The revised and more rigorous Welsh Baccalaureate is based on a Skills Challenge Certificate, which will be graded, and Supporting Qualifications. The primary aim is to enable learners to develop and demonstrate an understanding of and proficiency in essential and employability skills:
The emphasis is on applied and purposeful learning and to provide opportunities for assessment in a range of real life contexts through three Challenge Briefs and an Individual Project.
Learners will engage in active, creative, open ended and learner-led activities.
The objective is for the learners to increase their confidence, and their motivation for skills development; whilst working independently, taking on responsibility and working effectively with others.
University responses to the new WBQ qualification have been very positive, and they recognise the value of the more rigorous new specification. Many universities have been liaising with the WJEC to produce challenges that will help students better prepare to make the transition from A levels to studying in Higher Education
- A typical offer for studying History at Cardiff University is: AAB, however this year a student from NPTC Group has received an offer of ABB, with any one of these grades being obtained through successful completion of the WBQ
- Exeter University currently welcomes the WBQ as being equivalent to any other A-level, and offers are made accordingly.
“The Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate) is unusual as a qualification whose content is in large part led by students themselves. We enormously 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, through the tasks and challenges set, 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 Neath Port Talbot College 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 vitally important. Overall, the WBQ is a diverse, well rounded qualification that has numerous benefits whether continuing onto 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 on 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. It really has given me the confidence that I needed! It is fantastic qualification that I would recommend it to all students.”
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 who were not studying the same A Levels as me. 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 on my chosen degree course of 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.
I would recommend this qualification to everyone”
Jarrod Thomas, Former Pupil: Cwrt Sart Comprehensive School
“Studying the WBQ has been interesting and 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 course is delivered in the same way as traditional A Level courses, except there is no examination based assessment. Two Challenges are delivered at AS and a further two at A2.
Global Citizenship Challenge: The purpose of the Global Citizenship Challenge is to develop learners’ skills, whilst providing opportunities to understand and respond appropriately to global issues.
Community Challenge: The purpose of the Community Challenge is to develop learners’ skills, whilst encouraging learners to identify, develop and participate in opportunities that will benefit a community.
Individual Project: The purpose of the Individual Project is to develop learners’ skills, through carrying out a research activity with an emphasis on future educational or career aspirations. Many students have found this beneficial when being interviewed by universities as the feedback suggests that HE courses felt this showed a genuine commitment to the area of study. This unit is worth 50% of the qualification.
Enterprise and Employability Challenge: The purpose of the Enterprise and Employability Challenge is to develop learners’ skills, whilst providing opportunities for learners to develop enterprising skills and attributes and enhance employability.
This year has seen exceptional WBQ results across the college. Within the 6th Form Academy 24% of A level students studying this qualification achieved an A*-A grade, with 99.1% of all A level students achieving an A* – E grade.
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 will undoubtedly be beneficial in Cardiff University where I will be studying Psychology.”
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.”
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 really helpful and supportive.”