Unlocking opportunities: a guide to T Level Foundation Year Programmes | NCFE

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Unlocking opportunities: a guide to T Level Foundation Year Programmes

David Rowley David Rowley Product Manager for Technical Education, NCFE

Here, I'll be delving into the T Level Foundation Year – looking at what it is, who it’s for and how you can develop robust programmes which support students with the strongest possible footing to move onto their T Level of choice.  

What is the T Level Foundation Year?

Formerly known as the T Level Transition Programme, the T Level Foundation Year is a one-year course that students can take following their GCSEs to prepare for completing a T Level. The T Level Foundation Year acts as a stepping stone for students who may need additional support and preparation before taking on their chosen two-year T Level.   

Technical knowledge and skills 

Depending on the chosen T Level route, the technical knowledge and skills component of the T Level Foundation Year gives students an early introduction to industry-relevant content. For example, in education and childcare, a student will be able to cover a range of key subject areas that provide a base of knowledge to help them understand the skills needed to care for and educate children aged between 0 and 11 months old.  

Targeted support for individual needs 

The T Level Foundation Year allows providers the flexibility to design programmes tailored to students' needs. This customisation ensures that learners receive targeted support, enabling them to transition into their chosen T Level following completion of the programme.

Recognising the importance of English, maths and digital skills to everyday life and work, the programme offers educators a flexible approach as to how they embed these into study. This empowers students with a solid skills base, enhancing their readiness for the challenges of T Level courses. 

Diagnostics, monitoring and guidance 

Embedding a framework of diagnostics, monitoring and guidance from start to end is essential in ensuring students receive the right level of support to be successful in completing the programme.

This is where tools such as our skills assessment tools and resources become important within a programme, supporting both students and educators. By using our unique diagnostics, resources and summative assessments, you get clear visibility of students’ skills and progress, allowing you to measure core skills and update on progress.   

Personal development and enrichment 

T Level Foundation Years needs to support students with personal development and enrichment. That’s why, to complement the programme, we offer 100 hours of free non-qualification activities. These employability, enrichment and pastoral activities have been designed to enhance your students’ transferable skills and confidence. They cover the following areas: 

  • employability 
  • business and enterprise 
  • study Skills 
  • personal and social development 
  • digital skills. 

Our guidance for colleges: 

The success of T Level Foundation Year Programmes hinges on the commitment and expertise of educational institutions. Here are some key considerations for colleges looking to implement and excel in these programmes: 

  • Engage with employers: collaborate closely with local employers to understand industry needs and tailor the Foundation Year curriculum accordingly. This engagement not only enriches the learning experience but also enhances students' readiness for the workplace. 
  • Personalise learning plans: develop personalised learning plans for students, identifying their strengths and areas for growth. You can do this with the support of our skills assessment offer. This tailored approach ensures that each learner receives the support they need to succeed. 
  • Take a holistic approach: enrichment should be a core part of the educational landscape. This means that, as standard, you get access to 100 hours of free non-qualification activities to support your students. 
  • Choose next-level customer service: at NCFE, our experts are here to support both you and your learners. You will get a dedicated account executive to support you with an easy transition and get the most out of our offer. 

To conclude, the ultimate aim of the Foundation Year is to equip students with the skills and confidence to progress into their chosen T Level. By smoothing the transition, colleges play a crucial role in nurturing a cohort of skilled and motivated individuals ready to make a significant impact in their chosen fields and future careers.

Want to find out more? Talk to us about building your T Level Foundation Year Programmes today. 

Formerly known as the T Level Transition Programme, the T Level Foundation Year is a one-year course that students can take following their GCSEs to prepare for completing a T Level.

David Rowley, Product Manager of Technical Education at NCFE
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