Wigston College offers a wide range of Level 3 courses for students who have achieved standard passes and better in Level 2. The courses are a mix of A-Level and applied vocational courses, with some of the latter courses offered as double qualifications.
Most students choose to follow three Level 3 courses and the expectation is that these are studied over a two year period ending with terminal exams at the end of Year 13. It may be possible to sit an AS Level examination at the end of Year 12 but this is the exception rather than the rule, and can only be done through negotiation and agreement with the Post 16 Leadership team. There are a small number of students who decide to study four Level 3 courses – again through negotiation and agreement – but for most students we recommend three courses as this enough for progression onto the next stage of education or training.
It is possible to study Core Maths alongside three Level 3 qualifications. This course only runs for one year, is equivalent to an AS Level, and is particularly suitable for students whose other courses have mathematical content (e.g. Psychology, Geography, Sciences) but it is open to all students. Students can also choose to study for an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) alongside their three Level 3 courses. This qualification is approximately equivalent to half of an A-Level course and involves students working independently on a project producing an extended written piece based on in-depth research of a topic area of their choice. Students are allocated a supervisor if they opt for this course who they will meet on a fortnightly basis. The project is normally started at the beginning of Year 12 and can be submitted at the end of the year, or mid-way through Year 13.
If a student does not achieve a grade 4 or higher in either their Mathematics GCSE or a grade 4 in either their GCSE in English Language or their GCSE English Literature then they will have to study and resit this qualification alongside their Level 3 courses. In theory, there are four times when the GCSE can be sat again over the duration of Level 3 courses and there is no limit to how many times these GCSEs can re-sat. This is a condition of funding, and therefore compulsory for all students in this situation.
Currently, a Level 3 course attracts 8 hours of teaching across the two week timetable, with some courses having a timetabled ninth hour where students can work in a group but independently of the teacher in a designated study area. GCSE resit students can expect three hours of teaching across the timetable but it may be less if they are close to achieving the pass grade.
In addition to students’ chosen course of study, there is Life Skills lessons once per fortnight which focuses on employability and higher education and preparation for this as well as broader issues linked to citizenship, finance, health and personal safety, and emotional and social development. Sometimes these lessons involve outside speakers.
Students are also encouraged to be actively involved in Enrichment activities which will take up at least one hour on their timetable. This often involves a volunteering which could be within the Trust (e.g. supporting in Academy lessons, working within a department) or can be external (e.g. supporting local charities). However, Enrichment can include sporting activities or performances.
Students have timetabled Private Study periods when they are expected to be in College to work independently (e.g. on homework, research, coursework). The number of hours will depend on the student and their progress, as will the level of supervision. There are a variety of spaces that students can choose to work in around the College depending on the type of independent study they are engaged in.
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