GCSE Film Studies is a brand new course at Northgate, which we started teaching from this September. We currently have a small cohort of 14 pupils and are hoping for further interest for next year as the Year 9 pupils decide on their options.
This course really is all about film! From analysing different aspects of the medium like sound, camera shots and editing, through to discussions about representation and how current world issues are tackled in films – the course really fosters a passion for the way film-makers put across their ideas. We study a really diverse range of films that broaden pupils’ knowledge of the Hollywood, British and Global film industries. We have six core texts and then look at a range of other film clips to help us discuss genre conventions and the history of film. At the moment, students are studying Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle with Mrs Christie and Skyfall directed by Sam Mendes with Mrs Smith.
Pupils also have the opportunity to create their own horror film opening for the coursework element; where they will research, plan, shoot and edit their material to become aspiring film makers.
The course has proved to be a real success so far, with students receiving excellent grades on their knowledge tests and contributing some very thoughtful ideas in their film analysis. They also impressed on our recent open evening, where they talked about their experiences on the course to prospective Year 6s and even demonstrated some of the practical side of film making too.
We also try to provide extra curricular opportunities to further inspire pupils. The most recent event was an online webinar hosted by the prestigious British Film Institute in London. The 1 hour session focused on two of the core texts that students will study for Component 1, comparing two films of the same genre. We have chosen to compare Dracula (1931) and The Lost Boys (1987) – two new films added to the Eduqas specification for 2022.
The webinar explored common conventions of the vampire genre (think the usual blood, fangs, capes and creepy accent) as well as the ways that vampire films have changed over time. Here is what some of our students had to say:
Corey – “It was really interesting to learn about the context of the two films. It was so useful to have an overview of what we will study later on in the course.”
Ben – “I personally thought that the talk was really engaging and helpful for my learning and knowledge of Film Studies.”
Chloe – “The speaker was engaging and I really liked watching the different clips and comparing ‘Dracula’ with ‘The Lost Boys.’”
Tom – “It taught me a lot about the films and how they have much deeper meanings to them. I have since applied some of these ideas to several other lessons.”
If you would like to find out more about the Film Studies course, head over to our website: https://www.northgate.norfolk.sch.uk/film-studies/ or speak to Mrs K Smith or Mrs Christie.