The Benefits of Switching from GCSE to Vocational Alternative

Most schools have at least a small group of learners who just don’t engage with the mainstream curriculum, or elements of the mainstream curriculum for one reason or another. Offering a vocational alternative can be a great option for this group of learners. Switching from a traditional academic subject such as GCSE PE to a vocational alternative such as NCFE’s Technical Award in Health and Fitness, can offer a different route to success, help learners to build confidence, and even help them to re-engage with other parts of their education.

iAchieve makes it simple to run vocational qualifications alongside mainstream GCSEs, giving teachers and learners the choice about which qualification is right for each individual.  It also offers a wonderful option for switching learners mid-year if they aren’t making sufficient progress in one or more of their GCSEs – many schools are doing this right now with both Year 10s and Year 11s. The opportunity to provide GCSE equivalent options offers an extra chance for students to achieve, particularly for those pupils with less academic aptitudes. 

Not only can the content of vocational courses prepare students for real world career pathways, but they can also provide a different way of learning. The courses tend to be more practical, more applied and most of all, really engaging.  When students have lost interest in their education, or are struggling with mainstream education, studying a subject which they can see the relevance of and track to real life, beyond school, can really spur them on and help motivate them in their education.

Vocational subjects tend to have an internally assessed element which is weighted more heavily that the externally examined element. This gives students who struggle with exam technique, or with the pressure of exams, the best chance of success, because they’re able to show their potential outside of the exam situation. 

“Learners love iAchieve because it’s really well structured and self-led, they can lead their own learning”

Lucy Harvard, George Eliot Academy

The iAchieve platform functions as a teaching aid in the classroom and a portal for independent learning. Teachers can monitor learner progress, provide feedback and mark work.  Students can take control of their qualification journey in an engaging workspace which offers an alternative way of learning. Lucy Harvard, Director of Creative and Performance at George Eliot Academy explained, “When iAchieve was recommended to deliver the Health and Fitness course, it was a saving grace. The learners really bought into it, and it proved to be such a great qualification for those that were not quite ready for the GCSE which is heavily reliant on a written exam. Learners love iAchieve because it’s really well structured and self-led, they can lead their own learning, and it helps to build their confidence because they can see that they can do it. It’s been really good for them, and it’s been a lifeline for us, it really has. What it does so well is reduce workload for staff and accelerate progress for learners.”

iAchieve is an affordable solution for implementing a high-impact vocational curriculum for all learners. Our ready to use resources, set within an online framework, helps busy teachers deliver vocational subjects with ease, even if they haven’t delivered the subject before.

There’s still time to help students access a qualification they’re more suited to. With iAchieve, as long as learners have hours available on their timetable, their time can be spent gaining a qualification that counts in Group 3 towards Progress 8 measures, where they previously may not have. 

iAchieve’s popular online learning package provides a simple and effective way of offering alternative options for learners that aren’t making sufficient progress with their current qualifications.  We’re well placed to support this group of learners because we’ve been helping schools re-engage underachieving students since our inception in 2016.  Get in touch to find out how we could support your school too. We offer courses that count towards current KS4 performance measures, and also courses that lead to nationally recognised vocational qualifications which don’t require the examined element of performance measure included qualifications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *