Highfields College has a diverse cohort in terms of academic ability – and many will join us midway through Key Stage 4, sometimes even just a few months before final exams. To meet need we offer offer a selection of GCSEs alongside a range of alternative qualifications and accreditations.

What qualifications and accreditations do we offer?

The GCSEs we currently offer ‘as standard’ are GCSE English Language, GCSE Maths and GCSE Biology – we try to ensure all students are in a position to sit these exams. For those willing and able to access them, we also offer GCSE English Literature, GCSE Art, GCSE Physics and GCSE Chemistry.

In terms of alternative core subject qualifications , we offer the Entry Level Award for Maths, English and Science. We try to ensure all students gain these awards as a ‘back up’ for GCSE.

From there, we also offer vocational qualifications including various AQA awards, the Duke of Edinburgh Award and the Sports Leadership Award.

We work with our college partners to ensure that these qualifications carry a level of recognition, enabling KS4 leavers to then access post-16 courses that reflect their ability and prior achievement.

What are our results like?

The results of each student are wide and varied, based on their ability and personal circumstances. We also offer a much wider range of vocationally-orientated qualifications. This makes it difficult to report in the same way as our mainstream partners.

The way we track and report performance at Highfields College is to assign each of above qualifications and accreditations a ‘valuation score’ – this means how much value the qualification / accreditation carries. With GCSEs, the score is the same as the grade – so a grade 4 carries a score of 4. With other qualifications, each one carries a specific score as outlined here:

This is not a standardised model accepted by all colleges and employers but it does reflect professional judgement and dialogue with local college partners.

Based on this, if a student earns 8 points, then they have broadly gained the equivalent of 8 GCSEs at Grade 1. If a student achieves 24+ points then they achieve broadly the equivalent of 6 GCSEs at Grade 4. Based on this model, our current performance is as follows:

We hope parents/carers who maybe anxious about their child moving school, particularly midway through Key Stage 4, will draw some confidence that their son or daughter will be able to achieve their potential at Highfields College – be that GCSEs to enter sixth form or a range of vocational qualifications to set them on a path towards a vocational college or apprenticeship.