XPLORE by mifei


									XPLORE Teacher Bulletin 1
January 2007

An overview for teachers, with lesson plans
1. Online post-16 prospectus – XPLORE is Northamptonshire’s online post-16 prospectus and
   common application process. It may be used by students, parents, teachers, teaching
   assistants and advisers to discover the range of post-16 learning opportunities in the county. It
   may be used at school, college, at home, or anywhere with access to the internet.

2. Research courses and apply online – in addition to researching courses in the county,
   students may also use XPLORE to apply to courses online. Making online applications is
   beneficial for students as it enables the school’s Personal Adviser to work with the school to
   monitor applications and confirm that all students have a course or training place beyond year
   11. Check with your Head of Year 11 about your school’s policy and procedures on online
   applications by students.

3. Personal logins – although XPLORE is an open web site (anyone can get onto XPLORE
   using the web address www.XPLORE.uk.com) students receive a personal login via their
   school to be able to access parts of the site private to them.

4. Prepare students first – It is very important that students know how to use XPLORE properly.
   XPLORE is designed primarily as a reference tool for students to use independently or in
   discussion with parents, teachers, assistants and advisers. However, because XPLORE holds
   so much information about options post-16, we recommend that students are introduced to
   XPLORE before they use it independently. This booklet contains two lesson plans for use with
   students; the first showing them key web pages and how to find things on the site, and the
   second helping them prepare their own thoughts before using the site.

What’s on XPLORE?
   Advice on how to make choices about education, training and work beyond year 11 (this
    section is still in development, so check the site regularly)
   A full list of courses and training in Northamptonshire
   A full list, contact details and web links to all the learning providers in the county – schools,
    colleges and work-based training providers
   Case studies of young people in Northamptonshire on post-16 courses and training, describing
    the choices they made and the pathways they followed
   An online application process for all courses
   Information (still in development) about:
    o Types and levels of qualifications
    o Styles of learning
    o Pathways through learning to adulthood
    o Money matters and travel
    o Sources of further information, advice and support

Next steps?
The site is still in development, so check regularly for updates. The advice and guidance section
will be completed by mid-February 2007. New lesson plans will be published as appropriate.

Document originator: Linda Bristow, Connexions Northamptonshire (1)                      Page 1 of 5
XPLORE Lesson Plan 1
Finding your way round XPLORE online

Lesson one takes students on a journey through the main sections of the site. Although the site
has been developed and trialled with students in the county don’t assume all students will be able
to find their way independently around the site without help first. Some students will need further
support to use the site, in particular, those with learning difficulties or disabilities.

To promote the independent use of XPLORE by showing what it contains

Students will be able to:
 List the content of XPLORE
 Navigate the site to find information

   Teacher handout, ‘Navigating XPLORE’
   Online access to XPLORE:
    o It may be easier to have the whole class looking at the same page on an interactive
        whiteboard whilst you talk them through the site
    o Student access to a computer so that they can practise navigating for themselves once
   If online access to XPLORE is not possible, a copy of the handout, ‘Navigating XPLORE’ for
    each student

   Brief students on the purpose and content of XPLORE:
         o gives information and advice on decisions about what to do after year 11
         o helps students research and select
         o lists all courses in Northamptonshire
         o lists all sixth forms, colleges and work-based training organisations in Northamptonshire
         o on-line application system
   Get on to the home page of web site www.XPLORE.uk.com
   With teacher access to the site initially, and using the handout as a guide, work through the site
    in sequence as indicated
   Describe and demonstrate what’s on each page
   Allow time for questions
   With student access to the site, recommend students to work through the handout in same way
   Encourage students to investigate their own school’s entries and make link to the school’s web
   Allow time for questions

Things to make students aware of:
   Students will have individual logins and passwords
   They can use XPLORE at home too
   The site is constantly being updated – they need to check it regularly
   There will be a lot of new information in the advice and guidance section by February 2007
    (about qualifications, money matters, travel, levels of courses etc)
Document originator: Linda Bristow, Connexions Northamptonshire (1)                       Page 2 of 5
XPLORE Lesson Plan 2
Preparing students to use XPLORE

Lesson one showed students what was on the site. However, students will make much better use
of XPLORE if they have already thought carefully about themselves and their own preferences and
possible choices. Lesson two helps prepare students to get the best use from XPLORE.

To ensure students are mentally well-prepared before they use XPLORE independently

Students will be able to:
 Answer a series of questions about themselves so that they can subsequently interrogate
   XPLORE and understand the information on the site, for example:

     They will…                                So that they can..,
     Identify their own preferred learning and So that they can select courses and pathways that
     working styles                            play to their strengths
     Identify their level of ability and raise So that they can choose courses to match their
     aspirations                               level of ability, and understand the different levels
                                               of courses and qualifications beyond year 11
                                               So that they use links to other sites which raise
                                               aspirations, for example ‘Aimhigher’
     Identify possible jobs they may be So that they can select courses and pathways that
     aiming for in the future                  are appropriate for their career aims, or that keep
                                               their options open
     Identify if they are not sure what to do  So that they access parts of the site that provide
                                               basic information and advice and link to people or
                                               other sites that help make choices
     Consider the cost implications of So that they access information about EMA
     options beyond year 11                    (Education Maintenance Allowance) and find links
                                               to other sources of information about how post-16
                                               learning is funded
     Consider how they will travel to possible So that they access information about travel
     new locations                             arrangements and possible costs
     Identify that they need support to make So that they seek support to use the site, and
     decisions, or access the site             where relevant, use the SEN section of the site

   A copy for each student of worksheet ‘XPLORE These Questions’
   Access to XPLORE on line, or copies of:
    o school sixth form prospectus
    o further education college prospectuses
    o work-based training prospectus (issued by the Learning and Skills Council)
    o bus and train timetables for the county or area
    o Information about EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance)
   Access to the school’s Connexions Library and careers information

Explain the questions and their relevance – for maximum impact we recommend the lesson
allows adequate time for each question to be explained to, and understood by, the whole class
Document originator: Linda Bristow, Connexions Northamptonshire (1)                     Page 3 of 5
before going on to the XPLORE web site. It is important that students understand why these
questions are relevant to the choices they will make beyond year 11.

Students may already have considered some of these questions in other lessons – acknowledge
this and allow time for students to complete these questions in brief.

Record answers – before they begin, students should understand why it is important to record
their answers carefully and store their sheet in a safe, appropriate place (guide them on this, based
on your knowledge of the school’s policy about target setting and recording). It is important to
keep their answers for the following reasons:

   As the basis for discussion of future plans with other adults – parents or carers, Connexions
    Personal Adviser, form tutor, mentor, subject teacher, head of sixth, potential other post-16
    provider such as college, work-based training provider, employer.
   As an insert to their Progress File, or equivalent
   For reference during other similar activities, such as using career software like Kudos,
    Kangaroo, Fast Tomato etc
   For reference in other curriculum activities, both personal development curriculum and national
    curriculum subjects

Use the site to answer the questions – once ready, students can begin to research XPLORE to
find information about the questions on the worksheet. They should be encouraged to research
thoroughly, following links to further sites where appropriate.

If online access to XPLORE is not possible, use the materials listed above.

Round up the lesson – allow time to:

   Answer questions and for students to share their thoughts and experiences of the activity.
   Re-state information about how students can get further help with their choices, plans and
    applications (check with your school’s Careers Coordinator or Head of Year 11 on the
    arrangements for information, advice and guidance about choices for education, training and
   Ensure students know where to find the school’s Connexions Library.
   Encourage students to continue to use XPLORE whilst at school or at home.

Document originator: Linda Bristow, Connexions Northamptonshire (1)                      Page 4 of 5
(Worksheet for XPLORE Lesson Plan 2)

  Getting ready to use XPLORE
   Important things to think about before you decide what to do after
                                 year 11

Use this sheet to record your thoughts about each of the questions. Keep it safe. You will need it again
when you use XPLORE, or talk with your parents, form tutor or Connexions Personal Adviser, or make
your final choices about what to do after year 11.

 What sort of work do I want             What kind of learner am I?     Do I want to stay at school, go
   to do when I’m older?                                                to college, work or work-based

What level of course do I want            What type of qualifications   Can I afford to study further?
           to take?                            would suit me?

   How will I travel to learn?          What if I don’t know what to       Is what I want available
                                                    do?                            anyway?

Document originator: Linda Bristow, Connexions Northamptonshire (1)                Page 5 of 5

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