AQA’s new suite of Technical Awards are practical, vocational level 1/2 qualifications for 14-16-year-olds to take alongside GCSEs. First teaching will be in September 2017.
Technical Awards provide an introduction to life and work within a range of vocational areas, equipping learners with the practical, transferable skills and core knowledge needed to progress to further general or vocational study, including level 3 qualifications, employment or apprenticeships.
There are nine individual qualifications: Children’s Learning and Development, Fashion and Textiles, Food and Catering, Health and Social Care, IT, Materials Technology, Performing Arts, Sport and Visual Communication. AQA are also piloting a STEM Technical Award, ready for first teaching September 2018.
Learners are assessed on doing rather than knowing through the project-based internal assessments, where they can apply their knowledge to practical tasks. Assignments will vary according to the subject, but activities range from designing and making a working product or prototype; making a short film; planning and putting on a performance, or presenting to others. There are two internally assessed units worth 30% each, and an externally assessed exam worth 40%.