skills and better understand why audiences consume media texts and how they affect them.
Our subject supports students to:
- demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis
- acquire knowledge and understanding of a range of important media issues
- develop appreciation and critical understanding of the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture and politics
- understand and apply specialist subject-specific terminology to analyse and compare media products and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed in order to make informed arguments, reach substantiated judgements and draw conclusions about media issues
- appreciate how theoretical understanding supports practice and practice supports theoretical understanding
- develop practical skills by providing opportunities for creative media production
The course of study across KS4 and KS5 is designed around a robust theoretical framework. The four areas of this theoretical framework, are:
- Media Language: how the media through their forms and codes and conventions communicate meanings
- Representation: how the media portray events, issues, individuals and social groups
- Media Industries: how the media industries’ processes of production, distribution and circulation affect media forms and platforms
- Audiences: how media forms target, reach and address audiences, how audiences interpret and respond to them, and how members of audiences become producers themselves
With our clear and coherent subject specific curriculum over the five years, our schemes of learning intuitively build our students’ knowledge, skills and understanding over time, incorporating regular, personalised and formative assessment of their learning so that we are fully confident that progress is being made and knowledge and skills are firmly embedded in our students’ long term memories.
We develop students’ metacognition through a wide range of strategies and approaches including: explicit modelling, careful use of scaffolding, live-marking, feedback lessons and s and ensuring strategic use of mark schemes and exemplar materials to ensure students experience success in external qualifications.
For every learning need, we work with the individual and adhere to the principles of respect and inclusivity to produce lessons that are accessible to all. We utilise student passports to inform our teaching and to ensure lessons are accessible to all. Strategies used include:
- Ensuring design of slides avoids cognitive overload
- Regular modelling of quality work, in particular high quality, academic writing
- Analysing academic writing, for example through the use of visualisers
- Framing communication positively and proactively encouraging students through praise, communication with parents and support to build confidence
- Chunking task instructions and checking understanding
To solidify our curriculum in a real-world context, our students have the opportunity to speak to industry experts in a variety of media fields that can advise and explain what their careers offer. From these interactions, students are inspired to imagine what is possible. Our strong connections to tertiary education providers allows students to explore a variety of Higher Education options and in addition, NAC alumni who are now working in the media industry, visit regularly to provide advice and guidance about potential career and study opportunities.
We monitor, review, evaluate and amend our curriculum, looking at a range of quantitative and qualitative data collected from: learning walks, student voice, data analysis, attendance, behaviour for learning and destinations data, and (most importantly) the quality of work produced by students that evidences progression and retention of knowledge.
When a student leaves NAC with a Media Studies qualification, they are embarking on the next stage of their journey armed with the understanding of a modern media environment and how it personally affects them, in turn making them informed and critical citizens of the world.