The decisions you make at school will determine your future career options, so we try to offer as much help, guidance and support to you whilst you are with us through PHSE lessons, mock interviews, university visits, work experience placements and talks from guest speakers from different industries.
Advice and Guidance for KS4 Students
Irrespective of the career path you wish to follow, the better your GCSE results are, the more opportunities will be open to you when you leave us.
When you finish your exams you may wish to look for an apprenticeship or enter the world of work but without good GCSE grades, particularly in English, maths and science, you will be putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage when applying for these opportunities.
If you have aspirations to continue your studies and join our sixth form, another college or learn on the job via an apprenticeship scheme they all have minimum entry requirements and all will ask for references and details of your school records, which will cover your attendance, punctuality, work ethic and ability to meet deadlines.
Before Choosing your Pathway
- Ensure you have fully researched the content of the course, studying at a higher level is different to GCSE and often involves much more theory and less practical work
- Speak to the subject leader, the school's Information and Guidance Co-ordinator, Mr Pomford, and your parents to ensure you're making the best decisions for you
- Act as an individual; do not be influenced by your peers and ensure you are completely comfortable with your final choice
- Attend open evenings, these events give you the opportunity to meet tutors, see the facilities and even speak to students
- Always have a back-up plan and make more than one application to a variety of institutions.
Things to consider
- Do you enjoy that subject/course and is it a strength, have you been good at it in the past?
- Beware of the novelty of new subjects, be sure to look into the course and programme content before opting to study a completely new subject
- Is a specific subject required to follow a particular university degree (see the useful download below for more detail on this important factor)
- Do your choices reflect your ability, strengths and interests and future goals?
GCSEs and University Applications
Continually improving grades A Level are making it more difficult for universities to distinguish between prospective candidates. When faced with two students with the same grades the university will look at each individual's application in greater detail and your GCSE results may be the deciding factor. If you aspire to study medicine, law, dentistry or veterinary science, for example, then your GCSE results may become an important part of your portfolio in applying to university:
- Medical courses will require five (sometimes more) A* grades at GCSE
- Science and engineering courses will require a grade B grade, at least, in GCSE English
- Science will require a grade B, at least, in GCSE maths
- Business will require a grade B in GCSE maths
- Psychology will require a grade B in GCSE maths and sometimes a grade B in GCSE science.
Courses in law and medicine at the Russell Group univesities (the 20 leading universities in the UK, including Oxford and Cambridge) require at least three/four A Levels at grade A.
They also advise that students looking to attend these prestigious institutions should be doing at least two traditionally academic or 'facilitating' subjects, these include:
- Maths and further maths
- English literature
- Languages (classical and modern)
Admission tutors for these universities insist that a lower grade in an academic subject would be more beneficial than a higher grade in a perceived easier subject.
It is very important that you make the right choices at A Level to maximise your opportunities and choices in life. Combinations of subjects at A Level are crucial and real time and consideration should be given to choosing them.
You can also call the National Careers Service helpline on 0800 100 900
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2017-18 Options Booklet
Year 7 Prospectus
Year 7 Parents' Handbook
Sixth Form Prospectus
Sixth Form Outlines