The A-Plus award is an online portfolio that tracks and recognises your achievements across your time at College. When you leave Year 11 or 13 it will be a good tool to remember what you have achieved as well as helping you write your CV or UCAS reference. We think that if you achieve in all areas it will help you develop the knowledge, skills and values that allow you to become happy, successful and responsible.
What does A-Plus stand for?
The award focuses on five key areas:
Adventure – including attendance on residential activities which develop life skills
Performance – seeing and being involved in live events
Learning – including achieving subject targets and being responsible for reflecting on one’s progress
Understanding Others – including contributing to the support of others in your local and widening community
Skills – developing new skills and knowledge outside of the College main curriculum
What levels of A-Plus are there?
There are 5 levels and each one needs to be completed during a specific time period.
Tin Award – start to end of Year 7
Bronze Award – start of Year 8 to end of Year 9
Silver Award – start of Year 10 to end of Year 11
Gold Award – start of Year 12 end of Year 13
Platinum Award – ongoing alumni
What do I need to do to achieve an award?
If you click on any of the tabs above they will give you the criteria that is specific to the level of award you are aiming for. For each section you must write at least 100 words as well as uploading any photos or documents that can help evidence your achievement; remember this will help form part of your CV in years to come so the more you put in the better.
How does each section get approved?
Once you have achieved each section there is a button which allows you to send it to a staff member for approval. The staff member you send it to should be able to verify that you have actually completed what you say you have! If that staff member requires more information they will send it back to you and ask for more information before they approve it. Each of the information sheets for each award gives you a recommendation of who to send your evidence to in order to be approved.
What happens when I complete each category within a level?
This means that you have achieved your award and are due for a badge and certificate! Once you have completed all areas you will be able to notify your Head of House / Sixth Form that you have completed an award. They will then present your badge and certificate in assembly at the end of each term.
Do all the areas have to be achieved in school-only events?
No, you can use evidence from activities that you take part in outside of school but you must have achieved them within the time frame of that award.
For example – if you are in Year 8 and are working to achieve the Bronze award you may not use any evidence that occurred in Year 7 or earlier.
If you wish to use evidence from outside of school then you need to get a responsible adult to verify your claim as well as uploading photos yourself. Upload this evidence to your online portfolio and then ask a relevant staff member to approve it (your tutor could do this).
Can I work on all areas / levels at the same time?
No. You can only work on the level that is appropriate for your age group. If you are in Year 10 you can only work on achieving the Silver award. You can still achieve any award even if you haven’t achieved the levels below it. This then doesn’t preclude anyone who joined the school after Year 7.
Can I use the same evidence for different levels?
No. As the evidence has to have been achieved in certain year groups you will be unable to use it for any higher awards.
When and where do I upload my evidence?
You upload to your portal on the eContactbook any time you want. You only have a maximum of two years to gather evidence for each level of the award so the earlier you achieve it the better. You can save work on your online portfolio without submitting it for verification so it’s best to write it up and save your evidence as soon as you have it. The online portfolio is accessible from anywhere you want so there is no excuse for waiting!
Updated April 2019