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Barclay Academy

Barclay Academy


Head of Department: Mrs L. Norman

Film is a relevant and exciting medium, the use of which can have a profound effect on the way we see the world. Film studies is much more than simply watching films, but is, instead, a highly-regarded academic discipline, encompassing both the critical, historical and cultural study of the film industry as well as analysis of ‘film form’.


GCSE film studies is an optional course at Barclay Academy, following the WJEC specification. It is a relevant and stimulating course which has been designed to draw upon students' enthusiasm for film, and to introduce them to a wide variety of films that have been important in the development of film and film technology. Learners will develop their knowledge of US mainstream film by studying one film from the 1950s and one film from the later 70s and 80s, and will therefore look at two stages in Hollywood's development, making links, comparisons and contrasts. In addition, they will study more recent films, looking at independent film from the US, Europe, UK, South Africa and Australia. Students will consider the technical and theoretical side of film (‘film form’), studying cinematography (including lighting), mise-enscène, editing and sound. The ability to analyse how these key elements of film form create meaning – both in isolation and together – is a core skill in film studies.


At A-Level, we follow the WJEC specification in film studies. This is a wide-ranging and varied course, designed both to include a wide variety of engaging and innovative examples from British, American and global cinema, as well as to broaden and deepen students’ understanding of the world and its diversity. Students will develop their practical and creative skills through the exciting opportunity either to write for screen or to make and edit their own films. They will also explore the depiction of different cultures, people and places in film and, in so doing, will be encouraged to keep an open mind and question their own ideas about gender, race, equality, nationality and British values.