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Film Studies is a brand new accredited qualification for OCR at GCSE that we’re really excited about. And in this blog post we are going to give you a flavour of what this new qualification is about and why we’ve added it to our GCSE offer.
The Film Studies qualification has been developed by OCR to enrich the curriculum at GCSE and to enable learners to access a subject which has a long and established academic history at HE, in both the UK (including Russell Group Universities) and overseas. The GCSE in Film Studies provides teachers and centres with a comprehensive package of Media and Film qualifications from OCR through to AS and A Level which also incorporates the vocational Cambridge Technical qualifications too.
GCSE Film Studies gives teachers the opportunity to reinforce the key universal concepts of representation, narrative and genre (the structural elements of storytelling) through arguably the most accessible and engaging audio-visual medium.
The Film Studies GCSE gives learners the following benefits:
All of OCR’s new Media and Film suite of qualifications for 2017 have been designed with the teacher in mind. The overarching ethos behind all these developments has been to build upon all the great teacher feedback we received in late 2016 and design high quality courses that delivers as much teacher choice and autonomy as possible.
The other important factor behind our development of GCSE Film Studies was to recognise that the new DfE subject content for Media Studies, whilst retaining the broader nature of the subject, severely restricted the study of film at all levels.
In Media Studies from 2017 the study of film has an industry focus, but offers little scope for any in-depth textual analysis. The DfE subject content also removes the scope for any film based productions - replaced by other moving image media forms such as TV and music video.
We know from talking to a wide range of teachers, studying our survey results and analysing our own entry patterns for current Media specifications, that many teachers currently deliver a largely film based course through Media Studies at both GCSE and A Level. Recognising that those teachers wouldn’t be able to take that approach in the future, we wanted to be able to offer them an ideal alternative at all levels if they wanted to carry on with a detailed, close study of film, focused on representations, narratives and genre as well as producing film sequences as practical productions. As well as seeking to broaden the curriculum and offer more choice for learners, OCR’s new GCSE film studies offer also caters for those teachers who want to carry on teaching film and are restricted in doing so in Media Studies as a result of the new subject content.
Essentially you need to teach six set films over two years and deliver a practical production of a film sequence or a screenplay for a film sequence.
We’ve strived to make our course as straightforward as possible to implement, Film Studies comes with two equally weighted exams and a broad and diverse choice of set films that seek to give teachers the flexibility to design their own route through the course based on the needs of their learners.
Our approach at GCSE is aimed at 14-16 learners, with set films chosen specifically with that age rage in mind. The choice of set films is broad enough that it allows routes through the qualification without engaging with any 15 certificated films – if this is a necessity for your centre. If you do want to show 15 certificated films it’s worth noting the current BBFC ratings do not apply in schools, where films can be shown for educational purposes.
Our Contemporary Lives component tackles contemporary, culturally diverse films and looks at their contexts, narrative and aesthetics through a themed approach based upon self-discovery and coming of age, for example, one route through this component could involve study of:
Our Development of US Film component looks at US film from 1930 to the present day in terms of the language of film, genre, contexts and critical writing. A possible route through this component could involve study of:
You can find the official trailers to all our GCSE set films the via the three OCR playlists below:
Which SET FILMS will you choose for your students?
I welcome your feedback and comments below on the newly accredited GCSE (9-1) in Film Studies you can always keep up-to-date with everything Media and Film at OCR by following our Twitter feed @OCR_Media_Film if you have any specific questions then contact us via the email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Rob Carlton - Subject Specialist - Media and Film Studies
Rob is a Subject Specialist for GCSE Media and AS/A Level Film, and has been in the role for the past eight years. Rob is currently working with colleagues on 2017 reform. Prior to working at OCR, Rob worked for a media consultancy in London, evaluating the performance of advertising campaigns across print, outdoor, TV and cinema for a large number of blue chip clients including Colgate, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kodak and Reckitt Benckiser.