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Jargon Buster
16-18 Education

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Jargon Buster

Throughout this prospectus you will find words that you may never have heard before or aren’t entirely sure what they mean. Use our simple jargon buster below to get to grips with the language of further education.

Apprenticeships are qualifications which are made up of on-the-job experience and college based study, allowing you to earn while you learn. As an apprentice you are employed from day one and you will spend most of your week in the workplace and a smaller portion of the week at college. It’s a great way to get a head start in your dream career.

Assessments are a way of judging what you have learnt and can include exams, practical hands on demos, multiple choice tests and more. All qualifications will involve some kind of assessment, but not all are written or exam based.

Enrolment is when you come to college to sign up to a particular course or courses. Once enrolled your future can begin.

Functional Skills
Functional skills covers maths, English and ICT (computer skills). These may be studied as part of a course if you haven’t gained the relevant GCSE pass grades (A-C).

Initial Assessment
Initial assessment is a simple test that you may have to take to assess the current level you are working at.

Learning Resource Centre (LRC)
Learning Resource Centre is another term that is commonly used for a library, a place where you can borrow books, DVDs, journals and magazines relevant to your course and use college computers for work or internet research.

Another term for English.

Another term for Maths.

Pass, Merit, Distinction
These are the grades given to the units if you study a BTEC qualification. Distinction is the highest, followed by Merit, then Pass.

Portfolio of Work
Many students will build a portfolio of work which is a record of what you have learned and achieved on your course. This could be written work, photographs, charts or reviews.

Practical Assessment
Practical Assessments are a way of assessing the ‘hands on’ skills you have learnt on your course. For example, you may be asked to run a coaching session, if you study a Sports course, for which you will be judged and given a score or mark.

Unit or Module
A course is normally made up of a number of specific units or modules that will focus on one subject area, all of which need to be completed in order to gain the qualification. For example, you may study Photography as part of an Art and Design course, or Marketing as part of a Business course.

Vocational Qualification
A vocational qualification is a way of learning more about a specific job or industry. A vocational course will prepare you for a particular career or careers within an industry, e.g. Joinery, Engineering, Fashion, and Childcare etc.

Work-Related Learning
All of our courses include work-related learning. These are tasks that you will perform as part of your course, which you will need in your chosen job type or career. For example, learning how to create a presentation on a Business Administration course would be a skill you might use if you were employed as an Administrator.

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