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NEAs Part 1 – The essential information

NEAs Part 1 – The essential information

I’m sure all you cool Media Edutistas are going to agree with me on this one. As much as I love a bit of Great British Bake-Off, I sometimes feel the two production pieces at the beginning and the end are a bit annoying. Knowing the task and the rules before you enter the competition is OK for the inevitable quirky, eccentric, golly-gosh student type who has had all day to practice after their 33 minutes of weekly lectures have finished. But what about those salt of the earth characters? The plucky, hard-working dad in his Hawaiian shirts and cargo shorts combo? The eternally flustered, always about to cry mum to little Xanadu and Fountain? When do they get the time?

NEAs Part 1 – The essential information

The NEA Challenge

Well thankfully, much against the grain of a number of other subjects, we in Media still have that invaluable bit of time on our side. All three Media Studies GCSEs still carry a percentage of teacher assessed work as part of the overall final exam score. Today we are going to look at a few of the key approaches when thinking about getting to grips with, what is essentially still, coursework. (Ignore the fancy-shmancy titles that come with these new specs).

Some broad brushstrokes at the outset

  • Don’t go overboard on the NEA work.
  • The exams are going to be hard enough.
  • Allow the pupils some experience of practical skills.

This bit is vital!

If you assist the pupil in the creation of their product, in any way, you must record those details on the cover sheet.

What are you allowed to do?

What’s not acceptable?

NEAs Part 1 – The essential information

You can check the work out and give advice but it must be generic. As brilliant as you doubtless are at home videos, you be sure that you are advising and guiding the student, but not in any way that could be considered specific or dictatorial. (“Maureen always says I could have made it you know. I’ve done 3 weddings in the last year. Yes there is a small court case pending over that last one but I’m sure it will blow over. The bride’s dad’s speech wasn’t that much of a tear-jerker despite what everybody says.) You cannot pore through hours of footage and start suggesting daring, brilliant, bold cuts and edits. It’s their creativity.

Your advice must simply allow the learners to move forward with the creativity being all their own work.

You may very well feel that Tommy’s magazine cover is absolutely crying out for a bit of the old cerulean/taupe colour palette, but save those gems of advice in case you start your own fanzine or blog. Not sure who would be as egomaniacal enough to do that though?


You can talk about what locations might be suitable, what kit the pupils might want to use, potential planning time for the production and any possible health and safety issues that you can see that might crop up.

If you really want to be totally secure about the do’s and don’ts, the JCQ have issued a blockbuster publication “Instructions for conducting non-examination assessments.” They had loads in the WH Smiths by mine last week but they’ve flown off the shelves. Luckily here’s a link

Be quick. It’s a page-turner.

NEAs Part 1 – The essential information

The Exam Boards

The Synoptic Three (No not the name of the covers band at the next Edusites Christmas party)

“I’m very much looking at this project in a synoptic fashion” might, possibly be a conversation you would overhear in the world’s saddest wine bar, but it is a phrase we are all going to become familiar with over the next few years.

A synoptic approach to these projects essentially means a piece that covers the key skills of the course/ CPDs/ Theoretical Framework.

Therefore you need to be clear in your own mind before you begin delving too deeply into task allocations, resource purchases etc., just what assessments the pupils are likely to be doing, and how you can be confident that they can express their knowledge of those crucial three aspects.


Released on or around the 1st of March 2018 for the 2019 exam.

30% of the GCSE overall score.

Topics studies may include:

magazines, music video, television, and online, social and participatory media.

25-30 hours lesson time

Creating a media product

  • Print
  • AV
  • Music video
  • Social/Online/Participatory


Released on or around the 1st of March 2018 for the 2019 exam.

30% of the GCSE overall score.

It is known by this board as CREATING MEDIA PRODUCTS. Yet again the new rubric applies and it needs to be an INDIVIDUAL project. This will be a significant change to the more experienced practitioners amongst us, who have become very used to spreading the weight of practical projects across a group of students.

There will be 60 marks available for this project piece.


Will release 5 briefs annually on the 1st June of the year preceding the exam.

30% of the overall mark for the course.

It is absolutely vital to remember that these briefs will be changed every year, so please make sure you get yourselves well acquainted with the AQA secure portal via eAQA. If you are not sure about getting online with eAQA, or indeed any of the exam board secure sites, simply have a chat with your Exams Officer. They hold the keys to the kingdom!

The five tasks appear to be very workable this year and the guidelines come with a clear and detailed list of what the board consider ‘minimum requirements’ so you should be able to structure your approach around those.

So…much like Great British Bake Off, I’m sure your pupils will produce a wonderful mix of products. There will be those that stand out; creations that resemble towering, 9 storey edifices, decorated like a Russian oligarch’s blinged out man cave. Then there will be the other end of the culinary continuum. Those pieces that need a few extra minutes of TLC, “because honestly Paul, when I did it at home last week, everybody raved about it and said it was the best dampfnudel they’d ever tasted. And that’s even coming from our Norman who had a week in Bavaria in 1982.”

This is the start of our 30 odd weeks in the NEA tent. We will be fine.

We all know Rahul is winning it though.

NEAs Part 1 – The essential information

To access the new Media Industry slides for A Level please click on the pink text rather than the individual lessons. Please tell us what you think of the new format.