Equality of Opportunity for All

Ofsted Rating

Engagement & Progression at RAPv!

Posted: October 15, 2020

The BTEC First Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment is one of the leading pathways to a career in the construction industry.  The course provides a practical, theoretical and real-world approach allowing the development of skills and experience in construction.  It allows learners to acquire knowledge and understanding of the following areas:

  • An understanding and knowledge of construction processes
  • The application of mathematical skills to ensure accurate calculations and estimations of materials, quantities and costs in the planning, design and construction of new builds or refurbishments
  • Broad understanding of the importance of the construction and built environment to the economy, environment and community
  • Development of effective communication, team work, presentation skills and how to deal with trades people on site and suppliers of different tools and materials.

The course gives the students the opportunity to present their work in a variety of ways including written reports, audio-visual recordings of portfolios, sketchbook or working logbook, presentations, graphs and posters.


In Science and Maths, Students who have previously struggled engaging in lessons have found a new voice and are articulating great ideas onto paper, 3d models and through their construction tasks. In term 1, students worked on a project entitled, ‘Have we seen Covid before?’ This project followed the same specification as BTEC Science and was to support students in their transition to working vocationally. The end goal was to have a presentation ready for a year 6 class. Students engaged tremendously well and created presentations fit for delivery. Students who would previously be too afraid to stand up in a classroom, stood up and delivered seamlessly, knowing that they would receive feedback from their peers. What was even better to see was the level of feedback. Knowledgeable, supportive, students were really starting to work together and supporting one another. In maths, we take every opportunity to live the maths rather than just write about it. Be it analysing the results of a bottle flipping competition or playing who wants to be a millionaire to assess, no two days at Rapv are ever the same!

Here are the words of one of our current students:

“I am one of the students that attend RAPv and I am here to tell you about my course and time at RAPv.  For those that are wondering if this school is for them. I have been kicked out of 2 schools as my concentration span is very bad and I used to get into a lot of trouble.  Now that I am at RAPv my behaviour has improved a lot as we do a lot of hands on practical activities, meaning I don’t get bored at all.

We still do a lot of theory work which is very interesting as we learn a lot of new stuff. You are probably wondering what course I am talking about, the course is BTEC First Construction and we do around 10 hours of work in construction including practical activities.

Although this is not the only lesson we take. I have four science lessons across the week along with four other lessons of Maths, four more lessons of English and finally one hour of careers a week. 

I have only been attending RAPv for less than a month and I have achieved above all my test targets in my mocks only based on 3 weeks of learning with my Maths teacher, Mr. Thomas. Some of the practicals I have done since I started are plastering and jointing, dry lining, carpentry and learning how to use the hand drills and mix multi-skim finishes for plastering.

This course is great as it is interesting to learn how buildings are planned, know the functions of different building materials and how they work.  I am enjoying my time doing construction even though I have only been doing this course for one month. 

I am doing BTEC First Certificate in construction which is equivalent to two GCSEs.  My teachers have been supportive as they take their time to explain everything.  I have learnt about plastering, dry lining and tape and jointing, building insulation, construction risks and hazards on site, health and safety and how to use some of the construction materials including angle and corner beads.  I have learnt all these within a space of six weeks.  This is a very good course for me as I aspire to be a site manager in future.”