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Post 16 Education - Smart Ways


About SmartWays

We know that everyone has a mixture of talents together with things they find harder, and we pride ourselves on how we enable people to thrive, not only meeting but also surpassing their learning goals! 

We differentiate our programmes to accommodate learners of the full ability range from level 1 to level 3. As a registered exam centre for RSL - we deliver music, performing arts and creative arts qualifications appearing in performance tables at Level 1,2 and 3 that have equivalency with GCSEs and A levels.   Each core programme  lasts approximately 14 hours per week spread over three or four days, with additional English and Maths Functional Skills where appropriate. New for September 2023, are our accredited sports pathways where it is possible to study sports at level.  We also offer all students the option to include sport for fun and health, as part of the main programme.  


Applications are now open for September 2024.  


From September 2023 our level-3 music students are mostly studying at our Jam Factory site. We are so proud to have taken over this wonderful site on week-days, and can see how much our students are enjoying using this facility, with its sound protected rehearsal rooms, an excellent recording studio (complete with vocal booth), large classroom with computers and chill-out lounge.  This second site is a wonderful compliment to our established rooms at the Burnholme Centre - ensuring all students can enjoy extra space and quality of  learning environment.    



Students are now able to apply for places on our Level 3 Music or Art Diplomas without EHCPs, if there is private funding.

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We are a certified RSL delivery centre with great experience teaching from Level 1-3 in music, creative arts and performing arts. Our team of experienced and versatile staff make each student's learning bespoke.

Personal & Social development

We understand that personal & social development is key. Whatever your programme, we always put this aspect at the forefront of everything you'll do at SMART.


Keeping fit and healthy is essential for everybody. We now offer sessions that focus on striving for that goal through physical fitness classes and team sports catered for all abilities. We have a diverse team of staff to ensure everybody is safe and is having a lot of fun!

Extra curricular Sessions

We know the importance of flexibility. We can offer a variety of extra curricular activities to help students to achieve further, learn new skills or simply to have fun and maybe find a new hobby!



We have been a certified RSL delivery centre since we started in 2014 and since then have been delivering music qualifications every year at Level 1 and 2. We added the full Level 3 Music Diploma in 2020, and from September 2021, we began delivering Level 1 and 2 Creative and Performing Arts, plus the Level 3 Art Diploma. 

The RSL suite of qualifications is the industry-respected measure of success in music and the performing arts.  RSL grades have parity with GCSEs and AS/A Levels, but are more vocational, which means they are relevant for those wishing to progress their studies into a career.

Whereas there are plans at Government level to remove some vocational diplomas from performance tables, this is not the case with RSL qualifications.  We hope to continue with​
our delivery of these for many years! 


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Personal & Social Development

We have a very welcoming and supportive team of staff, all of whom can be approached, but sometimes a more personal/bespoke approach will be needed, for which reason we provide mentoring and off-loading sessions. 

  • Mentoring and off-loading sessions are arranged by Graham who is our Wellbeing Lead, or by Hayley, our EHCP Coordinator. 

  • It is possible to have Independent Living Skills added to a core timetable, and this allows access to several weekly sessions based on social and personal education, citizenship, and practical skills for life. 

  • Students can choose to bring a pack-up and have their lunch in one of our rooms, with a member of staff on-hand to help keep the conversation flowing. Alternatively, they can opt to eat in the café with friends at Burnholme, or if at The Jam Factory, may opt to visit the local cafe. 

  • All our students are involved in our big concerts, whether it is through performing, or creating props/costumes/make-up. These are great at bringing people together! 



Sports & Fitness

​We offer fitness sessions to all of our participants, not just to those who wish to study sport as an accredited programme. Students develop skills in a range of sports and games, improve their fitness and stamina, and have the opportunity to take part in our sports fair in July. 

  • We understand the needs of our learners. Therefore we can be flexible to the physical needs on a bespoke level.

  • Sessions are run by our very own Matt Lucas. Matt, a personal trainer with Level 3 qualifications has years of experience and knowledge in fitness, nutrition and physical health.   

  • Sessions are held at the Better Burnholme Sports Centre. Built in 2020 it houses state of the art facilities with a studio room and a modern built for purpose sports hall where there will be sports sessions such as football, badminton, netball and many more. 


Extra Curricular Sessions

We know the importance of flexibility. We can offer a variety of extra curricular activities to help students to achieve further, learn new skills or simply to have fun and maybe find a new hobby!

  • Students can opt to take a minor course alongside a major pathway. For example, it is possible to study a Level 3 Art or Music Diploma, but then take an extra course in Drama, or Electronics.

  • Our students are allocated an on-site programme, and then on top of this will be provided with some digital courses that enhance their progress when needed or on request. We are keen to offer our students some variety and for this reason, it is possible for people to take digital courses that are totally different to their main programme of study. Currently we offer digital courses in: film studies, urban arts, singing, beat-making, cooking, drama, dance and more … as well as a large variety of instrumental courses from beginners to advanced.

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