A1 - 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.

Portfolio Courses - adding breadth

BHASVIC students are now primarily studying two-year courses, though they pick up additional portfolio options 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.  Examples of this are: French for Beginners, related to chosen careers such as Fitness Instructing or Mobile App Design & Development, skills based such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award and British Sign Language, or related to chosen university destinations such as English for University, the Biology Crest award, Criminology, Life Drawing or History for University.

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.

More information on the process and choices for students will be discussed in tutorial and will be available to students via the Student VLE.

Tutorial Pathways - adding focus

During this process, students will 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)
  • 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 meet from June to support the early applications deadline of mid-October. 

Changing core subjects in year 2

In cases where a student is at risk of, or will not be continuing with one or more of their two-year courses, guidance will be provided from the student’s Personal Tutor, course teachers and other relevant staff.

In some cases, it may not be in the student’s best interests to continue with a two-year course into the A2 year. Please see criteria for progression into the second year which has been updated in light of Covid-19:-

  1. Teacher Predicted Grade awarded (E/Pass or above)
  2. No Red Support Plans or other significant causes for concern: Meeting College expectations on attitude to learning, homework, attendance, passing assessments.
  3. Full Programme of Study: A full-time programme of study (eg 3 single courses and a pathway activity) which includes two A Levels or equivalent courses to continue into the 2nd year (a student cannot continue to study at BHASVIC if they only have one, single course to continue with).
  4. No Outstanding Debts: Not owe the College any money, books, etc.
  5. Engaging with remote learning and any other activity or events required (where students have not engaged in remote learning, we will make an assessment about any extenuating personal circumstances which may have prevented them from being able to engage in remote learning).
  6. Study: Complete all summer homework.

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 parents/ carers regarding suitable alternative next steps, including continued study elsewhere, an apprenticeship or employment with training. These rare cases include:

  • The student has only one, single qualification which they have passed in their first year: students must pass two single or one double qualification (A levels/ BTECs) to be able to continue into the A2 year.
  • The student has 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.

Progression Criteria - key requirements to complete successful transfer into second year - updated in light of COVID-19

High proportions of students continue uninterrupted into the second year of their two-year courses at BHASVIC. It is very rare for a student not to continue with a course from the first into the second year, but in some cases this does happen and is the best course of action for the student and the college.  

The College’s internal systems for assessing and deciding on progression into the 2nd year of a two-year course needs to be transparent and consistent to ensure that all students, staff, parents and carers are informed and aware of our expectations and support. These 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. 

Due to the COVID-19 circumstances, we are reviewing the summer term calendar of business and will provide more information on our A1 Progression Exams as soon as we are able to.  Progression Exams provide our students and all other stakeholders with a highly effective assessment of progress and success on the courses towards the end of their first year of learning or possibly at the start of their second year. One particular and important function of our Progression and Resit Exams are to identify students who are not succeeding. Following a Resit which is not passed, we know these students are keen to take up alternative and shorter courses to gain a qualification for their CV and progression after BHASVIC, rather than spend a further year studying a course which they are not going to pass. 

Teachers, tutors and our Curriculum and Guidance departments still have highly effective methods for identifying students who are not succeeding on a course through their first year. Under current circumstances, with lockdown and remote learning, our progress reviews will lead to conversations between the relevant student and their teacher. The aim will be to understand the issues, agree whether the course is working for the student and to make a referral for the student to take the opportunity to enrol on a Recovery Course, so that they can gain a qualification at the end of their second year. 

Teachers will not be awarding progress review grades for students who have been identified as not currently succeeding on their course.  This will be reviewed again in the Summer Term if necessary.

It is important that we identify these students, so that the Recovery Course is an option for them – students will not be able to take up a Recovery Course after the end of September in the Autumn Term of the second year, as the courses will have started and, as formal qualifications, too much work and study will have been covered for a student to be able to catch up.

Recovery Courses 

The College provides a limited range of alternative qualifications for students to start in September of their second year, but 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 will remain a viable option for students who have not succeeded in one of their three A Level courses, though places at less competitive universities would need to be considered.