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Faculty: Expressive Arts
Camera Studio Darkroom


Creative Technology

“All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.”

Richard Avedon

“The person that cannot interpret a photograph will be the illiterate of the future.”

Walter Benjamin

Photo01Photography is an increasingly popular subject that offers an opportunity for students to be creative through a mixture of Science and Art.  The course requires no previous photographic experience or any previous Art & Design qualification as students are taught from scratch.  Girls choosing Photography will adopt a wide range of skills during the course that will include the ability to contextualise resources, learn advanced photographic practice and discover historical movements and inventions that have helped shape photography into what we know it as today.

Our aim is to deliver a well-rounded education in Photography providing students with theoretical, contextual and practical knowledge and skills that they will be able to use for life.   Our goal is to encourage students to progress their own ideas and follow independent learning objectives with individual guidance to ensure that complete understanding is evident and interesting portfolio images are created.  The hope is that a wide range of career opportunities and university places could then be considered in areas such as fashion, advertising, documentary or contemporary photographic practice.  Our intention is to provide students with the enough skills to pursue professions in film, TV, as lighting technicians, stylists, cinematographers… the list is endless!

“After speaking to professors and admissions staff (Cambridge University), they explained that this subject (Photography) is accepted as an A level.”

Izzy, L6 student

GSG logo new 2013-1The photography department prides itself on the professional, diverse, fun, informative lessons it delivers.  The high marks students gain at the end of the course have earned an award in the Good Schools Guide each year from 2009.

‘Best performance by Girls taking Art & Design (Photography) at an English Independent School (GCE A level)’ Good Schools Guide 2015



Photo04AQA Examination Board

  • Introductory Project.  The initial part of the A level course offers learning and development in the use of technical skills, working practice and encouraging depth in visual language.  Students then move on to work more independently in individually chosen topic areas and build on their own recording skills, developing ideas and research.
  • Component 1: Personal Investigation.   Students develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished outcome.  This will also include written work of no less than 1000 words and no more than 3000 words which supports the practical outcomes.
  • Component 2: Externally Set Assessment.  Students respond to a choice of topics, delivered by AQA, to produce work which provides evidence of their ability to work independently within specified time constraints that lead to a finished outcome.


The Learning Environment

Students may wish to study in the professional environment of the well-equipped studio and explore different areas of photography.  This could be portraiture, still life, fashion, experimental imagery, multimedia, photographic installation or video, film or animation.  Of course, many of the aforementioned areas of photographic practice could also be explored on location alongside landscape photography, documentary photography or photojournalism.  Students will be able to decide if they would prefer to work in digital medium or have the unique opportunity to use more traditional methods using rolls of film and processing in the darkroom.  Some students may like to try both methods.


Outside the Classroom

Photo05Working outside the classroom is as important as classroom based lessons in a creative subject!  Students will visit London galleries in the Michaelmas Term to gather primary research.  They will visit the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum, The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery and view the contemporary exhibitions on show at the V&A.  Students are encouraged, as much as possible, to visit further galleries and exhibitions to view the work of past and present photographers that may inspire and influence their own work.  During the Lent Term, a residential trip is planned to shoot images, participate in workshops and collect primary research and cultural influences that will, in particular, aid the progression of the externally set assignment.



Students who have an interest in photography but haven’t been able to take it as a subject, students who are lower down the school and even staff are all able to explore their interest in photography by attending the clubs and activities offered entering the competitions that run each year or just by photographing some of the numerous school events.

This really is a subject that everyone can learn and enjoy!