“To give all students the opportunity to develop computational thinking, information technology and digital media skills, in order to facilitate further and higher levels of study in these areas leading to qualifications which equip them for a professional career.”
Digital Media is a key part of many areas of our everyday lives and vital to the UK economy. Production of digital media products is a requirement of almost every business so there is huge demand for a skilled and digitally literate workforce. This subject, and the qualification that it leads to, will help students develop specific and transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts. The subject’s hands-on approach has strong relevance to the way young people use the technology required in creative media.
The Four Pillars
Each child will develop:
- The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
- An understanding of the product life cycle (research, plan, create, evaluate)
- An understanding of planning techniques
- An understanding of the purpose and properties of digital graphics and other forms of digital media
- The ability to undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, to achieve challenging goals
- The ability to create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability.
- The capacity for critical and constructive review, evaluation of feedback and resulting improvement of work
- Knowledge and understanding of how creative media has changed the way people interact with technology in their daily lives
- Understanding about appropriate uses of software, malicious use of software and the damage it can cause, and the safe and responsible use of ICT used within creative media
- Understanding about the ethical implications of the electronic storage and transmission of personal information
- Understanding of how creative media can affect the quality of life experienced by persons with disabilities and the responsibility to meet individuals’ access requirements
- Understanding of social issues that can affect users of ICT, including the use and abuse of personal and private data
- Knowledge of the main aspects of legislation relating to creative media: copyright design and patents act and other legislation as it applies to the use of ICT in creative media, such as the computer misuse act and data protection
- Understanding about making informed decisions about the choice, implementation, and use of creative media depending upon cost and the efficient management of money and resources
- Digital literacy skills involving the use of relevant software applications
It is essential that students learn how to become responsible “digital practitioners”. This involves, for example, good e-safety and file management practice, commonly termed as “acceptable use”; and being conversant in the moral, ethical, legal and social issues behind technology. This subject helps learners to appreciate that creative media contributes to the development of our culture and to our highly technological future, and how they need to show cultural awareness of their audience when communicating with creative media.
Generally, students much prefer to collaborate than to work alone, and working in creative media can give them the disciplines and methods they need to work successfully on projects, and in collaborative teams. It enables them to undertake testing and review with peers, acting as “critical friends” and driving improvement; in this respect, students gain the kind of valuable real-world experience offered by few other subjects, by working within a project-based environment.
In taking a project-based approach to their learning, students develop an ability to decompose problems and think systematically when planning their solutions to those problems (research, plan, create, evaluate). Students develop a “healthy scepticism” when searching for and evaluating digital information prior to its use: in particular, critically evaluating the reliability, accuracy and quality of that information. Students also develop efficiency when working with technology, which necessarily involves working with computers in an organised manner.
Curriculum overview – Digital Media
In year 9, students complete a foundational digital media course. Students follow a timetable which is equivalent to two lesson hours per week. On this project, they are taught multimedia and graphic design skills using the Adobe Creative Suite.
The course equips students with a range of creative media skills and provides opportunities to develop, in context, desirable, transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts effectively. Through the use of these skills, students learn how to create fit-for-purpose digital media products.
Creative iMedia programme of study
Students follow the Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia (Level 2). The exam board is OCR.
There are four units in the Creative iMedia qualification: three practical assignments, and one theory unit. The following explains the programme of study by year.
- In year 10, students complete the first two practical assignments on the Creative iMedia course.
- Students demonstrate their ability to plan, design, build and test digital products through their work on a live assignment set by the exam board for each unit.
- These units involve multimedia, sound, graphic and video elements.
- Students use products in the Adobe Creative Suite (Adobe Creative Cloud) to complete the practical element of these projects.
- Students complete the final practical unit, ensure all units are ready for submission and then complete the theory unit in preparation for the summer examination.
- In the theory unit, students learn about the purpose and uses of a range of digital production techniques.
- This unit is interwoven into the assignments the students complete, and students are in effect examined on techniques used in these assignments.
- Therefore, revision is less onerous in this subject than in other subjects.
Examinations and assessment
There are four units in the Creative iMedia qualification. Each of the four units is worth 25% of the qualification. Unit R081 is assessed externally through a 1 hour 15 minute written examination. All other units are project-based and are assessed internally and moderated externally by the exam board.
- The course will lead to a Certificate in Creative iMedia. All students are expected to achieve a Level 2 Certificate.
- This is a GCSE equivalent qualification (at Level 2)
- There are 4 grades:
- Pass (equivalent to a grade 4)
- Merit (equivalent to a grade 5)
- Distinction (equivalent to a grade 7)
- Distinction* (equivalent to a grade 8)
- The qualification is recognised at TGAS 6th form (Distinction or Distinction* required)
Further information on this qualification, including support materials, is available from the qualification website: https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/cambridge-nationals/creative-imedia-level-1-2-award-certificate-j807-j817/
It is not necessary to purchase any textbooks for this course; it is largely practical and the department has plenty of adequate (free) resources to support students with the small theory element.
Online learning and the recovery curriculum
The department also has a dedicated online learning platform – “The Moodle”.
This is a fully functioning support platform, owned and developed by the Trust, developed for our Computing students, with rich content and features. For example, for each topic in the computing curriculum it contains :-
- a video tutorial produced by two very experienced Computer Science teachers, for students
- a direct link to the relevent Seneca (interactive) content which we know our students enjoy, meaning that they don’t have to search around for things (something they don’t enjoy)
- multiple-choice learning checks, providing an automated way of assessing learning on any Computer Science topic – all results are automatically recorded and can be accessed by all computing teachers in the Trust
- downloadable practice tasks, made by Trust teachers, for use in low stakes assessments, where exam questions aren’t appropriate or where we need to scaffold up to these
- downloadable exam questions, from the exam board’s “ExamBuilder”, containing all practice and specimen material, together with mark schemes.
The Moodle is our primary vehicle for delivering the recovery curriculum, and is being used to support various stakeholders – students, teachers and parents – of ways. The Moodle has been designed and developed by the Trust, which means that Trust teachers have control over the content, and it can continue to be adapted and configured in a way that best suits our students.