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Coombes Girls School



Today we’re surrounded by media wherever we look. There’s the internet, TV, film, radio, magazines, newspapers … Believe it or not, that Snapchat you sent last week? That was sent from an app created by a person who was once a media studies student. We engage in media products everyday, often without realising how or why they were produced. But as a media student, you will start to question the world around you and the media’s role in society. You will learn how to become a producer rather than a consumer. And who knows, maybe one day you will design the app that all the kids go crazy for?


Miss McCarthy

Miss McCarthy is the Head of Media studies and currently teaches the subject to both KS4 and 5. She studied Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University and worked as a freelance graphic designer before becoming a teacher. Let’s find out more:

What is your favourite film? Jaws. Without question! Steven Spielberg is an absolute master of the camera. He knows how to craft a story and tell it to audiences in such a way that you are right there with the characters. And of course the shark is the most iconic movie monster ever to grace the silver screen - which is no easy feat considering that you don’t actually see it until the final 20 minutes of the film! That soundtrack eh!

What’s your favourite TV show? That’s a tough one as there are so many. But I would have to say ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘The Crown’. Oh and ‘Grace & Frankie’. Oh and…. No I’ll stop now!

Which media figure inspires you? I think I’d have to say Alfred Hitchcock because he was a pioneer of the film medium and his work is timeless.

Which area of media are you most passionate about? If I have to pinpoint an area, I think I would have to say graphic design and animation. I love creating logos, motion graphics and visual effects in my spare time and I am always learning!

What do you love about media studies? I am so passionate about this subject because not only is it fun and relevant to all of us, it also teaches young people the transferable skills that they can use throughout their entire lives. It teachers them to be resilient, to question and to not take anything for granted. A valuable lesson for any human being!


Mr Rhone

Mr Rhone currently teaches media at KS4 and previously at KS5 at both Coombe Girls and Boys’ schools.He studied Media & Performance at the University of Salford and is also a freelance screenwriter and director having worked on short films, music videos and feature film screenplays.

What is your favourite film?

I find this hard to answer, films are for all occasions depending on my mood and it would probably easier to name my least favorite films! But I love the films of directors such as Jeremy Saulnier (BLUE RUIN), Nicolas Winding Refn (DRIVE) and Quentin Tarantino (PULP FICTION). The way they craft unique and thrilling stories really appeals to me.

What’s your favourite TV show?

So many great ones to choose from. Most of the TV shows I love belong to the golden age of television (90’s to 00’s) with shows such as THE SOPRANOS, THE WIRE and THE SHIELD. Most recent shows are GAME OF THRONES and the truly outstanding Italian drama series GOMORRA: LA SERIE.

Which media figure inspires you?

I am inspired by many media figures that have changed the media industry in such a variety of industry roles, from producers, directors and actors; from Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick to Martin Scorsese and David Fincher, true pioneers of the media industry.

Which area of media are you most passionate about?

As much as I enjoy writing, it is the craft of directing and editing that I am most passionate about. Visual storytelling, working with actors and crew members inspires me greatly. Then being able to build and shape the story through the art of editing is such a joy for me.

What do you love about media studies?

The creativity. Whether it is filming, graphic design, editing, advertising, writing, there is something for anyone who is driven by the spirit of creativity. The structure of media studies allows you to learn the all important theory side to the subject which is essential in not only understanding this area but also being able to put it into practice.


Miss Byers

Miss Byers is the Media Technician for the department, she maintains the equipment and offers technical support to the students. She studied Media at Coombe and worked in many different fields (including corporate marketing, radio, TV and advertising) before returning to the place where is all started.

What is your favourite film? I can’t say that I have a favourite, I enjoy most all genres and, I have to admit, I do love a good bad movie. But general I’d say my favourite films are ones that are a little bit different e.g. ‘HUSH’ is a new take on a slasher thriller, playing with sound in a unique way; ‘Ferris Bueller’s day off’ is a classic teen comedy film made distinctive by breaking the 4th wall.

What is your favourite TV show? Similarly, I enjoy things that stray from the norm in some way, either through the use of camera & editing or concepts i.e. ‘Black mirror’, ‘American Horror Story’, ‘Community’, ‘Westworld’. But, I cannot deny, I also like a bit of trash TV now and then.

Which media figure inspires you? Obviously the big names; Hitchcock, Tarantino, Spielberg etc. But I also take great inspiration from a lot of female directors and editors like Thelma Schoonmaker, Vicky Jenson and Penelope Spheeris’.

Which area of media are you most passionate about? Editing 100%, you could create 50 different films using the same footage just by how you edit them. I love putting together the bones of an idea and producing something new and unique; creating something from nothing.

What do I love about media studies? The understanding it gives to students who have always been passionate about the field; being able to re-watch a film or TV show you love and understand why something was used or why it evokes a certain feeling in you. It’s like putting on glasses for the first time; the media is everywhere and in everything, and now, you can see it.


What does studying Media involve?

Media studies involves investigating the 9 media forms; TV, Film, Music Videos, Newspapers, Magazines, Advertising, Online Media, Radio and Video Games. Over the course of two years you will learn how to apply the theoretical framework of media (language, representation, audience, institution & context) to a range of seen and unseen products. You will learn to become a critical thinker by deconstructing these products and analysing the messages that are communicated both on a conscious and subconscious level. As well as this, you will also learn the practical skills necessary for becoming an active media producer. We have a well equipped department that enables our students to work on a variety of creative projects and we use the Adobe Suite to teach you skills in both print and audio visual media production.

How will I know if I will be good at it?

Let’s rephrase that question. How will you know if you could be good at it? Well the answer is simple. Anyone has the potential to be good (possible even great!) at media studies. If you are passionate about the industry, ambitious, eager to learn and resilient - then you have everything you need to start learning with us.

"You can't teach passion. You can teach everything else."

What skills will I develop?

It's been said that media literacy is as important to living in the 21st century as regular literacy was to the 20th century.  Skills such as critical thinking, deconstruction and analysis, collaboration, time management and effective communication are all skills that you will strengthen and develop on a media studies course; and these will help you navigate the rest of your education and then, your working life.

Where could this subject lead?

Most people who study media have the dream of becoming the next Steven Spielberg. And, why not? Your dreams should be big and they should be ambitious. But the media sphere comprises of more than just the film industry - studying media could lead to career in journalism or app design. You may discover your passion for scriptwriting or graphic design. Or maybe visual effects and animation? The opportunities really are endless and media studies could just be the stepping stone you need to finding your niche in the creative world.


The Backyard Cinema with KS5

The Making of Harry Potter at Warner Bros Studios with KS4


All students at GCSE study the OCR Syllabus over the course of two years.




1.TV & Promoting the Media

35% of GCSE

1hr 45 mins written examination

Section A: Television

Learners will engage with one in-depth study covering contemporary and historic television products, responding to questions covering the whole of the theoretical framework and a range of media contexts.


Section B: Promoting Media

Learners will study media products from the same global conglomerate producer illustrating the media forms of film, advertising and marketing, and video games


The Avengers

Lego Movie & Game

2. Music & News

35% of GCSE

1hr 15 mins written examination

Section A: Music

Learners will engage with one in-depth study covering magazines. Learners will also engage with music videos and radio. Learners will respond to questions covering the whole of the theoretical framework.


Section B: The News

Learners will engage with one in-depth study covering online, social and participatory media. Learners will also engage with newspapers. Learners will respond to questions covering the whole of the theoretical framework and a range of media contexts.

Mojo Magazine

Tinie Tempah - Not Letting Go

Paloma Faith - Picking Up The Pieces

Radio 1 Live Lounge

The Observer

3. Practical Production

30% of GCSE

Non-Examined Assessment

Learners will create media products through applying knowledge and understanding of media language and media representations from the theoretical framework to express and communicate meaning to an intended audience.


Production briefs will always be set in the following media forms:

• Magazines

• Television

• Music video

• Online, social and participatory.



All students at A LEVEL study the OCR Syllabus over the course of two years.




1. Media Messages

35% of A LEVEL

2 hour written examination

Section A: News and Online Media

This section consists of two linked in-depth studies that focus on contemporary news in the UK, requiring learners to explore how and why newspapers and their online counterparts are evolving as media products and the relationship between both online and offline news.

Section B: Media Language and Representation Learners will explore media language and representation, through media products set by OCR in the following media forms: • magazines

• advertising and marketing

• music videos

The Daily Mail

The Guardian

Advertising campaigns for Old Spice, Shelter, Lucozade

The Big Issue

David Guetta - Titanium

Corinne Bailey Rae - Stop Where You Are

2. Evolving Media

35% of A LEVEL

2 hour written examination

Section A: Media Industries and Audiences

Learners will explore media industries and audiences, through media products set by OCR for:

• radio

• video games

• film*

*Film to be studied in relation to media industry only.

Section B: Long Form Television Drama

Learners will engage in one in-depth study of television as an evolving, global media form. Learners must study one complete episode of a contemporary English language long form TV drama and one complete episode of a non-English language long form TV drama to inform their study.

The Jungle Book


BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show

Stranger Things

The Killing

3. Practical Production

30% of A Level

Non-Examined Assessment

Learners will create a cross-media product in response to an OCR set brief.

Learners must choose one of the following:

• a television and online cross-media brief

• a magazine and online cross-media brief

• a radio and online cross-media brief

•a music video and online cross-media brief.