Vocational Qualifications

Vocational qualifications refer to work-related qualifications. All vocational qualifications are carefully structured to develop knowledge and subject specific skills in preparation for further education and/or employment within relevant areas. Alongside subject specific skills students are provided with the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as; organisation, prioritisation, time management, communication skills and computer literacy.

 Vocational Qualifications at the Ilfracombe Academy:

The academy offers vocational qualifications at both KS4 (year 10 and 11) and KS5 (years 12 and 13). These qualifications have different levels;

Level 2 vocational qualifications equivalent to a GCSE grade (offered at KS4 and KS5)

Level 3 vocational qualifications equivalent to an A level grade (offered at KS5 only)

KS4 (years 10 and 11)

Creative Digital Media Pearson/BTEC Level 2
Information Technology (IT) Pearson/BTEC Level 2
Health and Social Care OCR / Cambridge National
Music Pearson/BTEC Level 2
Performing Arts Pearson/BTEC Level 2
Sport Pearson/BTEC Level 2

KS5 (years 12 and 13)

Applied Science Pearson/BTEC Level 3
Creative Digital Media Pearson/BTEC Level 3
Art and Design Pearson/BTEC Level 3
Information Technology (IT) Pearson/BTEC Level 3
Health and Social Care OCR / Cambridge Technical
Performing Arts Pearson/BTEC Level 3
Sport Pearson/BTEC Level 3
Sport and Activity Leaders Pearson/BTEC Level 2
Work Skills Pearson/BTEC Level 2

 How are Vocational Qualifications Different?

Academic qualifications (GCSEs and A Levels) have undergone significant reformation in recent years. Notable changes have seen a reduction in the contribution of written coursework to student’s final grades and the introduction of terminal examinations (all examinations at the end of the course with no opportunity for re-sit attempts).

All vocational qualifications consist of units of study that are assessed throughout the course, reducing student workload at the end of the qualification. In addition the majority of units are assessed through the submission of written assignments; this model rewards hard work both inside and outside of lessons whilst also enabling students to continually track their progress.

Vocational qualifications do contain elements of external assessment (including examinations) but students have the opportunity to re-sit these assessments.

Teachers have some flexibility in choosing the units of study offered within a qualification, this enables qualifications to be tailored around a classes strengths and interests.

Vocational qualifications are equivalent to academic qualifications; these qualifications subsequently enable students to progress to either further/higher education or employment.

 Course specific details can be found in the curriculum areas of the academy website

Being Successful on a Vocational Qualification:

Vocational qualification have been designed to develop work related skills alongside subject specific understanding. Staff at the academy will look to support students in the following areas as they are seen as key to academic success within all of our vocational qualifications;

  • Punctuality and attendance to lessons
  • Personal organisation
  • Time keeping and meeting deadlines
  • Listening to and responding to feedback

Additional Support and Guidance:

Student’s classroom teachers will be their main source of guidance throughout a vocational qualification.

The academy has published a student handbook, which provides detailed guidance in the following areas;

  • Introduction to BTEC qualifications
  • BTEC delivery – what to expect during your BTEC course
  • Understanding the assessment criteria
  • Submission guidance and meeting deadlines
  • Referencing/acknowledging sources of information
  • How will your work be marked
  • Appeals (when you don’t agree with a grade or mark)
  • Ilfracombe Academy appeals policy
  • Ilfracombe Academy malpractice/plagiarism policy

We would advise all students/parents to read this handbook

Student Handbook – Click Here to download

Content Updated September 2018

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