Why did you choose the Rockley BTEC Level 3 (Outdoor Adventure)?

I knew I didn’t want to do A-Levels as I’m not the classroom type of person – I’m definitely more practical and like doing things outside so I thought something like the BTEC course would be ideal for me.

Did you have any water experience prior to the course?

My Nan used to do sailing and windsurfing and we did loads of messing around in the summer with my parents but nothing in particular.

How did you hear about the Rockley BTEC Level 3 Sport (Outdoor Adventure)?

I was at an open evening at Queen Elizabeth School and Rockley was there. I had actually decided in year 9 that I wanted to do this course, so just the 4 years! I was also interested in a Sports Science BTEC at Brockenhurst College but it was not as practical as the Rockley BTEC so I was Rockley through and through!

Did you attend any of our Open Events?

I came to an Open Morning with my Mum and Dad and they were really impressed when they visited the college and spoke to the teachers. They were absolutely fine about me choosing a BTEC course over A-Levels as they knew that the course is equivalent to 3 A-Levels and so wasn’t just an easy option.

Has the course been what you expected so far?

Yes and no! Having one day practical – walking, cycling or on the water is so lovely but the coursework is a lot different from what I expected, but I think I just need to work on my time management!

I also thought it was just going to be watersports all year round but we do so many other things – mountain biking, walking, coasteering and skiing as well as Leadership Courses. Going to Surrey on a residential as part of the NCS qualification was an unexpected surprise and I got so much from it. The variety of learning is great, we are learning real life skills as well as working towards a qualification.

What have been the highlights so far?

The fact that I have learnt to sail and windsurf has really raised my confidence but it was the first week out in France which has been stand out so far – it was amazing. At the start of the course I only knew one person so it was a bit scary but the France trip really brings everyone together. We’re all in the same boat and there are such a variety of personalities from different backgrounds so it’s really good to get together in one place and get to know each other.

What have been the most challenging bits so far?

Probably getting the coursework in to the standard they require in the time given. There’s maybe a bit more course work than I expected but the teachers are really supportive and are good at helping me to manage my time. It was hard to begin with but I’m confident that I’ll get used to it.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m hoping to go to Bath Spa Uni to do a Sports Leadership Course. I already have my Level 1 Horse Management qualification and this year will be doing my Levels 2 and 3, so it’s not just watersports. I then hopefully plan to go travelling, maybe work for Camp Canada doing watersports and then come back and work for either Rockley or another watersports company.

Have you always wanted to go to University?

Yes and the BTEC course is a route to me achieving that. I’m also doing something fun at the same time. When I wake up, it’s really not a chore to go to college, I really look forward to it.

How do you get on with your BTEC teachers?

All the teachers are really lovely. It’s very different to school so for example Mark does these fitness sessions on the beach in between lessons which is really fun. The teachers talk to you more like equals which makes it easier for us to approach them if we have any problems or issues. It’s a very different and lovely environment to learn in.

There’s a lot in the news surrounding mental health in young people. How does this kind of teaching environment help to combat that?

There’s definitely a lot of support for anyone who is struggling with anything. For me as I have lots of hobbies outside of college it’s more about time management but I feel I’m getting much better at this with the help of the teachers! Mixing the practical and physical also makes you feel more positive and fresh. I love being outside, like just now, walking along the beach and doing the beach clean as part of our NCS qualification is great – we wouldn’t be doing this if I was studying A-levels. I’m so glad I chose Rockley, I don’t think I could have dealt with A-levels – some of my friends are really struggling.

"Amelia is lovely, friendly and completely motivated. She’s well liked and gets on great with the instructors - she’s going to do amazingly well." Josh Banner, BTEC Practical Co-ordinator

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