What do we expect from pupils at Risedale?
- Pupils need to be realistic in considering the range of options available and making choices about them.
- Pupils need to be active in helping themselves as well as expecting Risedale to help them.
- Pupils need to be prepared to learn and stretch themselves in order to reach their potential.
- Pupils need to keep on target with their learning levels and grades.
- Pupils need to respect deadlines – they have been put in place for a reason.
- Pupils follow the 'STEP' careers programme, providing skills to ensure progression by supporting personal careers development.
- Key stage 3 pupils cover aspects of self-awareness, self-motivation and decision-making skills to support their Option choices made in Year 9, linking through to Key Stage 4.
- Key Stage 4 pupils are advised to research options for further education and life Post 16, in order to make informed decisions on where to study or work in the future. This could be in a Further Education College, a Sixth Form College/School, completing an apprenticeship or starting work.
Remember you need to consider the entry requirements for all your option choices post 16..... You need to think about:
- What interests you and what you are good at?
- What skills and qualities do you have 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 to be answered.
- Visit Colleges and Sixth Forms and attend their Open Evenings if possible.
- Be realistic about your choices based on predicted GCSE results.
- Talk to tutors and pupils to get a balanced view.
- Compare courses and Colleges using the above criteria.
- It is advisable to put in applications during the Autumn Term, 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.
Most Sixth Forms or Colleges will expect a certain number of good GCSEs before taking A levels; usually five to six GCSEs at grades 9-4. This indicates that pupils can cope with a higher level of study. Some subjects such as English, Maths and Science will require you to have a minimum of a grade 5 and above. A-Levels are now a two-year academic study programme. Pupils can select up to four subjects to study (a minimum of three). It is important that you fully research the content of A-Level subjects, especially ones you have not studied before. A-Levels are a lot harder and more demanding than GCSEs so it is important that you choose subjects that you enjoy and are good at. Try to attend the college open evenings and find out about the subjects/courses, this can help give you a clearer picture of what is required.
The most popular Colleges and Sixth Forms that previous Risedale pupils have gone to study A levels are Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form or QE as it is known, or Richmond Sixth Form. It is recommended that Year 11 pupils attend the bridging week (usually held in June after the GCSEs). This will allow pupils to experience lessons in the subjects they have chosen to study at A level and support their decision on their choices. Any amendments can then be organised before the September start.
Subjects can include mechanics, engineering, hairdressing, beauty therapy, construction and ICT. These courses are more practical based and assessed by a percentage of coursework and an exam, and may include a work placement. Courses are offered at Darlington College, Askham Bryan College, Harrogate College, and York College. Please check the particular College website and prospectus for courses and entry-level requirements.
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 GCSEs at grade 3.
- Some GCSEs at grades 2-3 or a pass at an introductory level are usually needed for entry.
- The course is equivalent to GCSEs at grades 5-9.
Four to five GCSEs at grades 4-9 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
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 assessed 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 4 or above. Year 11's are supported with "Job Shop" sessions helping them to complete application forms and apply for a training provider.
T Levels are a new qualification choice that follows GCSEs and gives pupils a head start towards the career they want. 3 T-Level courses are now being taught with a full range being available from September 2023.
T Levels are
- a high-quality alternative to A Levels (one T Level is equivalent to three A-Levels)
- a mixture of classroom learning (80%) and an industry placement with an employer (20%)
- are developed in collaboration with leading employers
For more information go to Introduction of T Levels.