At the most basic level, vocational subjects can develop learners’ real-life skills as well as learning theory, which help learners to leave education ready for the world of work. However, the benefits of vocational courses go much deeper than that.
Vocational courses can play a crucial role in stimulating and motivating disengaged learners. If students are struggling to succeed in their subject choices, this can have an adverse effect on their well-being and mental health. Awarding body, NCFE, explain, “it’s important that students are supported as early as possible in their educational journey to improve learner outcomes and retention, and to help students achieve their future goals.”
This academic year begins under unprecedented circumstances. Discussions surrounding gaps in learning and concerns over the impact of local lockdowns and school closures may inadvertently be adding to the pressure of attainment. The educational landscape over the remainder of the academic year is uncertain and this can lead to increased anxiety for some learners.
In some instances, exam pressure can deplete natural curiosity and love of learning, especially where learners have a preconceived idea of whether they, as learners, can succeed in the exam environment. Conversely to GCSE structure, vocational subjects focus less on exams and more on application of the technical aspects. This is particularly advantageous for those learners who demonstrate their skills more effectively outside of the pressures of exams.
Studying a motivational, vocational subject which learners are finding engaging and are gaining a sense of success in, can increase their confidence in their ability as a learner. This can have a positive impact on their other studies and their commitment to education as a whole. This is why vocational courses can prove invaluable to learners who are achieving less well in ‘academic’ subjects.
Appropriately combining traditional academic subjects with a vocational route, can result in more confident and engaged learners. Furthermore, switching traditional GCSE subjects for their vocational counterpart can help learners to focus on their strengths. For example, switching learners from an academic course, such as GCSE PE to a technical version of the subject, such as NCFE’s Health and Fitness , or GCSE Computer Science to BTEC Digital Information Technology can help learners to achieve success in that subject area, especially if they’re struggling to make the necessary progress.
iAchieve’s online learning package offers a simple, effective, and affordable way of offering learners an alternative option to qualifications they are not engaging and progressing with. It aims to raise aspirations and help learners to develop self-belief and confidence. The instructional design means that learners can actually track their progress and take control of their own learning.
iAchieve supplies teachers with all the resources required to deliver complete vocational subjects both in the classroom or remotely. The online platform means that disruption to learning caused by school closures or local lock downs can be reduced. Both teachers and learners gain peace of mind that the course materials are both manageable and achievable.
By switching now, learners have plenty of time to prepare for the external assessment, and in most instances, they will have two opportunities to sit it. Using iAchieve ensures simple implementation of vocational courses, without adding to the workload of the teacher delivering.