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The Aspire Pathway

The Aspire pathway is a supportive one-year programme aimed at academically able young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH). Learners on the Aspire course focus on developing skills linked to their mental wellbeing.

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Course Summary

Subject Area: Inclusion Curriculum (for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities)
School Leaver - Vocational/Technical
Location: Ilkeston
Full Time or Part Time: FT
Level: Entry
Number Of Years:
Interview Required?: Y

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Course Information for Students

This course is aimed at learners with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH) who wish to focus on developing skills linked to their mental wellbeing such as building resilience and maintaining a growth mindset. This will enable them to feel confident and capable of taking their desired next steps towards a positive and independent future.

The Aspire pathway allows learners to develop the transferable skills required to allow them to access the world of work and academic courses at Level 1 and beyond as well as independent living. Throughout the course, learners will develop their ‘mental wealth’ and leave College with the knowledge required to manage their anxieties individually so that they are able to achieve their goals. 

You need a minimum of GCSE grade 2 or Functional Skills Level 1 in Maths and English. Places are allocated on an individual basis, following an interview and initial assessment.

On this course, you will develop skills to help you create and develop a personal ‘toolbox’ of individualised support strategies to help you manage your mental health effectively so that you are able to access both further education and activities in the wider community.  Lessons will be focused on wellbeing, accessing the community, employability and independent projects that are relevant to your personal and career interests.

The Aspire course follows the structure of ‘Steady, Ready, Go!’ to ensure that you feel able to take your next steps. Term one focuses on ensuring that you feel steady within your environment at College and feel able to access your learning. Term two focuses on supporting you to develop the skills that you need to be ready to achieve your goals and your chosen next steps. Term three provides you with access to options and the opportunity to try out different areas of academia or employment to make sure that you can go on to the next part of your journey and be successful. 

There are no formal qualifications offered on this course. Learning is RARPA based.

Based at the Ilkeston Campus, you will learn through a combination of classroom and community-based learning. The timetable is flexible and will be tailored towards the needs of the individual students.

Basic stationery such as pens, pencils and a ruler are required. All other equipment needed will be provided. It is expected that learners will access the local community as part of their learning, so bus fare will need to be provided by the learner.

Learners set targets which are then reviewed every half term. 

Your learning support needs will be assessed and reviewed throughout the year. 

Students typically progress to programmes at Level 1 and above within academic or vocational areas of the College or advance to apprenticeships. 

For more information, contact Derby College Group on 0800 0280289 or

Course Information for Employers

If you are an employer and would like to know more about the apprenticeships and professional training we deliver or how you can get involved in co-creating and co-delivering the curriculum, please contact us via email on, call us on 01332 387 421 or visit our employer pages here.

Career Information

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DCG Success Stories

Discover how our students have achieved success. Their hard work and dedication to learning has enabled them to succeed in rewarding careers or progress onto higher education.

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We encourage progress and aspirational outcomes by guiding people onto learning pathways that lead to positive destinations. Our students have gone on to achieve great things since leaving the College. We would like to share some of their inspiring success stories with you.

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Course Information Last Updated On: March 25, 2024 12:07 pm