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Curriculum Information

AS and A2
Students are able to progress to ‘A’ Level in two years. At the end of Year 12 when three equal sized units are completed and examined, students can claim an Advanced Subsidiary (AS) qualification. AS is a one year programme in its own right and it is the first half of an ‘A’ level. The full ‘A’ Level consists of six equal sized units, 3 from AS and 3 from A2.

AVCE, GNVQ Courses
These courses now parallel the new AS/A2 courses and are available in three forms:
Part Award (Half Award): Consists of three modules to be completed in one year and is similar to the AS award.
Single Award: Consists of six modules to be completed in two years and is similar to the A Level Award
Double Award: Consists of twelve modules to be completed in two years and is similar to an A Level Award in two subjects.

Key Skills
As part of your chosen courses and enrichment lessons you will have the opportunity to gain other recognized qualifications called Key Skills. Six types of Key Skills are offered:
1. Communication
2. Application of Number
3. Information and Communication
4. Improving Own Learning and Performance
5. Problem Solving
6. Working with Others

These Key Skills qualifications are assessed through portfolio work and an external test. The Key Skills qualifications enable you to gain points (UCAS Tarriff) to help secure a place at University.

UCAS Tariff

Universities when selecting applicants for places will look at your points from College. Points are accumulated by the qualifications you gain and the grades of the qualification. The basic structure of how to accumulate points is below. The easiest way to understand this is the more points you gain, the higher your chances of being offered a place at the University of your choice.

A2 Level, Single AVCE

and Advanced GNVQ         AS Level and Part AVCE

Grade Point Value Grade Point Value
A 120 A 60
B 100 B 50
C 80 C 40
D 60 D 30
E 40 E 20

Key Skills: Level 3 = 20 points, Level 2 = 10 points

NOTE: Double awards for AVCE and Advanced GNVQ subjects will claim points on a scale between 80 to 240, dependent on Grades. BTEC courses again have a sliding scale however, the top point allocation for a Diploma course is 360.

Advanced Study

Advanced study (AS and A2) courses are usually chosen by students who have succeeded at GCSE and wish to continue these studies to a higher level. Students would normally choose 4 or 5 AS subjects and eventually take 3 or 4 of these through to A2 level in Year 13.

You should also be aware that whether you embark on an AS/A2 or AVCE course, the work load is demanding and requires a great deal of commitment and academic ability. The Academy would not normally recommend students to embark on a pure AS/A2 level course without at least 4 or 5 A* to C grades at GCSE. If you are wanting to continue into Higher Education then the AS/A2 courses will prepare you well for success.

BTEC First Diplomas and Nationals.

Most students will be aware of the GNVQ system. A BTEC First Diploma is similar to a GNVQ Intermediate and is equivalent to 4 GCSE’s at A* - C. The BTEC National gives students an alternative to studying 3 AS/A2 level papers and will give you the opportunity to go on to Higher Education or to further training for the work force.

BTEC’s are about work but are studied at school rather than in the work place. They are about skills such as communication, numeracy and using technology. They are also unique as they give you a broad understanding of a particular area of work, skills essential to your career and credit for all units as they are taken so you have the option of changing subject or returning to studies after a break.

Each course is made up of parts called UNITS. These tell you what you need to learn, what evidence you have to collect and what you need to do to get a pass. There are two types of unit in all BTEC courses.

Mandatory: Units you must study.

Optional: These are chosen by you to give you the opportunity to specialise.

BTEC’s involve activities, assignments and external tests. Each student will produce a portfolio which also makes up part of your assessment material. With a BTEC you can choose to go into the work force, undergo further training in your chosen field or use the points accumulated to go into Higher Education.