The Media Department is a dynamic, technically ambitious department, which is underpinned by a sophisticated academic programme, comparable to undergraduate studies at Year 13. Students have an opportunity to engage with the burning media issues of the day, such as the explosion of box-set culture and the threat of ‘fake news’, whilst also undertaking a professional production, working in either print, film or website production. The Department is run by Catherine Simms, Head of Media Studies, who is supported by Media Technician, James Hoult, and ably assisted by ICT/Media teacher Tom Wardle.
The Department comprises two sleek and inviting classroom areas, both including full class sets of PCs equipped with advanced editing software, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro. All filming is completed on a brand new set of FUJIFILM X-T200 cameras. Students leave the Department proficient in a range of advanced technical skills and having directed and created their own professional standard media products. They consistently produce high quality production work, often liaising with specialized bodies, and professionals, such as former Labour press secretary Alastair Campbell who featured in the 2018 A Level documentary Kick It. This enables the production of professional works used in the wider community.
It is a privilege to be amongst such a talented group of young people
Dr Ellen Wright, Lecturer in Cinema and Television History at De Montfort University
The subject has a history of excellent academic achievement; it is currently one of the best performing subject in the College at A Level, in terms of value added, and students achieved 89% A*-B and 100% pass rate at A Level in 2019. A large number of students who pursue the subject at A level go on to read the subject at university, with Media Production degrees being extremely popular.
Furthermore, the subject is increasingly desirable for students wanting to pursue business-related or analytical degrees (for example, English). We are proud of our alumni and often welcome them back to speak to students about their successes and inspire others. One such alumni, Jacob Bird, returned to speak to students about his role in digital distribution at Warner Brothers. His exceptional success in the industry proves the doors which Media Studies at Ratcliffe College opens for students.
We pride ourselves on a thriving co-curricular programme.
The department has launched an exciting, new opportunity for 2021/22: The Ratcliffe Student Podcast. Podcasts are growing rapidly in popularity as an engaging and convenient form of media. The Podcast will be run by a small group of Sixth Form students, however students from any year group may contribute on any given episode. During each episode, students will get the chance to express their voices and opinions on both light-hearted, cultural topics, as well as deeper, societal issues. Alongside this, students will be able to learn how to produce, edit and distribute a podcast.
Furthermore, the School Photographers Club will be relaunched for September 2021, run by both Head of Department, Catherine Simms, as well as our skillful Media Technician, James Hoult. The Club will be open to Years 10-13 and offers students experience in a marketing role for the school. Students will get the chance to photograph key school events, such as church services, sports fixtures and Sixth Form socials, and play a vital role in supplying this content for future publications. They also receive specialist training in photography techniques from our Media technician, an experienced videographer and photographer. This exciting co-curricular opportunity develops both student confidence and technical expertise.