Parent & Pupil Zone
Could an NCFE V Cert be right for you or your child? We’ve got the answers to your questions about technical education for schools from NCFE.
What is technical education?
Education has undergone some huge changes over the years, with more options for pupils than ever before. Technical subjects, such as Business and Enterprise, Health and Social Care and Sport, can also be taken alongside traditional academic subjects.
At NCFE, we offer V Certs for 14 – 16 year olds taking their GCSEs. We also offer Applied Generals, for pupils aged 16 and over, which carry UCAS points for entry in to University or Higher Education. We have a range of subject areas on offer, which are supported by practical, hands-on learning solutions.
V Certs are an alternative to a GCSE but they certainly aren’t an easy option. They’re designed to give you more choice in what you want to pursue in the future, whether that’s straight in to the workplace, an apprenticeship or to go on to college or university.
Is technical education right for me?
Everyone learns differently, but if you find being practical, such as doing things with your hands or interactive lessons interesting and that it helps you understand the topic, technical education might be a great option for you.
14-16 year olds or Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, NCFE’s technical alternatives to GCSEs, including our V Certs and CACHE qualifications, are reputable, practical qualifications that provide clear progression routes into a range of education and employment opportunities. The content is engaging and fits alongside your other core GCSE subjects.
Many of our V Certs are supported by iAchieve, online learning resources endorsed by NCFE. You can ask your school to find out if they are using iAchieve.
Post – 16 or Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5, our Applied Generals carry UCAS points, just like A-Levels, which are accepted by universities should you want to move on to further study. You should always contact your preferred university to confirm their specific entry requirements.
External or Internal Assessment
All NCFE qualifications have assessment requirements. This could consist of a portfolio of work which will be marked internally by teachers, or exam papers which will be externally marked by NCFE. It’s important to prepare and revise for these exams, the same as you would for a GCSE or an A Level.
Exam prep: hints and tips!
You can prepare for the assessment by looking at some past papers. If you search for the qualification you’re taking on the NCFE website, you’ll find examples of past papers there. Your teacher should also have a copy of the Chief Examiner’s report which can help you with areas to focus on in more detail to help achieve a better grade.
If you suffer from exam stress, don’t worry; we’ve got an app for that! GoCalm is designed to help you deal with stress, keep your brain engaged and help you focus, from your computer or laptop.
Maths and English
Passing maths and English qualifications is now more important than ever. We have been told that finding good resources on the internet to support your studies can sometimes be difficult which is why we’ve now created StudyHut.co.uk. This is free to use, all you have to do is create an account. You can then search by subject and topic and pick the level of difficulty. About 80% of the resources we link to are also free of charge so you should have some good options to choose from. If you like any of the resources, you can return to Studyhut and favourite them or share them with friends. There’s also an option to fill out how confident you are on certain topics so you can keep track with this as you use more of the resources. The site can be used at any time of the year but it’s particularly useful when approaching maths and English GCSE or Functional Skills exams whether for the first time or as a resit. Parents wanting to support their child can sign in as tutor and also search to find summaries of the types of resources that are available and can automatically share the link with their child so that they can make use of the resource too.
Find our qualifications, learning resources and delivery support on our dedicated website QualHub