The Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification
Ysgol Bro Gwaun gives pupils in Years 10-13 the opportunity to study the Welsh Baccalaureate at advanced, intermediate and foundation levels. Staff in the department:
Mrs E Hooper: Welsh Baccalaureate Coordinator
Year 12/13 Welsh Bacc tutor
The Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification
There is no examination for the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification, apart from the normal OPTION subject examinations. Learners are expected to compile a PORTFOLIO of evidence to show their competence in all of the CORE activity areas.
The qualification consists of TWO main parts:
Part 1 - the Core:
This is made up of FIVE parts, which include:
- Work Related Education
One of the great things about the Welsh Baccalaureate is that it gives credit to learners for all the activities that they already do as part of the curriculum. Work related education allows learners to be part of an enterprise activity (e.g. Charity Fund Raising, helping with Dragons Den, etc) and to complete a period of work experience in Years 10/12, which all aim to improve business awareness.
- Personal and Social Education
This explores a wide range of issues such as health and emotional well-being, positive relationships, active citizenship, social responsibility, and sustainable development. It also includes community work (either in-school or out-of-school activities), for example work with the school House system, Eisteddfod work, YFC etc.
- Essential and Key Skills
The six Essential / Key Skills are ICT, Application of Number (AoN), Communication, Working with Others (WwO), Problem Solving (PS) and Improving your Own Learning Performance (IOLP).
A learner will need to achieve 3 Key Skills at Level 3 (one of which must be Communication, ICT or Application of Number), and the other three at Level 2, to achieve an Advanced Diploma.
In order to achieve the Intermediate Diploma a learner needs to complete FOUR of the Key Skills, two at Level 2 and two at Level 1 (which must include Communication, Application of Number and ICT). In addition he/she must have evidence of pursuing the other Key Skills in the portfolio of evidence.
At Foundation level, learners must achieve FOUR of the Key Skills at Level 1, which must include one form communication, ICT or Application of Number. Learners will be given more detailed information at the start of Yr 10 / sixth form).
- Wales, Europe and the World
This provides the opportunity to learn more about Wales and its wider relationships with Europe and the world. Within this element of the Core learners will study some of the following key issues;
a. Political issues
b. Social challenges and responses
c. The impact of economic and technological change
d. Heritage and cultural perspectives
Wales, Europe and the World also includes a language module. In Years 10 and 11 this is delivered through the compulsorily Welsh lessons which pupils have. In Year 12, this is delivered through an intensive 4 day programme, during the summer term in Year 12.
- The Individual Investigation
This allows learners to carry out personal research into a topic of their own choosing and interest. The learner takes a high level of personal responsibility for the investigation which can be presented in written or oral form. More detail on this is given out throughout the year at appropriate times.
Part 2, OPTIONS:
This is made up of a number of subjects offered as part of the normal school curriculum e.g. GCSE / BTEC/ AS / A2 subjects.
To achieve an Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma, a learner must complete TWO or more A levels (grades A-E) and the CORE programme. The Advanced level is equivalent to 120 UCAS points, an A at “A” level.
To achieve the Intermediate Diploma, learners will need to achieve four GCSE’s (grades A*-C) and the Core programme. The Intermediate level is equivalent to 3 GCSE’s grades A*-C.
At Foundation level, learners need to achieve four grades D-G at GCSE, and complete the Core. The Foundation level is equivalent to 3 GCSE’s grades D-G.
Aims of the Welsh Baccalaureate department
The aim of the qualification is to provide a broad and balanced, skills based education in preparation for university, training or work. The emphasis is on learning by doing, demonstrating initiative and active participation.
- The qualification proves that learners have developed the Key and Essential Skills considered important by employers and universities.
- Learners get help to succeed, being allocated to a Learning Coach, who will support and advise them through the whole process, over two years.
- Rather than adding to learner’s workload, the Welsh Baccalaureate Core activities improve learner understanding and performance in their Option subjects.