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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-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 ICT in the Workplace, 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 Historiography. 

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.

Tutorial Pathways - adding focus

During this process, students will also choose their tutorial pathway next year from the UCAS (University) pathway, Employability and Enterprise for those who will be seeking work / apprenticeships after BHASVIC, Art Foundation and Oxbridge or Medics. The Oxbridge and Medics tutor groups meet from June to support the early applications deadline mid-October. 

Art Foundation diplomas are encouraged by universities for students intending to study an arts degree as it helps them explore the breadth of their own skills and interests before applying to the wide range of university courses available. Popular destinations for our students include both Brighton Met colleges in Brighton. The one-year full-time course is equivalent to two A levels and is assessed entirely through coursework 

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. Such cases might include:

1) The student is not wishing to continue with the course: in these circumstances a student should speak with their Personal Tutor, who is likely to refer them to their Guidance Manager if they insist that they would like to drop a course. Unless a student has significant and extenuating personal circumstances, this is not normally allowed.

2) The student does not pass end of year exams and/ or assessments for the course; which involve:

  • A1 Progression Exam for A levels: these exams are designed to provide a student with a formal, examination condition assessments and are used to inform predicted grades for university and other applications and to give the student and teacher a clear sense of progress and indicative achievement in the final A level exams.
  • A1 Resit Exam for A levels: if a student does not pass the Progression Exam, they have the option to take a Resit exam a week after Progression Exam results are released. The Resit exam is designed to provide the student and college with assurance that the student has not been able to learn to a pass standard on the course after one year of study. This indicates that the student is highly unlikely to pass the final A level exams, which have more papers, are longer and are considerably more challenging.
  • BTEC assignment and coursework completion: regulations for these qualifications stipulate that a student must complete and pass each unit and assignment. If the student has not passed a unit they will be unable to gain the qualification and will not be able to continue with the course into the second year
  • BTECS end of year exams: the new BTEC qualifications, which the government have reformed and are phasing in over three years, include an examined component. Students will need to pass this exam to be able to continue into the second year (if the exam is part of the first year of study for the qualification).

3) The student has not met the targets within a Red or Final Support Plan in the subject: 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.

4) The student is experiencing proven extenuating personal circumstances which prohibit them from coping with or being able to complete a course: In these cases, the college takes a supportive approach to decisions and will make reasonable adjustments to help the student to succeed. Where adjustments are not possible or have not worked, all decisions to discontinue a course will be discussed with the student and parent/carers.

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 subject 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 College’s internal systems for assessing and deciding on progression from into the 2nd year of a course need to be transparent and consistent to ensure that all such students are treated fairly, communicated with and given advice and guidance on alternative options.

1. A levels: Progression or Resit Exams: minimum grade E/ pass, respectively (see further guidance below)

2. BTECs and WJECs: minimum pass

3. No Red Support Plans or other significant causes for concern: Meeting College expectations on attitude to learning, homework, attendance, passing assessments and exams.

4. Full Programme of Study: A full-time programme of study (eg 3 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).

5. No Outstanding Debts: Not owe the College any money, books, etc.

6. Attend all lessons in the Summer Term and all College events, including Progression Day (July) and Careers Enrichment (June)

7. Study: Complete all summer homework.

Further guidance on A Level exams at the end of the first year  

Students will take compulsory internally set exams/ assessments during May in all A level courses. These exams are called "Progression Exams" and form the basis, along with continuous assessment and coursework, of any predicted grades for UCAS purposes.  

Progression Exams are moderated across teams.  

Students who do not pass a Progression Exam will be given the opportunity to take a Resit Exam in June, which is a pass/fail exam and provides a second opportunity for students to try to meet the standard of study required to successfully progress into the second year of an A level.  

A student who does not pass a Progression or Resit exam, or BTEC assessments, have been unable to acquire the relevant skills and knowledge over the A1 year to meet the level of study required in the A2 year for that subject and will therefore not be able to continue in the second year of the course. All such students will receive consultation from the Guidance team and advice on "Recovery Courses".  

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.