Alsager School

What’s it like to be a Media Student at Alsager School

Media Studies is an increasingly developing and evolving subject, it covers a range of different aspects of study exploring areas of design, theory, research, and business. Our subject enables an individual to look at the world through a completely different perspective and is massively linked to culture and the ongoing zeitgeist.  Literacy is at the heart of the subject – this is both visual as well as in the written word -but it can be in varying forms from print, film, broadcast and online. 

Our students gain a range of skills and go on to have very successful careers in a plethora of fields. Most of candidates end up studying the subject at University in some form and have commented on how they have developed their communication, professional and organisational skills through the course. 

Whilst the subject is currently only offered at post 16, there are many aspects of Art, Design, Music, Literature and Business that will enable a student to join us with confidence having studied these subjects ay KS3 and KS4. 

Studying Media provides a range of lifelong skills that supplement a range of different subjects, courses and roles.

Media Student

Improving Literacy – Media as a subject utilizes many of the same skills required to read. Evaluating a media text seems less challenging than a Victorian novel or Shakespearean play. It extends and develops vocabulary our students are introduced to new terminology that often appears in other subjects such as English Language and Literature, Psychology, Humanities, Art, Business Studies, IT and Design and technology to name a few. Literacy is also improved due to producing coursework that evaluates and analyses.

Developing cultural capital – as a subject Media is highly contemporary and requires a detailed understanding of how media communicates to us in the wider world. We look at stimulus from across a range of media platforms including film, television, radio, print and new media from the web. Media studies gives students the necessary tools to negotiate and evaluate the world around them as well as developing a more concrete sense of self. 

Media Student

Vocational skills and context – As a subject that links directly to an industry (one that is increasingly evolving and becoming an integral part of the world we live), Media studies gives students the chance to have awareness of specific skills that relate to the workplace. This can range from pitching or presenting an idea, planning, drafting and managing a project, exploring finances as well as becoming aware of institutions and business that produce specific media products. 

Developing ICT skills – The subject requires pupils to embrace modern technology in lots of ways, using a range of IT programs such as word processing and presentation software as well as video and sound editing software. 

Highly Academic – Media studies pulls on many different theories and theorists that range from linguistics, psychology, sociology, literature to name a few. In fact, those who have not studied the subject might not be aware that it has a thorough grounding in theory. We explore topics from a historical, theoretical, and practical way which helps to develop different ways of thinking as well as linking across prior knowledge bases. Theories on semantics, genre, audience, representation feature and are key to helping achieve the higher grades. 

Continuous Assessment across a range of platforms – Students will be assessed through both exams and non-exam assessment which provides an opportunity to develop a range of skills necessary to be successful on the course.  Assessment is both practical and theoretical, so it enables those with a more practical approach to a subject to build confidence in an accessible subject. 

Overall, Media studies as a subject is one that can encourage high levels of engagement, helps develop an awareness and understanding of the world by looking at different aspects of society such as gender, class and general attributes of the zeitgeist. It is both theoretical and practical so is appealing to a wide range of individuals.  

Mrs Carney-Cox, Media teacher

What does it mean to be a media student at Alsager school?

Being a media student allows me to show off my creative skills and express them through exploration of well know media industries. 

The course focuses on giving a wide and intriguing insight into how media is progressing and constantly evolving as technology develops.

Being a media student at Alsager school consists of working with staff and peers to produce work that is relevant to the current industry and gaining greater knowledge on the change in the media industry. 

What skills have I gained from doing this course?

Since studying media I have gained the skills to do independent research on a given topic then deliver a presentation to peers about my research findings.

Other skills I have gained are organisational skills and research skills. A main factor of media is keeping on top of your workload while completing it to a high standard, this allows me to achieve the highest grades I can.

How have you been challenged in your media lessons?

When studying this course, it has made me a lot more aware of how the industry is structured and how social media has become very business driven making me more cautious when online. Additionally, after doing numerous presentations it has taught me many valuable transferable skills that can be used in other subjects.

Skills I have developed include having to voice and create my own opinions as the media industry can be very controversial. You must be able to adapt your mind and look at many different genres and styles giving your opinion and how it can be improved so you can reflect on your own work too. Another challenge is research as this is a large section of the course as you must understand the industry and how it is changing and adapting to new social trends. 

Initially, I found that doing independent research was difficult as it was a skill that I had not previously done, however after practicing this skill I feel more comfortable doing it. As well as this, my confidence when presenting my work to peers has increased.

Collating an opinion on topics can sometimes be challenging, especially if you have never been presented with it before. 

What do you enjoy most about studying media?

I really enjoy the media course as it allows you to show your creative and innovative ideas on topics and offering you the freedom to work independently. I am also enjoying the content I am learning as it is making me more knowledgeable about the industry that I was not aware of before.

I enjoy the contemporary element about media studies because you learn about topics that are current and applicable to media that we have daily access too. In addition to this, I have really enjoyed exploring how magazines are made and how important the visual aspects are, and I will hopefully replicate this when creating my own magazine.

Analysing different magazines and discussing how they affect different people. 

What do you know now that you did not before? 

From the start of the course, I have learnt so much that I did not know before such as the importance of target audience as this is key in marketing to find how the product is aimed at and how they will gain profit. I also learnt the importance of magazine layout, fonts, image and could scheme as this is was attracts buyers and investors. Another thing I learnt is how quickly the magazine industry changing and adapting to a more technological industry but converting to digital print.

Since September I have learnt about the rapid growth within the magazine industry, as well as having the ability to create my own digital magazine cover about a topic that I am interested in.

The media influences your day-to-day life a lot more than you think. It is heavily involved in the decisions you make and why you choose to make them. A lot of the time it is sub conscious and you do not realise that is has impacted your choices.