Film Studies

The St Matthew Academy Media Centre is a thriving hub of creativity, development and learning. In an ever-changing world with media and technology at its heart, pupils are offered the opportunity to achieve qualifications and gain invaluable media experience. They are empowered by using industry-standard equipment, whilst enhancing their employability and vocational skillsets. This unique accessible learning environment engages pupils in a range of activities including: film making, photography, editing, design work, script writing, acting, animation, advertising, sound recording/design and specialist software skills such as Photoshop, Final Cut Pro X and Adobe CC (Premiere, After Effects).

Over the last six years, pupils in GCSE Media Studies have achieved excellent results. We have also produced the first ever SMA News Programme, the first ever SMA pupil magazine - 'Optics,' taken the first ever whole school photo, created the first ever SMA Production Company, won national competitions, created links with industry and organised five SMA 'Oscar' evenings.

The Media centre works cross-curricular with other departments and encourages learning across the academy. Additionally, we have a vast network of external partners who we have worked successful with, such as; ‘Picturehouse’, ‘Lionsgate’, ‘Mama Youth Project’, ‘Into film’, ‘Cut Films’, ‘ReelHD’, ‘The Big Write’, ‘XMA’, ‘Film Education’, ‘Urban Synergy’, ‘Fix up Crew Action Jackson’, ‘Be Creative’ and ‘Archdiocese of Southwark’ and ‘Holy Cross Primary School’ to name a few.

We have an active St Matthew Academy Production company of over 180 pupils that regularly film and edit whole school events and regularly enter competitions. One award that the production company has achieved was a BAFTA for the Film Education BeCreative Copyright competition in which the pupils won iPads and £5,000 for the school. Furthermore, the Media Centre has had a fundamental role in five SMA Summer School workshop programmes to integrate new Year 7 pupils into the Academy. Other awards have been winning a Lionsgate competition, 2nd Place in a national Cut films competition, 2nd and 3rd place in the nationwide ‘Out of Your Hands’ and Finalists in the Shine awards 2017. We try to enter as many film making competitions as possible.

 Key Stage 3

In Years 7 and 8 pupils get the opportunity to join our production company, enter media competitions and learn new skills ready for them to choose Film Studies as an option in Year 9.

Key Stage 4

Year 9 is used to prepare the pupils for the GCSE curriculum by ensuring that their independent study skills and developed technical knowledge is secure, allowing them to progress to GCSE studies as smoothly as possible. Pupils develop their understanding of the history of film, technical codes of film making, marketing, advertising, photography and short film production including scriptwriting and post-production editing.

In Years 10 and 11, pupils follow the WJEC Eduqas GCSE curriculum. The course is a combination of practical and written coursework (30% of overall grade) and two final written examinations at the end of Year 11 (70% of overall grade.)

Throughout Key Stage 4, the pupils will continue to be assessed on a regular basis to ensure they achieve excellent results. Not only do we expect all pupils to be successful in these final exams but we want them to achieve highly in their coursework.

Component 1: Key Developments in US Film

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

35% of qualification

Section A:  US film comparative study

Section B: Key developments in film and film technology

Section C: US independent film

Component 2: Global Film: Narrative, Representation and Film Style

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

35% of qualification

Component 3: Production

Non-exam assessment

30% of qualification

Examination Information link

Recommended resources

There are a wealth of high-quality resources available on the internet for pupils studying media. We encourage our pupils to investigate for themselves. The specification and board web link the pupils will be studying is below: - We encourage pupils studying the course to buy this book.

Enrichment and Extra Curricular Activities

The Media Centre is renowned for its extra-curricular dedication. We have a rolling programme of competitions and media projects that the students can get involved with. We believe that enrichment is the best way to make you stand out, something you need to do in the Media industry. Join the SMPC (St Matthew Production Company) and develop as a young film maker, media practitioner and watch your CV and showreel grow.


There are several progression routes that successful students on this course could take at post-16 – many of which are available at Sixth Form: ‘A’ Levels in Film Studies, Media Studies, Photography, Communication, BTEC Nationals in Creative Media Production, or similar creative or critical courses