Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate

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Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

delivered as part of the WJEC Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate (Level 3)

Available from first teaching September 2015.

Country
  • Wales
Purpose

Provides a vehicle for Level 3 learners to consolidate and progress the development of essential and employability skills.

Helps learners develop skills, attributes and behaviours, and provides experiences which will enable learners to prepare for university, further training or employment.

Builds on the candidate’s previous education and allows for progression along and between the chosen pathway for each individual.

Education context

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma was initially developed as a post–16 qualification, providing a Core of compulsory learning sitting alongside the A levels, GCSE or vocational qualifications that learners follow.

A*/A/B/C grading was introduced for Advanced programmes starting in 2013. Further information about the legacy Welsh Baccalaureate can be found at:

http://www.welshbaccalaureate.org.uk/Welsh-Baccalaureate-Home-Page

The reformed version is being delivered from September 2015 and will be first awarded in 2017.

The reformed Welsh Baccalaureate is also available at Foundation and National levels (Levels 1 and 2 respectively) across the 14 –19 age range

Learners in both general and vocational qualification routes follow the reformed Welsh Baccalaureate programmes, progressing from Foundation and National levels to the Advanced Diploma.

Awarding organisation
  • WJEC
Qualification codes
Structure

For courses commencing September 2015 and thereafter learners will study the reformed qualification:

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate:

  • To gain the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate, candidates must successfully complete both the WJEC Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate (Level 3) and supporting requirements comprising the equivalent of two Level 3 qualifications.
  • As evidence of literacy and numeracy skills, new GCSEs in English Language or Welsh Language and Mathematics-Numeracy at grades A*–C must also be achieved.
  • The component parts may be taken in either the Welsh or English language

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate (Level 3):

This programme comprises an Individual Project and three Challenges: Enterprise and Employability, Global Citizenship and Community. Together, these assess the following seven skills:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Digital Literacy
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Planning and Organisation
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Personal Effectiveness

Supporting qualifications:

  • Total at least 600 guided learning hours (GLH) or 100% of the Level 3 threshold (i.e. equivalent in size to two A levels graded A*– E).
  • Are drawn from no more than three Level 3 qualifications.
  • Are required to achieve the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate, but grades achieved in these qualifications do not affect the grade awarded for the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate (Level 3).
Subject areas

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Level) 3 components are as follows:

Individual Project (180 GLH)

  • The Individual Project determines 50% of the Grade awarded for the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate. It is designed to enable learners to develop independence in a range of skills and depth of knowledge that will be of great benefit to them in higher education or employment.
  • The component’s flexibility and versatility allows centres to cater for learners’ individual needs, providing a platform for learners to explore and increase their in-depth knowledge of specific subject areas of personal interest or in relation to their study programme. The range of possible outcomes enables learners to explore their creativity and develop their critical thinking.
  • WJEC has designed the Individual Project component within the Welsh Baccalaureate to develop similar skills as the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

Enterprise and Employability Challenge (70 GLH)

  • The purpose is to develop learners’ enterprising skills and enhance employability. Learners will explicitly develop skills in Numeracy, Digital Literacy, Creativity and Innovation and Personal Effectiveness, applying them in an appropriate manner.

Global Citizenship Challenge (55 GLH)

  • The purpose is to develop learners’ skills, whilst providing opportunities to understand and respond appropriately to global issues. Learners will explicitly develop skills in Literacy, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving and Creativity and Innovation, applying them in the appropriate manner.

Community Challenge (55 GLH)

  • The purpose is to develop learners’ skills, whilst encouraging learners to identify, develop and participate in opportunities that will benefit a community. Learners will explicitly develop skills in Planning and Organisation and Personal Effectiveness, applying them in an appropriate manner.
  • The Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate is awarded if all the Skills Challenge Certificate and the supporting qualifications are achieved. Certificates will record:
  • the title and level of the Welsh Baccalaureate;
  • the title, level and grade of the Skills Challenge Certificate;
  • the grades of the Individual Project and the three Challenges.
Levels
  • Level 3

The Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate is comparable in terms of size and challenge to a GCE A level and has a similar A*- E grading system.

Grading

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate is graded A*–E. In order to achieve the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate, learners must achieve all four components – the Individual Project plus the three Challenges, with a minimum of all at a level 3 Pass. The grade is calculated on the basis of the aggregation of the four component scores weighted as below:

Individual Project: weighting 50%

Enterprise and Employability Challenge: weighting 20%

Global Citizenship Challenge: weighting 15%

Community Challenge: weighting 15%

Assessment

The Skills Challenge Certificate components are internally assessed and externally moderated.

WJEC will moderate the Individual Project and the three Challenges separately and aggregate the results to provide an overall grade for the Skills Challenge Certificate.

Learners are expected to produce evidence that illustrates the development of relevant skills, knowledge and understanding. The purpose of assessment is to ensure that effective learning has taken place in order to give learners the opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes within the components.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

All components have three performance bands, each being allocated a range of three points.

Where there is no evidence, or work is not worthy of credit, a score of 0 is allocated.

Performance band 1. Points = 1 - 3

Performance band 2. Points = 4 - 6

Performance band 3. Points = 7 - 9

Assessors allocate a score for each learning outcome and collate the points across the whole component to provide a total score.

A summative grade (Pass, Merit, Distinction) for the component is calculated from the total score.

The following table provides details of the total scores available for each of the components:

Individual Project: total score = 0 - 72

Enterprise and Employability Challenge: total score = 0 - 45

Global Citizenship Challenge: total score = 0 - 36

Community Challenge: total score = 0 - 27

In order to achieve the Skills Challenge Certificate, learners must achieve all four components, with a minimum of all at a Pass.

The qualification grade is calculated on the basis of the aggregation of the four component scores weighted as below:

Individual Project: weighting 50%

Enterprise and Employability Challenge: weighting 20%

Global Citizenship Challenge: weighting 15%

Community Challenge: weighting 15%

Total: 100%

The Skills Challenge Certificate is graded A* –E.

Resit arrangements

Learners completing the Skills Challenge Certificate will have one resit opportunity for each assessed component i.e. the three Challenges and the Individual Project.

If a learner resits, their grade for that Challenge or Project will be capped at a Level 3 Pass (see above section - Contribution of assessment components to overall grade).

Guided/notional learning hours
The Skills Challenge Certificate (Level 3) comprises 360 guided learning hours: 360 hours
UCAS Tariff points

Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

Grade Points
A* 56
A 48
B 40
C 32
D 24
E 16
Key issues for UK HE admissions

The Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate is comparable in terms of size and challenge to a GCE A level and has a similar A*– E grading system.

The Welsh Government has worked with stakeholders to revise and strengthen the Welsh Baccalaureate and to increase its rigour. This followed recommendations from the independent Review of Qualifications and also addresses recommendations in a report the Welsh Government commissioned from Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) (2013):

http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/18417/1/130325-relationships-between-welsh-baccal…

From 2015, the reformed WBQ is being phased in as a national entitlement, which will likely result in an increase in take-up.

Within a relatively short period of time higher education admissions tutors will see a number of iterations of the Welsh Baccalaureate:

  • 2014 saw the final award of the Welsh Baccalaureate that was pass grade only
  • 2015 and 2016 will see the interim Welsh Baccalaureate awarded, which is graded A*–C
  • 2017 onwards will see the award of the fully reformed Welsh Baccalaureate, graded A*– E
Timing of assessments/results for learners

Students may achieve different elements of the Skills Challenge Certificate at different points throughout the year.

Welsh Baccalaureate results are awarded twice a year in March and August.

Qualification date
Starting from 01 Sep 2015
Reporting and certification information

Results will be published for numbers of students:

  • completing the Welsh Baccalaureate programme
  • awarded the WJEC Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate (Level 3)
  • awarded the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate (Level 3)

http://www.wjec.co.uk/students/results-and-research/

Further information

Link to Qualifications Wales website which hosts qualification and subject level principles and rules published by the Welsh Government/ Qualifications Wales:

http://www.qualificationswales.org/

Link to Welsh Government Review of Qualifications 14 –16:

http://gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/qualificationsinwales/revofq…