Careers – An overview of 16+ choices
16+ choices- Information for Parents
Our advice for post-16 choices is that your child should have a ‘Plan A’ in terms of a college place or apprenticeship and a ‘Plan B’ in the event that the required grades are not gained or an apprenticeship is not found by September. Students will remain in training or education until the September following their 18th birthday. Last year 99.5% of our leavers were accepted for courses or apprenticeships before they left Thamesmead.
What are the options?
A-levels (usually 3 subjects studied in Year 12). These are academic, require independent study and reading, essays, revision and for many, represent a big challenge. You need grade 9-4 in English Language and Maths and usually grade B in your chosen subjects to progress to A-level. A-levels keep your options open for longer and are the usual route into university. It is important to make sure that the choice of A-levels is ‘fit for purpose’, and doing some research for A-levels for university courses is important.
Use www.ucas.com to research types of degree and the entry requirements for different universities as a guide.
A BTEC is where you learn about a subject and how it relates to an industry, building your knowledge and skill through theory and coursework projects but also through lots of practical learning activities. A BTEC course usually fills the timetable so only one is chosen. There are different levels of BTEC depending on the GCSE grades and you can generally progress from one level to another.
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: 2 year course (equivalent to 3 A-levels), requires 4 or more A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Maths at level 9-4. This will allow access to university (if you achieve the highest grades) or employment.
BTEC Level 3 Diploma: 2 year course (equivalent to 2 A-levels), requires 4 or more A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Maths at level 9-4. This will allow access to university (if you achieve the highest grades) or employment. Can be combined with other courses, including other BTECs/A-levels at some colleges.
BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma: 2 year course (equivalent to 1 1/2 A-levels), requires 4 or more A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Maths at level 9-4. Can be combined with other courses, including other BTECs/A-levels at some colleges.
BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate: 2 year course (equivalent to 1 A-level), requires 4 or more A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Maths at level 9-4. Can be combined with other courses, including other BTECs/A-levels at some colleges.
BTEC Level 3 National Certificate: 2 year course (equivalent to 1 AS-level/half A-level), requires 4 or more A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Maths at level 9-4. Can be combined with other courses, including other BTECs/A-levels at some colleges.
BTEC Level 2 Diploma: 1 year course for students who generally have less than 4 GCSEs, but who do have at least 3 grade D and 1 grade E. This can lead to Level 3 if successfully completed or employment.
BTEC Level 1 Diploma: 1 year course requires GCSE grades E-F, leads to Level 2 if successfully completed or employment.
Skills for the workplace: Many colleges run practical courses which have different levels depending on starting qualifications. These may be construction skills, hairdressing, horticulture etc.
Apprenticeships: These tend to become advertised from February each year when National Apprenticeship Week takes place. They continue to become available throughout the year. The training element for many apprenticeships are taught at colleges, so it makes sense to apply to a college for an apprenticeship while looking for an employer and also apply for a similar practical course at the same college. For example, apply for an engineering course as well as an apprenticeship so that you can spend a year doing a relevant course to acquire skills while waiting for a vacancy. For example, British Airways recruit their engineering apprentices from a particular course at Kingston College. Many apprenticeships require good GCSE grades as a starting point.
Where to find more help:
for university courses and entry requirements
to find where to study a particular subject or course for 14-19 year olds
to find out more and support your child in registering for updates and relevant vacancies. They must log on to this site regularly to keep their registration active.
Head of Careers, Enterprise and Employability Education:
Mrs F Willans 01932 219400.
Local College websites
Strode’s College is a specialist 6th Form College in Egham. It is the feeder college for Thamesmead Students and offers priority places for those applying before October half term each year, although students can apply at any time. They offer A’ levels, BTEC Level 2 and 3 courses. You can mix and match BTEC and A’ levels here.
Based in Esher near Thames Ditton station Esher is a very popular 6th Form College. Applications are run in two stages and Thamesmead students will be offered ‘guaranteed status’ subject to meeting entry criteria for their chosen subjects and applying by the July deadline. Students should check the website for application date deadlines. They offer A’ levels and BTEC Level 3 courses.
Woking College offer A ‘levels, BTEC Level 3 and Level 2 courses and is located 15 minutes from Woking Town Centre. To ensure first choice of courses, students are recommended to apply by February of the year they wish to commence their course.
Brooklands College Further Education College is based over two sites at Weybridge and Ashford. They offer a wide range of A’ levels, BTEC Level 1,2,3, Apprenticeships and other work based learning including Hairdressing, Cookery, Public Services, Health & Social Care, Construction and Engineering.
Kingston Further Education College has several sites in Kingston town centre offering a wide range of A’ levels, BTEC Level 1,2,3, GCSEs, Apprenticeships and other work based learning. Typical vocational courses include Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing, Business, Public Services, Health & Social Care, Construction and Engineering. They also offer some Foundation degree courses.
Richmond Upon Thames College is a Further Education college in Twickenham and offers A’ levels, the International Baccalaureate, BTEC Level 1,2,3. Apprenticeships in areas such as Construction, Computing, Sport and Business are also available. They offer a wide range of vocational courses too. Foundation Degree courses can be studied here after completing Level 3 courses.
Located 5 minutes from London Road station, Guildford Further Education College offers vocational and academic courses. BTEC and A’levels can be studied in a range of subjects. Apprenticeships are also available. Application forms are available on their website.
West Thames Further Education College in Isleworth offers courses ranging from A’ levels, BTEC Level 1,2,3, and Apprenticeships to vocational courses including Hair and Make Up, Logistics, Public Services, Health & Social Care, Construction and Engineering. They also offer some HND and Foundation degree courses.
Based just outside Guildford, Merrist Wood specialise in Animal Care, Horticulture & Forestry. They also have a Football Academy course in conjunction with Chelsea FC.
The Academy of Contemporary Music is based in Guildford. A specialist college for students wishing to follow a career in music performance, production or management.
School 6th Forms
Local schools in the area also have 6th Forms that Thamesmead students can apply to join. Mainly offering A’ levels, these schools include:
Bishop Wand C of E School (Sunbury)
St. Paul’s Catholic College (Sunbury)
Salesian School (Chertsey)
Heathside School (Weybridge)
Tiffin Girls (Kingston)
Tiffin Boys (Kingston)
Hampton Academy (Hampton)
Teddington School (Teddington)
Waldegrave School (Twickenham)