Sunday, June 07, 2015

Welcome to Year 13!

Well done on completing a tough and fast-paced Year 12 in Media Studies. The MEST1 exam seemed to go well and I'm confident most of us will be happy on results day in August.

The next five weeks will contain critical preparation for Year 13. A2 Media Studies is a significant step up as well as being a far more academic course. We have a huge amount to get through and it is absolutely essential you attend every lesson this half-term to ensure you are ready for the demands of Year 13 in September.

If you don't attend lessons this half-term, we will assume you do not plan to continue Media in Year 13.

The first thing you need to do is move over to our Year 13 blog. You'll be creating TWO new blogs (one for exam, one for coursework) in the next week and we'll be putting up work on the Year 13 blog from now on.

The Year 13 blog is here - let's get started!

Monday, May 04, 2015

UNIT 1 Exam Revision

Here is your complete checklist to prepare you for the UNIT 1 exam that takes place on Friday 22nd May at 9:00am.

Firstly, make sure you use the 6 Part Active Revision Cycle whenever revising:

This is the most productive approach:
  1. STEP 1 Read your notes/text book/online resources carefully
  2. STEP 2 Reduce/summarise the information (e.g. draw a mind map, write key words on A5 card, write a table, draw a diagram)
  3. STEP 3 Learn/memorise the reduced information - using rhymes, acronyms, etc.
  4. STEP 4 Do an exam question under timed conditions
  5. STEP 5 Review what you have done
  6. STEP 6 Traffic light topics (red - don't know it; amber - know it a bit; green - know it well)
A. MediaMagazine

Spend as much time as possible reading and actively making revision notes (mindmaps etc.) using the MediaMagazine (login details: mediamagazine12/J47kmsz). 

This is a great resource - up to date information, written by A Level media examiners, with all the key terminology and theory in bold in every article:
...or download any of the past issues (without a password) as a PDF from our:

B. UNIT 1 Exam Papers (Section A)

Practice Section A questions, under exam conditions:
Typical questions (fifteen minutes per question)...
  • Media Forms: What (media language/narrative) techniques does the extract use to establish the text’s genre and/or engage the audience?
  • Media Representations: How is gender/ethnicity/age/disability/sexuality/a place represented in the extract?
  • Media Institutions: In what ways is the extract typical of the film/advertising/television industry? What values does it promote?
  • Media Audiences: Who does this text/brand appeal to? Why?
Typical texts (it WILL be moving image in the May 2015 exam)...
  • TV programme extracts (drama/soap, news, game show, documentary, etc.)
  • Adverts
  • Film extracts/ trailers (variety of genres)
  • Music videos
  • Video game extracts/trailers
C. MEST1 Past Questions (Section B)

Firstly, revise your case studies fully - 'Ill Manors' and your British film. Go back over your own Independent Case Study you produced. Use all your notes on your blogs, checking your 'Ill Manors' index carefully. 

Remember, you must revise examples across all THREE platforms - broadcast, e-media, print.

Also, make sure you do some additional research over the next few weeks so you have some up-to-the-minute examples.

These are the key questions you should be able to answer:

How are texts in the three platforms constructed?
• Are there similarities and differences in the way the area is dealt with in each platform?
• What type of media language is used and how?
• How are genre codes used?
• How do texts within the three platforms construct narrative?

How do audiences access texts across the three platforms?

• Do the texts enable different types of audience activity and/or interaction?
• Are audiences able to play a role in the construction of media texts? (UGC)
• Are there differences in the audience gratifications offered across the three platforms?

How are representations constructed and are there similarities and/or differences across the platforms?
• What values and ideologies are communicated within the representation?

What institutional issues are raised by the topic areas?
• How are institutions reacting to change in technology?
• How are institutions attempting to reach and engage their audiences?
• What economic issues are behind the construction and distribution of contemporary media texts? 

Then, make sure you complete detailed essay plans on ALL of the past questions, and then practice as many as you can under timed conditions (45 minutes/question):

January 2009
1.To what extent do the media products in your case study do more than just entertain their audience(s)?

In your answer you should:
● Provide a brief outline of your case study
● Consider how far the media products in your case study also inform, educate and
provide opportunities for interaction and participation
● Support your answer with reference to examples from three media platforms.

2.Consider the reasons media products from your case study are present across a range of media platforms.

In your answer you should:
● Provide a brief outline of your case study
● Discuss the advantages for producers of each media platform
● Support your answer with reference to examples from three media platforms.

June 2009
 1. ‘Audiences are no longer just consumers of media texts but producers too.’ To what extent is this true of the media products in your case study?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● evaluate how far audiences participate in and contribute to the media products in your case study
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. Account for the similarities and differences in the codes and conventions used in the media products from your case study.

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● compare how and why media products from your case study are similar and/or different within and across media platforms
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

January 2010
1. Identify how media products from your case study make links with other media platforms. What are the reasons for these links?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● consider possible links such as targeting audiences, promotion and revenue generation
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. ‘All media texts tell stories.’ In what ways is narrative used in the media products in your case study?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● discuss the different ways narrative functions in the media products in your case study
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

June 2010
1. 'Audiences are becoming increasingly powerful in shaping media output.' With reference to your case study, how far is this true?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● evaluate the roles of audiences in the creation of media products from your case study
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.


2. ‘It is not the strongest that survive but those most responsive to change.’  How and why do media institutions continue to change?

In your answer you should:
• provide a brief outline of your case study
• show how and why media institutions in your case study have been responsive to change 
• support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

January 2011
1. How far have improvements in technology made a difference to the quality of audience experience?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● evaluate the impact of new technologies (eg red button, file-sharing, 3D) on the audience's ability to interact with and/or enjoy media products from your case study
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. Do the institutions in your case study have an equal presence on each media platform?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your case study
● evaluate how and why media products from your case study have more of a presence on some platforms than others
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

June 2011
1. 'To be successful, media institutions have to use a variety of media platforms'. To what extent is this true of your cross-media study?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your cross-media study
● consider the possible advantages of using a range of media platforms
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. 'Our enjoyment of media products is influenced by the platforms we use to access them.'How far is this true of your cross-media study?

In your answer you should:
● provide a brief outline of your cross-media study
● consider how audiences use and respond to media products from different media platforms
● support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

Jan 2012
1. Evaluate how far audiences are able to represent themselves and/or their ideas and opinions in media products from your cross-media study.

Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. Evaluate how successfully media products from your cross-media study are promoted within and across media platforms.

Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

June 2012
1. Consider how imaginative techniques are used by media products from your  cross-media study to attract and maintain audiences.

Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

2. Synergy is the process by which media institutions use a range of platforms to promote, sell and distribute their products. Assess the impact of synergy in your cross-media study.

Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

January 2013
1. Evaluate how new technologies have been used in the products in your cross-media study.

Support your answer with reference to a range of products from three media platforms.

2. Intertextuality describes the way in which media products make reference to other media products that producers assume audiences will recognise.  Identify the ways intertextuality is used in your cross-media study.

Support your answer with reference to a range of products from three media platforms.

June 2013
1. How far does the platform on which they are consumed determine the construction of media products in your cross-media study?

Support your answer with reference to a range of products from three media platforms.

2. Explore how representations are constructed in media products from your cross-media study.

Support your answer with reference to a range of products from three media platforms.

June 2014
1. ‘Media institutions are essentially profit-driven.’ Evaluate how commercial pressures have had an impact on the products in your cross‑media study. 

Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.


2. ‘When we engage with media we both act and are acted upon, use and are used.’ Consider how much control audiences have in relation to their use of media products from your crossmedia study. 

Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms.

D. Key Concepts, Key Media Terminology, Film Language and Audience Theory

Revise the following really well:

E. AS Revision Booklet

This excellent guide summarises the key theories and key terminology you need to include and provides examples of how to use them in the exam. 

Read this repeatedly in the run-up to UNIT1, revise ALL the main theorists here and practice using them in your answers.


Friday, May 01, 2015

12A Homework - Section A: The Guardian

Please complete for Wednesday 6/5...

Watch each media product THREE times. In between viewings, for about five minutes, you should make notes in response to the questions below. 

Then you should spend approximately 15 MINUTES answering each question, supporting your answers with evidence from the media product.

Remember to include media terminology, media theory, and detailed examples.

Use this AS Revision Booklet to help you, especially when it comes to knowing which theories/keywords to use for each question.

Guardian News Advert
  • Media Forms: What techniques does the ad use to persuade the audience to consume the Guardian?
  • Representation: How is the news represented in the ad?
  • Media Institution: What issues of new technology does this ad raise and what does it tell us about the values of The Guardian?
  • Audience: On the basis of this ad, who does the Guardian brand appeal to?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Independent case study: peer assessment

Today, we are going to assess the case study of the person above us in our class list on the Y12 blog.

Create a blogpost in YOUR OWN blog and work through the following tasks/questions. You'll need to look at their case study carefully to both learn about the film they have chosen and also pick up ideas for improving your case study:
  1. Name of student whose blog you are assessing:
  2. Name of film they have researched:
  3. Have they covered all three platforms
  4. Examples they have provided from print platform:
  5. Examples they have provided from broadcast platform:
  6. Examples they have provided from e-media platform:
  7. What institutional information did they find out about the film?
  8. What issues did they find in terms of representation in the film they studied?
  9. What links or comparisons can you find between this case study and Ill Manors?
  10. Is there anything you can learn from this case study? What could you add to your own case study after looking at someone else's work?
You should be able to complete this in class time but obviously you will need to finish it for homework if not - due on Monday.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Year 12 Media - important update

We now have confirmation that the MEST1 mock exam will be during your lesson time on Monday 27 April in the Lecture Theatre. This means:

12C: 10.30am - 12.30pm Lecture Theatre

12A: 1.20pm - 3.20pm Lecture Theatre

This is your only full MEST1 mock exam so it is essential you revise and prepare exactly as you would for the real exam. Section A will be a DVD clip followed by four questions while Section B will be a 45 minute essay on your film industry case studies (Ill Manors, A Field In England and your independent case study).

Media Magazine

Media Magazine is a brilliant resource when revising for Media exams with articles on all the major media issues and debates. Our Media Magazine archive is here - we've just added MM52 (out this week) which has articles on social media and surveillance, Russell Brand, the Hunger Games trilogy and how to carry out close textual analysis (which is exactly the skill you need for MEST1 Section A).

Good luck!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Section B exam question

Welcome back!

We've got just FOUR weeks until Year 12 study leave and need to fit a full MEST1 mock exam into that time too. I know you'll be focusing on coursework this week but you also need to be stepping up your exam revision and preparation too. As soon as I have a date for the MEST1 mock exam I'll let you know.

For now, we need to be improving our planning for Section B of the MEST1 exam.

The question we've looked at in class:

Consider how imaginative techniques are used by media products from your cross-media study to attract and maintain audiences. Support your answer with reference to a range of examples from three media platforms. [32 marks]

Remember you need to type up a detailed plan for this question on your blog. We'll be working on a sample paragraph next week and then writing full practice essays from there.

Make sure you've typed up your plan by your double lesson next week.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Post-16 Easter sessions

We have managed to arrange two sessions for post-16 Media students in the Easter holidays. In addition, Media is open for the whole of Raising Achievement Day on Friday 27 March (when normal lessons are suspended). Therefore, you have the following opportunities to complete Media work:

Friday 27 March (Raising Achievement Day) 8.30am - 4pm

Tuesday 31 March 9am - 3pm (with Mr Halsey)

Tuesday 7 April 9am - 3pm (with Mr Bush)

This gives you over 19 hours to complete work - easily enough time if you are organised and make the most of these opportunities.

As you know, your coursework deadline is the week after Easter so these are your last chances to work on Premiere Pro or Photoshop in school and receive feedback on your production work or evaluation.

Good luck!