If you are an experienced teacher of Art & Design now teaching A level  Photography this course will help you support your students in A Level Photography to maximise their potential grades.

Photography students need to demonstrate full control of their photographic kit, clarity of skill and intentions with clear contact sheets, be able to select the best shot from a photo shoot and make clear and subtle changes to their next photographs. Weaker students stop after emulating the work of others.

This course will demonstrate  how to ensure this forms the trigger for students to  develop their work in a personal manner for both The Personal Investigation and The Externally Set Assignment.  We will also ensure any annotation is insightful and informs the practical work and avoid copious amounts of time wasting. Too many students under perform during the 15 hours of supervised time, we will show you how this period can be maximised.


  • Hit exam board requirements for reaching grade boundaries higher than that of Art and Design
  • Gain approaches to teach your students all the skills of ‘camera craft’ operations
  • Take away methods on how to use emulation as a starting point for students’ photography
  • Make selection, reviewing and refinement explicitly clear for moderation
  • Ensure intentions are clearly evident in sequential photo shoots which demonstrate the work ‘gets better’
  • Understand what your students must do to maximise their use of the 15 hours supervised time.
  • You must bring a digital SLR camera, fully charged with a memory card.

COURSE DATE London | Thursday 25 November 2021

London | Thursday 20 January 2022

  • Heads of department
  • All teachers of A level Art & Design – Photography
  • Non specialists Art Teachers responsible for Photography
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • 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

10.00 – 10.30am : Key messages from the A level Photography  Exam Results

  • What are the examination board ‘must haves’? The key elements for Grades A* to B Photography
  • What does the examiner expect to see when awarding for  exceptional ability?
  • Exploring most effective approaches to the Component 1 Personal Investigation and when to start this?
  • How to support students in demonstrating aesthetic and technical considerations in their work through planning, subtle refinements, contact sheets and personal outcomes.
  • Dispelling myths and misinterpretations of The Assessment Criteria.

10:30am to 11:15am: Full control of kit & clarity of skill and intentions

  • How to plan efficiently for a photo shoot, how to choose and investigate an area of study with sufficient scope and how to ensure students are in control of their kit based on their clear intentions
  • A01 Workshop – 50 Steps

1.15 – 11.30am: Break

11.30 – 12.30am: Achieving in The Personal Investigation

  • Technical Vs Aesthetic considerations in A level Photography
  • The balance between knowledge and understanding, skill and technique, (skill and idea), is crucial for an A level Photography student undertaking The Personal Investigation
  • Embracing and manipulating the camera unlocks both evidence of technical and aesthetic learning. No Photoshop to distract us here, this will be a exploration of media, technique, reviewing and refining as we go.
  • Workshop – The Bucket Theory!

12.30 – 1.30pm: Lunch  

1.30pm to 2.30pm: Achieving in the Externally Set Assignment: reflecting and recording intentionally and in an informed way

  • Responding to starting points efficiently is key for a successful student beginning the Externally Set Assignment. We will explore the practice of emulation, insightful annotation to unlock a student’s potential with their exam component.
  • We will also explore the difference between analytical and critical understanding demonstrated within photography.
  • Approaches to to ensure digital photography students maximise the 15 hour supervised time.
  • A03 Workshop – Working from references

2.30pm to 2.45pm : afternoon break

2.45pm to 3.45 pm: Intentions and  producing the best ‘Photographs’

  • When, how and why to look at additional sources and maximise students’ ability  to reflect, review and refine their work as it progresses – staging evidence, alternative pathways
  • Embedding insightful annotation quickly and meaningfully and embracing whole school literacy strategies – thought triggers for subtle adjustments of intent
  • AO4 Workshop – Cup & Saucers!

3.45 / 4.00pm: Depart

Mark Coombe

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.