Case Study: Beverley Grammar School – Engineering futures

Beverley Grammar School has been specialising in boys’ education since 700AD and is the oldest state school in England. One of the school’s aims is for their pupils to have the ambition and confidence to achieve their dreams. To achieve this, the school strives to value the achievements and contributions of all pupils, and create opportunities for pupils to become leaders.

Beverley Grammar School currently delivers NCFE’s V Cert in Engineering. V Certs have been developed by NCFE in-line with the Department for Education measures as to what meets GCSE equivalency. Aimed at 14-16 year olds, V Certs count as part of the Progress 8 measure and hold performance points.

Daniel Bibbington, Head of Design and Technology at Beverley Grammar School, said: “We chose to deliver NCFE’s V Certs because we found that the qualifications provided more opportunities for pupils to engage in practical hands-on making, in comparison with other vocational qualifications.

“We’ve seen pupils of all ability groups, including SEN learners and Pupil Premium students, make very good progress on the course – more so than with their other subjects. Through the delivery of V Certs, we have an engaged, high achieving cohort of pupils who thoroughly enjoy their engineering lessons.”

Laura Mulligan, Engineering Teacher at the school, commented: “The learners have all found the course really interesting. We have mixed ability groups and some learners are interested in pursuing engineering at a higher level, whereas others are more vocationally inclined and plan to seek out an apprenticeship route. V Certs give scope for both routes.

“I have really enjoyed teaching this V Cert. The learners are fully engaged which makes teaching the course a pleasure and has reignited my own interest. Because the learners and I enjoy the course, there is a lovely atmosphere in the classroom.”

As a result of what they’ve learnt from their V Cert in Engineering, four learners from Beverley Grammar School have recently started a work experience placement with BAE Systems, a multinational company providing some of the world’s most advanced technology-led defence, aerospace and security solutions.

V Certs have the same level of rigour as GCSEs but often include project-based assessments, which means schools and pupils can work more flexibly around the qualification, and have a greater opportunity to use their creativity and imagination.

Mr Bibbington added: “The majority of learners want to continue onto careers or further study within the engineering sector – this draws positive comments from everyone from learning support staff to senior leaders in the school about how great it is to see the right pupils on the right course, achieving the grades they deserve.

“I’d definitely recommend V Certs to other centres and we already have done so. Working with NCFE has been straightforward and hassle-free. There are multiple channels we can use to contact NCFE and all are speedy ways of getting in touch. The supporting resources have been very useful, especially the delivery guide.  Everyone I’ve spoken to from NCFE has been friendly and helpful and we’re planning on delivering more V Certs next year.”

The V Cert in Engineering has been redesigned to work even better for schools and learners. Now a combined Level 1/2 Technical Award in Engineering, this V Cert benefits from being able to teach classes of mixed ability, move learners up and down a level and a full complement of teaching and delivery resources including lesson plans, PowerPoints, worksheets and more.

For more information on NCFE qualifications, including V Certs, visit our school section, or call us on 0191 240 8833.

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