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The Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate is a compulsory qualification in our sixth form curriculum. It is compulsory throughout Wales, being a very highly regarded enhancement to the traditional post-16 curriculum.
The Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate is a modern qualification, which recognises almost everything that young people do at Ysgol Bryn Elian. It does not replace current qualifications, such as A levels, but adds to these by providing breadth and balance through a programme of skills-based activities.
The Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate is divided into two parts:
The Advanced Skills Challenge A level - this is a stand-alone A level carrying the UCAS tariff of other A level courses.
A student who has a C or above in GCSE English and Maths, with 2 more A levels or equivalent, will then be awarded the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.
The Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate allows students to develop skills which are seen as increasingly important for young people by the government, employers and higher education.
These skills are:
The Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate builds on the range of subjects and courses already available, so that students will be able to choose from existing AS subjects as they wish. The big difference is the Core Programme, which is designed to enable students to acquire passes in three Skills Challenges and an Individual Project. Students are guided through the Core by means of structured lessons, activities, outside speakers and projects.
There are four components:
Here a student carries out a 30 hour community project. They analyse the skills needed, complete a detailed action plan, including a health and safety audit, and complete the 30 hours. Students evidence their contributions using a blog, photographs, interviews etc. They reflect on the process by giving a presentation.
This involves a student developing their understanding of a key global issue. They research the issue thoroughly, before forming a Personal Standpoint, holding a Global Conference (where they present a potential solution to the issue) and finally analysing their performance through a written reflection.
The purpose of this Challenge is to develop learners’ current skills, whilst providing opportunities for learners to develop enterprising skills and attributes and enhance employability. This Challenge encourages students to focus on what will come next for them, in terms of their education and employment.
The purpose of the Individual Project is to develop the full range of learners’ skills, through carrying out a high-level research activity with an emphasis on future educational or career aspirations. Students work independently on this final section of the qualification.
Building on the range of subjects and courses already available, this qualification will provide students with new and exciting learning opportunities, allowing them to develop personal skills in a focused way, together with a range of positive experiences in the community and with employers.
Equal value is placed on academic and vocational qualifications and students will take part in practical activities that will develop a breadth of study and broader learning opportunities. In the Advanced Skills Challenge, the emphasis will be on learning by doing.
The Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate carries the UCAS tariff of an A level, graded A*-E.
The Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate is the equivalent of an A grade A2 Level qualification, and is accepted by universities as such.
There is no Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate 'exam' as such. The learning experiences in the Core and Options will give students opportunities to acquire their Key Skills. Each student will compile portfolios of evidence showing how their Key Skills have developed. They will also undertake and Individual Investigation of an aspect of the core which interests them, and again, will give them opportunities to develop their key skills. The Investigation will be externally assessed, along with the student's personal Log Book, evidencing all experiences and achievements.