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First ever cohort of T Level students graduate

First ever cohort of T Level students graduate

Peter Symonds College is celebrating the graduation today of students on the Education and Childcare T Level course, who are among the first ever cohort of students to study T Level qualifications.

Launched in September 2020 as an alternative to A levels, apprenticeships and other 16 to 19 courses, T Levels are equivalent to 3 A levels. T Levels focus on vocational skills and can help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships.

Peter Symonds was part of the first wave of colleges selected to provide T Level qualifications in September 2020, offering the Education and Childcare T Level. This first cohort has completed the two-year course and is now going on to take up university and other higher education courses or move into the workplace.

Among students who took the new T Level qualification at Peter Symonds, there was a 100% pass rate with ten out of eleven students gaining a distinction grade.

Students particularly enjoyed learning from experts actively practising in the field, with former Westgate School student, Gemma Hough, saying, “Guest speakers helped me to understand specific topics in greater depth and it was helpful to speak to people with direct recent experience.” Student Charlotte Rhodes gave the example of a visit from Norwood Nannies as “a great way of seeing possible different pathways into a career.”

Students must complete 315 hours of work experience as part of the T Level and many found this one of the most interesting aspects of the course. Student Skye Paterson said, “Theories we cover in class we get to see for ourselves in action on placement, which really helps you understand them better.”

Charlotte said, “It’s a direct route into teaching for those wanting to be a teacher and the Peter Symonds team delivering the course were brilliant; amazing, supportive and easy to get along with.”

Teacher Dawn Springate, who runs the Education and Childcare T Level at Peter Symonds College, said, “It’s been really exciting to be part of the first wave of T Level providers and a great privilege to be able to offer our students the opportunity to gain a qualification which will really help them achieve their ambitions. The students have been motivated, enthusiastic and committed and they are well-positioned to achieve their future goals.

“They’ve worked so hard and I am so proud of all they have achieved today.”

Following on from the success of the Education and Childcare T Level, Peter Symonds College will be launching a second T Level in Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty in September 2023.

Gemma, who is now in full-time employment at a nursery, concluded, “If feels quite inspirational to be some of the first students to complete T Levels.” Skye agreed, adding, “It’s a really good course and will get a lot of recognition from other colleges and higher education providers. Interest is building and I predict more students will choose to do T Levels in future.”