The Honours Programme

The Honours ProgrammeThis part of the award is designed to accredit up to seven areas of experience and achievement, carefully chosen to meet the Modbac aims and objectives, and delivered within the context of a broad and balanced personal development curriculum. The seven areas are:

A modern language
ICT / Computing
Enterprise / Financial Capability
An extended project
Work Experience or Work- related programme
A personal challenge
A community award

Modbac does not intend to prescribe the exact content of  what has to be taught within these broad areas – we judge that is for schools to decide how best to meet statutory and non-statutory guidance in terms of PSHE, RE, PE etc.  The honours programme is designed to recognise and accredit experience within or beyond the formal curriculum, a blend of in-class, extra-curricular and non-formal enrichment, enabling a learner to develop competencies and transferable skills to supplement subject-based knowledge and skills.

Modbac does, however, acknowledge the role of external accreditation in securing depth, breadth and rigour within the Honours Programme. Consequently, the level of the final honours award will be based on the number of elements externally accredited, as well as the total number of areas undertaken by pupils.

Externally validated routes

Elements such as ICT, Enterprise/Financial Capability, Community and Modern Languages/ International Studies could all be met through existing formal qualification outcomes.  these could include:

  • The COYO “Design, Engineer, Contruct” programme,
  • ASDAN CoPE award ,
  • RSA Opening Minds Qualifications,
  • IT qualifications,
  • Languages GCSEs or ASSET Ladder qualifications

Indeed, if pupils have taken full awards in these as part of their normal options process, they can “count” in both the core and honours part of Modbac.

External accreditation can also include providers, such as:

  • Duke of Edinburgh,
  • Young Enterprise,
  • Sports Leaders,
  • World Challenge, etc.)

Internally validated routes

There are many other ways in which any of these elements could be accredited internally.   An initial Modbac audit and induction process will agree how each element will be evidenced, and how a summary of this will appear on pupils’ individual transcripts.  This will include an indication of learning hours.  The grid below gives only some examples of the options available to schools and academies. Modbac curriculum consultants will be available to help schools meet the needs and aspirations of their students from the widest possible array of providers and partner organisations.

As a guide, internally certified courses should have a notional minimum of 20-30 learning hours (direct teaching time plus learner experience/independent study time).  However, schools are at liberty to tailor this requirement to suit the needs of individual students in each cohort.  Externally validated courses will have their own requirements for guided learning hours.

To give pupils and schools maximum flexibility, the honours award transcript will simply state the number of elements taken, and any awards or qualifications achieved, without undue prescription or regulation. For example, it is for individual schools to decide how to deliver the elements, and how much curriculum time to devote to them. Schools will also be at liberty to programme the experiences where and when appropriate within a given phase. Learners should also be encouraged to engage in learning outside the classroom, and in a wide variety of informal and non-formal learning contexts (see above).

Not every student has to do every element, and the final gradings will reflect this (and the importance of external accreditation,  as follows:

DISTINCTION*    All 7 elements evidenced in learner transcript (with at least 4 elements externally accredited or certificated)

DISTINCTION      6 elements evidenced in learner transcript (with at least 3 elements externally accredited or certificated)

MERIT                     5 elements evidenced in learner transcript (with at least 2 elements externally accredited or certificated)

PASS                     4 elements evidenced in learner transcript (no elements need external accreditation or certification)

The learner transcript would be clear about which elements (e.g. Personal Challenge, Languages, etc) have been evidenced.

(Note for WS – we need I think to re-jig the table (for formal accrediation) and list of internally accredited awards by having 2 main tabs for the honours section – formal and internally accredited routes.  Each route would then have examples from the 7 areas in each – the formal route taken from the table below, and the internal route from the list in italics.  Where relevant, these should link to other providers’ websites

HONOURS ELEMENTHow it could be accredited in core 2014 onwardsHow it could be accredited through
How it could be accredited through
Other Quals/Awards
ICTIT GCSEModule 1 Communication
Module 9 Science and Technology
ASDAN IT Short Course
QCF IT Unit Quals
Sector-specific IT Quals
NAICE Awards
Digital Media Quals
ENTERPRISE or FINANCIAL CAPABILITYFree standing Maths Qualifications that “count”Module 4 Independent Living
Module 8 Work Related Learning and Enterprise
Young Enterprise Programmes
HTI  Go4IT Award Scheme
IFS Qualifications
NCFE award
ASDAN Enterprise/Personal Finance Short Course
NCFE Developing Skills in the Workplace*
ASDAN Employability
Module 6 Vocational PreparationASDAN Experience of Work Short Course
LANGUAGESGCSE, Applied GCSE, NVQ Business LanguagesModule 10 International LinksFCSE
ASSET Languages
ASDAN International Short Course
EXTENDED PROJECT½ GCSE Extended Projects*3 Credit Extended Project Short Course (in development, available free to Modbac centres) and accredited through CoPECOYO “Design, Engineer, Construct!” project
Activities and Extended Project Award
COMMUNITY-BASED AWARDASDAN Community Volunteering Qualifications*Module 2 Citizenship and CommunityThe Young Arts’ Leader AwardThe Young Health Leaders’ Award (developed by ASA academy)

The Junior Sports Leaders’ Award

The Archbishop of York’s Young
Person’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award

ASDAN Citizenship Short Course

ASDAN Volunteering Short Course


CoPE Section C challenges from
Module 1 Communication
Module 3 Sport and Leisure
Module 4 Independent Living
Module 5 The Environment
Module 7 Health and Fitness
Module 9 Science and Technology
Module 10 International Links
Module 11 Expressive Arts
Module 12 Beliefs and Values
OUTWARD BOUNDS or other Residential / ExpeditionsABA Boxing Awards

World Challenge

Operation Wallace

Operation Raleigh
NCS (these are just illustrative examples)

* will be accepted within Modbac core tariff even though they won’t count in DfE tables  from 2014.

Further examples of projects that could be used for internal accreditation of the 7 areas:

(in effect, these all constitute a fourth column on the above chart, entitled “How it could be accredited internally”)

An award or programme of study in ICT/Computing

    • designing, building and managing a website for school, club or community group
    • using CAM/CAD to design and build a streamlined drag racer for a national competition, or Christmas decorations for a OAP party
    • DTP the school magazine, a Year Book, and advertising campaign for a chosen local charity
    • using a spreadsheet to track income and out-goings for a school or community play, a sports club
    • a blend of the above or similar

An enterprise/ financial capability award or programme of study T

  • The focus here is on “real  enterprise”, and improving financial capability:
    • tracking expenditure of the family shopping bills for a month, and working out how to make a 10% saving
    • planning the family holiday within a set budget
    • raising money for a charity, but anticipating income and expenditure to maximise profit
    • involvement in a Young Enterprise project or related enterprise activity
    • a blend of the above or similar


Work Experience or a Work Related Learning programme of study

  • work experience, work related learning and career planning are critical competencies given the flux and change anticipated in future employment patterns. Activities could include:
    • work experience (many schools are choosing to continue with their 14+ programmes because they see the importance and relevance to young people
    • workplace visits, and meeting local employers and employees
    • mock-interviews (preparation, participation, de-briefings)
    • a blend of the above or similar

A modern language within an international programme of study

    • communicate with students from a foreign school, or an e-pal
    • self study key words and phrases, as well as customs and practice, prior to visiting a country or going on holiday
    • foreign exchange trips
    • host visitors from another country
    • prepare a guide to your locality highlighting places of interest
    • a blend of the above or similar


A personal challenge

  • opportunities to build character and confidence, to encourage learners to “step outside their comfort zone”, in a variety of possible contexts:
    • Duke of Edinburgh Awards, residential and outward bounds experiences
    • A performing arts or creative challenge, such as devising a play or planning, preparing for and participating in a concert
    • Participation in school and community sports teams, dance clubs and related (Junior Sports Leader Awards)
    • A technological, scientific or environmental challenge
    • Activities through Youth Clubs
    • Health and Well Being challenge  (sports and fitness, healthy eating, drugs awareness, etc.)
    • Public Speaking and Debate
    • Guides/Brownies/Scouts activities


An extended project
opportunities for a learner to demonstrate independence and sustained commitment through investigating something that interests them, and then go on to produce a single piece of work that represents their findings:

    • written report, diary or record
    • digital media presentation
    • a performance
    • an artifact


A community award or programme of study
opportunities to serve others, or show awareness of community issues, needs, problems and solutions:

    • a period of voluntary service within the community
    • peer mentoring
    • St Johns Ambulance
    • serving on School Council or  Youth Parliament
    • Guides/Brownies/Scouts activities
    • Reporting to local politicians on facilities for young people, environmental or sustainability issues, or comparing local issues with a twinned community in another country
    • For older students, National Citizen Service (NCS)