This is an exciting and innovative programme suitable for students keen to learn about the world of work. It may suit students who have a clear idea of what they want to do as a career or those who are undecided and want to explore different options alongside Level 3 or A level study. Students choose two or three creative, practical or vocational subjects, according to their interests and aptitude, and also find a work placement for one day a week.
Students are given ample support to find one or more placements and may choose how to fit this voluntary, unpaid activity around their timetabled lessons in accordance with employers’ needs. In some cases, students may travel abroad to work or study outside their normal school hours. The programme includes training in job and placement searching skills, communication, finance and health and safety from specialist teachers and external visitors. Students also gain the Level 2 NCFE qualification in Developing Workplace Skills. There is an option of retaking Maths or English GCSE or developing Maths to a higher level with Core Maths. Sixteen plus students will also be expected to find an additional work placement for one week as part of the normal sixth form programme.
Entry requirements are 5 A* to C GCSEs including English and Maths. However, Grade D in Maths and English may be accepted, at the discretion of the Head of Sixth Form, if students are committed to resitting these exams, and have a special aptitude for certain Level 3 courses. Assessment is mainly through coursework, but some exams may be required depending on which Level 3 or A Levels courses students choose. Students are required to maintain a work experience log and reflect on their experiences. Students will be expected to pay travel expenses to their work placements and buy any special clothing or equipment needed. In some cases employers may assist with costs.
Where can it lead?
Students are well prepared for employment and become more confident in their choices by learning more about the world of work. They may also go on to further study including university, but they are likely to need to gain further qualifications if they wish to apply for the more competitive universities or degree courses.
Who would benefit?
This course provides an excellent route into the Sixth Form for students who do not achieve the standard entry requirement, but have a strong aptitude in a particular area such as art or business or wish to go into the caring professions. It is also suitable for very able students who wish to gain extensive work experience alongside sixth form study.