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星期四 2016年10月13號

【SCMP Education Post:What is BTEC?】Three Great Schools which offer BTEC qualifications

A British Education offers Hong Kong children irrefutable academic breadth and choice. Among the most renowned qualifications are GCSEs, A-levels, IB and Pre-U. Yet, it is another qualification - the BTEC diploma - which is capturing the attention of pupils and university admissions administrators alike …


BTEC qualifications cover a range of subject disciplines and come in different levels right up level 7, which is equivalent to postgraduate study. Here, however, I will choose to focus on the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma, which is a secondary school leaving and vocational qualification equivalent to A-Levels.


Whereas A-levels are generally exam-based, level 3 BTEC Nationals are career-based vocational qualifications which provide students with the necessary skills for employment and Higher Education. Typical subject areas include Travel and Tourism and Engineering.


It is estimated that around 100,000 BTEC students apply to university every year


Level 3 BTECs can be studied alongside or instead of A-levels and the usual form of assessment is of a continuous nature - coursework and practical projects. Therefore, for Hong Kong pupils who do relish revising for exams, BTECs could be an interesting solution. Given the emphasis on project work and practical work-related activities, the BTEC develops key soft skills such as teamwork, presentation skills and critical thinking.


The standard 18-unit extended BTEC level 3 diploma is equivalent to three A-levels and universities are taking notice of the value of the qualification. For arts and practical degrees, there is an argument that BTECs can put students in a more advantageous position compared with A-level applicants, as they already have a portfolio of work to show off when applying. It is estimated that around 100,000 BTEC students apply to university every year, with the number continuing to increase.


With the aforementioned characteristics of the BTEC in mind, let us consider three UK boarding schools with offer interesting BTEC courses:


Sedbergh School

Established in 1525, the co-educational Sedbergh School is located in the town of Sedbergh in Cumbria. The School benefits from its stunning location, sandwiched as it is between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales National Park.


Sedbergh is one of the few schools which still strives for full boarding, and all of its traditional values and ethos seem to be in place. The School also has an enviable reputation for music and drama. Making the most of the idyllic location, outdoor pursuits and sport are also highly regarded.


While Sedbergh may not be a major provider of BTEC courses, it does still provide two compelling subject choices - BTEC Sport and Exercise Sciences and BTEC Business. The BTEC Sport option is a popular choice with pupils with around 30 students involved in the programme. As for the Business BTEC, Sedbergh strives to deliver the course in a practical way with a strong emphasis on businesses in the real world.


Millfield School

Millfield School is a co-educational independent school for ages 13-18. The school is located in the large village of Street, in the county of Somerset.


Millfield is a hotbed of activity and development. The School has recently benefited from a new Sports Pavilion and a new Equestrian XC Course. Plans are underway for the Millfield Centre for Enterprise at the Senior School where teachers will be able to use digital resources and classroom layouts to achieve a board room feel.


In terms of BTEC qualifications, there are three (multi A-level equivalent) courses available at Level 3 - for Art and Design (three A-level equivalent); Sport (two A-level equivalent) and Business (two A-level equivalent). Additionally, a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology and a BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology are offered. These BTEC courses can be completed alongside up to three other courses in the Lower Sixth as they are only equivalent to a single AS/A-level.


Mount Kelly School

Set in Tavistock, Devon, Mount Kelly is a co-educational day and boarding school for children aged 3 to 18.


A school with high expectations of pupils and an enviable sporting pedigree, Mount Kelly also has a global outlook, with plans in place to open a Prep School in Hong Kong.


In terms of BTEC courses, Mount Kelly offers three variants of the BTEC in Sport Development and Coaching. The courses aid potential elite and non-elite athletes to learn about nutrition, psychology and fitness training, thus offering a healthy blend of practice and theory. Assessment for the BTEC Sport course includes written reports, podcasts and video blogs.


All in all, I have described three excellent schools which offer exciting BTEC courses for pupils who enjoy the practicality of learning and feel they are ready to specialise in a specific field of study.

Original article: 


1 寄宿百科 2 英國大學
3 談英國 4 赴英須知
5 赴英遊學 6 選校攻略
7 留英所得 8 親子關係
9 英名校大比拼 10 留英專家分享

陳思銘(Samuel Chan) 並非如一般外界人所認為的「富二代留學生」,家人數代都在流浮山經營海鮮買賣,父母學歷程度雖然不高,但努力工作賺錢把Samuel從小(9歲)就供養到英國寄宿學校格雷舍姆學院 (Gresham College)讀書,才能讓他早早就體會到英式教育優越全世界的原因。
Samuel Chan在留英之前亦都曾苦於在香港的教育體系中掙扎求存,但是香港朝令夕改的教育制度卻令他的成續止步不前,甚至感到老師也對自己失去興趣。直到接受英式教育後,他深深感受到兩地學制的差異:在英國,永遠是先發掘學生的興趣,再透過「興趣」作為推動其學習的原動力,釋放潛能。在英國,他獲得了使自己能夠表達自己並嘗試新事物的信心,最終以優秀的成續升讀英國頂尖的學府。
Samuel Chan留英長達15年,在諾定咸大學(University of Nottingham)獲得經濟學學士後,在華威大學(The University of Warwick)攻讀完政治經濟系碩士後回流香港。回流香港的Samuel鑑有感於香港教育制度無法充分釋放學生潛力,於是回流英國的他創辦了英識教育,以幫助更多有志留學英國的同學提供各類支援及顧問服務。
白手興手固然辛苦,但奮鬥數年英識教育終獲香港品牌發展局頒發「香港服務名牌」的升學教育中心,亦是同業首間獲此認證的品牌。後來,Samuel於2017年奪得「英國傑出校友獎」,該獎是英國文化協會及多家英國高等院校的共同構思,並由英國文化協舉辦,評選活動獲不少名人及王室人員支持及參與。可見,讓身為香港人的「陳思銘」的名字深深烙印在英國學術界傑出人仕的陳列櫃中。雖然事業受到肯定,但Samuel並不安於現狀,後來在2020年更創立Britannia Gateway 的學術培訓平台,提供更多元化的課程以幫助客戶適應英國課程。

論名氣,Oundle 未追得上 Eton、Wycombe Abbey 等頂級名校,但學校的學術成績在英國依然名列前茅。作為傳統名校,Oundle 非常重視全人發展,為學生提供多元課餘活動選擇。學校奉行英國碩果僅存的 House Dining System,或是令香港家長趨之若鶩的一大原因。
Bromsgrove 的師生比例是一比八,比一般的寄宿學校低。此外,綜合我曾到訪的學校,此校硬件設施之完善,可入選全英設備最佳的三大校園。校方不惜工本為學生提供舒適環境,甚至收購附近的酒店改建成宿舍,令宿生有名符其實的「五星級享受」。此校極具前瞻性,是國際化的英國宿校。
Brighton College 是英國首屈一指的私校,是香港家長最愛的寄宿學校之一。 看一間學校,除了教育宗旨、多元化活動、成績之外,更要看校長的魄力。十年前,校長 Mr. Richard Cairns 成為 Brighton College 校長後,把學校由全英國接近 150 名推至首 20 名。除了在教育方針上大力推動改革之外,也為了保持學生的求知慾而非常努力,是難得的好校長。
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