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A-Level Photography: Preparing Students for the 2024 Examinations

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This course has been designed to help maximise the performance of your students in the AQA A-Level Photography exam in 2024. It will address the differing requirements of the 2 components, with a special emphasis on how photographic skills and techniques must drive students’ photographs providing evidence across all four assessment objectives. The course will also focus on how to ‘unlock’ student pathways to the top mark bands without over-directing each student! There will be structured creative risk-taking strategies to take away and apply to your students. The greatest focus will be on how to ensure skills and techniques provide sufficient evidence of learning to reach to top level of assessment and this title’s own grade boundaries. Focus will also be on how to ensure students work efficiently, with purpose and relevance; throughout the Externally Set Assignment.


  • Expand your range of teaching approaches and techniques with inspiring new strategies with regard to The Personal Investigation and the written element
  • Hit exam board requirements for reaching top mark bands within the Externally Set Assignment
  • Take away practical strategies for creative risk taking with aperture, shutter speed, white balance and exposure values.
  • Learn how to avoid national pitfalls found in digital photography submissions
  • Explore strategies for dealing with students of all abilities, including the weak student
  • Find out ways to exploit the skills and techniques of Photography to drive subject specific learning outcomes which comprehensively hit across all four assessment objectives


The 2023 Examination vs The 2024 Examination

10.00 – 11.00am
  • Feedback from the 2023 exam: what is essential to be aware of as we move into 2024
  • How to engage students in the content of Photography specific course, and how to maximise their focus on what brings the most reward in examinations.
  • Reflections on the mark scheme to develop understanding of its wording and meanings with regard to digital and traditional photographic approaches

Morning break

11.00 – 11.20am

The Personal Investigation – ‘The Journal Approach’.

11.20 – 12.30pm
  • Structuring the written element as a journal to build confidence in the least able students.
  • Develop practical strategies to immerse your students in their written text which triggers their photographic outcomes
  • Examine photography exemplar work and explore how it can be applied with your students
  • Examine how to apply both critical and analytical understanding within photographic outcomes
  • How to use feedback to improve your students’ appropriate and relevant responses


12.30 – 1.15pm

The External Set Assignment – Explicit visual

1.15 – 2.15pm
  • Understand the challenges and key sequences required to attain full marks throughout the preparatory period and supervised time
  • Refine the manufacture of photographs which will help all of your students to improve their marks.
  • Examine exemplar responses to understand how to embed personal responses with students’ photographic ideas
  • Consider the necessities of the question paper’s starting points and how to use the resources in your school to maximise your students understanding.
  • Use Digital media after the shot to emulate traditional darkroom practice
  • Develop your student’s ability to plan and pace their photo shots to meet the supervised time requirements

Coherent depth, breadth and scope – both components

2.30 – 3.30pm
  • How to support students in demonstrating a balance of knowledge & understanding and skills and techniques – ‘skill and idea’
  • Pinpointing intellectual rigour through AO1 critical and analytical understanding
  • Reviewing & refining photography AO2 as a key element to the highest order thinking and making
  • Workshop – Exploiting the imagination through photography and annotation


London | Monday 16 October 2023

Please select your preferred date

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Mark Coombe is an experienced Art & Design teacher of 25 years who has taught all areas of Art & Design.  He is renowned as a CPD leader, trainer and presenter across all disciplines of Art & Design.  He is a practising artist, in particular in animal portraiture – livestock & rare breeds – and his current portfolio is supplying The National Trust in Norfolk, Suffolk and other regions.


  • Heads of Art & Design/Photography
  • NGT’s and those new to teaching Photography
  • Those teaching AQA A Level Photography for the first time


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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