Tuesday, 9 September 2008

A new year a new syllabus

So, here we are at the start of a new academic year.

The big change for those of us teaching in secondary schools is that AS levels now consist of two parts. One part is coursework worth 50%, and the other part is a textual analysis paper, also worth 50%, that will combine elements of the old system of deconstructing a film extract (selected from British TV Drama), together with an essay based on an institutional case study.

In practice a great deal of what we did before will be subsumed into the new scheme. However, there are significant changes, that should make the new syllabus that much better than the old.

The main benefit will be the linking of theory to practice, which in the past had been too easily split apart. Now, the two sides of the Media Studies coin will have far more explicit links made between them. Students will formally use practical assignments to help them comprehend the numerous theories deployed in analysis of the media.

The other change is the move to electronic delivery of coursework assessment. Students will need to create blogs of their own, documenting the development of their portfolios. This is a great idea and I'm hoping to link to their blogs, once they're up and running in the next week or so.

This term the students will be making a preliminary film task, followed by the opening sequence to a thriller film. 

It should be fun.