THE AQA Bacc and Winstanley College Version 1.0 Copyright © 2008 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. AQA Bacc The Context and the College • Winstanley is a large selective sixth form college in Billinge, near Wigan. • It has over 1800 16-19 A/S and A level students. • All students do General Studies. • The college is proud of its extensive enrichment programme. • In summer 2008 it was decided to introduce the Extended Project for A2 volunteers in September 2008. Version 1.0 Copyright © 2008 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. AQA Bacc Getting started… • In autumn 2008, 145 students opted to do the EPQ. • Nine staff were given a block of time (approximately 5 hours a week) to oversee groups of 16 or so students. • In the October all students were offered the option of AQA Bacc and advice was offered via email and through EPQ tutors. • 90 decided to start a in-house log of their activities and the AQA Bacc log came online the following spring. AQA Bacc 2008-2011 • Approximately the same number of students have done EPQ (150) and AQABacc (90) for the last few years; numbers are deliberately ‘controlled’ because of staffing issues. • September 2011 plan to go ‘global’ by encouraging all A2 students to take four courses, partly in response to student demand, partly to enhance CVs, partly to maximise funding. • For most the fourth will be EPQ and therefore AQABacc. Version 1.0 Copyright © 2008 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. AQA Bacc Why do the AQA Bacc? • In conjunction with the EPQ, it is the perfect ‘wrap round’ qualification to acknowledge all the breadth and depth of both the study and enrichment that our students do. • Against the backdrop of workshops on UCAS personal statements, it has become a useful tool to encourage individual reflection and recordkeeping. AQA Bacc The enrichment diary… • It encourages participation and enhances selfconfidence. • It acknowledges individual contributions by unassuming ‘backroom girls and boys’ as much as by those students who are successful in attracting the limelight. • It demands rigour in recording college enrichment and stimulates greater involvement/willingness to contribute to community initiatives. AQA Bacc The process itself is developmental… • It is marketed to Year 11s at open evenings who are very enthusiastic to get involved. • The importance of enrichment is a focal point of Freshers’ Week with the Enrichment Fair. The need to get involved and the ‘carrot’ of AQABacc take centre stage even if some do not do EPQ the next year. • In the September of UVIth EPQ tutors review the initial AQABacc entries of their A2 students relating to their A/S year. • Various ‘conversations’ ensue about personal statements, relevant work experience and opportunities for a broader enrichment profile. Version 1.0 Copyright © 2008 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. AQA Bacc The ‘professionalisation’ of cross-college initiatives??? • Enrichment activities can be the basis for an EPQ. • Various key players now work together on a two-year programme, such as the STEM, the Current Affairs, the General Studies and the Work Experience co-ordinators • The Enrichment Manager oversees departmental and cross-college enrichment provision including activities organised by the Student Union and its committees. • The Student Union now has two permanent charitable causes, a local school for children with learning difficulties and a school in the Gambia. Both provide work experience. • It made us our enrichment brochure on-line ! Version 1.0 Copyright © 2008 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. AQA Bacc More activity… • Greater involvement by students in societies, charities and communities; they like to log their enthusiasm. (C.I.F.) • Leading to more college ‘buzz’ not only in charitable fundraising and the sheer daftness involved in annual events like ‘Comic Relief’ and ‘Children in Need’ but also linked to awarenessraising campaigns such as on child poverty and human trafficking. • It spurs on new college initiatives like Winstanley TV and Radio. AQA Bacc So for the college… • • • • It encourages students to do the EPQ. General Studies gets more credibility. Personal statements improve. Greater staff awareness of the student experience outside college, at work and in the community. AQA Bacc Is the diary user-friendly? • It is very popular; adding material to enhance their records such as photographs and written evidence from employers and voluntary organisations. • The staff find the bureaucracy, both electronic and written, very straightforward, especially those responsible for exam entries. AQA Bacc Above all • • • • It’s fun to compile, reflect and evaluate! It can be saved for future use. It encourages further participation at university. At the end it enhances off the sixth form experience with a sense of all-round achievement!