Getting Started in Careers 2021 - Decisions in Year 8 or 9 Information for parents and carers - HONLEY HIGH SCHOOL
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Getting Started in Careers 2021 Decisions in Year 8 or 9 1 2 3 4 Information for Gatsby Benchmarks parents and carers
Welcome Choosing subjects for key stage 4, is the first decision young people will have to make that may affect their career choices in the future. Key stage 4 is when students study for national qualifications such as GCSEs. Most students will take these in Years 10 and 11, but in some schools, students start these in Year 9. This booklet provides information and advice to parents and carers, about the decisions young people have to make in Year 8 or Year 9. It contains general information about the subjects and qualifications available to young people, and also ‘useful websites’ on pages 14, 15 and 19 to enable you to do more research. Each school will produce an options booklet with more detailed information about what they offer and also hold an options evening, where young people and their parents and carers can find out more. The majority of the information in this booklet is for people who live and study in England. For people living in Northern Ireland, look at www.nidirect.gov.uk/ campaigns/careers For people living in Scotland, look at www.myworldofwork.co.uk For people living in Wales, look at https://careerswales.gov.wales
Contents How to choose subjects and page 4 qualifications for key stage 4 Key stage 4 curriculum pages 5-6 Qualifications pages 7-11 Labour market information (LMI) pages 12-15 Learning options 16+ pages 16-17 How you can help and useful pages 18-19 websites Disclaimer C&K Careers is not responsible for the content of external websites. The information in this booklet was correct at the time of writing, however, please be aware that the information may change. Copyright This information must not be reproduced without prior permission from C & K Careers Ltd.
How to choose subjects and qualifications for key stage 4 When thinking about choosing subjects and qualifications that are right for them, young people need to consider: • The options available to them at their own school In most schools, young people are allocated to a ‘pathway’. Often, this is a colour or a letter. Which pathway they are on will affect which subjects and qualifications they can take. • Their career ideas Specific subjects at GCSE level are required for some careers. For information about different careers, including subjects required, look at https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/explore- careers or talk to the careers adviser in school. Young people who are uncertain about their career ideas, could try doing a career matching programme such as Jed, Kudos, Fast Tomato or U-Explore, which many schools subscribe to. • How they learn best Vocational qualifications, such as BTECs, are usually more practical and are assessed through coursework, projects and tests. GCSEs are mainly assessed by exams. Look at pages 7-9 for more information about qualifications at key stage 4. • How choosing or dropping a subject will affect the courses they can choose in the future Some subjects, such as languages and the sciences, build on prior learning and cannot be studied at a higher level without studying them at GCSE. • Which subjects they are good at and enjoy It is likely that young people will achieve higher grades in subjects they enjoy studying. Achieving higher grades will mean more options are available after Year 11. • Labour market information (LMI) LMI can help young people make informed choices when making career-related decisions. For more information, see page 12. 4 4
Key stage 4 curriculum Introduction Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based, and which: • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society • prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. In addition, all local authority maintained schools in England, are legally required to follow the statutory national curriculum which sets out the subjects that should be taught to all pupils. More information about these subjects is outlined below. Compulsory subjects At key stage 4, English, maths and science are ‘core’ national curriculum subjects that all students must study - most young people will take GCSEs in these. ‘Science’ can be taken as separate GSCEs - such as biology, chemistry and physics or as a double GCSE in combined science. Other compulsory subjects are called ‘foundation’ subjects and include computing, physical education and citizenship. Schools must also provide religious education and sex and relationship education, but young people do not need to take exams in these. Optional subjects These are subjects that young people can choose to take alongside compulsory subjects. Every school will offer a different range of subjects and qualifications - it is important to check each school’s options booklet. Choosing a good spread of subjects will help keep options open after Year 11. Some subjects, for example biology, chemistry, physics and some languages, have to be taken at key stage 4, if young people want to study them at a higher level later. 5
Most schools will not offer every subject to every student. Students will be put into pathways, based on their ability and results from assessments such as Year 6 SATs and Year 7 and 8 exams. Schools must offer at least one subject from each of these areas: • arts (such as dance, music, art and design and drama) • design and technology • humanities (such as history and geography) • modern foreign languages. These subjects not only help to develop students’ knowledge, but also their skills, for example: • Arts subjects can help develop skills in creativity, adaptability, team work, imagination, research, time management and visual and spatial awareness. • Design and technology can help develop creative thinking, communication skills, planning and computer visualisation. • Humanities can help develop critical reasoning, problem solving, open-mindedness, the ability to understand abstract concepts, self-reliance and the ability to discuss ethical and moral topics. • Modern foreign languages can help develop confidence, quick thinking, assessment skills and memory. If young people don’t have a specific career in mind, choosing a broad range of subjects that help to develop a range of skills would be best. English Baccalaureate (EBacc) The EBacc is a school performance measure and, as such, young people do not receive an EBacc qualification or certificate. It is a set of subjects at GCSE, that the government believes keeps young people’s study and career options open. Subjects included in the EBacc are English language and literature, maths, geography or history, a language and either combined science or three single sciences - which can include computer science. The government’s ambition is to see 75% of pupils studying the EBacc subject 6 combination at GCSE by 2022, and 90% by 2025.
Qualifications Qualifications at key stage 4 As well as choosing which subjects to study at key stage 4, young people may also have to choose the type of qualifications they want to study, depending on what is offered by their school. They can choose between GCSEs and vocational qualifications - or a mixture of both. GCSEs • The majority of students will take some GCSEs. GCSEs are offered in over 40 subjects, although most schools will only offer a selection. • Examples of GCSE subjects include English, maths, French, history, geography, computer science and biology. • GCSEs are graded from 9-1 (old grades A*-G). To give young people the most options after Year 11, they should aim to achieve grades 9-4 (equivalent of old grades A*-C). • To study some subjects after Year 11, such as maths and the sciences, GCSE grades 9-6 will be required. • GCSEs are assessed by exams at the end of two or three years of study. Vocational qualifications • Vocational qualifications are related to an area of work. • They are more practical than GCSEs and the majority of assessment is through coursework, although they do also include some exams. • Different awarding bodies offer vocational qualifications, for example BTEC, City & Guilds, IMI, NCFE CACHE, OCR Cambridge National and WJEC - there are others. • At key stage 4, vocational qualifications are offered at different levels - entry level, level 1 and level 2. Levels are explained on page 9. • At level 2 (GCSE level), they are graded Distinction*, Distinction, Merit and Pass. 7
• You may see vocational qualifications at level 1 and level 2 referred to as ‘technical awards’. Technical awards are the equivalent of GCSEs. Young people can choose to study technical awards alongside GCSEs, depending on what their school offers. • They are currently available in a wide range of subjects, but this is under review and may change in the future. Examples include: Art and design Automotive Business and maintenance enterprise Child development Construction and Digital information the built technology environment Engineering Health and social Hospitality and care catering Performing arts Sport science Travel and tourism Most schools will only offer a selection of these subjects, so it is important to check each school’s options booklet. With vocational qualifications, students have to undertake a number of units, which allow them to demonstrate their technical skills and knowledge and relate them to practical situations. Students who have lost interest in traditional subjects and methods of assessment, may prefer the subjects offered by this type of qualification. 8 8
Qualifications at different levels Level 3 A Levels T Levels Post-16 BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate/Diploma/ Foundation Diploma/Extended Diploma NVQ/VQ Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship Level 2 GCSE grades 9-4 BTEC Level 2 Certificate/Extended Certificate/ Diploma NVQ/VQ Level 2 Key Stage 4 and Post-16 Intermediate Apprenticeship Entry Level and Level 1 GCSE grades 3-1 BTEC Level 1 Certificate/Diploma NVQ/VQ Level 1 Entry Level 1-3 Certificates in English, maths and vocational subjects Most students at key stage 4 work for qualifications at entry level, level 1 or level 2. Schools and careers advisers will help young people choose qualifications at the right level for them. BTEC, is just one example of a vocational qualification - there are others. Please visit www.ckcareersonline.org.uk/qualifications-guide for more information. 9
Post-16 qualifications After Year 11, young people can choose from a range of subjects and qualifications, at different levels. The decision about which qualifications to take, and at what level, will depend on the results they get at key stage 4. For example, to study level 3 qualifications, at least five GCSEs at grades 9-4 are usually required. Qualifications at level 3 A levels • A levels are offered in subjects similar to those studied at GCSE, for example maths, English, French, history and biology. Usually three subjects are studied. • At least five GCSEs at grades 9-4, including English and maths, are needed to study A levels, and to study some subjects, GCSEs at grades 9-6 will be required. • They are two year courses, which are assessed mainly by exam. • A levels are offered by most school sixth forms, sixth form colleges and some further education colleges. Vocational qualifications • Vocational qualifications are available in a wide range of subjects, such as animal management, applied science, tourism and sport. • BTECs are one type of vocational qualification - there are others, such as City & Guilds and Cambridge Technicals. • At least five GCSEs at grades 9-4, are usually needed to study a BTEC at level 3. • Vocational qualifications are available in different sizes - the equivalent of between one and three A levels. This means that, young people can study one or more BTEC subjects (or an A level alongside a BTEC), but this will depend on what is offered by different schools and colleges. • Depending on the size of qualification, they are one or two year courses and are assessed mainly by coursework. 10
Getting Started in Careers 2021 Decisions in Year 8 or 9 Information for parents and carers How C&K Careers can help
Help from C&K Careers Careers advisers Careers advisers from C&K Careers work in most schools across Calderdale and Kirklees. They provide information, advice and guidance to students in groups or in one-to-one interviews, and also attend parents and options evenings. www.ckcareersonline.org.uk The website of C&K Careers provides a wide range of careers- related information, including LMI and links to other useful websites. It also has a link to Jed - a career matching programme - which young people can use to match their interests to different careers. Jed also provides information about over 800 jobs. They will need to ask school for a code to use Jed and to access some of the information on the website. Contacting C&K Careers Young people and/or their parents and carers can contact C&K Careers for support, advice and guidance using the Chat service - see the details above. The service is available Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm and Thursday, 9.00am - 8.00pm.
Careers information Young people will be given a copy of Directions at school in Year 8 or 9. The booklet, produced by C&K Careers, provides information, quizzes and activities around option choice, as well as an introduction to choices after Year 11. In Year 11, young people will receive a copy of Get Organised or Get Ahead at school. These booklets provide information about all their options after Year 11. Parents and carers of young people in Year 11, will also receive a copy of Decisions - a guide to post-16 options. C&K Careers produces over 200 leaflets about a range of careers-related topics. They can be downloaded from ‘Careers info’ at www.ckcareersonline.org.uk Ask in school for a code to use ‘Careers info’. Young people may also find our leaflets in their careers library at school. If you would like information in another format, such as large print, please contact C&K Careers on 01484 242000. Please note: not all schools in Calderdale and Kirklees choose to receive services from C&K Careers.
Places to study locally at key stage 4 Most young people will stay at their current school, however there are schools which admit pupils in Year 9 or Year 10 - university technical colleges (UTCs) and studio schools. schools See page 15 for more information. If you are considering one of these options, research the qualifications offered by the current school and what the UTC or studio school offers, to help you decide. Below are some examples of local UTCs • UTC Leeds Specialisms: engineering and advanced technology - you can start here in Year 10 or Year 12. • UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park Specialisms: computing, health sciences and sports science - you can start here in either Year 9 or Year 12. • UTC Sheffield City Centre Specialisms: creative and digital media and engineering and advanced manufacturing - you can start here in either Year 9 or Year 12. Details of all UTCs can be found at www.utcolleges.org Studio schools are similar to UTCs, in that they have employer involvement in the curriculum. In the local area, there is the Creative and Media Studio School, look at www.studio-school.org.uk for more information. Locally, Leeds City College also offers an alternative to school at their 14+ Apprenticeship Academy - for more details, visit www.leedscitycollege.ac.uk/14-apprenticeship-academy
• At level 3, vocational qualifications are offered by some school sixth forms and sixth form colleges, and by most further education colleges. T levels • T levels are new, two year courses, the first of which started in September 2020. • They are the equivalent of three A levels and have been developed with employers, so that their content meets the needs of industry. • T Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on- the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). • The first three T Levels are now available at selected schools and colleges. A further seven T Levels will be available in September 2021, with the remaining 14 starting in either 2022 or 2023. • See www.tlevels.gov.uk for more information. Qualifications at level 2 and below • Vocational qualifications are available at entry level, level 1 and level 2 - for those young people who do not achieve GCSEs at grades 9-4. • As at level 3, they are available in a wide range of subjects from animal care and art and design to sport and leisure and vehicle maintenance and repair. • Usually, just one subject is studied. • Most courses will last for one year. • After successfully completing one level of qualification, it is possible to move up to the next level. • Colleges offer vocational qualifications at all levels - including at level 2 and below. School sixth forms and training providers may also offer them. 11
Labour market information (LMI) LMI includes facts and figures about jobs and employment, such as: • Which jobs are growing or decreasing in number. For example, it is predicted that in the future, the number of nurses will increase, but the number of printers will decrease. (Source: www.lmiforall.org.uk/careerometer) • The qualifications and skills you need to do a job. • How your interests and skills are relevant to particular jobs. • What jobs there are, in different areas of the country. For example, the South East made up the largest proportion of construction employment in 2018, with 14.5% of all construction employment. The North East made up only a small proportion of construction employment with 3.2%. (Source: www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/constructionindustry/articles/ constructionstatistics/2018) Young people can use LMI to find out what careers might be in demand in the future and what skills may be needed. Changes in technology and the climate mean that new jobs, requiring new skills and qualifications, are appearing all the time. Current trends in the labour market The impact of Brexit and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the labour market, means it is difficult to predict what might happen to different sectors of the economy in the future. However, there are some general trends which are likely to remain. • In the future, more people will have higher level qualifications and more jobs will need people with higher level qualifications. (Source: www.gov.uk/government/publications/labour-market-and-skills-projections-2017- to-2027) • Replacement demand (the need to replace workers who are retiring) will create job opportunities across most occupations. (Source: www.gov.uk/government/publications/labour-market-and-skills-projections-2017- to-2027) 12
• Employment in manufacturing is expected to fall, because of increasing automation in the sector. (Source: www.gov.uk/government/publications/labour-market-and-skills-projections-2017- to-2027) • The UK’s ageing population is expected to generate a large number of additional jobs in health and social care. These jobs are less affected by automation. (Source: www.gov.uk/government/publications/labour-market-and-skills-projections-2017- to-2027) • Digital skills are important across most jobs. Research has shown that, ‘digital skills are becoming near-universal requirements for employment. Acquiring specific digital skills makes career progression, as well as a pay increase, more likely.’ (Source: www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-and-future-demand-for-digital-skills- in-the-workplace)) • The demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills is growing. Many employers in STEM sectors, say they are struggling to recruit people with the skills and qualifications they need to fill the jobs they have. (Source: www.stem.org.uk/news-and-views/news/skills-shortage-costing-stem-sector- 15bn) Using LMI By doing their research, young people can make an informed choice about the subjects and qualifications they choose. This doesn’t mean that just because the workforce in a particular career is not expected to grow, then they shouldn’t consider it, but it may mean it is more difficult to get into. Similarly, young people should not choose subjects that they don’t enjoy or find hard. Developing key skills and qualities qualities Studying for GCSEs and vocational qualifications provides young people with the opportunity to develop the key skills and qualities that employers say are important. These include: communication skills, creativity, enthusiasm, IT skills, literacy and numeracy skills, motivation, organisation, reliability, resilience, teamwork, time management, willingness to learn 13
To further develop their skills and qualities, young people could help to organise events at school or get involved in other extracurricular activities. They could take part in programmes, such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award www.dofe.org or, at the end of Year 11, the National Citizen Service https://wearencs.com They could also consider: Work experience - some schools will offer students the opportunity to undertake work experience in Year 10 or Year 11. Young people could also find their own work experience during the school holidays. It can help them decide if they would like their chosen career area, as well as helping them to develop some of the skills and qualities employers are looking for. Employer visits - these may be arranged by schools. They can help students find out about different careers and jobs within specific industries. Schools may also arrange for employers to talk to students in assemblies, at careers fairs or via Skype or Zoom. Volunteering - is a good way of gaining experience and developing key skills and qualities. Look at https://do-it.org for opportunities. Useful websites General LMI https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/explore-careers - information about hundreds of jobs, including the skills and knowledge needed for each one. www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles - information about 400+ jobs, including important skills and career prospects. www.ckcareersonline.org.uk/uncategorised/93-job-trends - use the Careerometer to find information about the projected change in the workforce for hundreds of jobs. https://icould.com/explore - information about employment by region, projected future employment and the importance of different skills for a range of jobs. 14
STEM www.futuremorph.org - careers related to science and maths. https://edu.rsc.org/future-in-chemistry/career-options www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk - projects and programmes related to careers in engineering. www.etrust.org.uk/young-people - STEM placements, projects and experience days. www.rsb.org.uk/careers-and-cpd/careers - careers in biology. https://enginuity.org/career-pathways - careers in engineering and advanced manufacturing. www.womeninstem.co.uk www.mathscareers.org.uk www.healthcareers.nhs.uk - careers in the NHS. Atypical admissions Most young people will stay at their current school for key stage 4. However, those considering vocational options in Years 10 and 11, could leave and study elsewhere. Some further education colleges offer full-time courses for young people in key stage 4. There are also: UTCs UTCs are schools for 14-19 year olds and have a special focus on STEM subjects. Students combine studying traditional GCSEs and A levels with specialist technical qualifications, learning skills that employers say they need. See www.utcolleges.org for more information about UTCs and where they are located. Studio schools Studio schools are small schools, teaching mainstream qualifications through project-based learning. They are similar to UTCs in that they have employer involvement in the curriculum. They focus on developing skills needed for employment or further education, through personal coaching and work experience. 15
Learning options 16+ After Year 11, young people must stay in learning until they are 18. This requirement is known as ‘Raising the Participation Age’ or RPA. Staying in learning does not mean that they have to stay at school. They could go to college, get an apprenticeship or traineeship or start full-time work, voluntary work or self-employment (with part- time education or training). Currently, young people have to continue to study English and/or maths if they do not get a grade 9-4 in the subject at GCSE. Full-time education After Year 11, young people can study at a school sixth form, form sixth form college, college further education college or with a training provider. provider They can apply for more than one course with more than one provider. Courses are available at different levels - see pages 9-11 for more information about post-16 qualifications. Apprenticeships and traineeships Apprenticeships are jobs with training and are open to anyone over the age of 16. They are available in a wide range of careers and industries, from baker to nurse and marine engineer to marketing executive. Finding an apprenticeship depends on the vacancies that employers have. At the age of 16 or 17, young people usually do an apprenticeship at level 2 (intermediate) or level 3 (advanced). Employers set their own entry requirements, so they can vary. For level 2 apprenticeships, employers may ask for some GCSEs at grades 4 or 5, for level 3 apprenticeships, employers will usually ask for them. Apprenticeships are also available at levels 4-7 and are known as ‘higher apprenticeships’. Some will also include a degree and are called ‘degree apprenticeships’. Apprenticeships at these levels include actuary, aerospace engineer, chartered surveyor, police 16
constable and solicitor. Usually, level 3 qualifications are needed to get onto an apprenticeship at level 4 or above. Traineeships are designed for young people who would like a job or apprenticeship, but need help to get the knowledge, skills and experience employers are looking for. They include training to prepare a young person for work, support with English and maths if needed and a work placement. A traineeship can last from six weeks up to one year. Full-time work, voluntary work or self-employment Under the requirements of RPA, after Year 11, young people can spend 20 hours or more a week working (including for themselves) or volunteering. However, they must also undertake some part-time education or training - even if they have to do this in the evening or by distance learning. Young people considering employment or an apprenticeship, need to think about the skills and qualities employers are looking for and undertake activities at school, or in their own time, to help develop them. See page 14 for ideas of some of the activities they could do. After Year 13 It may seem a long way off, but parents and carers have told us they want to know about the options available to young people after Year 13 or when they are aged 18+. Young people aged 18+ have the same options as they have after Year 11. However, they no longer have to stay in learning. In addition, if they have qualifications at level 3, they could also consider higher education. Higher education is available at universities and some colleges. Young people can study for qualifications, such as a foundation degree, HND or degree. Most degrees last for three years. For more information, go to www.ucas.com 17
How you can help Parents and carers can help young people with the decisions they have to make about their options by: • attending parents and options evenings • talking through all the options. Evidence shows that young people value what their parents or carers think - so you have an important role in helping them to choose what is right for them. Young people need to be encouraged to: Ask for help This can be from their teachers and their careers adviser. Work hard Think for themselves It is important to gain good They should choose subjects grades, especially in English and qualifications based on and maths. They also need what interests, motivates and a good record of attendance suits them. They should not and behaviour at school, as choose subjects to stay with employers, training providers, their friends or because they sixth forms and colleges will think they are ‘girls’ or ‘boys’ ask them for a reference. subjects. Develop their skills and Find out qualities They should get as much They could ask their school information as they can about extracurricular activities about the qualifications and that provide opportunities to subjects offered by their develop different skills and school. qualities and also think about Do their choices fit in with any how they use their spare courses or careers they may time to learn new things. want to do at 16+? 18
Useful websites Below, are some websites you may find useful. For more websites, look at www.ckcareersonline.org.uk/useful-websites Information about different careers https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/explore-careers https://icould.com - young people can take the ‘Buzz quiz’ to help them think about careers that would suit them. Full-time courses after Year 11 See individual school, college and training provider websites. Apprenticeships and traineeships www.apprenticeships.gov.uk www.gov.uk/guidance/traineeship-information-for-trainees Money for studying at sixth form or college www.gov.uk/further-education-courses Working while still at school www.gov.uk/child-employment Benefits www.turn2us.org.uk www.gov.uk/child-benefit www.gov.uk/child-tax-credit Citizens Advice www.citizensadvice.org.uk Information for students with disabilities www.disabilityrightsuk.org - click on ‘How we can help’, ‘Advice/ Information’ and look at the factsheets. Voluntary work https://do-it.org Self-employment www.gov.uk/working-for-yourself 19
What parents said about Getting Started in Careers 2020 The subjects and qualifications young people can choose from, have changed so much since I was at school. This booklet has really helped me understand the choices my son has and talk to him about his career ideas. Kim A really helpful guide to option choices in Year 8 and then in Year 11 and beyond. The information about employability skills and the labour market was particularly useful. Sadiq I picked up this booklet at the options evening at my son’s school. It’s been a useful introduction to help me, to help him. Ian www.ckcareersonline.org.uk Join the conversation: ckcareers @ckcareers1 Getting Started in Careers
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