Year 9 students.
This all seems so far away! Yes, but while it does seem far away, the choices you make now can really affect what happens in future.
Making informed decisions about your GCSEs, and any career or education choice, is very important. Becoming informed can involve research, understanding your own motivations, and having an idea of what you want to do in future. This makes decisions so much easier. Not just GCSE choices, but decisions about Level 3, higher education, and your career!
What are GCSEs?
GCSEs are designed to give you a broad, general knowledge across a range of subjects. From GCSEs, you can become increasingly specialised through studying Level 3 qualifications (such as A-Levels or BTECs), and then again through higher level qualifications (like Higher Diplomas and degrees).
The government says that all students in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland have to study English, Maths, and Science until they are 16. Schools must also offer at least one GCSE option from Humanities, Modern foreign languages, Arts, and Design and technology.
As well as giving you a broad, general knowledge of a range of subjects, GCSEs will also help you to develop your transferable skills. These are skills that will be useful in all aspects of your life, whether that’s in your studies, a job, or extracurricular activities.
A number of pathways in your education and career will require certain GCSEs. So it is worthwhile thinking about your future options when you’re choosing your GCSEs.
Some students know exactly what job they would like when they’re older. Others may have no idea what they want to do. Either way, it’s not a problem!
Take a moment to think about your interests and goals. Do you have a dream job or industry that you’re keen to join? Do you have favourite school subjects or extracurricular hobbies that you want to pursue?
The School will be going through all your options with you and there will be assemblies and a Year 9 options evening in January 2022.
Still have questions?
Write them down, talk to your teachers, and make an appointment to see Ms. Linsell in the Careers Office. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Content from © Unifrog 2021
Year 11 students.
Post 16 Key Information:
- Raising Participation Age: The Government has changed the law so young people leaving school will need to continue in education or training until their 18th birthday. You can opt to study or train in any of the following ways:
- Study full-time in a school, college or with a training provider
- Undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship
- Work or volunteer full-time, combined with part-time education or training
Most Sixth Form’s will have a minimum requirement of 5 GCSE grade 4’s including English Language and Maths to be considered for a place. There are usually subject specific requirements too, these should be checked in the prospectus or on the website for your chosen sixth form.
- College offers a range of BTEC courses that provide a more vocational learning experience. These courses are described by varied levels, which are equivalent to different qualifications and have specific entry requirements. Please see the table below for more information:
BTEC Course Level
General entry requirements
GCSE grade 1-3
Successful interview and
interest in the subject
GCSE grade 4
Minimum 2-3 GCSEs grade 2 or above
Level 3 (Extended Diploma)
Minimum 5 GCSEs grade 4 or above
- English and Maths: If you do not achieve GCSE minimum grades “4” in English or maths by the end of year 11 you will have to continue to study these subjects at least until your 18th birthday. You can opt to study these at a college, sixth form or with a training provider.
- 16 – 19 Bursary: Colleges, sixth forms and training providers have financial support available to some young people. Check at enrolment to see if you are eligible.
General Points to Consider:
- Research your career choices in depth. The following websites can support you with your research
- Research colleges and sixth form courses by using their prospectuses, websites and attending their open days / career events. The following websites may help.
Kenilworth School and sixth Form: https://www.ksn.org.uk/770/welcome
Warwickshire College Group https://wcg.ac.uk/
National Career Service to identify additional colleges, sixth forms and training providers https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/find-a-course/search
- Ensure course entry requirements match your predicted/target grades.
- Apply to college/ sixth form as soon as you can as some will fill their places quickly. You can apply on line via their website or contact them directly to request an application form.
- Apply to 2 – 3 different colleges/sixth forms so that you have a back- up option in place. ·
Apprenticeship information to be aware of:
An apprenticeship enables you to earn and learn at the same time. If you are not ready to start an apprenticeship you can do a pre-apprenticeship course (study programme) or traineeship with a Training Provider.
Apprenticeship placements can be competitive; therefore, it is important to have at least two of the following to discuss on an application and during an interview: part-time employment, good school record (including attendance and behaviour), volunteering, extra-curricular club involvement, hobbies.
You can also look at further information and the apprenticeships available via:
The schools careers service can provide further support if required.
The Careers office is inside Meadow Sports Hall on the left, and Ms Linsell is available to make appointments and offer advice. Email: email@example.com
Year 13 Students
Post 18 Key Information:
- University course
- Advanced, Higher or Degree Apprenticeship
- Further or higher education at a college
- A job with training and/or study
- Gap year
- Internship or work experience placement
University Course :
There are many different types of higher education courses available, and they all include any sort of nationally recognised qualification which is at Level 4 or above (A Levels, BTEC Level 3 and Advanced Apprenticeships are all Level 3 qualifications). A degree starts at Level 4 and progresses to Level 6 in the third year.
Although in the past these courses were only delivered at universities, they are now offered at colleges and also some training providers too. So, if you have Level 3 qualifications you could explore higher level qualifications and see if there's anything suited to you.
Degree courses are generally 3 years but can be longer or perhaps include optional years such as an industry placement abroad..
The application procedure for university is managed via UCAS
Dr Parsons in 6th Form is the UCAS co-ordinator and is available to assist.
Some universities such as Oxford and Cambridge have additional entrance exams and some courses, such as Medicine, also have an additional admissions test.
Advanced,Higher or Degree Apprenticeship:
If you are doing A Levels or other Level 3 qualifications, such as BTECs or NVQs, you might be considering an apprenticeship when you have completed them.
An apprenticeship is a great choice if you want to train for a specific job sector and earn money at the same time. There are different apprenticeship opportunities developing all the time.
However, there are a few things you need to consider:
- Apprenticeship vacancies for the summer after you finish your A Levels/other Level 3 qualifications are advertised throughout the year and the closing dates can vary. Therefore, if you are undecided about whether to choose an apprenticeship or a higher education route, it is probably best to apply for higher education courses as well as looking for apprenticeship vacancies. If you get an apprenticeship you can always turn down any university offers.
- You can register for alerts about vacancies on gov.uk, look at companies' websites or send off speculative applications to places that you like the look of and are offering the right type of work. Apprenticeships are popular so apply early if possible.
- Remember that for some jobs, there is no apprenticeship pathway, and formal education through a university degree is the only access to these occupations, e.g. vet, doctor, lawyer, etc.
Although many people go to a further-education college at 16, after their GCSEs, you can also attend at 17 or 18.
Colleges offer a wide range of courses including Vocational subjects, Apprenticeships that are based with a paying employer, Access, and foundation courses.
Job with training or study
When you have finished school, sixth form or college you might want to start work, rather than stay in full-time education.
Some employers offer opportunities to gain further qualifications whilst employed
Options for working while training or studying include:
Employer supported training where an employer sponsors or provides relevant training in their skill sector..
- Vocational degrees - these courses contain strong practical work links, and include subjects such as medicine, dentistry and nursing.
- Foundation degrees - these are preparatory courses lasting one or two years that allow school leavers to gain the entry requirements needed to study for a degree.
- HNC/D - a Higher National Certificate or Diploma is a work-related course that is more vocationally focussed than a traditional degree. Typically, they take between three and four years to complete.
- Employer Sponsored Degrees - Some professional services firms offer school and college leaver programmes where you join the company as a salaried employee and the firm pay your degree tuition fees and often guarantee you a permanent position on completion.
- Distance learning - this involves taking a course where you learn remotely, and don't have any regular face-to-face contact with teachers in a classroom or a lecture theatre such as with The Open University. Student Finance is still available for these options.
Alternatively, if you feel you need a break from studying, a gap year abroad could be the answer. Other than travelling, options include:
- working in a temporary job or gaining work experience
- volunteering both within the UK and Abroad.
- learning a new skill or gaining additional qualifications.
Start a business
Starting your own business can be an immensely rewarding experience, although involves hard work and investment.
If you have a great idea, want to develop it into a product/service that you can sell, and are motivated by challenge and learning skills and knowledge, this could be an option.
Princes Trust and your local LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) are two organisations offering grants, mentoring and support to young people wanting to start their own business.
General Points to Consider and useful websites:
Research universities by reading their prospectuses, websites and attending their open days/ career events.
You can apply to both university and for apprenticeships. If you are at all unsure it is fine to do both to keep your options open.
Ensure course entry requirements match your predicted/target grades. It is always worth phoning the course provider if you have questions or are unsure. There is sometimes flexibility for admissions criteria.
Create a good CV to be in with the best chance. You will probably have a lot more skills and selling points than you realised! The school will run CV writing workshops and there are many online sources if further inspiration is needed.
Apprenticeships and Degree apprenticeships information, including detailed advice on specific sectors.
General career advice,
UCAS. Degree and Apprenticeships
Government Apprenticeships website
Search over 2,500 positions for Work experience, Internships, Apprenticeships and Graduate Schemes.
General Career Websites
Studential.com has in-depth information and advice for all students on A Levels, Apprenticeships, Enterprise, Applying to university & more.
Previously Which University website. Can enter ‘A’ levels into a search to match potential courses. Then links to Universities offering courses and detailed information.
What Uni? Similar to theuniguide with ideas for course, links to Open days etc.
Princes Trust . Business and employment advice and start-up schemes. .
Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Regional specific information with employment and apprenticeship opportunities.
The school’s careers service can provide further support if required.
The Careers office is just past reception on the left and Ms Linsell is available to make appointments and offer advice. The appointment book is by reception. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org