An Introduction to A Level Film Studies for WJEC

Dates & venues

Venue TBC
Thursday 26th June 2014
Venue TBC
Tuesday 1st July 2014

Course Description & Aims

This course will provide a clear overview of A Level Film Studies for WJEC, focusing primarily on the AS year. Delegates will gain a comprehensive insight into the specification content and a clear grasp of how to achieve the assessment criteria. We will explore effective strategies for structuring, planning and delivering the course to maximise student engagement and success. All of the key concepts for the examined and internally assessed units will be addressed enabling delegates to feel confident in successfully teaching this exciting course.


Cost is £205 inc VAT per delegate. Additional delegates will only be charged £105 inc VAT.

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What are the benefits of attending this course?

Attending this course will enable delegates to:

  • Structure the A Level course effectively and develop schemes of work
  • Plan their teaching to integrate the core skills required for practical and theoretical units
  • Approach the practical work with confidence
  • Employ strategies to actively engage students and maximise success
  • Understand the assessment criteria for each unit

Who Should Attend?

  • Newly qualified teachers or teachers new to teaching A Level Film Studies
  • Non-specialist Film Studies teachers
  • More experienced Film Studies teachers who wish to extend their skills and maximise student achievement

Resources and Materials

On arrival at this course you will receive a specially prepared file containing detailed notes, and teaching materials and resources which will be of immediate practical benefit in the classroom. The file will include:

  • Detailed notes from each session
  • Planning guides to enable you to structure your own A Level course
  • Lesson activities for practical and theory classes
  • Teaching resources for FM1 and FM2

You will also receive a full set of additional resources electronically.

Course Leaders: Stephen Sunderland and Hayley Sheard

Stephen Sunderland has 25 years’ experience in the Sixth Form sector teaching English, Media Studies and most recently Film Studies which he introduced successfully at Sir John Deane’s College. His last exam results in both AS and A2 Film were 54% high grades with two thirds of the AS students achieving at least one grade above predicted whilst at A2 30% gained a grade A. He has examined both FM2 and FM4 papers for WJEC A level Film Studies and is a broadcast playwright.

Hayley Sheard has fifteen years’ experience in the sixth form sector teaching Film Studies, Media Studies and Performing Arts in a Beacon College and has worked for awarding bodies as a coursework moderator and senior examiner. She also has extensive leadership experience as a Facilitator of Communication Key Skills, Head of Department and Curriculum Division Leader.

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Session Titles

10.00 – 10.45am: Key Issues in A Level Film Studies

  • Exploring Film Studies – what is it, why are we teaching it and what can students gain from it?
  • Introducing the key concepts - genre, narrative, representation and ideology - that underpin the entire specification through key film sequences
  • Approaches to the specification and suggested course structures

10.45 – 11.45am: Film Analysis

  • Developing students’ analytical skills at micro and macro level – key assessment objective for both FM1 and FM2
  • Exploring film language through micro features (cinematography, editing, sound, mise-en-scene, performance)
  • Developing macro analysis skills for FM2 Sections B and C
    • Analysing examples from British and American films
    • Overview of past questions and mark schemes
  • Preparing for the internally assessed ‘Micro Essay’ for FM1
    • Developing students’ ability to analyse independently
    • How to achieve level 4 in the assessment criteria

11.45am - 12.00noon: DISCUSSION: COFFEE BREAK

12.00noon – 1.00pm: Film Industry and Audience

  • Contextual knowledge for FM2 Section A and FM1 practical work
  • Understanding the industry and audience
  • Approaching FM2 Section A through case studies:
    • Engaging students in research and presentation of material
    • Encouraging students to explore their own interests
    • Activities to develop student independence
  • How to approach exam questions – using a contemporary case study to address a key question successfully


2.00 – 3.00pm: Approaches to Practical Work

  • Developing students’ creativity and technical ability to apply knowledge and understanding in practice
    • Practical visualisation exercises that can be applied in class
  • FM2 Portfolio – storyboard, step-outline or filmed sequence?
    • Activities for developing creative ideas in a structured manner
    • Technical training for students
    • WJEC assessment criteria and how to achieve the highest levels


3.10 – 4.00pm: Looking Ahead to A2

  • Expanding beyond British/ American cinema into international film and non-mainstream practices
  • Sowing the seeds of success at AS Level – introducing contexts and theories; developing the cineaste in the student through wide exploration of film and its possibilities
  • Exploring the topic options for FM4 – spectatorship, world cinema and close study texts

4.00pm: DEPART

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