The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate is a qualification that is studied by over 1000 students throughout NPTC Group of Colleges.
The central focus of the Welsh Baccalaureate at Advanced level is to provide a vehicle for all Level 3 learners to consolidate and progress the development of essential and employability skills. the qualification will help learners develop more complex skills, attributes and behaviors. It will provide experiences which will enable learners to be better prepared for their future destination, whether university, further training or employment. The Welsh Baccalaureate will encourage the learner to value skills development as a key aspect of education and life-long learning. Offering a learning experience relevant to the needs and demands of the workplace will develop learners’ confidence, drive and initiative, preparing them to enter, succeed and progress in the world of work. Through the Welsh Baccalaureate learners will raise their skills levels and confidence, enabling and empowering them to take their place as responsible and active citizens within a diverse society. Alongside and through the development of skills, the Welsh Baccalaureate provides learners with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of society, the community in which they live and an awareness of global issues, events and perspectives.
The Welsh Baccalaureate is based on a Skills Challenge Certificate alongside Supporting Qualifications, such as two A Levels or a L3 BTEC. The requirements of both the Skills Challenge Certificate and Supporting Qualifications must be met in order to achieve the overarching Welsh Baccalaureate.
- A typical offer to study History at Cardiff University is AAB, however, a student from NPTC Group received an offer with ABB, through successful completion of the WBQ.
- Exeter University welcomes the WBQ as being equivalent to any other A-level, with offers made accordingly.
“The Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate) is a qualification whose content is in large part led by students themselves.
We value the self-motivation, curiosity, and independent-mindedness this approach to learning develops. It is these characteristics, along with three excellent A-levels, that we look for at competitive universities like Oxford.”
Dr. Matthew Williams, Access and Career Development Fellow, Jesus College, Oxford.
“The WBQ has equipped me with the necessary skills to approach a range of real-life problem scenarios that employers are highly enthusiastic about. I would encourage everyone, of all abilities, to complete the WBQ.
One key skill that I developed whilst studying the WBQ at NPTC Group of Colleges’ was being able to think critically; this has particularly helped me in my Law degree at Cardiff University, as the ability to critically analyse case law and legislation is vital. Overall, the WBQ is a well-rounded qualification with numerous benefits for Higher Education or the world of work.”
Camron Griffiths, Former Head Boy of Birchgrove Comprehensive School
“Choosing the Welsh Baccalaureate as one of my A-Levels has really been a massive help through my University experience. This qualification develops key skills such as, mathematical skills, geographical skills, and critical thinking skills which enabled me to put forward balanced and evaluative arguments.
The skills I gained from this qualification have been so useful in my current Teacher Training course in university as through developing my own literacy and numeracy skills, I can use these skills to help me plan English and Maths lessons for children of various age groups. Overall, It has given me the confidence that I needed.”
Shauna Wright, Former Deputy Head Girl of Dwr y Felin Comprehensive School
“The Welsh Baccalaureate allowed me to develop many friendships and meet new people. This diversity allowed me to see the WBQ Challenges from different perspectives. The skills I developed on the WBQ have better equipped me to succeed in my chosen degree course in Biochemistry.
For example, when working with others on experiments I am more confident and enjoy problem-solving in the lab work. I am able to use my critical thinking skills when carrying out research and analysing my results, and I am able to reference my work accurately. These are skills that I developed through the WBQ alongside my other A Level subject and I would recommend this qualification to everyone.”
Jarrod Thomas, Former Pupil: Cwrt Sart Comprehensive School
“The WBQ has been interesting to study and has given me skills that have helped with other subjects like Law and History.”
Ruth Harry, AS Student
“I have really enjoyed the teamwork as part of the WBQ and it has been good to work with people who would otherwise not have been in my classes.”
Callum Evans, AS Student
The Skills Challenge Certificate consists of four components which are followed by all learners:
- Individual Project
- Enterprise and Employability Challenge
- Global Citizenship Challenge
- Community Challenge
The Skills Challenge Certificate has been designed to include learning and assessment which will enthuse, engage and motivate learners in the classroom, the workplace and the wider community. There are no end of year exams; the three Challenges and the Individual Project include portfolio-based assessments which are externally moderated by the WJEC.
At AS/Yr12 the Community Challenge and Global Citizenship Challenge will be studied and assessed. At A2/Yr13 the Enterprise and Employability Challenge and Individual Project will be studied and assessed.
Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate Results
The academic year 20/21 saw some exceptional SCC results across NPTC Group, with 43.9% of students achieving between an A*-C grade and 100% of students achieving an A*-E grade.
A former pupil of Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive School
Advanced WBQ: A*
A Level 3D Design: A*
A-Level Psychology: A
A Level: Geology
“Studying the WBQ enabled me to develop a range of skills that I would not have achieved from A-Level study alone.
In particular, my Individual Investigation on anxiety and depression is beneficial for my Psychology degree at Cardiff University”.
A former pupil of Sandfields Comprehensive School
Advanced WBQ: A
A-Level French: B
A-Level Religious Studies: B
“I was offered A, B, B to study French at Swansea University. The WBQ helped me loads as it enabled me to get in by providing me with the A.”
A former pupil of Dyffryn Comprehensive School:
Advanced WBQ: A
A-Level Sociology: B
A Level History: C
“ I am going to study Law at Swansea University. Without WBQ I would not have met my offer requirements. I enjoyed the course and the lecturers were all helpful and supportive.”