School in Blyth will set up hospital ward for launch of T Level course in health

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A Northumberland school will build its own hospital ward to help prepare students for careers in healthcare.

Bede Academy in Blyth will construct the facility in its sixth form centre ahead of the September launch of its two-year T Level course in health.

The course, being developed in partnership with Northumbria University, has already received a significant number of applications from students around the North East.

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Craig Sams, Bede Academy’s assistant vice principal for careers and post-16 curriculum, said: “The course will be scenario based and there will be a window from the classroom so students can watch what is going on in the ward.

Bede Academy students visited Northumbria University for an insight into healthcare ahead of the T Level course launching. (Photo by Bede Academy)Bede Academy students visited Northumbria University for an insight into healthcare ahead of the T Level course launching. (Photo by Bede Academy)
Bede Academy students visited Northumbria University for an insight into healthcare ahead of the T Level course launching. (Photo by Bede Academy)

Students will use a variety of medical mannequins, from simple ones for manual handling to more sophisticated medical dummies that use AI to recreate a variety of conditions.

“We have always enjoyed a great working relationship with Northumbria University and mentioned that we were looking to develop our T Level provision.

“T Levels are just the start in our aim to help students experience university and access a range of courses.”

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The school worked with Northumbria University’s Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health and its student recruitment team to develop the course and train academy teachers.

Modules range from health and safety to undertaking physiological measurements to providing person-centred care.

A nine-week work placement in a healthcare setting is also part of the course to give students work-based experience that can be applied to their learning.

The qualification combines academic study with practical experience, offering an alternative to A Levels and the chance to progress to a higher-level apprenticeship, a degree, or employment in the industry.

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Skills developed on the course are relevant to jobs in nursing, dental nursing, ambulance and healthcare support, emergency care, pharmacy, maternity support, and social care work.

It is hoped this will help address staff shortages in healthcare.

Director of student recruitment at Northumbria University, Helen Bower, said: “We are dedicated to making higher education more accessible to allow as many people as possible to pursue their career goals, as well as helping to meet the regional and national workforce requirements, and this new course will help us to achieve both those objectives.”

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