Meet our experts: NewVIc head of curriculum shares her thoughts on the advantages of the new challenging T-Levels

Nicole Schnappauf, Head of Curriculum Maths, Engineering and Construction and a teacher of mathematics at NewVIc

Nicole Schnappauf, Head of Curriculum Maths, Engineering and Construction and a teacher of mathematics at NewVIc - Credit: NewVIc

This is Nicole Schnappauf. She is the Head of Curriculum Maths, Engineering and Construction and a teacher of mathematics. Find out her thoughts on teaching and working at NewVIc.

On work-life

I love working at NewVIc, it’s such a diverse and inclusive place where each individual students’ progress and wellbeing counts. Students and staff are very supportive of each other.

On her teaching career

I have taught in the UK for the last 25 years from primary education to university level, NewVIc is the place I love the most.

I have been here for 15 years and every day still brings a new challenge or something unexpected.

I enjoy managing an enthusiastic and inspiring team of practitioners.

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They are always at the forefront of educational theory, practice and technology and are completely focussed on ensuring that our students flourish and reach their potential.

I am also involved in a national group that advises government agencies and exam boards on the future of maths education.

I enjoy this role very much as it allows me to bring the needs of NewVIc students onto the national platform.

With the changes in education and introduction of T-Levels, I have been involved in the implementation of these at NewVIc.

The T-Levels are a new qualification designed by educators and employers - the aim is to develop a skilled and strong workforce for the future that can respond well to economic demands and changes.

T-Levels are really challenging courses. The content is at the same level of A-Levels.

One T-Level is equivalent to 3 A-Levels, however only 80% of the course is academic content within a chosen direction - for example construction.

The other 20% of the course is spent on work placements. These courses are perfect for students who want to get ahead in their careers, whilst keeping the option of university open.

A T-Level will allow you to progress to university or directly into skilled employment as you gain valuable skills employers are looking for.

At NewVIc we are offer T-Levels in:

● Business: Management and Administration

● Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning

● Education and Childcare

● Health

● Healthcare Science

● Finance

For example, on our construction course, we currently have 16 students on work placement at different construction sites.

They get to experience working closely with a project manager and use surveying equipment to measure particular parts of the site.

They then use these measurements within professional software applications, working in real-time on a live project.

All in all, it's a challenging course that requires high commitment, but on the other hand it opens doors and allows progression to a wide range of career pathways including degree apprenticeships, work or university.

On student progression

I am very proud of my maths students, be it an A-Level maths student or GCSE resit student. Many students discover their real love for maths with us.

Year on year we are sending a high percentage of A-Level students to STEM related subjects at university on apprenticeships and internships.

I am particularly proud of the number of girls among these.

Most of our students stay in touch and year-on-year many make me proud with first class degrees from top universities.

The diversity in the classroom and the respect students have for each other creates a learning environment that allows students here to be successful and integrate well into university and or working life.

Many of our A-Level maths students fall in love with maths whilst being at NewVIc and change their careers accordingly.

It’s a great pleasure to see students arrive with some confidence in maths and see them leave as strong mathematicians ready for an interesting and successful career out there.

On NewVIc

NewVIc is the best place I have ever worked at – the diversity of the college and our students’ energy creates a dynamic learning environment.

Our students are ready to take on active roles in making sensible and effective decisions for their future careers.

NewVIc is not only about academic development but about the development of the whole student through our outstanding student development programmes and sports academy.

On the most inspiring person she has met

I have so much respect for my grandmother Lizy, whose whole life was driven by equality and diversity.

She led the resistance against Hitler in Frankfurt as a single mum and after the war worked tirelessly across many unions and political parties for women’s rights and the integration of Gastarbeiter and refugees in Germany.

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