Vocational Subjects

Head of Subjects: Mr Peter Carpenter

Welcome to the vocational faculty page, we hope we can give you a greater understanding of the nature of vocational education, the courses and qualifications available to the students.

What is Vocational Education?

Vocational education is education that prepares students for work in a specific trade. Vocational courses are available across a wide range of subjects and industries, from animal care, business studies, construction to IT. They are a good option for students who have a clear idea of what type of career or trade they would like to work in or if they prefer to work on an assignment based assessment. Vocational qualifications can also give students an edge in job searches, since they already have the certifiable knowledge they need to enter the field.

Key Stage 4

Vocational courses are only available to students as an optional subject, therefore it is only taught from KS4, however the skills required are integrated throughout the school curriculum.

Animal Care

Animal care is a vital sector of the land based industry and is important to the UK economy. This course gives an introductory overview to some of the key knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to the animal care industry. Learners will study animal health, safe animal handling skills, animal welfare and basic principles of animal behaviour. Learners will study: 2 core units and 2 optional units

Core Units

Animal Health- Developing knowledge and understanding of animal health, disease and parasite prevention, how to assess the health of dogs, cats, rabbits, goats, chickens and bearded dragons. You will learn about common diseases and disorders found in the species that you study.

Animal handling- Learn how to become competent in handling and restraining small animals, the reasons why it is necessary to handle and restrain animals, health inspections, grooming and training. Develop safe working practices with small animals.

Optional Units

Animal welfare - Purposes of working animals, responsibilities of pet owners, promoting good animal welfare, animal housing and accommodation. Learn about animal housing, understanding of purpose, characteristics of animal bedding, how and why different types of housing and bedding are suitable for the needs of different animals.

Principles of animal behaviour - identify what is normal animal behaviour as well as abnormal behaviour. Visual monitoring and recording of animal behaviour, developing observation skills when monitoring animals.


Learners must complete the two core units, and two optional units, these are of equal weight. This includes an externally assessed Animal Health unit and three internally assessed units of work.

Business Studies

The qualification equips you to understand businesses in the real world and how they operate. You will be presented with various assignments which will equip you for life in the business world. Students will be able to experience the practicalities involved in setting up and running their own business venture. Real life business examples and case studies are used wherever possible to provide students with as much practical experience as possible.

Unit 1 – Enterprise in the Business world – learn about current trends in the business world, and how they impact on business start-ups. Plan a new idea for a business start-up and experience all aspects of setting a business up.

Unit 2 – Finance for Business (exam unit) – understand the costs involved in a business, and how a business makes a profit, understand how businesses plan for success, understand how businesses measure success and identify areas for improvement.

Unit 3 – Promoting a brand – Explore the use of branding and the promotional mix in business. Develop and promote a brand for a business.

Unit 8 – Recruitment, selection and employment – students will learn how and why businesses recruit. They will be able to experience writing application documents and taking part in a selection exercise.


Learners must complete the two core units, and two optional units, these are of equal weight. This includes an externally assessed finance unit and three internally assessed units of work.

Construction and the Built Environment

The built environment is where we live and work every day. This qualification has been developed to introduce learners to how the built environment is developed, from planning and design, sustainable development through to re-use and demolition, the occupations and professions, as well as some basic craft skills. It offers learners the chance to personalise their learning experience by studying subjects that are suited to their area of interest and resources.

Core Units

Unit 1: Construction Technology – this unit covers the different forms of construction that can be used for low-rise offices, retail units and homes. Learners will develop an understanding of the structural performance required for low-rise construction, and explore how substructures and superstructures are constructed. This unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: Construction and Design – in this unit learners will develop a broad understanding of the construction industry, the sort of projects it undertakes and the contribution it makes to wider society. Learners will also look at how clients’ needs can shape the design of a building, and develop their own design ideas to a given brief.

Unit 3 (Mandatory): Scientific and Mathematical Applications for Construction – in this unit learners will apply scientific and mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills to practical construction contexts. Learners will develop an understanding of the scientific principles affecting the performance of construction materials and develop skills to perform mathematical calculations in construction contexts.


Learners must complete the two core units, and two optional units, these are of equal weight. This includes an externally assessed construction technology unit and three internally assessed units of work.

Child Development

Child Development provides an engaging, robust and broad introduction to the early years sector for those learners interested in the sector.

Unit 1: Patterns of Child Development

This unit aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of child development.

You will learn about five different areas of development – physical, cognitive, communication and language, emotional and social – and how these areas are linked.

Unit 2: Promoting Children’s Development through Play

In this unit you will look at how early years settings use play to promote children’s learning and development at different ages and stages, including babies, and the types of play opportunities that early years settings usually provide. You will find that play can be structured in broadly three ways: adult-led, adult-initiated and child initiated play. Each way has its benefits, but also potential disadvantages, and early years settings use a combination of these structures to support children’s play.

Unit 3: The Principles of Early Years Practice

In this unit you will look at some of the key principles that are reflected in best practice in early years. You will learn about inclusive practice as a way of valuing children and ensuring that they can benefit from the opportunities within the setting. You will also explore how children are empowered to ensure that children learn to become independent and develop a strong self-image, as well as ways in which this is put into practice.


This qualification is slightly different from the others as there is only 3 units to complete. Learners must complete the two core units and the mandatory unit, Unit one is an externally assessed unit worth 25% of the total qualification, and second core unit which is internally marked makes up an additional 25%. The remaining 50% is then completed in the final internally assessed unit.

Digital Information Technology

This course will assess the application of IT skills through their practical use. It will provide learners with essential knowledge, transferable skills and tools to improve their learning in other subjects with the aims of enhancing their employability when they leave education.

During this course you will cover all the key ICT skills which will be assessed in an exam. There are a wide variety of optional units which can be chosen including, Web Page Design, Creating Graphics and Comic Creation.


Learners must complete the two core units, and a choice of optional units, these are of equal weight. This includes an externally assessed unit and three internally assessed units of work.

How Can I Help my Child?

  • Encourage them to use the on-line text book and revision activities to help them complete home works and prepare for assessments. 
  • Purchase the recommended revision guides. 
  • Use the EBI comments to improve future work. 
  • Make use additional classes or activities that are offered to get some extra help where needed.



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