The school is expanding the range of BTEC courses available to students from September 2010 and also continues to offer OCR Nationals. These courses offer students the opportunity to learn in a practical way and offer hands on experiences for students.
The courses are assessed through practical activities, coursework and ongoing assessment meaning that there is no examination at the end of the course. Students can achieve excellent results and learn in a situation that puts them into a real-life scenario, all BTEC courses require students learning to be put into a vocational context which means students are able to see the benefits of what they are studying. Some courses are offered at Level 2 while some are offered at Level 2 and Level 3, Level 2 courses are at a GCSE equivalent standard, while Level 3 courses are at a standard equivalent to A-Level.
Applied Science is a more hands on and practical course than a traditional GCSE in Science, students have the opportunity to complete a range of experiments and in many cases photographic or video evidence of the experiments themselves will be used as part of the students coursework. Students complete a range of units including Chemistry and Our Earth, Energy and Our Universe and Biology and Our Environment which put Science into an applied situation which make it easier for students to relate to what they are learning.
The level 1 OCR national in year 9 is designed as an introduction to Health and social care, students are encouraged to work as a team and there are opportunities throughout to develop personal, learning and thinking skills. The students are assessed by 100% coursework which takes the form of written projects, presentations and case studies but also practical video evidence e.g. of teamwork fundraising activities.
Year 10 and 11 students have the opportunity to complete the level 2 BTEC Diploma which involves learning about physiology and anatomy, nutrition, development through life stages, health and safety and communication skills. Assessment is 100% coursework and can take written or more practical forms. ICT functional skills are developed by using ICT systems to research and produce evidence for assessment activities. Students become independent enquirers and creative thinkers.
The level 3 BTEC Diploma continues along the same themes with more in depth study of each topic which is backed up by work experience activities, visiting speakers, video evidence and class discussion. This course has links to most subjects especially Biology, Physical Education, PSHE, ICT and Religious Studies.
Choosing to study for a BTEC in Health and Social Care is a great decision for all sorts of reasons. It is an area to work in which gives many varied opportunities to you to make a difference to peoples lives in a positive way, while at the same time gaining skills that you can transfer to other professions later. Working in the health and Social Care sector can also take you to different parts of the country and overseas. The opportunities are endless.
The Level 2 BTEC qualifications in Public Services are designed to equip students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for success when moving towards a career in the uniformed and non-uniformed services (for example, Police, Emergency Fire Services, or the Armed Services) although they also provide skills which are relevant to jobs in the private sector. Students will find out about the different Public Services and how they work individually and interact with each other, they will also have the opportunity to discover the levels of fitness required for each of the uniformed services and how to improve their health and fitness for entry in to these services. Students will work through a number of practical activities to develop the skills essential for a career in the public services which are equally beneficial to working in the private sector.
At Level 3 students also look at how Public Services are governed within the UK and the different roles of government at local, national and European level. Students look at the issues of Citizenship and Diversity within the Public Services and also develop Public Service skills to a higher level , including aspects of Leadership and Teamwork.
Performing Arts at level 2 combines aspects of Drama and Dance to give students a balanced introduction to the world of Performing Arts. Students will study a range of performance techniques and have the opportunity to take part in and review different performances. Students are able to use the dedicated Performing Arts studio to learn and to rehearse and are assessed on their practical work and through coursework assignments.
At level 3 the course combines Music as well as Drama and Dance and gives students the opportunity to take their skills further in these three areas. The level 3 course also offers the opportunity to investigate further the performing arts industry and to discuss this with the staff delivering the course who have industry experience.
BTEC Sports studies is a more practical alternative to a traditional GCSE in sport. Students have the opportunity to take part in a range of sports and analyse their performance, as well as learning about fitness and lifestyle factors impacting on health and ability to compete in different sports. Students also look at the practicalities involved in planning and leading different sporting activities.
The level 3 course goes into further details of Anatomy and the Physiology of Fitness as well as offering the opportunity to demonstrate sporting skills through practical activities and again students will have the opportunity to take part in a range of sports.
Foundation Learning offers a personalised opportunity for students who are better suited to a more vocational way of working. Students who are engaged on the Foundation Learning program study Functional Skills in English, Maths and ICT, a Vocational Qualification at Level 1 in Travel and Tourism and a BTEC in Work Skills.
BTEC Work Skills is a qualification which is made up from a variety of different optional units which allows students the opportunity to develop a variety of skills for the work place. This learning can take place in a variety of different ways and allows students the opportunity to choose some of the units which they study to suit their own needs. The functional skills relate to skills that have been selected as relevant to the workplace and are delivered both through traditional lessons and also through project work. Units include Preparing for an Interview, Working in at Team, Self-Management skills and other skills which are useful for the world of work.
ICT is offered as an OCR National at Level 2 in Keystage 4 and at Level 2 or 3 at sixth form. The course is entirely coursework and allows students the opportunity to develop their skills in a variety of areas. Students complete six units covering ICT Skills for Business, Spreadsheets, Web Design, Graphics and other areas. At Level 3 students also have to demonstrate the ability to work effectively in teams to
Business Studies is offered at Key Stage 4 as an OCR National Level 2 which is entirely coursework based. Students look at units including investigating a business (which gives them an overview of business concepts as a whole) before completing other units to specialise in areas such as Finance, Marketing and Promotions.
In the sixth form students can study an applied A-Level in Business Studies which is a combination of 4 coursework and 2 examination units over 2 years. Students again investigate a business, as well as looking at People in Business, Finance, Marketing and in Year 13 writing their own Business Plan.
At Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to take an OCR National in Travel and Tourism which gives students the opportunity to complete a variety of coursework units relating to the tourism industry, specific destinations and also key skills such as customer service. Students engage on a variety of educational visits to tourism destinations such as EuroDisney, Thorpe Park and different zoos.
In the sixth form students can take an Applied A-Level in Travel & Tourism which is similar in structure to the applied A-Level in Business Studies (4 coursework units, 2 exams). Students organise an event every year for local primary schools, where over the course of 3 days our sixth formers educate up to 300 primary school students on different countries in the world. The year 13 students also attend a trip to Malta every year where they carry out an organised tour of the destination which they have researched and planned for in the UK prior to departure. A number of St John Fisher students have gone on to work in the tourism industry on completion of this course.