Here is some information to help you:
Most schools and colleges expect a certain number of good GCSEs (usually 5-6 at grades A* - C), or equivalent, before taking A levels. This indicates that students can cope with a higher level of study. Some subjects such as maths and sciences will require you to have a B grade. A’ levels are a two year academic study programme; AS level is studied in Year 12 and counts towards the final A’ level grade. A2 level study in Year 13 which gives the full A’ level qualification. Students select up to 4 subjects to study (a minimum of 3). It is important that you fully research the content of A’ levels subjects especially ones you have not studied before. A’ levels are a lot harder and more demanding than GCSE’s so it is important that you chose subjects that you enjoy and are good at. Try to attend open evenings and find out about the subjects/courses, this can help give you a clearer picture of what is required - Details of Open Events are listed at the end of this section. The most popular Colleges and Sixth Forms that previous Risedale students have gone to study A’ levels are Queens Elizabeth’s
or QE as it is known , Richmond School
and Wensleydale School
Subjects can include mechanics, engineering, hairdressing, beauty therapy, art & design, construction and ICT.
These courses are non exam and assessed by coursework and perhaps work placement.
Vocational means work related, and requires different entry requirements i.e.
No qualifications are needed for entry to this course. The course is equivalent to GCSE's at grades D-G
Some GCSEs at grades D to E, or a pass at introductory level usually needed for entry.
The course is equivalent to GCSE's at grades A-C
Four to five 4-5 GCSEs at grades A* - C, or a pass at First level needed for entry.
The National is made up of:
- 6-unit National Award, equivalent to one A level
- 12-unit National Certificate, equivalent to two A levels
- 18-unit National Diploma, equivalent to three A levels]
Courses are offered at Darlington College, Askham Bryan College, Harrogate College and York College. It is important that you attend College Open Events to find out more information – details are below.
Apprenticeships are work-based programmes that focus on the skills and knowledge needed to do a certain job. They are available in a range of vocational areas and are sometimes referred to as “Work-Based Learning”. You will study for qualifications whilst in the workplace and be assessment carrying out work. The most common qualifications are called National Vocational Qualifications or NVQ. You will earn a minimum of £80 per week but you will need to find an employer in the vocational area you are interested in to take you on as an apprentice. Most employers will be looking for GCSE Maths, English and Science at grade C or above. I support Year 11’s with “Job Shop” sessions in March of Year 11, helping to complete the application form to apply for a training provider. For more information see http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk
REMEMBER: YOU NEED TO CONSIDER THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL YOUR OPTIONS
You need to think about:
- What interests you and what you are good at
- About your skills and qualities and consider all careers and where these would be useful
- Do you need certain qualifications for the career you are interested in?
You need to do the following:
- Read the college prospectus carefully: note the questions you want answered.
- Visit the college/s and Sixth Forms if possible.
- Be realistic about your choices based on predicted GCSE results
- Talk to tutors and students to get a balanced view.
- Compare courses and colleges using the above criteria
- It is advisable to put in applications during the Spring Term, or earlier if you wish, allowing time to concentrate on your GCSE work.
- You can apply for more than one college and training place – this does not commit you but keeps your options open.