Bridges 14+ FAQs

What is Bridges?
Bridges is a 14+ specialist skills vocational training facility situated at Bedford College’s Cauldwell Street site. It offers training in a wide range of vocational areas to students in years 10 and 11 at school.

How do students get to come and study at Bridges?
All Bridges students are currently at an upper school in north and mid Bedfordshire. Students have the opportunity to apply for 14+ courses during the options process in year 9. The student's school must support the application.

Can I apply directly to the College?
No, all applications must come via your school.

Are there any entry criteria for the 14+ courses?
Yes, depending on the course level.

What is the typical length of a College course?
Most of our courses run across both years 10 and 11 in line with the school calendar. Students generally attend one day per week.

What is the length of a typical day?
Classes run from approximately 9.15am until 2.30pm. This allows travelling time, as some of our partner schools are located some distance from the College.

Who organises the transport?
All transport arrangements are organised by your school.

If I study a vocational course at Bridges what will I achieve?
All of our programmes lead to industry recognised qualifications.

Will I be able to continue with my chosen vocational area beyond year 11?
Yes, all of our programmes offer the opportunity to progress onto a higher level of study post-16 at the College.

Will I be treated like a Bedford College student?
Yes, you will be issued with a Bedford College ID card and be able to access all Bedford College facilities. You will also have to abide by the College code of conduct.

How will I know what is expected of me by the College?
You will have a comprehensive induction at the beginning of your programme. 14+ staff and your tutors will clearly explain to you how your course will run and what will be expected of you. You will also received a handbook which contains lots of useful information.

Will I be able to go off-site at lunch time?
As long as we have permission from both your school and parent/carer you will be permitted to go off site during the lunch breaks.

What will I have to wear?
This depends on the course that you have chosen to study. Most of our courses require you to wear some kind of personal protective equipment, i.e. steel capped boots, overalls, chef’s whites. This is a health and safety requirement and therefore non-negotiable.

How does the College communicate with my school?
College and school staff meet on a regular basis to review the programmes and your progress. College tutors also produce reports which are sent to your school. Your school will also be involved in any discipline issues. For further information please contact your school in the first instance.

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