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THE AQA Bacc and Winstanley
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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
• In summer 2008 it was decided to introduce the
Extended Project for A2 volunteers in September
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AQA Bacc
Getting started…
• In autumn 2008, 145 students opted to do the
• 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
• 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
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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
• Various ‘conversations’ ensue about personal statements,
relevant work experience and opportunities for a broader
enrichment profile.
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AQA Bacc
The ‘professionalisation’ of cross-college
• 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
• It made us our enrichment brochure on-line !
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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
• It spurs on new college initiatives like Winstanley TV and
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
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
• 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

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