Alton College Prospectus 2019


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All you need to know about starting and studying at Alton College

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1 CONTENTS // WELCOME SUBJECT Applied Science Art and Design Art: Textiles Biology Business Business: Marketing Communications Chemistry Children’s Play, Learning & Development Computer Science Creative Media Production Criminology Dance Design and Technology: Product Design Digital Film and Video Production Drama and Theatre Studies Economics Electronics Engineering English Literature English Language English Language and Literature English Environmental Sustainability Film Studies “Alton College is a jewel in East Hampshire’s crown offering tuition in an environment of great achievement and purpose. The College has taken an innovative approach and evolved their timetable to create more dedicated space to enable and encourage more employment placements to happen each year alongside students’ academic studies. Time spent gaining experience in the workplace is important for preparing young people for their future.” CONTENTS 3. Why Choose Alton College? 5. The College Day 8. Travel is easy 9 Scholarships and Grants 11. Our Qualifications Explained 13 Aspire 15. The Extended Project Qualification 17. How do I apply to Alton College? 19. After Alton College DAMIAN HPAINGEDS41 41 44 45 MP FOR EAST HAMPSHIRE 45 47 48 49 51 52 53 53 55 55 56 56 57 21. Alton College Alumni 57 59 60 60 61 62 63 GCSE 23. What’s extra at Alton College? ● A LEVEL ●●●● ● ● 27 Th●e St●udents’●Unio●n ● ●●● ● BTEC/ CAMBRIDGE OPEN DAYSTECHNICAL – THREE ● ● 29. International Students at Alton College ● ●31. STEM at Alton College ● A LEVEL THUEQRUIVSADLEANTY 4TH OCOCURTSOESBER 2018 3:30C–AMB8RB:IT0DEGC0E/ PM 33. Music at Alton College 35. Trips at Alton College TECHNICAL ● TU–EOEQNSUEDIAVALALEEYVNETL 9TH OCOCUTRSOESBER 2018 ●● 36. ● Career Ch●oices ● 39. Lifelong Learning at Alton College ● 6:00 – 8B:T3EC0/ PM CAMBRIDGE 41. Courses THUTRE–CLSHENDVIECALAL2Y ● ● ● ● 91. Skills for Learning Program●me 4TH JCOUURLSYES2019 3:30FU–NCT8IO:N0A0L PM SKILLS 95. Further Information 97. Course Directory LEVEL 1 AND LEVEL 2 ● BTEC FOUNDATION DIPLOMA LEVEL3/4 ●


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 2 WELCOME TO ALTON COLLEGE We are one of Hampshire’s top performing Sixth Form colleges. We provide an inspiring and outstanding bridge between school and Higher Education or employment. You’ll gain excellent qualifications and we’ll prepare and support you for your next steps. As one of the first modern purpose-built Sixth Form colleges and the first to be awarded Outstanding Ofsted status in three consecutive inspections, we have decades of expertise in providing first class education for 16-18 year olds. Last year we continued our record of excellence in exceeding the national average in top grade qualifications with a 99.2% pass rate for A levels and 100% for vocational courses. Over three quarters of A level students were awarded A*-C grades and 100% of those taking the EPQ achieved A*-C. 79% of vocational students were awarded the highest grades and the overall pass rate was again above the national average. This prospectus gives you a flavour of the diverse and broad range of courses we offer. For more detailed information, please go to or visit our university-style campus at one of our vibrant Open Days to meet our specialist and experienced staff and amazing students. We start at 10am, provide up to 50 hours more teaching time per year than most other colleges and school Sixth Forms and give students more scope for enrichment activities and work experience – all of which gives students a competitive edge with UCAS and employment applications. Last year 90% went onto Higher and Further Education and employment. Over 18% of our students who continued to university went to top Russell Group universities, including the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and 32% achieved a First Class Honours Degree compared to 24% at other colleges and school Sixth Forms. We really look forward to meeting you. We were really excited to launch our New College Day in September 2017. The fresh, innovative approach to timetabling is grounded in academic research and follows international models to enable the best learning environment for young people. 93% of students who joined us in September 2017 recommend the new timetable to prospective students.


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3 WHY CHOOSE ALTON COLLEGE? 32% of our students achieve a First Class Honours Degree at university compared to the national average of 24% for Sixth Form Colleges and school Sixth Forms (HESA.AC.UK) WHY CHOOSE ALTON COLLEGE? Deciding where to study after you leave school is a big decision that will shape your future and we’re here to help you. 10 AM START AND 50 HOURS MORE TEACHING TIME We’ve evolved our timetable in line with academic research to benefit the health and learning capacity of our students and provide more opportunity for enrichment activities and work experience. Lessons start at 10am as scientific research suggests that teenagers need more sleep and starting lessons later is more beneficial to their learning. Read more on page 5. SPECIALIST TEACHERS Our teachers are all experts in their field with a wealth of industry experience and contacts or outstanding academic backgrounds. All students have a dedicated Tutor who will also teach them. TUTOR We offer unique support at Alton College. Your dedicated Tutor will teach you and support your transition from school to College. They will guide you through your A level or vocational course and provide advice and guidance on applying to university, apprenticeship schemes or employment, using tools such as Unifrog, an online portal for students to choose the best options for them. Find out more at Going To Alton Parents’ Information Evening, see page 17.


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 4 90% of students feel that they are making excellent progress in their courses here. (2018) FORUM SESSIONS These informative group sessions focus on all aspects of student life and beyond, from academic to social and digital support and financial guidance to careers and work experience and British Values. MODERN FACILITIES In the last 11 years we’ve invested over £15 million in our campus. We are fully wireless, have hundreds of PCs, over 35,000 books and ebooks in the Learning Resource Centre, a modern professional theatre, the state-ofthe-art Sonardyne Centre for Engineering and Design Technology, two modern dance studios, three recording studios and a TV/Media film studio. We have a fully equipped gym and our Student Hub is a one-stop-shop for queries on College life. The Refectory serves delicious hot food and The Deli provides cold snacks and sandwiches. We also have Starbucks on campus. DIGITAL PROGRESS MONITORING Our live online progress monitoring system, ‘Insight’, allows you and your parents to see exactly how you are doing in your studies. Your Tutor and teachers will discuss your progress with you during regular meetings and help you to develop actions to meet your personal targets. Every student attends timetabled tutor sessions plus your parents will receive weekly College Notices to keep them up-to-date. SCHOLARSHIPS AND BURSARIES The Alton College Foundation (registered charity no. 1079285) provides a range of scholarship awards for academic excellence and offers development fund grants for students in need of help for specific activities, see page 9. Many students are also eligible for financial support through the 16-19 Bursary Fund. See more and apply: FIRST CLASS ENVIRONMENT We provide high-quality academic education, full support and guidance and training in an inclusive and inspiring environment. We recognise that education is more than purely classroom based study. We also offer brilliant enrichment courses and exciting and educational trips in the UK and abroad. SUPPORTING YOU TO SUCCEED Our outstanding provision supports all students with a variety of needs. Individual specialist study support is available through flexible sessions during the College day. The Student Hub is a one-stop-shop for all student needs from courses and career advice to financial, chaplaincy and counselling support. To discuss individual needs or if you are a young carer, young care leaver or looked after child then please contact Through our work on British Values and the Prevent Duty we help prepare and support students for life at College and beyond.


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5 THE COLLEGE DAY THE COLLEGE DAY In September 2017 we launched the New College Day which benefits the learning capacity and health of our students. Lessons start at 10am and finish at 4:15pm, giving up to 50 hours more teaching each year and greater scope for enrichment activities and work experience. The fresh approach to timetabling is based on academic research into the optimum learning methods for teenagers. It provides: BETTER STUDY TIME • Up to 50 hours more teaching time each year • More in-depth study BETTER USE OF THE DAY • A later start means that students are ready to learn • Trapped time between lessons is removed • Blocks of time enable study, work experience, enrichment activities or part-time employment • Less ‘school-like’ BETTER PREPARATION FOR THE FUTURE • Longer lessons enable independent study skills and more support to better prepare students for life after College at university and employment The College is open as usual from 8:30am – 5:00pm for independent study and workshops. THE LONGER LESSONS There is one morning lesson, starting at 10am and one afternoon lesson after lunch, both with a short break. Longer lessons provide opportunities for more dynamic and in-depth learning with a range of interesting activities and greater support. We surveyed our students who joined us in September 2017 and 93% recommend our new timetable, 97% like the 10am start, 95% like having just one or two longer sessions in a day. WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY ‘The new College timetable enables us to cover more content in each lesson and to have the time to focus in greater depth and detail on exploring our chosen subjects.’ Lucy Bayliss, previously at Amery Hill School


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 6 TUTOR AND GROUP SESSIONS Our tutor sessions take place at the end of the morning lesson with the teacher who has just taught you. They focus on your academic progress and development. You will also be in a group ‘Forum’ session every other week covering a range of issues from UCAS to Apprenticeships and Resilience to Cybersafety. TRAVEL AND THE NEW DAY The College is open as usual from 8.30am5pm for workshops and studying. Stagecoach buses ensure students arrive for 10am lessons and we welcome students earlier if they wish to complete independent study.* WHAT OUR TEACHERS SAY “The change to the timetable has revolutionised teaching and learning. The longer lessons enable teachers and students to work their way through the thinking skills required for successful outcome at A Level, from the basic content recall right up to formulating an argument and reaching an evaluative conclusion. In every lesson, students are able to apply their learning to exam practise, enabling them to self-reflect and receive feedback from their teacher.” Fiona Webb, Curriculum Manager for Humanities and Social Sciences ‘The 10am start improves learning, partly because students are in better health, and partly because older teenagers learn better later in the day.’ Dr Paul Kelley of the Open University (formerly, University of Oxford) OUTSTANDING SUPPORT UNIVERSITY: UCAS, OXBRIDGE AND UCAS CONSERVATOIRES We will support you whilst you apply to university, including Oxbridge and Russell Group universities (see the Aspire Programme on page 13) and you will have the opportunity to visit a UCAS convention during your first year. We host over 90 representatives from universities, employers and gap year providers at our annual Progression Fair. We also have a really strong track record of acceptance to top Music Conservatoires. See page 33 for more information. WORK: CAREERS ADVICE Our dedicated Careers Adviser is available to help you make decisions on your next steps after College; from staying on at College to study for an HND in Engineering or a Foundation Degree in Early Years or a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design to Higher Education, apprenticeships or employment. Read more about choosing careers on page 36. EMPLOYMENT AND APPRENTICESHIPS We prepare students for employment and support them in making applications for apprenticeship schemes with local, regional and national firms, from law to construction to accounting, see page 19. Employers and Apprenticeship Providers attend our Forum sessions and annual Progression Fair and events. *Skills For Learning students start their day at 9am and finish at 3pm or 4pm. See more on page 91.


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7 THE COLLEGE DAY THE COLLEGE DAY EXAMPLE A LEVEL TIMETABLE: With staff that teach you 8:30 - 10:00 MON TUES 10:00 - 12:30 ART BIOLOGY 12:30 - 1:00 1:00 - 1:45 TUTOR SESSION (12:30 - 1:00) LUNCH LUNCH 1:45 - 4:15 4:15 - 5:00 EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION, ASPIRE WED Such as Jazz Band or MedSoc THURS ENRICHMENT FRI ENGLISH LITERATURE LUNCH ENGLISH LITERATURE LUNCH LUNCH ART BIOLOGY EXAMPLE VOCATIONAL TIMETABLE: Tutor Session or Forum Session, alternate weeks 8:30 - 10:00 10:00 - 12:30 12:30 - 1:00 1:00 - 1:45 1:45 - 4:15 4:15 - 5:00 MON TUES WED THURS FRI ENGINEERING LUNCH ENGINEERING ENGINEERING EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION OR LEARNING SUPPORT SPORTS TRAINING Information from specialist staff on work LUNCH experience, aapnpdreunntiivceersshitipysLUNCH FORUM SESSION (12:30 - 1:00) LUNCH LUNCH ENGINEERING SPORTS FIXTURES Play rugby or football ENGINEERING ENGINEERING OF THE STUDENTS WHO JOINED US IN SEPTEMBER 2017, 93% recommend our new timetable 97% like the 10am start 95% like having just one or two lessons in a day


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 8 TRAVEL IS EASY! Students travel to College from across Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire and West Sussex. There are a variety of easy ways to get here. TRAIN The station is a short walk from campus and tickets are available from CAR There is some parking available to the rear of College off Edward Road. Car park permits can be purchased termly or annually from the Student Hub and must be displayed at all times. BUS The brilliant annual UniRider ticket is available from Stagecoach which you can use to travel to College during the week, at weekends and throughout the holidays. 9:00Am 9:00Am 9:30Am 9:15am 9:25am By bus 9:15Am 9:10Am 8:55Am 9:00am


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9 SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS The Alton College Foundation is an independent registered charity which rewards excellence amongst students. There are two schemes: Scholarships for Excellence and the Development Fund. DEVELOPMENT FUND GRANTS The Development Fund aims to encourage and support activities that will enable the College and its students to succeed in a changing educational environment. Grants of up to £500 are available to hard-working students in need of extra help for specific activities such as field trips, additional tuition or resource materials. SCHOLARSHIPS FOR EXCELLENCE Scholarships of up to £400 a year are offered in a wide range of subjects to those students achieving the highest grades in their GCSEs or those who show exceptional talent in Art, Drama, Music and Sport. Scholarships of £300 are offered by the Alton Decorative and Fine Arts Society (ADFAS) to talented artists applying for the post-18 years Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course. OUR SUPPORTERS INCLUDE: • Alton Chamber of Commerce and Industry • Alton College Foundation Alumni Scholars • Alton Decorative and Fine Arts Society • Alton Lions (CIO) • Dischma Trust • Ellis Campbell Foundation • Mr Nicholas Branch • Mrs Merula Frankel • Mr George Heller • Sir Simon and Lady Virginia Robertson • The Aerogen Company Limited • The Rotary Club of Alton • Sir James Scott Registered charity no. 1079285 Over the past 16 years the ACF has provided 293 students scholarships valuing nearly £240,000


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 10 MEAGAN HARRINGTON PREVIOUSLY AT: HEATH END SCHOOL STUDYING: BIOLOGY, GEOGRAPHY, MATHS, EPQ NEXT STEP: STUDY HUMAN SCIENCES AT UCL OR THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD I chose Alton College because of its academic record and the positive learning environment; the New College Day also makes learning much more enjoyable, as we can fully explore a topic in a single lesson. I was delighted to receive the Nicholas Branch Scholarship for Excellence in Humanities, which has allowed me to do research for my EPQ and attend taster sessions at various universities, helping to inform my Higher Education choices and further explore my subjects. APPLY NOW Visit and apply by 15 November 2019.


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11 OUR QUALIFICATIONS EXPLAINED OUR QUALIFICATIONS EXPLAINED Before you apply to study here, come to an Open Day: experience the unique Alton College atmosphere, speak to our specialist experienced staff and find out what it’s really like to study here from our amazing students. Keep up-to-date at and follow us on social media. You will discuss course ideas and preferences during your College Guidance interview. Final course decisions will be made when you enrol after you’ve received your exam results. The following table outlines the type of study programmes we offer*: GCSE EXAM RESULTS Mainly 9-7 grade profile 6-4 grade profile Mainly 3 grade profile Mainly 3-1 grade profile or other achievements No formal qualifications (U) SUGGESTED STUDY PROGRAMMES+ • Aspire Programme • 3 or 4 A levels • Full BTEC / Cambridge Technical • EPQ • 3 A levels • Full BTEC / Cambridge Technical • Mixed A level and BTEC / Cambridge Technical • Level 2 BTEC / Cambridge Technical Programme • Skills for Learning Programme • Skills for Learning Programme *All other qualifications are taken into account when agreeing your study programme. +A re-sit will be required for those students who have achieved Grade 3 or below for GCSE English or Maths.


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 12 A LEVEL AND VOCATIONAL COURSES WHAT ARE LEVEL 3 QUALIFICATIONS? A LEVELS In 2017 all A level subjects became ‘Linear’ which means assessment takes place at the end of the two year course. BTEC / CAMBRIDGE TECHNICAL EXTENDED DIPLOMA You will study one course over two years. On successful completion of this course you will have a qualification equivalent to 3 A levels. BTEC SUBSIDIARY DIPLOMA / BTEC EXTENDED CERTIFICATE / CAMBRIDGE TECHNICAL INTRODUCTORY DIPLOMA This subject will be studied over two years. Successful completion of this subject will give you a qualification equivalent to 1 A level. This course will be studied alongside 2 others, these may be A levels or other single BTECS/ Cambridge Technicals. I’M THINKING OF STUDYING A VOCATIONAL COURSE WHEN I LEAVE COLLEGE... Are A levels a better choice than BTECs / Cambridge Technicals? It depends on what your next steps are. BTEC / Cambridge Technicals can be preferable especially if you plan on studying a vocational course at university, or if you are planning on starting an apprenticeship. Do universities prefer A levels? It depends on the course. For example, the BTEC Extended Diploma is the equivalent of 3 A levels. A lot will depend on which course you may want to study at university. Can I study A levels and BTEC or a Cambridge Technical together? Yes. Mixed study programmes are a popular choice. What if I change my mind about the subjects I wish to study after I have applied? Don’t worry, you can discuss your course choices at your Guidance Interview Find out more at WHAT ARE LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS? BTEC / CAMBRIDGE TECHNICAL These are one year programmes which on successful completion will allow you to move onto Level 3 courses or employment. WHAT ARE FOUNDATION QUALIFICATIONS? We offer a variety of Skills for Learning Programmes. Please see page 91 for more details. For more information visit or call the Student Hub 01420 592212 WORK EXPERIENCE Getting experience of the workplace is really important in helping the workforce of tomorrow develop and strengthen their employability skills and meet the challenges of the future. Our vocational courses have Work Experience built in and we have dedicated staff to help source placements. In some of our vocational courses we are developing extended work placements of up to 60 days per year, in line with the Department for Education’s drive to develop work-related learning, and are really excited about the benefits this will bring. However, we recognise the importance of work experience for all students and those not planning on going to university, in particular, will be strongly advised and supported to seek work experience to help them with their decision making and employability skills.


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13 ASPIRE ASPIRE We are committed to ensuring our high achieving students maximise their potential and go on to study at top universities including Oxford and Cambridge. OUR ASPIRE PROGRAMME INCLUDES: • Extension Qualifications • Curriculum Support • Applying to Competitive Courses (ACC) • Extra Curricular Enrichment EXTENSION QUALIFICATIONS Extension qualifications enhance your UCAS application; they range from extra qualifications to taking part in national competitions. Other opportunities include the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and our specialist music courses. WHAT IS THE EPQ? A research project on a topic of your choice guided by a dedicated supervisor. Final submission could be a report, music, even a film. Universities and employers highly value the EPQ and you may even get a lower university offer if you are taking the EPQ. See page 15. CURRICULUM SUPPORT Your teachers will work with you to stretch and challenge you in your studies and encourage you to aspire to exceed your target grades. You will undertake extension tasks, wider reading and enter competitions such as the Newnham Essay Prize. APPLYING TO COMPETITIVE COURSES (ACC) PROGRAMME This course prepares you for the challenges of the university admission process, helping you deliver an enhanced application to ensure you have a competitive advantage. This also includes help with admissions tests, Q&A sessions with current Oxbridge students who studied at Alton College, and talks and workshops delivered by visiting speakers from top universities. EXTRA CURRICULAR Aspire students are encouraged to take part in activities across subject areas. These include national competitions such as the law-focussed ‘Bar Mock Trial’, UK Olympiads in Maths or the Sciences and MedSoc which helps candidates apply successfully to study medicine at university. ENTERPRISE AND EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS We prepare and inspire students for university and employment. In partnership with Unloc we offer business and social enterprise focussed short courses and whole day courses dedicated to developing core business skills. Read more on p26. 84% of alumni achieve 1st Class or 2:1 Honours Degrees at university.


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 14 SOPHIE DAVIS PREVIOUSLY AT: DITCHAM PARK SCHOOL STUDYING: CHEMISTRY, GEOGRAPHY, MATHS NEXT STEP: STUDY EARTH SCIENCES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD Knowledgeable and inspiring teachers are one of the main reasons I chose Alton College. Studying in a friendly, independent environment has made my time here both enjoyable and valuable. An excellent aspect of the College is the help with university applications, specifically the ‘Applying to Competitive Courses’ programme. I received one-to-one advice on my personal statement and interview preparation, thoroughly improving my university application.



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