Do lessons and events go ahead as normal during this period of National mourning? 

Monday 19 September 2022 - This day will be a bank holiday and schools and colleges will be closed as a mark of respect. Therefore the college will be closed on Monday to staff and students.

Welcome Day – Monday 12 September 2022 

We hope you enjoyed your first day at College. Do not forget to check the front page of BHASVLE for key messages and make sure you have completed the Digital Induction

What did I need to do before Welcome Day? 

You needed to complete the Digital Induction on BHASVLE and Starting with Confidence work for each of your subjects. 

How do I download the MyBHASVIC app? 

Download the MyBHASVIC app. Details available on BHASVLE, and the QR codes are around College.

What if I don’t have a mobile device or have IT difficulties? 

  • If you do not have access to a mobile device for any reason, please contact studentservices@bhasvic.ac.uk to let us know.  
  • If you have IT difficulties or do not have a mobile device, there are computers in the Main Library.
  • If you contact Student Services, we can discuss longer term access to a laptop if you need this. 

Where do I go to get help when I am at college? 

Go along to:

  • Main Reception (ground floor of main building) 
  • Student Services Reception (ground floor of Student Services Centre – via Crocodile Walk: next to the huts and close to the field). 
  • The Library (1st floor of main building) 

When will I get my timetable? 

During the morning Welcome Day session you received your timetable. 

What should I do if subjects on my timetable look wrong? 

If you made a request to change subject at Enrolment, we may not have been able to process this and you may be on a waiting list. If this does not appear on your timetable by Friday, please contact the virtual help desk. We aim to respond to all queries within 48 hours. Once you have contacted the help desk, please keep checking your Microsoft Teams messages.     

There is a clash on my timetable? 

Please log this on the virtual help desk and one of our team will investigate this for you. Please keep checking your Microsoft Teams messages. We aim to respond to all queries within 48 hours. Please also check your timetable on Advantage. 

What if I want to change a course? 

Our course change ‘window’ opens from Monday 19 September as you need to go to at least 3 lessons before we will consider a change. If you would like to discuss this with a member of our course change team, please contact the virtual help desk. We aim to respond to all queries within 48 hours. Once you have contacted the help desk, please keep checking your Microsoft Teams messages.     

Can I change tutor group? 

Unfortunately this will not be possible. The only exception is if your tutor session is the only thing you have timetabled on that day. If this is the case, then please log a request on the virtual help desk. Tutor groups are already very full, so there is not much space to move students around, but we will look into it for you. We aim to respond to all queries within 48 hours. Once you have contacted the help desk, please keep checking your Microsoft Teams messages.    

What should I do if I haven’t got an ID card? 

Please go to Student Services Reception to collect your ID card. If you haven’t uploaded a photo, the Student Services Centre Operations team will be able to remind you how to upload your photo in order to get an ID card issued. 

When and where do I get my subject textbooks? 

Please go to the main library to collect your textbooks. If there is a queue don’t worry, please come back later. You will need to have your ID card to receive your textbooks. 

Where can I get help with travel bursaries and other financial support? 

There is lots of information available under Student Life on the main website or you can speak to someone in the Student Services Centre Reception. This includes bursary guidelines and application portal.  If you wish to email for more information contact studentservices@bhasvic.ac.uk

Queries about payments (including deposits and course charges)? 

  1. Email cashdesk@bhasvic.ac.uk
  2. Telephone 01273 552200 and ask for the Cash Desk

Please include all relevant personal information and the details about the nature of the payment, please also see Payments and Donations

Something is wrong on the system e.g. name, pronouns? 

Please email registry@bhasvic.ac.uk from your BHASVIC email OR log a query on the virtual help desk. We aim to respond to all queries within 48 hours. Once you have contacted the help desk, please keep checking your Microsoft Teams messages.       

I need help to book my Wellbeing Session on BHASVLE 

You book your wellbeing session on BHASVLE. If you need help with this, please go to one of the information points or the main library and we will be able to help you. 

How do I find out about the Student Union ? 

You can find out all about the kind of activities The Student Union  run, including clubs and societies by looking at the BHASVIC Enrichment page on the main website. Freshers’ Fair is on 28 September and you will get more details about this in your tutor sessions next week. 

Where do I get food onsite? 

The BHASVIC Copper Café and shops and cafes in the local area.  

I have any other questions… 

Please go to Main Reception or the Student Services Centre or contact the virtual help desk.  

 

 

 

 

Do lessons and events go ahead as normal during this period of National mourning? 

Monday 19 September 2022 - This day will be a bank holiday and schools and colleges will be closed as a mark of respect. Therefore the college will be closed on Monday to staff and students.

What makes up a full A2 timetable (also known as a study programme) at BHASVIC?

 A full-time timetable usually consists of THREE core subjects, ONE Tutor period, plus ONE other element (eg. portfolio course, EPQ, study support, work experience, language conversation class etc.) You need to have at least 540 (or more) Guided Learning Hours, in order to count as a full-time student at college. 

When you enrolled on Thursday 1 September, you confirmed that your core subjects were correct and that you have a full timetable. If you feel your subjects are not correct, you can fill in a query using the A2 Virtual Help Desk, but please read the FAQs below before you do this, as many timetabling issues are often explained or resolved here. 

How can I access my timetable?  

You can view your A2 timetable using Student Advantage, or via the myBHASVIC App.

One or more of my main subjects is not on my timetable? 

A small number of subjects do not start in the first week of term, please check your enrolled courses on Student Advantage AND change the dates on your online timetable to 19 September. If you have checked and your subject still does NOT appear, we willneed to conduct a manual check. Please complete the A2 Virtual Help Desk form. 

I picked up a new AS or BTEC subject as a recovery option and it is not on my timetable? 

If you have not been able to continue with one of your courses and are picking up a new subject then this may not be on your timetable yet, as year one courses start slightly later. Please check your enrolled courses on Student Advantage  AND change the dates on your online timetable to 19 September. If you have checked, and you still believe you have not been enrolled in your recovery course then please complete the A2 Virtual Help Desk form.

My Portfolio course does not appear on my timetable? 

You will need to check Student Advantage to confirm you have been enrolled. Some portfolio courses start a bit later so move the dates on your online timetable forward to 19 September.  If you have not been enrolled on a Portfolio course, please complete A2 Virtual Help Desk form. 

Please note some Portfolio courses carry a charge, please see list full list of charges here: Portfolio Course Charge List    

I have been assigned a portfolio course, can I request to change it? 

The majority of portfolio courses are full at this point of the year and changes are not likely to be possible. During the A1-A2 transfer process you were asked to choose 3 portfolio courses, if you have been assigned one of these choices, we will not be able to consider a change. For students where it was not possible to place you with one of your three choices we have aimed to contact you to resolve this and find a suitable alternative. As many portfolio courses only take place within one timetabled session and have limited availability it is not always possible to place students on their preferred options.  

I have been enrolled on the wrong Tutor Pathway (E&E, UCAS, Oxbridge, Medical, and Visual Arts) or I wish to request a change? 

Please complete the A2 Virtual Help Desk form stating which pathway you expected to be on/ wish to change to. Some pathways are already over-subscribed, but if there is availability we will try to accommodate changes, where possible. 

I do not feel able to continue with one or more of my courses? 

It is very unusual to drop or change a course at the start of the second year. You should discuss this with your teacher first. If you have already done this then you should already have been contacted by your Guidance Manager to arrange a new course. If this is not the case,then please complete the A2 Virtual Help Desk form. 

I am not happy with my timetable – can I make changes?   

We are not able to make changes due to external commitments, such as part-time work, or attending clubs or societies outside college. We understand that this can be frustrating but you have enrolled as a full-time student and this needs to take priority. 

There are TWO exceptions to this: a) TUTORIAL is your ONLY lesson on a particular day AND you are traveling a long distance to college or b) You have been assigned blocks E and B on a Tuesday with no lessons in between. If either of these apply, you can make a request to have your blocks reconsidered. Please complete the A2 Virtual Help Desk form. However, please bear in mind that, in many cases we are unlikely to be able to accommodate changes EVEN where one of these criteria apply due to lack of space in alternative classes.  

I have been told that I do not have enough Guided Learning Hours (GLH) in my timetable or there is another problem with my study programme? If you need to add a portfolio course to increase your GLH you need to choose a portfolio course and a backup and submit your choices using the Help Desk form.    

The A2 Virtual Help Desk form includes a link to the A1-A2 Transfer Guide (which is also on the VLE HERE). The Transfer Guide tells you about the different courses, including how much work is involved and if there are any special entry requirements – although, please note, that some of these courses may be already full or oversubscribed. It is also important to check the list of portfolios and bocks on the VLE to ensure it fits with your other subjects.   

 

 

 

 

 

Update: 16 August 2022

Please see a letter sent by Ofqual and UCAS published on the 14 August 2022 Ofqual and UCAS letter to Students

Getting your results and any help you need 

Please check for results on Student Advantage from 08:00am. They will also be posted first class on Results Day. We ask that students do not come onsite unless they have been given a specific appointment with one of our advisers.

Thursday 18 August – results day for A/AS levels, BTEC, Criminology & EPQ and Thursday 25 August – results day for GCSEs 

  • Students will be able to access their results from 8am, via their BHASVIC Student Advantage account. There is a link to this on the student dashboard of the college website 
  • Paper copies of results will be posted, first class, to the registered home address on results day afternoon.  
  • You should be aware that Student Advantage will be temporarily unavailable on Wednesday 17 August in order for us to upload exam results information.  
  • Students should therefore double-check that they can access their Student Advantage account, and that we have your correct postal address by Tuesday 16 August. 
  • If students need to reset their password, please follow the instructions provided on the Student Advantage link, above. If you are still unable to access your account, or you need to send an updated postal address, you will need to email cis@bhasvic.ac.uk from your BHASVIC email account. Alternatively, on results day, please use the virtual help desk. 

Results Day Support and Virtual Help Desk 

  • There will be lots of specialist support available, both on the day and in the coming few weeks, offering advice and guidance on careers, university applications and UCAS clearing, as well as financial and wellbeing support for all our college leavers. 
  • As in previous years, we will be operating a virtual help desk from 8.00am to help us to manage enquiries. Students need to access the virtual help desk to log their query in the first instance. 
  • We have a team of advisers who will be able to respond, via telephone or Teams, or with a face-to-face appointment. All queries will be dealt with as quickly as possible, but priority on results day will be given to students who need information or support to confirm university, apprenticeship or other similar offers. 
  • We therefore ask that students do not come onsite unless they have been given a specific appointment with one of our advisers. 
  • Please be aware that teachers and tutors are still on holiday, so are not expected to check e-mails or respond; however, Heads of Faculty, Careers Advisers, Guidance Managers, and the Examinations Office are all available, via the virtual help desk, to offer help, advice and guidance throughout August. 
  • There are lots of sources of external support (see BHASVIC Results Day Careers Support Resources  including BHASVIC Clearing/Apprenticeship and Careers Guides) and you can contact the National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline on 0800 100 900 for free advice. The helpline is open until a week after GCSE results day https://www.gov.uk/careers-helpline-for-teenagers.  

Further information on exam results services (for example breakdown of results/copies of scripts/reviews of marking etc) can be found on the Exams page from 08:00am on Thursday 18 August.

FAQs on National Context (from Association of School and College Leaders)

How were grades arrived at this year? 

In 2020 and 2021 results nationally rose, especially the number of candidates achieving As and A*s at A level. This was due to the different type of assessment used. As 2022 was the first year exams were held, the government had to decide how to approach grading. It decided that the fairest system was a transition year between 2021 national results and 2019 national results. 

This means that results for each qualification will roughly be around the midpoint although this won’t be exact. 

Were students marked more harshly than last year? 

No. It is important to remember the difference between marking and grading. This year, exam board markers marked papers in exactly the same way, using the same mark schemes as they had done previously (2019 and before). 

Once enough marks were received, exam boards then set grade boundaries in line with the policy above. This means that grade boundaries are likely to be lower than the last time they were set (2019) to allow for more students than normal to achieve each grade. 

The grade boundaries for each qualification will be released on results days. 

Does this mean grades were arrived at by algorithm? 

No. Ultimately, the starting point for a student’s grade is the work they produce in the exam. Their marks across all their papers are then compared to other candidates’ marks nationally. As above, grade boundaries are then set by the exam boards who were asked to aim for a midpoint between 2019 and 2021 grades. 

However, experienced examiners and subject leads in the boards could, as in a normal year, argue that the performance of candidates is stronger, and so more candidates can achieve higher grades. 

This is unlikely to have happened this year, as grading was already more generous than normal exam years. 

How is this fair to students who have been so affected by the pandemic? 

It’s important to remember that all students taking exams this year are in the same boat. A range of other mitigations to reflect lost learning were put in place (see below). For the purpose of selection (e.g. university and apprenticeship admissions), all students in this year’s cohort have been graded in the same way. Universities understand the approach this year and will not seek to make comparisons between candidates who received grades in 2021 and this year’s cohort. 

The ongoing impact of the pandemic will not have been equal across candidates, even within a single school, college or trust, or even within a single class. It would therefore have been impossible to try to adjust marking or grading at an individual level. 

What other mitigations were put in place? 

As well as more generous grading compared to a normal year, the exam boards provided: 

  • advanced information about what was or wasn’t on the exam paper, which was released in the spring 
  • formula and equation sheets in some STEM subjects 
  • less content and optionality in GCSE English literature, history and geography 
  • changes to coursework and practical work in some subjects 

Will more students miss out on their conditional offer? 

There has been some unhelpful speculation in the media that more students may miss out on their conditional offers this year. There is little reason to think this. Universities were aware of how grading would work this year before they made offers and have been cautious in their offer-making. Universities have not raised their standard tariffs, unless they were planning to anyway. Students already have their offers. As in any year, some students will be disappointed with their grades and may not make the conditions of their offer, however, there is no reason to suggest that this would be any higher than normal. In fact, in Scotland, more students than ever got their first choice of university. 

Is there more competition for university places this year? 

There was greater competition for universities this year, but this is because there are more 18 year-olds in the population and more students than ever before applied for university. 

However, this is not linked to exams or grading. Offers have already been made, and a vast majority have been accepted. 

Will a school’s or college’s previous results count against them in the transition year? 

Absolutely not. The midpoint between 2019 and 2021 is set at a national level and has nothing to do with a school, college or trust’s own results. 

School, college, and trusts’ results for 2022 will be based on the performance of their students during the exam period. 

Will some schools or colleges see a bigger drop in results from 2021 than others? 

There is no such thing as school performance data for 2021 or 2020 as the DfE decided not to publish it. If schools or colleges chose to self-publish their students’ results in these years, then any drop in results can be explained by the different form of assessment. 

The DfE and Ofsted do not have or use school- or college-level data from 2020 or 2021. 

What data will be published for secondary schools and colleges this year?

All of the normal data and performance measures will be calculated and published for secondary schools and colleges this year, something ASCL has lobbied against. 

The exception is 16-18 progress figures (including English and maths) as the 2020 baseline data is not available. This will be published on the Find School and College Performance website, on ASP and on Ofsted’s IDSR. 

 Can you compare results to previous years? 

The DfE has cautioned against trying to compare this year’s results with pre-pandemic results. The impact of the pandemic has been variable between schools and between students which makes comparisons very difficult. This is reflected in the DfE changing the name of the website from ‘Compare School and College Performance’ to ‘Find School and College Performance’. 

Governors, trustees and senior leaders should be cautious of using this year’s data to look for patterns and trends, and for setting or reviewing performance management targets. 

 

Legacy FAQs on Exams:

FAQs about proposed Rail Strikes - Tuesday 14 June 2022

What rail services might be affected?

Please note, not all services are affected and the strikes themselves may be called-off last minute. Check your rail company website for the most up-to-date information.

What about trains on other, non-strike days (ie Wednesday 22nd and Friday 24th June)?

According to the media, there is likely to be significant disruption to train schedules on the non-strike days as well (because the trains will not be in the correct locations for usual services). Disruption may even continue into the following week.

Which exams may be affected in the strike days?

A Level Exams:

  • Tuesday 21 June - am - Religious Studies, German
  • Tuesday 21 June - pm - Maths
  • Thursday 23 June - am - Chemistry
  • Thursday 23 June - pm - Double Maths (Decision)

A1 Summer Exam Resits - These take place on Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 and cannot be moved. Please see your Advantage account. Parents and carers are also emailed if their Young Person has not passed their A1 Summer Exam and they are down for a Resit.

What do I do if I miss an A Level exam due to rail disruption?

If you have been completely unable to travel to your exam due to the rail strikes and despite every attempt to make alternative arrangements, then you will need to make a Special Consideration application (see further down on this FAQs page or google "JCQ Special Consideration"). BHASVIC states here that the Special Consideration decision-making process lies with the Awarding Organisation for the exam, not with the college. Our view is that, in line with the JCQ policy on Special Consideration, you, as the candidate, would be absent from the examination for an acceptable reason due to the rail strike being circumstances beyond your control, but ultimately the Awarding Organisation would be the judge of what is reasonable/acceptable on this. The expectation will be that, despite the very stressful and unfortunate timing of the strikes, candidates will make alternative travel arrangements and attend their exams.

If you do miss an exam, you will still be able to apply for Special Consideration if you have completed at least one of the other components (exam or NEA).

What do I do if I arrive late for an exam due to rail disruption and travel delays?

If missing the start of an exam – but you can arrive within 30 mins of the start of the exam, you can go straight to the exam room and talk to the invigilator. If you will be later than 30 minutes, please contact or come to the Exams Office and they will evaluate whether it is possible for you to take the exam. If the exam has finished before you arrive, it would not be possible to sit the exam.

What do I do if I miss an A1 Resit Exam due to the rail disruption?

Please contact your teacher and your Personal Tutor to let them know. The same lateness rules will apply, as above. Once you have contacted your teacher, the department will make decisions about your progression on a case-by-case basis, using your progress on the course over the past year. 

What advice can you provide about alternative travel arrangements?

Plan in advance.

Morning exams are going to be more challenging to get to than afternoon ones. If possible, stay overnight with any relatives or family friends where you can get to the exam without relying on trains (the college cannot offer help with this)

Buses

    • We know this may mean a VERY early start – don’t rely on last buses – on this day of all days they will be very busy.
    • If the bus is full when it passes your bus stop, the driver is unlikely to stop for you.

Cars

    • Car sharing with friends – we cannot broker this, I am afraid.
    • Car drop-offs - we suggest avoiding dropping-off by car right near the college – you are likely to become stuck in one-way queues of traffic. Avoid travelling into the centre and prepare instead for a 10–15-minute walk to the college from outskirts – high numbers of our students walk to college or from their bus stop and this can be healthy ahead of an exam.

Cycling

    • Please bring a decent lock and prepare for the fact that you may need to lock your bike offsite (railings along Old Shoreham Road are an option).
    • Check bike before the exam and leave early with a puncture repair kit.

Walking

    • If walking is a viable option for you, all-be-it where this means a very long walk, remember this is a one-off occurrence for you and exercise can be excellent preparation for your brain.

What support is available from BHASVIC?

  • Financial difficulties or mobility issues: For students who receive free college meals or the 16-19 bursary and may experience difficulties with public transport costs, please contact bursaries@bhasvic.ac.uk who can provide advice and support with this.
  • General worries about your circumstances: please contact your Personal Tutor, who can explore these with you.

 

 

Exams FAQs

**Please read our Covid Guidance accordion section before reading the FAQs directly below

JCQ have published important and helpful FAQs on Special Consideration. These cover the following questions/issues:

  • What is meant by Special Consideration and scenarios where this would and would not apply
  • The minimum requirements to receive a grade, if any of your exam attendance or coursework submission is disrupted by Covid
  • Advice about Covid symptoms/testing positive and sitting or missing an exam
  • What to do if you miss an exam

An additional FAQ to answer: If I cannot attend the exam at BHASVIC due to self-isolation, can I take the exam at home via remote invigilation?

No, unfortunately this would not be possible (please see Page 7 of this JCQ Guidance on conducting exams). If it was the case that you had missed all previous components (coursework/exams) and would not be able to gain the qualification AND you know at least 5 days in advance that you will miss the final exam, please contact the exams office exams@bhasvic.ac.uk and we will investigate your case.

 

Updated: Wednesday 7 February 2022 (advance information & support for exam anxiety - see NEW FAQs! top of Section 1)

Mock Exams Fortnight: Please refer to the Student Guide to the Mock Exam Fortnight, which is the two weeks before the February Half Term. Your Personal Tutor will be covering this in detail during tutorial and your teachers will give you precise information about the Mock Exam for your course. Please ask any questions to your tutor or teacher, so that you are clear about these important assessments.

 

This FAQ has two distinct section:

Section 1: Contingency arrangements if exams are cancelled this section outlines BHASVIC’s current and future arrangements in the very unlikely event that exams are cancelled.

Section 2: Changes to Exams this summer the DfE and Ofqual have outlined a few adjustments to the way exams will run next summer, in recognition of the disruption students have experienced in their learning due to the pandemic.

If there is an important question you need answering, we strongly encourage you to ask a relevant teacher or your personal tutor. It is important to us that you feel clear and confident about exams this summer so that you can focus on the facts and prepare with confidence, rather than feeling anxious because you are not sure how things will work. If questions arise that need answering at top level, we will post them here, so it is worth checking this FQ periodically for updates. If we do make significant updates, we will tell you in our email updates from the Principal, Will Baldwin. 

 

Section 1: Contingency Arrangements if Summer 2022 Exams are cancelled (unlikely)

NEW FAQ! Advance Information released by exam boards - what does this mean?

The college and all our course teams will be processing the exam board's Advance Information and will be communicating to each student on each course via the VLE, Teams and via our messages from the Principal. Our advice to you right now is to give our teachers (who are the experts here) a little time to process the information, work out the absolute best options for our students and then to give advice on what will be best to do ahead and in the time remaining before national exams. We are on to this and want the very best for our students, so look out for information from your teachers in the coming days.

Students experience anxiety around exam time, and this is not uncommon, but normally exam anxiety alone does not meet the strict government regulations for giving Exam Access Arrangements (small room, rest breaks, extra time, etc).

NEW FAQ! I feel I need some special arrangements in which to sit my exams due to high levels of anxiety – what are my options?

Students experience anxiety around exam time, and this is not uncommon, but normally exam anxiety alone does not meet the strict government regulations for giving Exam Access Arrangements (small room, rest breaks, extra time, etc).

BHASVIC has a range of support in place for students who are experiencing exam anxiety – accessing this support can help reduce your anxiety and prepare you well for sitting your exams as normal.

Please check our Student Wellbeing webpage, where all our resources to support you can be found. In addition, you should talk with your Personal Tutor and any one of your teachers to gain some reassurance and confidence about sitting your exams.

I have a mock exam in the afternoon but have a lesson in the morning (A2 BTEC students/A1 Double Maths, GCSE Retakes) - can I miss the morning lesson?

If you have an exam in the afternoon and a lesson in the morning, you may take the morning as Study Leave but you must let your teacher know this, otherwise you will be marked absent by the teacher of the morning lesson.

Can and how do I apply for Special Consideration for the February 2022 Mock Exams? All the information you require is included in the guidance Special Consideration for February 2022 Mock Exams. Please read this guidance in full before completing a Special Consideration request via your Advantage account.

Will exams be cancelled? The government have made it clear will do everything possible to enable exams to go ahead in 2022 and cancelling them would be a last resort. All decision makers at government level consider exams to be the fairest and most accurate way to determine grades and so they do not want to cancel them.

BHASVIC’s view remains that cancellation of exams is very unlikely and all our students should focus their energies on preparing for them.

I am very anxious that I won’t get the grades I deserve if exams are cancelled! BHASVIC is on your side. We want the best outcomes for our students and will run TAGs fairly and objectively with a determination to celebrate and award our students’ learning, knowledge and skills developed on their courses, should exams be cancelled. The rest of this FAQ should reassure you that there are sensible and supportive measures in place to enable you to thrive and demonstrate your hard-earned ability level.

What happens if exams can’t go ahead at all in Summer 2022? In the unlikely event that exams are not able to go ahead as planned, Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) provided by BHASVIC to the exam boards will be used.

Ofqual and the Department for Education (DfE) have confirmed Contingency Arrangements which the college will follow.

Some aspects of this guidance mean that BHASVIC and its staff and students will need to do certain things ahead of Summer Exams just in case the exams were to be cancelled (this is what is meant by contingency arrangements).

This FAQ provides a more ‘BHASVIC-student-friendly’ outline of Ofqual’s contingency arrangements, as well as an outline of some of the college-level decisions and details you need to know. This FAQ has also been written with parents and carers (as very important stakeholders) in mind.

Ofqual have also published three open letters to:

What are BHASVIC’s arrangements to formulate TAGs if exams ended up being cancelled? BHASVIC will need to run up to three mock exams to be able to formulate TAGs for its students. Ofqual have asked centres to assess candidates under exam-like conditions, wherever possible. Ofqual have advised three assessments for courses without a coursework component and, if it is possible to continue to assess students later in the academic year, providing more recent evidence towards the end of the course to inform TAGs, should they become necessary (unlikely!).

At the same time, considering that it is unlikely that exams would be cancelled, BHASVIC does wants to:

  1. Avoid putting undue pressure or stress on its students due to over-assessment or constant high-stakes testing
  2. Avoid losing lesson time and teaching time to formal assessments (for a large centre like a sixth form college, an exam in every subject takes two weeks to deliver).

To achieve this for A Levels, AS Levels and English/Maths GCSE, at BHASVIC we will:

  1. Mock Exam 1 (mid-Feb): Run a Mock Exam for all relevant courses in the two weeks prior to February Half Term. This adheres closely to what the college does anyway for sound educational reasons and to support our students in preparing for the real exams in May/June.
  2. Mock Exam 2 (end-March): Prepare for (but not run unless we absolutely have to) a second Mock Exam leading up to the Easter Holidays. We will only do this if we absolutely have to – for example where the course of the pandemic indicates that there is a reasonable risk we are heading into imminent national lockdowns
  3. End-Point-Assessments (mid-May): Prepare for (but not run unless we absolutely have to) one or two End Point Assessments in May (taking account of whether we ran a second Mock Exam before Easter and if exams have by that point been cancelled).

The above actions and timeframe would enable BHASVIC to have sufficient evidence, towards the end of the course, to formulate TAGs fairly, objectively and without national exams.

What about BTECs and Criminology? These courses are very different from A Levels and each course has a unique schedule of exams, mock exams and coursework components. Your teacher will communicate with you carefully about all assessment processes on your course. On some BTEC courses and in Criminology you may be sitting mock exams in the same window of time as A Level Mock Exams.

Will there be Study Leave for the February Mock Exams?

Yes, for A2 students. Lessons will be suspended for two weeks and your teachers will give you revision planning activity to follow and record – this will be designed to help you very carefully record and analyse your revision and exam technique. Although we would run lessons if we could, giving students Study Leave avoids an otherwise very inconsistent learning experience for students and allows that careful learning and analysis of the experience of sitting an exam series just before the final and real exams take place.

What happens if I miss any of the BHASVIC Mock Exams or End-Point-Assessments? The Mock Exam in February is a learning opportunity and we would ask you to sit them at a later point so that you could use that learning for your final exam. However, we would not use that evidence to formulate your TAG if exams were cancelled. At this point we do not know and we would wait to comply with more detailed guidance that Ofqual and/or JCQ would provide about the formulation of TAGs for students who had missed the contingency assessment opportunities we had put in place. Suffice to say that should a student have missing Mock Exam evidence, Ofqual and JCQ would need to have arrangements in place (and we expect BHASVIC would be asked to write a policy) to allow our teachers to formulate grades from other evidence that they hold on a student, without disadvantaging them.

What part would my Non-Exam Assessment (coursework) play in the TAG? Coursework and NEA components will run as normal and will be marked in the normal way. If exams are cancelled, your NEA will form part of the evidence to use for your TAG. In either eventuality, you will want to do the best you can with your coursework, as either way it will form part of your final grade.

What about the Extended Project Qualification, or EPQ? Students taking the EPQ in summer 2022 will be assessed in the normal way.

Help! I am finding circumstances this year very difficult and would like some advice or help! Your teacher is the best starting place for academic support and to get a reassuring understanding of what is happening with assessment, exams, etc. If your needs are broader, make sure you talk with your Personal Tutor if you are experiencing problems above and beyond the normal pressures of studying. There is also an excellent page of advice that our Student Support team have put together that can be really helpful – this is on the Student Dashboard our website: Student Support Services.

These Mock Exams – tell me more about them please! Here are some very important points about the mock exams (and End-Point-Assessments, should we run those):

  1. The overall time you will spend on formal assessments: All mock exam and EPA activity will amount to about the same amount of assessment (time and assessment objectives) as all the final exam and coursework components for the course.
  2. Topics in advance: You will be told in advance the aspects of the content the assessment will cover, but not the specific questions, so that you can plan and prepare appropriate revision (in line with ‘advance information’ for the actual exams).
  3. Content: The mock exams will only include content that you have covered on the course up to that point. Our teachers will plan so that, across the assessments, you are assessed on a wide range of content, similar to that which they’ll expect in your summer exams, and across the assessment objectives for the course.
  4. Fairness: All students on your course will sit the same paper, at the same time.
  5. Exam Style: The mock exam papers will use the same exam board style of questioning/structures, so that you are examined in a way that is usual for that course.
  6. Marking: will be standardised and moderated for consistency, objectivity and fairness and exam board criteria will be used.
  7. Grades: You will receive exam paper scores/marks but the papers will not be graded. The focus of your feedback on your mock exam will be identifying strengths and gaps, as well as exam technique.
  8. Scripts: Teachers will need to retain your exam papers, so you will have an opportunity to take a photograph on your phone of your script and your teacher will then collect it back in.
  9. Remember: Ultimately the most important aspect of these mocks is to help you with your final exams this summer. The fact that they act as a contingency if exams are cancelled is also important but much less likely to happen.

Why am I not getting a grade for my Mock Exam? In a real A Level, individual exam papers do not get graded. If exams are cancelled and we are asked to provide a TAG, we will do so based on the range of evidence according to the TAGs process to be defined by Ofqual. Grading an individual paper now could be very misleading to our students in the unlikely event that exams are cancelled. Ofqual will also require a quality assurance process to be conducted if exams are cancelled and they outline a detailed TAGs process.

Your Progress Grades given to you by your teachers are your best guide to your final grades, though obviously students learn at different rates and so some will do better or worse in their progress grades compared to their final grade. Remember, we are on the side of our students and want the best for you.

I have an identified reasonable adjustment/ special educational need and/or Exam Access Arrangement in place for final exams. Will my arrangements be in place for Mocks and EPAs? Yes. If you are entitled to any form of Exam Access Arrangements (such as extra time, rest breaks, etc), these will be in place for you.

If a student’s need for a reasonable adjustment due to Special Educational Need or a Disability is only identified after a mock exam or EPA has taken place, the college will record the reason for this late identification and we will either make an adjustment to marking, formulate a TAG without that assessment included or allow the student to undertake a different, but equivalent, assessment with the reasonable adjustment in place. Decisions would need to be made case-by-case and in line with Ofqual’s final TAGs arrangements.

What if I have mitigating circumstances at the time of the mock exam or my performance is affected by an event outside of my control – will there be any opportunity to request Special Consideration? BHASVIC will have a system in place for you to inform us of any mitigating circumstances which might have affected your performance. This system will be available immediately before and/or shortly after you sat the exam.

If your teacher and our tutorial staff are satisfied that your performance in an assessment was affected by an event that was outside of your control at the time of, or immediately before, the assessment, such as illness or family bereavement, the teacher will adjust marking in line with the Joint Council for Qualification’s (JCQ) approach to special consideration.  BHASVIC will keep a record of the event and the marking adjustment, in a form that would be available for an exam board to review if exams are cancelled.

I have booked to re-sit an exam – what is going to happen for me? As exams are expected to take place in 2022, we have allowed our ex-students and current students who wish to re-sit to register for the exam as a private candidate. If exams are cancelled, the college is likely to ask you to sit End-Point-Assessments in May and may also need you to sit a Mock Exam before Easter, depending on the likelihood of exam cancelation nearer the time. We would notify all private candidates of this in time for revision. 

 

Section 2: Adaptations to A Levels, AS Levels and GCSE Exams for Summer 2022

On Friday 28 January JCQ published a series of FAQs on advance information for students.

The DfE, Ofqual and JCQ have outlined measures they are putting in place to support this year’s students with their revision for exams, following disruption to learning due to the pandemic.

We will provide links to the most important documents here for you, but will also summarise the headlines in the format of answers to frequently asked questions. This should help you to process information from government which can sometimes be written in a format that isn’t student-friendly and to clarify what these government decisions mean for you as a BHASVIC student.

Proposed Changes to the assessment of GCSE, A Level  – this document is from Ofqual, the government’s exams regulator. It outlines the overarching changes that will be in place.

The headlines from this document are:

  1. A Level Biology, Chemistry & Physics - BHASVIC will be allowed to assess the Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC) across the minimum number of practical activities required to enable students to demonstrate their competence.
  2. Students taking a Visual Arts A Level or Graphic Design AS Level Recovery will be assessed on their portfolio only – no exam component.
  3. Exam boards will provide Advance Information about the focus of the content of the exams for all GCSE, AS and A level subjects for the summer 2022 exams.
  4. Advance Information will be provided by 7 February 2022 at the latest. This will enable teachers to plan to adapt their teaching in the second half of the spring term if necessary.
  5. There is flexibility for Advance Information to be deployed at other points ahead of 7 February 2022 if circumstances require. At least a week's notice will be given if it is decided that Advance Information will be released earlier than 7 February 2022.

Advance Information for Ofqual Regulated General Qualifications  – this document is from JCQ, an organisation which guides Exam Boards, Exam Centres (schools and colleges) and candidates (students) on the delivery and conduct of examinations and qualifications.

The headlines from this document are:

  1. The Advance Information will detail the focus of particular aspects of the examination; for example, the content, contexts, texts, topics, sub-topics, themes and skills that will be assessed in the 2022 exams.
  2. The Advance Information will vary in its amount and detail across subjects to best suit the content and way the subject is examined.
  3. The Advance Information will not always detail everything that is in the examination. This is because in some cases this would risk good education, progression, or fair results; in other cases, it would be unhelpful to teachers and students, for example by listing topics that could lead to excessive teaching or revision on areas that are worth few marks.
  4. The Advance Information materials may be used at any point from the date of release. The Advance Information cannot however be brought into the actual exams by students - any Advance Information that can be used in the exam will be provided within the exam paper itself (formula sheets, for example).
  5. Advance Information does not require any changes to exam papers’ usual structure which means that exam papers and their questions will be familiar to you and your teachers, minimising unexpected layout or structure. Therefore, the way you have been taught and learned and practice assessments you have completed at BHASVIC will all be relevant to the way you'll be examined.
  6. The level of detail provided will not compromise fairness, so it will NOT enable students or teachers to predict questions for which would be able to memorize answers.
  7. The guidance document provides some examples of what the Advance Information might look like.

I don’t want to miss any announcements. How will I be told about the Advance Information as soon as it is available? The Advance Information will be very subject and exam board specific. Therefore, as a BHASVIC student your teachers and your course leaders will communicate with you via Teams. All students in our cohort will get the information at the same time this way.

Exam Boards could start releasing information at any time between now and 7th February, so it is important to regularly check your Teams and BHASVIC student emails for information and not to only rely on your teacher notifying you in a lesson.

I want to be confident that I will be taught the right topics and have a chance to only spend time revising the right course content. How will my teachers change our lessons content in the second half of the Spring and first half of the Summer terms, to ensure this? All our course teams intend to teach the whole of the syllabus if there is no further disruption to lessons due to the pandemic (Ofqual have asked education centres to aim to do this). However, if a course team has yet to teach an aspect of the syllabus after February 7th, but that topic will not appear in the final exams, that course team will adapt their content to focus on revision of the topics that will appear.

If exams are cancelled again and I will be given a grade via the Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) process, how will I know which assessments will be used to determine my grade? BHASVIC’s contingency plan is that the A2 Mock Exams in the Spring Term will be used as evidence to determine grades. In additional, if exams are cancelled, we will run an addition formal assessment in the first half of the Summer Term, which will be used as the basket of assessment evidence to determine grades. Finally, each course will then review all other assessments that have been made over the course and select one or two more of these (examples might be the A1 Summer Exams, a significant piece of assessment work completed in the Autumn Term of your A2 year, and so on).

If TAGs take place again, will I have the opportunity to provide information about any extenuating personal circumstances which will have affected any assessments used to determine my grade? Yes. BHASVIC will recreate a policy and procedures to enable this for you. This will include measures to not disadvantage students who have missed key assessments.

When are A Level and GCSE Results Days in August 2022?

  • A Level Results Day will be Thursday 18th August 2022
  • GCSE Results Day will be Thursday 25th August 2022

Covid Guidance

Sept 2022: We understand that we are emerging from an exceptional time, but it is a relief to be starting a new academic year with Covid numbers declining and we therefore expect that our attendance levels will also now return to normal. Current Government guidance for children and young people under 18 who are displaying Covid symptoms is that they should stay at home and avoid contact for 3 days if they have tested positive or are displaying symptoms. However, testing is not recommended unless directed by a health professional. The full NHS guidance for those over 18 can be viewed here.

GCSE Results Day for New intake students this September

We hope you are happy with your GCSE grades and if you have achieved everything you needed, you do not ned to contact us – we will see you at your enrolment appointment.

If you are uncertain whether you have achieved the grades you need to come to BHASVIC or study a particular course, please check our Entry Requirements (bhasvic.ac.uk)

If you have not achieved what you needed, please email Admissions@bhasvic.ac.uk with all your details and we will be in contact with you. We may need to resolve new courses choices with you at enrolment, the following week.

General Admissions FAQs

Is BHASVIC oversubscribed? Every year there is a chance of the college being oversubscribed. If we are oversubscribed, we will keep anyone this affects up-to-date throughout the admissions process.

When BHASVIC is oversubscribed, how are applicants selected for an offer of a place? Is it by grades, references, postcode or extra-curricular activities? We select randomly by postcode for students who are in our Category 3 area (see Admissions Policy) who have chosen courses which are oversubscribed.

Which subjects are often oversubscribed? We do not reveal this information as we want students to select courses they would like to study, not courses which they think will give them the greatest chance of gaining a place at BHASVIC if we are oversubscribed. Oversubscription on courses fluctuates each year, with different courses being in scope from one year to the next.

What happens if my final GCSE results don’t meet the entry requirements to study at BHASVIC? We will guide and support you at interview if it looks like you are not being predicted the required grades. Likewise, at enrolment, we will advise and support you in finding alternative study if you have not gained the grades. If you are close to the boundary of our minimum entry requirements, we also strongly advise you to have a Plan B progression pathway from school and not only have BHASVIC as an option. Please check our Entry Requirements carefully.

What happens if I don’t get the GCSE grades for a specific course at BHASVIC? You will not be able to take up that course, but we will provide guidance and advice about a course at BHASVIC for which you do qualify and agree that with you for your Study Programme. Please check our Entry Requirements carefully.

Will not knowing what I want to do after BHASVIC affect me getting a place? Not at all – knowing what you want to do after college is not a requirement or part of our selection criteria to study at BHASVIC. If you choose a course which is heavily oversubscribed, we may ask you your reasons for choosing that course, to help us manage the oversubscription. Probably more than half our students who start sixth form are not sure what they want to do after BHASVIC, and many of the other half who do know will change their mind as they get into their BHASVIC courses.

I’m a private GCSE candidate, or I am Home Schooled. What is BHASVIC's position on me meeting its entry requirement? If you will not be receiving a full set of GCSE Results and you have not already discussed this at interview, or your exam results circumstances have changed, please email Admissions@BHASVIC.ac.uk giving a full explanation of your situation. We will aim to resolve any complications and enable you to progress with your education.

I feel like I have not learnt as much due to Covid disruption and am worried that I will struggle at sixth form! For those young people who are concerned they may have fallen behind in their academic abilities and feel they may be at a disadvantage when starting Sixth Form, we have three key reassuring points to make to you:

  1. We’ve got this for you! Our teaching teams and staff are experts in what they do and our curriculum delivery for you when you get to BHASVIC will enable you to regain your momentum and will support the closing of knowledge and skills gaps. There is time at sixth form to do this and you will catch up.
  2. If you feel you are lacking in any critical aspects of your Level 2 (GCSE, etc) learning, which form important building blocks for sixth form study, then do take the time and opportunity to use the extensive revision content available from your school and from central locations such as the exam boards and BBC Bitesize, to practice and close any knowledge or skills gaps you are concerned about. However, our advice is to not worry about this and to enjoy this break in academic demands whilst you have your end of secondary school summer holidays, which you have earnt!
  3. The independent study skills you will have been developing due to lockdown learning put you in a more developed position than past students. Each phase of education requires a jump in independent learning skills and the jump from secondary to sixth form is a notorious one (as is often the jump from sixth form to university and from any education to the world of work). We believe you will be an advantage here – even if you have not faired so well during lockdown learning. Despite national media rhetoric about lost learning, which has of course occurred, we’d stress at BHASVIC that this is overplayed and there are other skills that have been developed. Also the need to take up those social opportunities with friends and family and to follow your hobbies and interests are more important to your future success.

I hope this reassures our prospective students, their parents, carers and schools and this provides options and ideas for those of you who are worried about lost learning or are impatient to continue to develop your learning.

Can I take four A levels at BHASVIC? Yes. We will advise you at interview and enrolment about this. Please see our extensive advice about this here.

Are BTECs as good as A levels? The BTEC courses we offer at BHASVIC are all A level equivalents and carry full UCAS Points.

Why do some courses have charges? For those students studying Fine Art, Photography, Textiles and Graphic Design, by purchasing direct from specialist educational suppliers we secure the best discounts for bulk purchases of materials. We ask you make your contributions in advance at Moving on Day, so that we can facilitate early ordering which enables us to offer unlimited use of resources during lessons. For students following performing arts subjects, advanced contributions are used to secure education group discounts for performances where advance booking is required. For students studying Geography, advanced contributions are used to secure education group discounts for field trips and field activities where advance booking is required. Further information regarding course charges can be found here: www.bhasvic.ac.uk/parents-carers-dashboard/payments-and-donations

What are the average class sizes at BHASVIC? On average, classes are twenty students. Maximum class size is 22 students and on rare occasions we enrol 23 students into a class. Each class includes a wide range of students and you will get to have discussions, groupwork and learning opportunities with a diverse and enthusiastic fellow sixth formers, who can advance your thinking and help you develop as an individual.

What will my timetable be like at BHASVIC? Sixth Form timetables are very different from secondary school timetables. You will have some late starts and early finishes, as well as some free study periods between lessons, as the norm. Independent study is a critical aspect of sixth form study and our library and other social and study spaces are very popular onsite. Please take a look at this example of a BHASVIC student timetable.

Will there be any form of remote teaching from September 2021 and onwards? We strongly suspect not, but cannot be absolutely certain. BHASVIC will use the best of the discovery and learning we have made in adapting to online and remote delivery, but our delivery of onsite, live and in-person lessons are expected to be normal throughout the academic year.

What IT equipment will I need as a BHASVIC student? You are advised to have a laptop or other device which connects to the internet, has a screen and keyboard and on which you can produce your college work. A quiet place to study at home is also a good idea. We have schemes to get education discounts for your own computer equipment and we also strongly advise you to let us know at interview or at any other convenient point if you do not have access to study IT at home and come from a home with low income – we would seek to provide support to you if this is the case and more information can be found here on our website about the 16-19 Bursary (look under Financial Support).

In most cases, a windows laptop will be a good option for sixth form students, and BHASVIC provides each student with an Office 365 account, giving access to the Office suite of applications and all the online learning platforms we use at the college. The college has a high-quality Wi-Fi system and you have access to your college files from compatible, internet-linked devices through SharePoint and Office 365.

Whilst you are here – we wanted to signpost you to the fact that as a BHASVIC student, the Dell Advantage Scheme enables students to buy a Dell computer with a discount voucher giving you up to 20% off.  You can spread the payments over 6 or 12 months.  To make use of this scheme, go to the Dell Advantage website or see further details on BHASVLE.

What support is there at BHASVIC if things don’t go so well for me or I am experiencing difficulties with my personal life or my studies? Please take a look at our Support Services Webpage for information about all the outstanding support we offer at the college.

What’s the college doing to help save our planet from environmental damage? BHASVIC has a roadmap to become carbon neutral. We think it is important as an education provider to address humanity’s impact on the environment and we know that our students expect that of us. We involve our students and they are the most important stakeholders to us in being a green and sustainable college.

What opportunities are there to do extra activities and gain further experiences at BHASVIC? BHASVIC offers ‘portfolio courses’ in your second year of study with over 60 to choose from. These courses are shorter courses, taught by a passionate, knowledgeable and experienced teacher or practitioner, and cover an extensive range of subjects and skills, including academic topics and themes, specialist practical skills development, wellbeing and employability skills. Examples Film Music, BHASVIC TV, Geology, Mind and Movement, Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and Politics for Beginners.

Can I study the EPQ (Extended Project)? Yes, we have first year and second year study options.

Is the Duke of Edinburgh running at BHASVIC? Yes, we do Silver and Gold Award (you do not need to have Bronze to do the Silver).

What Clubs and Societies are there at BHASVIC? The college also has an extensive range of options for students and the majority of these are run by students for students. If something is missing and you want to set it up, the Student Union have a budget and expertise to support you and, because of the size of the college, if you are interested in something there will be plenty of others interested in that too. Examples include our FemSoc (Feminist Society) and Debating Society. Check out our Enrichment webpage to see more.

What kinds of trips, visits and speakers happen at BHASVIC? Too many to mention here. Many curriculum departments run residential and one day trips locally, nationally and abroad. There are a number of cross-college events to get involved with, such as the skiing trip or expeditions. Curriculum Departments and the Guidance and Student Services teams bring in a wide array of visitors and speakers to inspire, motivate and develop your learning and your future.

Are there any awards or competitions I can get involved with through BHASVIC? Yes, many curriculum departments promote local and national awards and competitions. Check our latest Newsletter to see some examples.

Is it possible to do any work experience or work placements through BHASVIC? Yes, we have a specialist Work Experience Coordinator and each subject area, as well as our tutorial system, provide support to gain experiences and placements. In some instances, a placement is an essential part of a qualification.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: We will be performing essential maintenance on our network from 12.00 on Thursday 16 September. This means that parents, students and staff will experience some disruption to usual digital functions, including access to Teams, BHASVLE, cloud and internet. Students and staff have been notified via e-mail and given internal access links for some limited services. Our phone system will not operate whilst the works are completed, in case of an emergency you can contact the college via the following mobile contact numbers: 07442 496388 and 07932 996876. Thank you for your patience.

The FAQs below are exceptionally common for students, especially at the start of term. There are extensive guidelines on the BHASVLE to help you understand and access all our college systems. These can be found from the top navigation links on the BHASVLE “IT Services”.

If you cannot access the BHASVLE, then navigate from the BHASVIC website and choose Students from the top menu. This will take you to the Student Dashboard – your hub to everything at BHASVIC. There is an IT Help Desk icon where you can request account help to access BHASVLE.

Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions which can be answered via the BHASVIC Student Dashboard:

  1. How do I find/log into my BHASVIC Student Email Address?

  2. I don’t know my login details for the BHASVLE/Advantage/365/Teams – what should I do?

  3. When I try to log into a BHASVIC account I can’t, but my username and password are correct – what should I do?

  4. How do I set up my Wi-Fi access at BHASVIC on my phone/laptop?

  5. I can’t get into one of my student accounts from home – what should I do?

  6. How do I manage my printing and printing credit?

On our BHASVIC website, we have extensive information for you about our Student Services. This is a good starting point for any support you need.