FAQs

How to Apply

Any questions?

If you have any other questions please contact us on 01695-628610 or email us here.

1. Who will be my form teacher? Who does mum or dad contact? Who’s going to looks after me?

The answer to all these questions is your Personal Tutor or PT as everyone calls them. From your first day in college until your last you will have the same PT looking out for you.

You’ll meet them at least weekly to start with both one to one and in a group, then you’ll see them more often one to one. They’ll help with your settling in, your on course queries and then your progression to university or direct into a career.

Your PT will celebrate with you when times are good or be a helping hand when things don’t go well, they’ll also be making sure your attendance is up to scratch and that your academic progress is good.

They’ll be in touch with your parents as often as needs be should we need to all work together to get you back on track or better still, avoid you going off track in the first place.

2. How do I know how well I’m doing?

Firstly, you’ll get regular and detailed feedback from your teacher but there’s also an online portal which you and your parents can access which gives an overview of your progress in all subjects.

It also records your attendance and gives a BRAGs rating in every subjects. Blue is for exceptional performance in something, green is good and for most students the norm. Amber means that your teacher has concerns and you will always have had a conversation with them about this and have agreed an action plan to get you back to green.

If your progress status is Red, it means that the amber action plan hasn’t worked and we need to try something different. Parents will often be involved at this stage. This is another thing that your PT is involved in; they will be supporting you, communicating with parents and acting as your advocate with your subject teachers. Just like school, we send reports home regularly and have an annual ‘parents’ evening’.

3. What if I’m struggling with a subject or just in general?

Every subject has additional tutorials, mentors or on line catch up work if you’re struggling a bit and it could be a mixture of these support strategies that you discuss in your action planning with a teacher. If your progress is being held back because you need help with organising yourself or general study skills our team of Independent Learning Assistants (ILAs) in the library are there for you.

Just in case, all new students have an on line assessment to check that we’re not missing any learning difficulties. For example, as a result of these assessments you might find yourself being entitled to extra time in exams even if you didn’t have it in school.

4. How much work is there?

You’ll be in class for about four and a half hours per subject and you can expect to do the same amount of work per subject out of lessons i.e. about nine hours per subject per week; half with the teacher in the class and half on your own, on line or in small groups with your classmates.

5. Can I combine any subject with any others?

The answer is yes, usually but there are a couple of restrictions. You can’t take English Language & Literature (also called English Combined) with any other English but you can take English Language and English Literature as two separate subjects. You can’t take Medieval History and Modern History but you can do Ancient History and either Modern or Medieval.

If you want to choose just one science subject, then Applied Science is the one for you. Students cannot take a single science A level but need to combine it with another science. For example, A level Biology should be taken with A level Chemistry or A level Maths.

6. Can I do more than three subjects?

Most students study three subjects because this constitutes a full time course. Employers and universities don’t expect candidates to have studied more than three A levels. There may be very good reasons why you want to take four subjects and we’d like to discuss these with you to make sure there’s no risk that you’re spreading yourself too thinly – it’s better to achieve three A grades than four B grades for example.

It is more likely that we’ll agree that studying four subjects is the right decision if you achieve 8s and 9s in your GCSEs or if one of your options is Further Maths.

7. Are some subjects harder than others?

Unlike school, where some subjects are compulsory, you are choosing the subjects that suit you best. What you find interesting and stimulating another student may find ‘hard’ and that may be the reason they have chosen not to do it. So no, all subjects carry an equal challenge it’s just that some students prefer some to others – that’s why they choose them!

8. Can I do any subject if I haven’t done it at GCSE?

Only in science, maths, English, Spanish and French do you have to have a GCSE in that subject. None of the other subjects expect you to have studied them before at GCSE.

9. What if I don’t like the subjects I’ve chosen, can I swap?

In July you’ll be invited to a Taster Day during which you’ll have a lesson in each subject you’ve chosen. You can, however change your mind right up until you enrol in August and even then if at any point up until the end of September you decide you’d like to change your choices we can usually do that for you.

10. I want to do medicine, what subjects should I choose?

Check the entry requirements for different university courses, but our experience is that Chemistry, Biology plus Maths or Physics, is essential for entry to medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary science.

11. I’m considering teaching as a career, are there any subjects I should take?

There’s no straight forward answer to this question as the guidelines for individual teaching courses at university do vary considerably. However, they all require you to have GCSE English and maths and usually science too. For secondary teaching, you should choose subjects you would consider teaching as you will specialise in these. Some primary school teaching courses also like you to have at least one A level that is presently a national curriculum subject though even that isn’t always the case.

12. I’ve heard mention of the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) what is it?

Many students at Winstanley complete an EPQ. You choose the topic of your EPQ and you also choose whether to do an essay, an investigation, make an object or hold an event. The qualification you gain is an AS level and not only gives you UCAS points to support you application to university but is also very highly regarded by universities and employers alike

13. Will I have lessons all day every day like at school?

You will have lessons most of every day and there are also study periods on each day. All subjects will set you regular homework and you will have timetabled study periods in College. You are free to choose whether to spend the other study periods at home or at College. During your induction period, we’ll help you make the right time management decisions for you to ensure you get the most out of College life.

14. I haven’t applied for a Professional Pathway but I’ve changed my mind, what can I do?

Just give our Admissions Team a ring on 01695 628610 or email admissions@winstanley.ac.uk before the end of June 2021 and we’ll help you out.

15. Not found the answer to your question?

Check out our detailed FAQs here

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