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

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). Progression into the second year is called A1 to A2 Transfer at BHASVIC.

The BHASVIC Study Programme

The BHASVIC Study Programme is made up of three A Levels/equivalents. 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 courses, they will be offered a ‘Recovery Course’ – this is a Level 3 course equivalent to an AS Level (or half the UCAS points of a full A Level).

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:

  1. The student is experiencing Extenuating Personal Circumstances or additional learning needs which mean that studying a fulltime Study Programme and/or the equivalent of three A Levels is not in their best interests.
  2. 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.
  3. The student is learning to a level that shows they do not understand, cannot cope with and are very unlikely to pass the final two-year qualification. This is primarily assessed by A1 Summer Exams and (for those students who did not pass) a Resit Exam.
  4. 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).
  5. 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 should be transparent and consistent to ensure that all such students are treated fairly, communicated with and given advice and guidance on alternative options.

Progression Criteria into the A2 year of study at BHASVIC

The student must meet all the following criteria to progress into the second year of their Study Programme:

  1. Programme of Study: A full-time Study Programme (equivalent to three single courses and a portfolio course). The Study Programme will normally comprise three A Levels or equivalent or two A Levels or equivalent and a Recovery Course.
  2. Maths or English GCSE: If the student has yet to gain a grade 4 or above in either subject, they will need to continue with a GCSE resit class into their second year.
  3. Outstanding Debts/Resources: Not owe the College any money, books or other outstanding resources which they should have returned.
  4. Attend all lessons in the Summer Term and all college events and commitments, including Progression Activity and Careers Enrichment.
  5. Study: Complete the summer homework.
  6. Support Plan/Final Contract: Meet the targets or conditions of any cross-college support plan at this level.

Progression Criteria into the second year of each course

  1. A1 Summer Exams: minimum pass/grade E or a pass in the Resit (if taken)
  2. Coursework-based courses (such as BTECs and Visual Arts A Levels): pass all components
  3. Red Support Plan or other significant causes for concern: Meet the targets or conditions of any course plan at this level.

One particular and important function of our A1 Summer Exams and Resit Exams is 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.

Guidelines on what to do for students who may not meet (or have not met) progression criteria for a Study Programme or Course

Students will be contacted by their Guidance Manager to guide them on any implications and decisions needed about their progression.

  1. Extenuating Personal Circumstances: If there is anything about your current or ongoing personal circumstances which impact on your ability to cope with or progress with your studies, you should make sure you have spoken with your Personal Tutor about these. If decisions need to be made to adjust your courses or Study Programme, your Personal Tutor is likely to refer you to see your Guidance Manager.
  2. Courses dropped at some point in the first year: You should check that you have selected a Recovery Course or agreed with your Guidance Manager that you will continue with less than three single courses/equivalent.
  3. Not passing A1 Summer Exams/Resits/Coursework: Your Guidance Manager will contact you swiftly after receiving your results for the Resit Exam/Coursework. If you did not pass your A1 Summer Exam and do not wish to take a Resit, instead wanting to explore Recovery Course options, you should speak urgently with your Personal Tutor who can signpost you to your Guidance Manager.
  4. Red Support Plan/Final Contract:
  5. 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.

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.