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Film Studies

Film is one of the most significant art forms of the last 100 years and continues to be culturally innovative and significant across the world.

Film can be treated as a historical document, a window to the past, or as an introduction to different cultures through differing national cinemas. Film Studies aims to introduce students to not only how films are made but why, exploring different types of film from different times and places. Students are encouraged to approach cinema as an educational tool, explaining how and why film works so effectively as an artistic medium.

Our curriculum aims to ensure that all students develop knowledge into film construction, conceptual understanding, practical and theoretical skills and Learner attributes through the various facets of film that we study. The curriculum is a progression model, through which the core concepts are developed and built upon, as students develop their own understanding of film.  Our big ideas are our Core Concepts, through which all aspects of film can be linked to. 

The Core Concepts 

  • The Key Elements of Film Form: cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing, sound, performance. 
  • Meaning and Response: How film functions both aesthetically and as a medium of representation of people, time and place. 
  • The Contexts of Film: How film works as a social, political, cultural and historical document.

Key Stage 5 

Year 12

Global Film

  • How does a film’s construction create meaning? 
  • How can different aspects of cinematography, editing, mise-en-scene and sound manipulate spectator responses?
  • Key Texts: Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, 2006) and House of Flying Daggers (Zhang, 2004) 2003

British Film Since 1995

  • How does the narrative of a film create meaning and response in spectators?
  • How does a film create social and political meaning through its narrative?
  • Key texts: Shaun of the Dead (Wright, 2004) and Sightseers (Wheatley, 2012)

American Film Since 2005

  • How and why do different spectators respond to the same film differently? 
  • How do the key elements of film form and spectator response?
  • Key Texts: No Country for Old Men (Coen Brothers, 2007) and Captain Fantastic (Ross, 2015)


  • How do I create meaning through the use of film form in my own production? 
  • How can I create a narrative that contains both meaning and will elicit a response in a spectator?
  • Construct either a short film of 4-5 minutes or the screenplay and storyboard for your own short film

Year 13

Hollywood 1930-1990

  • How does the context of a film's production create meaning for spectators? 
  • How do production contexts, particularly auteur theory, elicit meaning and responses in spectators?
  • Key Texts: Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958) and Do The Right Thing (Lee, 1989)

Documentary Film

  • How does spectator response differ to a documentary film compared to fictional film?
  • How reliable is a documentary film as a social, political and historical document?
  • Key text: Stories We Tell (Polley, 2012)

Film Movements – Silent Cinema

  • How can we use film as both an aesthetic and historical document? 
  • How does silent cinema use the key elements of film form to create spectator response?
  • Key Text: Sunrise (Murnau, 1927)

Film Movements - Experimental film (1960-2000)

  • How is film aesthetically experimental? 
  • How can film be described as the work of an artist, or auteur, within a collaborative production context?
  • Key text: Fallen Angels (Wong, 1995)