Film Studies GCSE aims to build on the students’ enthusiasm and interest in film and develop a wide range of skills (the ability to “read” and analyse film, creative writing, practical film-making, etc…). It covers a wide variety of cinematic experiences, focusing on films that have been important at different points during the development of film and film technology. 

Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of key film genres, of how films are structured and organised (narrative structure) and how genre and narrative together can be used to communicate ideas and discuss issues.

Students will study how the key elements of film form (cinematography/camera work, mise-en-scène, sound and editing) are used to create meaning for audiences. They will also produce a coursework production, requiring each student to apply their knowledge and understanding of genre, narrative and film form in the creation of either a screenplay extract or a filmed extract.


The Eduqas GCSE Film Studies curriculum is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) or high needs, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. The films studied cover a wide range of topics and issues that will give learners opportunities to discuss issues such as: race and racism; social class and social values as well representations of women and teenagers. Each year we receive a diverse cohort of students who are avid fans of this art form. 

At the start of Year 10, learners will embark on a journey through the varied world of film tracing this art form back to its earliest conceptions leading through until the present day.  The Film Studies curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment. Skills of analysis, strong levels of literacy  and use of specialist vocabulary are basic requirements of the course. 

All students who undertake Film Studies at the start of Year 10 will be given the same academic, technical and/or vocational opportunities. The curriculum is ambitious and there are high expectations for all learners. The manner in which students are assessed allows for those who are more likely to pursue a vocational avenue in the film industry to showcase their talents through script writing and the production of storyboards, shooting scripts and screenplays.  For students with high levels of SEND, the curriculum allows for the exploration of themes and issues that have a real world relevance and through scaffolding and modelling, all students are able to approach the examination at the end of the course. 

Specialist texts will be covered in Film Studies and these are as follows:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

E.T. The Extraterrestrial

Attack the Block

District 9

The Wave


In addition to this, ‘classic’ texts, blockbusters, global film and independent features will be used to teach the core concepts of: mise en scene, cinematography,  editing and sound. These core concepts will underpin every aspect of the curriculum and provide a theoretical framework for discussion and for the writing of extended responses. 


All members of the Film Studies department have experience with teaching the subject and have either studied the subject at university level or are carrying out relevant cpd to support and develop their own subject knowledge. 

Utilizing the ’10 Xaverian Principles of Teaching and Learning’ , all lessons present subject matter clearly and knowledge and understanding is checked via verbal discussion and written responses. Misconceptions are  addressed and due to our ‘no opt out’ policy, any gaps in knowledge that a student may have will always be challenged. 

To help ensure that knowledge and understanding increases incrementally, texts will be revisited and the core concepts of film constantly referred to to create a deep knowledge of the subject and to enhance long term memory. Low stakes quizzes, assessments and class work will aid the students in remembering what they have been taught as well as helping them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. 

During their GCSE study, students of film will be assessed in a variety of ways that will allow for recall, recap and formative assessment. The students will be made aware of how the assessments connect to the final examinations.

Students will study the core films in school with their subject teacher and the curriculum is sequenced in a way to allow students to draw upon their previous knowledge. For example, District 9 and Attack the Block are studied after Invasion of the Body Snatchers and ET The Extra Terrestrial so that knowledge of the sci-fi genre is already embedded in the long term memory. 

Reading is developed in Film Studies via publications such as Empire magazine, used  as a method of promoting reading around the subject and to foster a love of reading itself. Students will be required to read film reviews by critics such as Mark Kermode and Tom Beasley to improve their own linguistic and analytical skills. Knowledge organisers and book wrap-arounds will be read over multiple times to assist with using ‘language of the expert’. In addition to this, The Wave is a global text that is studied and requires learners to read subtitles to understand the plot and ideologies contained within the film.


External guests involved in the film and media industry have been invited to speak with students at key stage 4 and 5. Ranging from make-up artists to actors, this will allow students to see the real world implications of where their study of film can lead them. For those students who go on to pursue other careers or interests, they will have had the opportunity to explore and consider the impact that film has had on the modern era and add to their cultural experience whether it be embodied capital, technical capital or institutionalised capital. Film Studies in an ever-evolving course that captures the imagination of all who choose to study it. 


Mr K. Mansfield (Head of Film Studies and Key Stage 3 Coordinator of English)

Mr P. Evans (Deputy Headteacher and Teacher of Film Studies)

Miss E. McCrory (Teacher of Film Studies and Teacher of English)

Department Courses: 

Key Stage 4 – Eduqas/WJEC GCSE Film Studies

Key Stage 5 – Eduqas/WJEC A Level Film Studies

Year 10

Half- Term 1 Topics & Content:

Introduction to Film Language and Concepts:

The technical understanding that underpins all study of film. An introduction to genre and narrative. Mise-en-scene and cinematography as core concepts/elements

JAWS key scenes study to support the introduction of core concepts. 

Component 1 Development of US Film Classic Film 2: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Siegel, USA, 1956).

Studying how the core concepts present: Narrative, (Science Fiction) Genre, Context, Representation of society and politics.


Half-Term 2 Topics & Content:

Film History, Film Form and Genre Study:

The history of cinema exploring texts such as: ‘Voyage Dans La Lune’, The Lumiere Brothers and the evolution of the blockbuster in the 1970s, 1980s and beyond .

Component 1 Development of US Film Modern Blockbuster- FILM 1: E.T. the ExtraTerrestrial (Spielberg, USA, 1982). 

Studying how the core concepts portray: Narrative, Sci-fi Genre, Context, Representation of society. Includes a comparative essay assessment task.

Half-Term 3 Topics & Content:

Component 2 Contemporary UK ‘Attack the Block’ Film 6 Critically considering the impact of the style and personality of the director (Cornish) on the look and technical decisions involved in the production of the film and how this affects the audiences’ engagement. Primary focus is on aesthetics. Includes research task and essay task.

C2= 35%

Half-Term 4 Topics and Ideas:

Component 2 Global English Language: ‘District 9’ Film 4

Studying the use of the sci-fi Genre and Narrative to explore the Context of apartheid in South Africa Includes an essay assessment task.

Half-Term 5 Topics and Ideas:

Component 1 Development of US Film Independent film: 

‘Whiplash’ Film 3 Exploring how critical literature deepens our response to, and appreciation of, what we’ve watched, especially in regard to Representation of gender. Includes an essay assessment task that focuses on a criticism by Tom Beasley (The Popcorn Criticism.

Exploring toxic/non-tender masculinity and maleness within the text.

Half-Term 6 Topics and Content:

Component 3 Film Making – 

Practical skills; planning, shooting and editing a non-examined assessment piece of film making. Research into the horror genre. Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari to be examined along with The Others and The Woman in Black as key texts. 

Year 11:

Half- Term 1 Topics & Content:

Revise/recap Yr. 10 films:

Component 1: Key Developments in US Film:

  • Developments in Film Technology
  • Comparative Study (Sci-Fi): Film 1 “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” (1956)
  • Comparative Study (Sci-Fi): Film 2     “E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial”

Half-Term 2 Topic and Content:

Revising:  Developments in US Film:

  • Developments in Film Technology
  • Comparative Study (Sci-Fi): Film 1 “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” (1956)
  • Comparative Study (Sci-Fi): Film 2     “E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial”

Component 2: Global Film: Narrative, Representation and Film Style: The Wave (Die Welle)

Students will focus on the representations of teenagers and relationships. Social, historical context will be considered given where the film takes place.

Half-Term 3 Topics & Content:

Component 3 Film Making –

Evaluative skills writing about the successes and shortcomings of making a film through a critical evaluation of the student’s own work.

Ensuring that the evaluation contains ‘language of the expert’.

First draft of fully completed film concept submitted.

Half-Term 4 Topics & Content:


  • Film Form
  • Component 2 films and topics
  • Component 1 films and topics.

District 9 and Attack the Block revisited. Formative assessments conducted of both texts with a focus on the core concepts that both texts address.

Half-Term 5 Topics and Content:

Revision of Film History and Whiplash as an exploration into toxic masculinity. The specialist piece of writing by the selected critic will be explored in depth.

GCSE examinations.

Out of Hours Activities (what, when,where):Each year group – a Film Night in school (Yr. 10s = Summer Term, Yr. 11 = end of Autumn Term). 3 films + pizza. 
Department Website Links (including exam boards, revision sites etc):