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The Study Programme

The Course

Our students undertake a Study Programme which is made up of different elements that are designed to create a balanced and informative programme of study. These elements include:

  • The main curriculum qualification
  • English and/or maths
  • Personal and social skills development which are embedded into the tutorial, coaching and enrichment programme
  • Careers advice and entitlement
  • Work placements

The Study Programmes are full time programmes of study and will develop the skills and knowledge in areas that will help students gain employment and succeed in life. Further details about the main qualification, the level and, the awarding body can be found in the Course Handbook, which is given to all students, and in your Welcome Letter.

Employers often identify additional qualifications to enhance students’ employability and we have incorporated these into our courses wherever appropriate.

The development of English and maths will help students to develop the essential skills required within employment and everyday life. Many of the lessons are directly linked to the area of study and give students the potential to achieve greater success in their chosen area of study and in the work place. These lessons will develop the following skills:

  • English, to improve reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • Practical maths, for everyday life
  • Problem solving skills
  • Employability skills, including letter writing, CV writing and interview techniques

Students joining the College with a GCSE English or maths at Grade D will be resitting their GCSE.

Further information about Additional Learning Goals (ALGs) and the English and maths qualifications can be found in the Course Handbook. All of these qualifications are a fundamental part of the course and students need to achieve them all to be successful and progress onto another course.

The first six weeks of the course is the induction period and will provide an introduction to the College and course. During the first week students will get to know their Personal Tutor and their group peers. These activities are designed to help students settle in and make friends quickly.

Draft timetables are given out at enrolment, with further details provided during Induction. For reasons beyond our control, timetables and tutors can be subject to change throughout the academic year, although we will try to keep any disruption to a minimum.

The course timetable has been designed to provide students with as much flexibility as possible and to give them time during the working week to access support and services within the College including the Learning Resource Centre, Additional Learning Support and Study Clubs.

Each course is delivered within a curriculum area, located in one of the faculties in the College. The team immediately responsible for each course consists of:

  • The Personal Tutor
  • The Course Manager (who may be the same person as the Personal Tutor)
  • The Team Leader
  • The Head of Faculty

In addition there may be several lecturers delivering different aspects of the course dependent on their subject specialisms.

Names and contact details for the above are identified in the Course Handbook.

The Personal Tutor will:

  • Help students settle into the course and the College
  • Run both Group and Individual Tutorials
  • Record student attendance and talk to students about attendance, punctuality and progress
  • Collate marks/assessments through an electronic assessment mark book and keep students informed of progress in their Individual Tutorials
  • Talk to other staff as necessary on students’ behalf and encourage them to take responsibility for approaching appropriate staff to seek assistance with academic and other problems
  • Keep students informed of any changes
  • For students under the age of 18, on 31st August prior to the start of their course, they will keep you informed of student attendance and progress

Group Tutorials are timetabled weekly and are a valuable part of the course where additional skills and subjects are covered. The programme is designed to help students develop social and communications skills, along with the confidence to apply for jobs or courses.

A range of tutorial handbooks and guides are given to all students during induction and are available on Moodle.

Moodle is also an important place for students to access course learning materials, information, newsletters, Learner Voice feedback, financial guidance, College policies, Student Union information and more. Students can access Moodle from home, provided their computer has internet access, as well as at College.

Individual Tutorials – are where students have the opportunity to meet with their Personal Tutor on a regular basis throughout the year to discuss their progress, College attendance, targets and ambitions and to complete their e-ILP (Individual Learning Planning). Students can also raise any concerns during their tutorial session or with their Personal Tutor at any time.

Whilst at College, students have the opportunity to experience the type of work that they hope to do and of the expectations of potential future employers. Work Experience both on and off campus is an integral part of the course and Study Programme.

Work experience will be undertaken in a real business environment relevant to the subject interest of the student and will be gained through a number of routes:

  • Whilst on an industrial placement
  • Whilst working on a planned daily or weekly basis on the College’s commercial/educational facilities
  • Whilst undertaking voluntary work within the industry
  • As a member of a group of students invited to carry out practical work in a suitable business

Whilst tutors will offer support and guidance on placements available, students are required to find their own industrial placement. Further details will be given to students from their Personal Tutor.

Throughout the academic year, students may have the opportunity to go on trips and/or attend workshops. Initial information on the trips planned for students can be found in the Course Handbook and the Personal Tutor will inform students, in writing, the details, including costs, of any trips/workshops they are required to attend. For those students under the age of 18, on 31st August prior to the start of their course, you will be required to sign a consent form for health and safety reasons.

The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) has a collection of learning resources selected to support students to succeed in their course. Staff will also provide valuable information and guidance.

Students have access to books, e-books, magazines, DVDs and more through the LRC. Students should get into the habit of visiting the LRC Moodle pages and searching our catalogue when looking for information for an assignment, all of which can be done from home.

There are further details in the College Student Handbook.

West Kent and Ashford College welcomes all students, but understands everyone has different needs and some students might need extra support to get the most out of College life.

Our team of specialist Additional Learning Support (ALS) staff are here to assist you with your studies and will work closely with you to arrange support and make reasonable adjustments so that you can achieve your learning goals, reach your full potential and work towards independence.

If you have an Education Health Care (EHC) plan or support need, we will arrange for you to have a confidential meeting with a member of the ALS team. We might recommend a programme of support that includes one to one out of class specialist teaching, classroom assistance and/or drop in to the Additional Learning Support Centre. Your support plan will be guided by you and reviewed regularly to make sure it meets your needs as they change.

The ALS Team can provide support for:

  • Specific learning difficulties - dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADD and ADHD
  • Speech, language and communication
  • Aspergers and Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC)
  • Behavioural, Emotional Social and Difficulties (BESD)
  • Hearing and visual impairment
  • Physical and mobility difficulties
  • Medical conditions
  • Irlen syndrome
  • English and maths
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Exam Concessions and Drop in Hub

If you previously had special arrangements in class and for Examinations (extra time, a reader, or scribe) or think you might qualify, we will support you to assess your needs. To start the process, you will need to speak to your tutor, and confirm this is your normal way of working. You will also be asked to provide evidence, for example, an Educational Psychologist report, or other documentation. If you do not have any evidence or it has expired, the ALS Team can help you to obtain this.

The Drop in Hub is available for all students. Further details about the support we can offer and the ALS team can be found on Moodle or by:

Visiting us: Tonbridge T3-A24
By email: als@westkentandashford.ac.uk
Phone: 01732 372403

Enrichment is all about adding to students’ life experiences, through a variety of exciting activities and events. These can include learning new skills, helping other people within the community or local areas, joining volunteering projects, attending a range of workshops or sampling offsite activities. Further details are available in the ‘Activities, Events and Enrichment Handbook’.

We hope all students will be successful with their chosen course. For those students wishing to progress to a higher level qualification, full details on all the courses offered by the College can be found in the College prospectus and on the website.

For those students looking for support with career plans, the College has a Careers Hub, which offers the following services:

  • Careers and guidance interviews
  • Job and apprenticeship searches, internally and externally advertised vacancies
  • Work Experience and voluntary placement assistance
  • UCAS applications including personal statement advice
  • CVs and covering letters guidance
  • Interview tips, techniques and practice
  • Careers workshops
  • Careers fairs and events
  • The Careers Team can be found at all sites and students can ‘drop in’ or book an appointment at the Careers Hub.