A1 to A2 Transfer - progressing into the second year of study
The College supports students academically and pastorally to succeed in all the courses they have enrolled upon. Normally, all students are expected to complete each course they have started, whether these last for one or two academic years.
The process of moving from the end of the first year (A1) to the start of the second year (A2) is called ‘A1 to A2 Transfer’. Students commence the process of deciding on their courses in the second half of the Spring Term. The aim is for students to remain on and progress with all their two-year courses from the A1 year to the A2 year of study. BHASVIC only offers full-time study and therefore the majority of students will be studying for three A Levels/BTECs or their equivalent, although there will be occasional cases of individual students studying fewer courses than this due to extenuating personal circumstances.
The A1 to A2 Transfer process is introduced to students in tutorials in February and March of the A1 year. Students access the full details and the system for making choices via the Tutorial Hub on Sharepoint.
Portfolio Courses - adding breadth
BHASVIC students are now primarily studying two-year courses, though most students pick up an additional portfolio course in their second year of study (some of the portfolio options incur an additional charge and students will be informed when choosing their options). These are designed to provide them with a rich array of options and to support them in their applications to university, further education, employment or training. Options are also designed to provide highly motivating and exciting courses, either free from the restraints of formal qualifications or as qualifications which are nationally recognised. Some are related to chosen careers, others are skills-based course, or are related to chosen to support students in preparing for their future destinations. There are more than 40 to choose from. Examples include Fitness Instructing, Mobile App Design & Development, Duke of Edinburgh Award, British Sign Language, English for University, the Biology Crest award, Criminology, and Life Drawing. Many students embark on the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) which is similar to a university dissertation. It is written on a subject of their choice, involves a high level of independent study and is equivalent to 60% of a full A level.
Tutorial Pathways - adding focus
During this process, students also choose their tutorial pathway for next year from the following options:
- UCAS pathway (for students interested in applying to university within one or two years)
- Employability and Enterprise pathway (for those who are interested in seeking work/apprenticeships after BHASVIC)
- Visual Arts pathway (for students interested in applying for degrees or foundation courses in visual arts)
- Oxbridge pathway (for students interested in applying to Oxford or Cambridge universities, which have an early application deadline)
- Medical (early applications) pathway (for students who are interested in applying for any medical degree which has an early application deadline)
The Oxbridge and Medical tutor groups start in June of the A1 year to support the early applications deadline of mid-October.
Progression Criteria - key requirements to complete successful transfer into second year
The significant majority of students continue uninterrupted into the second year of their courses at BHASVIC. It is very rare for a student not to continue but in a few cases this does happen and is the best course of action for the student. The college’s monitoring and assessment systems aim to identify, at the first opportunity, students who are not succeeding on their course and who would be better served by the college to adjust their study programme and study plans. The College will do everything it can to support students’ success in their studies.
Normally, BHASVIC students will complete all the courses they started and gain the relevant qualifications. A Level courses and their equivalent BTECs or Diplomas are two-year courses, though some courses also have a qualification at the end of the first year and some of our courses with a qualification are only one year long (such as GCSE resits or the Extended Project Qualification).
In some circumstances, a student may not be able to continue one of their courses, either because it is not in their best interests or they have not met the criteria to continue studying the course.
The criteria below outline the conditions a student needs to meet to be able to continue into the second year of a two-year course (such as an A Level).
The BHASVIC Study Programme
BHASVIC's full-time study programme is typically made up of three A Levels/equivalents plus additional compulsory elements such as tutorial and personal development activities. To continue into the A2 year at BHASVIC, a student must be studying a minimum of two A Levels or their equivalent, except in very exceptional circumstances. Where a student does not continue with one of their three A levels/equivalent into the A2 year, they are expected to pick up a ‘Recovery Course’ – this is a Level 3 course equivalent to an AS Level (or half the UCAS points of a full A Level) - to ensure that they have a complete study programme.
Reasons why a student might not progress
In some cases, it may not be in the student’s best interest to continue into the second year of a course. Such cases might include:
- The student is experiencing Extenuating Personal Circumstances or additional learning needs which mean that studying a full time study programme and/or the equivalent of three A Levels is not in their best interests.
- The student is not enjoying or wishing to continue with the subject and is ‘voting with their feet’ on either completion of essential course tasks, effort and/or attendance.
- The student is learning at a level that shows they do not understand, cannot cope with and are very unlikely to pass the final qualification at the end of two years.
- The student has not completed or passed essential coursework components/assignments and can no longer gain the qualification (usually in BTEC courses but also in Visual Arts A Levels and some performance/practical A Levels).
- The student is not meeting the college’s Behaviour Policy and is not meeting normal college expectations in terms of attitude to learning (this would normally manifest in high-level Support Plans or Final Contracts).
The College’s internal systems for assessing and deciding on progression into the second year of a course are intended to be transparent and consistent to ensure that all such students are treated fairly, communicated with and given advice and guidance on alternative options.
The student must meet all the following criteria to progress into the A2 year:
- Be on a full-time Study Programme. This is normally equivalent to three A levels or equivalent plus a portfolio course or equivalent plus additional compulsory elements such as tutorial and personal development activities, or two A Levels or equivalent plus a recovery course plus a portfolio course or equivalent plus additional compulsory elements such as tutorial and personal development activities.
- Maths or English GCSE: If the student has yet to gain a grade 4 or above in either of these subjects, they must continue with GCSE level study in that subject into their A2 year.
- Outstanding Debts/Resources: Not owe the College any money, books or other outstanding resources which they should have returned.
- Attend all lessons in the Summer Term and all college events and commitments, including Progression activities, Skills Week and Careers Enrichment Day.
- Study: Complete all homework set for the summer vacation.
- Support Plan/Final Contract: Meet the targets or conditions of any cross-college support plan at this level.
Guidelines on what to do when students might not meet (or have not met) the progression criteria
Students will be contacted by their Guidance Manager to guide them on any implications and decisions needed about their progression.
- Extenuating Personal Circumstances: If there is anything about a student's current or ongoing personal circumstances which impact on their ability to cope with or progress with their studies, the student should raise this with their Personal Tutor. If decisions need to be made to adjust courses or Study Programmes, the Personal Tutor is likely to refer the student to their Guidance Manager.
- Courses dropped at some point in the first year: Students should check with their Guidance Manager that they have selected a recovery course or confirm with their Guidance Manager that it has been agreed they can continue with fewer than three A level courses/equivalent (this is unlikely if there are no Extenuating Personal Circumstances).
- Red Support Plan/Final Contract: The student and parents/carers would normally have already met with a manager at the college to discuss concerns and strategies to overcome these at the point of setting up a Red or Final Support Plan. Attendance and ongoing assessment and Progress Review information, alongside other important data, would be used in these cases and there would be a history of recorded interventions outlining the support and targets communicated to the student.
- Outstanding Debts/Resources: You must take responsibility for ensuring these do not exist. The college will write to you if there are debts that you have not resolved or resources that you have yet to return.
The College provides a limited range of alternative qualifications for students to start in September of their second year. The opportunity to gain a full A Level in one year is extremely unlikely. BTECs and AS levels in a small range of subjects will be offered to the student and these Recovery Courses will support the development of their CV through acquisition of further qualifications. In such circumstances, students will be supported through the Autumn Term on applications to university and other progression plans. University entry remains a viable option for students who have not succeeded in one of their three A Level courses, though places at less competitive universities would normally need to be considered.
Leaving college - alternative next steps
In rare cases, a student will not be able to continue into the A2 year at BHASVIC and will need to leave the college for an alternative pathway. In all such cases, the college provides support and guidance to the student and their parents/carers regarding suitable alternative next steps, including continued study elsewhere, an apprenticeship or employment with training. These rare cases include:
- Students with only a single qualification to continue into the second year. As explained above, students must be in a position to continue with at least two.
- Students who have not met the targets within a cross-college Red or Final Support Plan: The student and parents/carers would normally have met with a manager at the college to discuss concerns and strategies to overcome these at the point of setting up a Red or Final Support Plan. Attendance and ongoing assessment and Progress Review information, alongside other important data, would be used in these cases and there would be a history of recorded interventions outlining the support and targets communicated to the student.