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Progression through the Diploma (14-19): examples

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
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  • Communication
  • Design
  • Mathematics


Layout 1 Example 1: Personalising the Diploma Why this approach? The Diploma is designed to promote progression and retention by operating across the 14–19 continuum. It aims to motivate learners and enable them to develop their learning in the various aspects of principal learning and additional and specialist learning (ASL) as well as developing functional skills and personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS). The key to the Diploma approach is the recognition that progress may not be equal in all aspects of learning. For example, at any point, attainment in ASL could be at a different level to that in principal learning or functional skills. The aim is to ensure that learners achieve the highest attainment levels possible across Diploma components and that programmes are delivered to reflect individual abilities and aspirations. How is learning organised? In year 10, Diploma principal learning at level 1 is allocated the same amount of time as at level 2, that is, three option blocks or 7.5 guided learning hours (GLH) per week. This means that the principal learning component of 240GLH can be completed by the end of year 10. In year 11, a further 240GLH are available. During this time learners can complete their level 1 Diploma, with 60GLH of principal learning /a project, and undertake 180GLH of their level 2 programme. Functional skills are taught within the Diploma and through the compulsory curriculum and events, so the outcome for any individual learner can be at level 1 or level 2 and can differ between mathematics, English and information and communication technology. Learners can also take functional skills assessments at intervals during the key stage. Personal, learning and thinking skills are developed across the whole curriculum including Diploma learning and are assessed as part of principal learning. At 120GLH, ASL fits comfortably within a fourth option block (160GLH over the key stage). Additional and specialist learning may be a GCSE, with outcomes at e

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