BTEC blog

  • MAXimise your teaching with a visit from GB Olympian, Max Whitlock OBE

    Are you looking for an opportunity to inspire your learners? Now’s your chance as Pearson is offering one lucky BTEC Sport college the chance to win a visit from Olympic champion gymnast and former BTEC Sport learner, Max Whitlock OBE. 

    The competition is open to educators entering on behalf of an institution currently offering a BTEC Sport qualification. Learners would get the chance to hear first-hand from one of our greatest sporting legends and how he is preparing for Paris 2024.  

    The lucky winning school or college would be able to personalise Max’s visit based on their curriculum priorities.  

    This could be an inspiring insight into Max’s journey to Olympic glory or a deep dive into the psychology of success. You would have the chance to maximise the impact of hosting a sporting hero by personalising the day.  

    This could include:   

    • An assembly style insights session addressing your learners 
    • Focused sessions with smaller groups of sports learners 
    • Sessions for teachers or learners on facing deadlines, working under pressure and improving mental health 

    The competition closes on 31 March 2024 and the winner will be contacted by email. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to bring the world of professional sports directly to your college. 

    Enter via our website before 31 March 2024.  

    Learn more about BTEC Sport 

    BTEC Sport gives learners the skills and confidence they need to progress into a fulfilling, exciting career. The sport and fitness industry is fast paced and everchanging, making it essential for learners to have the drive and resilience to adapt. 

    At all stages of their careers, the practical base of BTEC Sport will help learners to excel as team players, coaches and leaders of the future. 

    For Max Whitlock, BTEC Sport was a “no-brainer”. After studying the qualification aged 16, Max went on to become Britain’s most successful gymnast, winning 14 medals and 6 titles in Olympic and World Championships. He will be competing for Team GB at the Paris Olympic Games later this year. 

    “Young people are all different: we need qualifications and an education system that supports that. Studying a BTEC made me more productive, I learned valuable soft skills such as how to manage my time better and how to be a better communicator. For young people and adults up and down the country, I really think that vocational qualifications like BTECs are the key to unlocking people’s potential.” - Max Whitlock OBE 

    What’s next for BTEC Sport? 

    Colleges and schools can continue to teach BTEC Sport with confidence as it is unaffected by the government’s Level 3 vocational reform until 2026.  

    The BTEC Level 3 Technical in Personal Training is set to launch for first teach in September 2025. The new qualification provides: 

    • Meaningful and occupationally relevant learning experiences 
    • Engaging assessments made relevant to local contexts 

    The BTEC Level 3 National in Sport and Sport and Exercise Science (AAQ) are in development and will be available for first teach from September 2026.  

    Find out more about delivering BTEC Sport 

  • An opportunity for momentum in sport and outdoor activities, connecting the checkpoints

    The sport and outdoor activities sector offers many of us an extensive list of adventurous, physically demanding and therapeutic pursuits that we can undertake for our own health and wellbeing benefits, a new challenge, or simply for enjoyment. 

    Exposure to the sector happens from a young age, where we see joyful engagement in primary schools through forest schools and bushcraft activities, and vast volumes of secondary school learners experiencing group residentials in outdoor centres. While there are educational opportunities available through colleges and providers, there can be gaps in access to these opportunities from one region to the next. It can be difficult for learners to find clear pathways into careers outdoors. Despite this, there is a strong belief in the value of engaging in outdoor activities, highlighting the need for a clearer bridge to careers in the sector. 

    Some of these would include;

    1. Promoting physical health and fitness through opportunities for physical activity and movement.

    2. Improving mental health and well-being by providing a chance to spend time in nature which has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood.

    3. Developing transferable skills such as teamwork collaboration and social skills that can be useful in both personal and professional settings. 

    4. Providing diverse educational experiences for hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that can be valuable, especially in urban areas where access to outdoor education may be limited.

    5. Increased environmental awareness and promoting sustainable living practices for education about conserving energy, water and natural resources and reducing waste. 

    Outdoor activities can help educate to protect and preserve natural resources for future generations.

    After completing a Level 2 qualification, learners are positioned to specialise in the sector. Working with the Institute of Outdoor Learning (IOL), we have developed a BTEC qualification which not only provides a breadth of skills, knowledge and behaviours, but it is a great platform to gain valuable work experience whist acquiring UCAS points, allowing for progression to Higher Education. The qualifications are also mapped to industry occupational standards, empowering development into a career in the sector and offering as a precursor for the Level 5 Outdoor Learning Specialist apprenticeship standard.  

    Find out more about BTEC Sport and IOL qualifications.

    Having recently spoken with Jo Barnett, CEO of the Institute for Outdoor Learning, professional bodies such as the IOL can help connect the checkpoints and create an ecosystem to support careers and the industry. Educational providers and employers can collaborate to create provisions offering educational and career pathways that serve their communities. 

    Is there potential within your curriculum planning and employer engagement to build and foster this meaningful route in your qualification offerings?

    If this piece has stirred intrigue or curiosity, I recommend listening to the latest episode of the BTEC Sporting Goals series, which discusses the role of IOL, their vision and how to get involved. This episode also addresses the need for the sector to do more around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and how colleges and providers can play a significant role in this effort. Jo shares several insightful takeaways and ideas for further consideration, her point on an individual finding their own ‘wild place’ really resonated with me. 

    Gareth Reynolds

    Product Manager, Sport and Physical Activity 

  • Audition Ready discount for BTEC learners

    Pearson BTEC is proud to be working with Audition Ready, an online app containing video tutorials from industry professionals, designed to help young talent prepare for Screen Castings and Theatre Auditions.

  • Our experience of teaching BTEC Protective Services

    We interviewed Andrew Unsworth, a teacher of Protective Services at the Henley College. Andrew believes BTEC has offered his learners transferable skills opening up a broad range of career opportunities. 

  • BTEC Protective Services - The perfect pathway to a career in the services

    Are you looking for a career where you can help and protect the public? Exploring the range of different roles in the uniformed protective services could be for you. From the police, through to the prison service or the fire service, there’s plenty of opportunity for people with the right skills and talents, with good prospects for training and progression.

  • From BTEC to a degree in Forensic Science and Molecular Biology

    We recently spoke to Henry, who is currently in his third year of a Forensic Science and Molecular Biology degree at The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN). Henry tells us about his degree course, the aspects of it he finds fascinating, and how a BTEC in Applied Science helped him get there.

  • Celebrating women in STEM: from a BTEC to a career in nuclear medicine

    As part of International Women's Day on 8 March 2022, we want to celebrate women who work and study in STEM sectors.Our goal is to make an education and career in STEM achievable for everyone. By sharing stories of inspiring role-models we can help make this a reality.

    Hear from Becky, a Diagnostic and Imaging Scientist