Why do we offer Vocational qualifications?
At Brookfield school we think it is vitally important to ensure that our curriculum is broad and balanced and provides a platform for pupils to build upon after leaving us. At key stage 4 there is an increased focus on tailoring the curriculum towards the strengths, aspirations, and interests of our pupils. Vocational qualifications act as the vehicle to achieving this.
Vocational qualifications increase motivation and engagement and act as a platform for success amongst many of our pupils. The content, learning activities and assessment methods are ideally aligned with the learning needs of our pupils and ensure good levels of progress and end of key stage attainment.
The vocational courses that we follow at Brookfield are carefully selected so that they engage and enthuse pupils by exposing them to learning experiences in an area of interest and in a way where success is achievable. The self confidence and pride that results from the progress made in these subjects can have a powerful impact upon a pupil and their wider education. The skills, knowledge and qualifications gained also act as critical platform and foundation for post 16 progression for many of our pupils and the vocational context and structuring of content is ideal preparation for working life and adulthood.
The vocational pathway at Brookfield School acts as a key driver in ensuring that:
- Pupils remain motivated and engaged.
- Pupils make accelerated progress and experiences success and achievement that they can be proud of.
- Pupils gain vital skills, knowledge and qualifications and that the combined effect of this results in a more confident, positive and productive pupil population.
Vocational pathways are discussed with pupils, parents and carers at the start of their KS4 journey and reviewed termly at Parent/Carer review days.
What do we offer?
The subject is appropriate and appeals to the skills and interests of the majority of our pupils and as such the majority of our pupils do opt for it. The depth of study each pupil experiences is dependent on their overall career goals; ability levels and other curriculum demands each pupil may have. The primary aim of construction is to provide a program of study that develops basic construction skills for all pupils. Pupils considering a career in construction have an experience which looks to develop the skills and capabilities they need in order to be able to progress to further study in construction, and then ultimately to employment in construction. Pupils are given an introduction to some of the key themes within the construction sector, enabling them to develop and apply their knowledge whilst also acquiring a range of relevant practical, communication and technical construction-related skills.
Pupils are taught both practical skills and theoretical concepts and themes. Practically pupils are taught in small groups allowing for additional support and therefore ensuring that all pupils are given adequate time, support and expertise to be able to master the various practical skills offered. Pupils have specific theory lessons so that they can gain a technical understanding of the practical skills they are learning and also to enable them to learn how to apply this in the construction industry. Pupils also complete academic work that gives them an insight into other areas of construction such as health and safety, employment available in construction and how best to gain this employment
The cooking program of study gives pupils the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy cooking meals at home and introduces them to the skills they need to support further education and a career in cooking. Pupils follow an accredited level 2 BTEC qualification. Pupils are taught to cook a range of different meals and each recipe is underpinned with knowledge about planning and sourcing food, hygiene and food safety. How to cook different elements of a meal to serve them at the same time are considered in the course. The importance of presenting food well and how this contributes to its enjoyment is reflected. Pupils are also shown ways to economise when shopping for ingredients and cooking meals at home are significant aspects of course
Pupils leave with the skills and confidence to enjoy cooking meals at home, to be able to apply these skills to new recipes in the future which enables them to continue cooking for themselves and their families in the future. Pupils develop a strong knowledge of nutrition, and these health benefits are linked to other areas in which pupils are educated to help embed healthy, lifelong habits. Pupils have a strong foundation in cooking by the end of the course and develop the basic skills that will support further training, education, or employment in cooking. Pupils leave with an accredited qualification in cooking that further supports post 16 transition
All pupils at KS4 undertake a course of study in Work skills. The course aims to offer pupils a flexible programme of study to improve their understanding and application of employability skills. The knowledge, skills and understanding the course provides is relevant, current and useful for the pupils in their post 16 progression and for their future employment. Pupils are given an insight into a variety of different areas with the aim of giving pupils greater knowledge and self-awareness of what is needed to be successful in the workplace. There is a focus on their own personal and social skills and how to refine these to make themselves more employable. Pupils will also learn specific capabilities and skills that will better equip them for future employment. The areas that we as a school select to cover in our program of study have been carefully selected based on the needs, abilities and personal circumstances of our pupils. Pupils follow an accredited level 1 qualification, the depth and size of which is determined by pupil progress, need and post 16 aspirations.
Pupils are carefully selected onto this course based on their ability level and needs. Pupils follow a BTEC Level 1 Introductory Award in Vocational Studies. The course is designed around practical skills and tasks that place an emphasis on learners demonstrating what they can do rather than what they know in theory. The
course gives pupils a solid grounding in some of the fundamental skills they will require post 16 but it then has a degree of flexibility to allow for study in a whole host of different sectors. These range from media, to sport, to hair and beauty to forensic sciences. The flexible nature of the course allows for content to be tailored towards each individuals’ strengths, learning styles and can be used to support post 16 skills development and progression requirements. There is also vast scope for research into the many post-16 options available. The qualification is ideal in giving pupils the opportunity to acquire and develop generic, transferable and sector-specific skills in a range of different areas. Pupils’ complete tasks in specific areas with carefully designed fit for purpose assignment briefs that allow them to demonstrate a level of achievement through a range of different assessment methods. The flexibility the course offers means that it is ideal in exposing learners to an introduction of a range of different sectors and it also allows for the recognising of progress and attainment across these sectors. This is an ideal way of ensuring pupils are exposed to different sectors so that they have a broad range of skills, and it can also greatly assist the post 16 decision making process for pupils who are unsure of what path or area of study they plan to progress to.
Pupils are taught traditional topics in the field of applied sciences. However, the content and assignment briefs are designed in a way which places the learning into a vocational context or scenario. Pupils acquire and develop knowledge but are then encouraged to apply this knowledge into a work-based context so that it is relevant less abstract. The content and assessment of the course lends itself to catering for a broad range of pupil need and academic ability, pupils can achieve a level 1 pass all the way through to a level 2 distinction. This allows for accessibility and support for all pupils. Pupils complete 3 units of coursework-based material and 1 external examination.
Our vocational offer of qualifications has been highly successful historically. Pupils are interested in the subjects and content and want to achieve. Pupils excel in vocational study at Brookfield and results have been very favourable in recent years, something which has been crucial to each pupil’s personal development and post 16 requirements. We will continue to look for innovative and further ways in which we can extend and improve our vocational offer of study to our pupils and are constantly evolving the offer based upon pupils needs and an ever changing jobs market.
In addition to our ‘in-house’ offer, we have access to external providers who can provide vocational options in motor vehicle, horticulture, animal care, hair & beauty and music production. If pupils request access to this type of provision, they are fully supported by Brookfield staff who quality assure and maintain levels of engagement. Our preferred (and most successful) options are the ones delivered by our skilled staff team but we are always on the look out for high quality external provision and opportunities to extend our ‘in-house’ offer.