Post 16 What can your son/daughter do when they leave school?

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1 Post 16 What can your son/daughter do when they leave school? 1. First of all get your son/daughter thinking about what they want to do for their career as early as when they choose their options. Do they know what job they would like to do in the future? If so, then encourage your child to find out from teachers or a careers advise service if there are any GCSEs or GNVQs they will definitely need for that career. Also try the library or take a look at the websites concerned with careers. Useful links Connexions Connexions is a support service for 13 to 19 year olds. This link will give you some tips on how to choose subjects: OpenQUALS This is a database exploring a wide range of areas students might want to work in, breaking each down into careers and showing which exams would be need to take: Fasttomato It provides course and careers information, which is tailored to individual s needs, such as their interests, learning and social styles. The site will give an insight into future career pathways: Guardian on line ml Thinking forward If your child does not know what job they would like to do then ask them to start thinking about it. Begin by asking them these types of questions: What do you like doing? Are you a natural leader? Are you a very active person or are you happy at a desk? How do you cope when working as part of a team? Do you prefer to work on your own?

2 2. What can my son/daughter do when they leave school? In terms of qualifications there are a number of options: AS and A Levels AS and A levels: what they are AS (Advanced Subsidiary) and A (Advanced) level qualifications focus on traditional study skills. They normally take two years to complete full-time in school or college, although they're also available to study part-time. You can choose from a wide range of academic subjects, as well as some 'applied' (workrelated) subjects. Many people use AS and A levels to go on to higher education, but they're also useful if you want to go straight into a job. AS and A levels are at level 3 on the National Qualifications Framework. The framework shows how different types of qualifications compare, in terms of the demands they place on learners. A levels: AS plus A2 A levels are made up of the AS level and the A2. Each part makes up 50 per cent of the overall A level grade. AS level The AS level can be either a free standing qualification, or be valued as the first half of the full A level. At the end of the AS year, you have two options (depending on the preference of your school or college): or: take the AS level qualification only continue to the second year and go for the full A level Year two: the A2 In year two of a full A level, you take the A2 - this is not a separate qualification, but rather the second half of the A level. The A2 is designed to deepen the knowledge you gained during the AS level. Advanced Extension Awards If you're expecting to get an A grade at A level, you might also want to consider taking an Advanced Extension Award (AEA). Subjects available There are about 80 AS and A level subjects available. You can continue with subjects taken in Years 10 and 11 and/or take new ones. Most students studying for A levels take three or four AS levels in their first year. Doing this means you can keep your options open about which subjects to study as a full A level. Vocational A levels There is also a range of vocational A levels, called 'GCEs in applied subjects'. There are 10 subjects, offering a broad introduction to a vocational area such as business or tourism. How you are assessed The AS and A2 are each made up of three units.

3 You are normally assessed on a mixture of 70 per cent written exams and 30 per cent coursework. There is assessment of practical skills in some subjects like science or art. All A levels must also include some 'synoptic assessment' as part of the A2. This means testing your understanding of the whole subject, and will normally contribute 20 per cent to the full A level. Grades, marks and 'cashing in' Grades AS and A levels are graded A-E. The results are announced in August and March each year. Marks Your results slip will also show a score on something called the 'uniform mark scale' (UMS). The AS is scored out of 300 UMS marks, and the A level out of 600 marks. 'Cashing in' Once you have taken the three units for the AS level, and are happy with your award, you let the exam board know. This is called ' cashing in'. If you're not happy, you can opt to resit a unit. If the exam doesn't go well If on the day of the exam something happens outside your control to affect your performance, you may be eligible for special consideration. Speak to your teachers as soon as possible. Resits You can also choose to resit individual units (although there are time limits and some are not available in January). The awarding body will count the higher mark from your two attempts. Re-marks and recounts If you think something may have gone wrong with marking your exam, your school or college can ask for a re-mark or recount. Appeals If you are still unhappy, your school or college can appeal to the awarding body, and then finally, if necessary, to the independent Examinations Appeals Board. Where they can lead A and AS levels are one of the main routes into employment or higher education. UCAS points If you're applying to university or college, they earn the following points in the 'UCAS Tariff': Grade A level AS level A B C D E 40 20

4 BTECs, OCR Nationals and other vocational qualifications If you want to learn more about a particular job or area of work, there are many vocational qualifications to choose from. Examples include BTEC qualifications and OCR Nationals. Vocational qualifications Vocational qualifications can range from general qualifications where you learn skills relevant to a variety of jobs, to specialist qualifications designed for a particular sector. They are available from several awarding bodies, such as City and Guilds, Edexcel and OCR Examinations, and can be taken at many different sizes and levels. You can find out more about vocational qualifications at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority's website. BTECs and OCR Nationals: what they are BTEC qualifications and OCR Nationals are particular types of work-related qualifications, available in a wide range of subjects. You can take one if you are interested in learning more about a particular sector or industry. Many have been designed in collaboration with industry, so they can equip you with the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. The qualifications offer a mix of theory and practice, and can also include an element of work experience. They can take the form of (or be part of) a technical certificate, one of the key components of an Apprenticeship. What you can study BTECs and OCR Nationals are available in a wide range of subjects, including: art and design business health and social care information technology media public services science sport They are usually studied full-time at college, or sometimes at school (or in collaboration between a school and college). You can also take them part-time at college. They are mainly taken by learners over 16, although some schools offer them to 14 to 16 year olds, normally in combination with other qualifications such as GCSEs or Key Skills. Levels and sizes BTEC qualifications are available at various levels on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). OCR Nationals are offered at levels 1 to 3. The NQF shows how different types of qualifications compare, in terms of the demands they place on learners. Within each level, the qualifications are available in a range of sizes, taking different amounts of time to complete. Entry requirements Qualifications at different levels can have different entry requirements. For example, if you want to study for a level 2 qualification, you will generally need GCSEs grades D-G, or a level 1 qualification in a similar subject.

5 To study a level 3 qualification, you will normally need GCSEs grades A*-C, or a level 2 qualification in a related subject. How you are assessed Generally, you are assessed by your teacher or trainer in your place of study. Depending on the qualification you choose, some assessment may also be done by external examiners. You will complete a range of assignments, case studies and practical activities, as well as a portfolio of evidence that shows the work you have completed. Grades BTEC and OCR Nationals are graded: pass merit distinction UCAS points If you take a qualification at level 3, you can earn points on the 'UCAS Tariff' for entry into higher education. Both BTEC and OCR Nationals can earn you equivalent points to AS and A levels. For example, a BTEC National Diploma with overall three merit grades has 240 UCAS points (one A level with A grade has 120 UCAS points). Retakes If you're not happy with how you've done in a particular section of the course (or 'unit'), there are opportunities to improve your performance. Speak to your trainer or teacher. If you are still not satisfied, your teacher can advise you about appealing. Where they can lead BTECs or OCR Nationals can lead to a job or further study. For example, you could progress from a qualification at one level on the NQF to higher levels in the same or related area of study. This could eventually lead to professional qualifications. You could also use a level 3 qualification as a route into higher education, such as taking an HNC or HND. NVQs and GNVQs If you want to get a recognised qualification related to a particular industry or sector, an NVQ may be for you. You can study NVQs at work, college, or as part of an Apprenticeship. GNVQs provide a more general introduction to an area of work. NVQs: what they are NVQ stands for National Vocational Qualification. It is a ' competence-based' qualification: this means you learn practical, work-related tasks designed to help you develop the skills and knowledge to do a job effectively. NVQs are based on national standards for various occupations. The standards say what a competent person in a job could be expected to do. As you progress through the course, you compare your skills and knowledge with these standards as you learn, so you can see what you need to do to meet them. Taking an NVQ could be appropriate if you already have skills and want to improve them, or if you are starting from scratch. NVQs are at levels 1 to 5 on the National Qualifications Framework. The framework shows how different types of qualifications compare, in terms of the demands they place on learners. Who can take them

6 NVQs are available to adults and young people alike. You can take NVQs if: you are employed you are studying at college and have a part-time job or access to a work placement You can also take an NVQ qualification at level 2 or 3 as part of an Apprenticeship. In some cases you can also do an NVQ if you are at school. Subjects available There are over 1300 different NVQs to choose from. They are available in the vast majority of business sectors, including: business and management sales, marketing and distribution health care food, catering and leisure services construction and property manufacturing, production and engineering Course length Within reason, there is no maximum time limit to complete an NVQ; it is designed to be taken at a pace that suits your needs. However, many learners take about one year to complete an NVQ at level 1 and 2, and around two years for an NVQ at level 3. Search for courses online You can look for NVQ courses near you on Directgov, including details of any specific entry requirements. How you are assessed NVQs are assessed on practical assignments and a portfolio of evidence. Normally, a qualified assessor will observe you and question you about the real work you carry out in the workplace (or a realistic working environment). They will test your knowledge and understanding as well as your actual performance. Your assessor will 'sign-off' individual units within the NVQ when you have reached the required standard. Grades You are assessed as being either 'competent' or 'not yet competent'. Appeals If you're not happy with your result in a particular unit, you can appeal to the awarding body. Where it can lead Completing an NVQ can lead to further training at the next NVQ level. You could go all the way to a level 5 NVQ and/or professional qualifications, usually in a related area. If you've studied an NVQ at level 3, you could also go on to a higher education course in a related vocational area, such as a: GNVQs Higher National Certificate Higher National Diploma Foundation Degree other vocational specialism GNVQ stands for General National Vocational Qualification. It provides a more general introduction to an area of work.

7 GNVQs are being phased out and will not be offered after Check individual qualifications to see when they are finishing. Instead of GNVQs, you can choose from a growing range of vocational qualifications, such as BTECs, OCR Nationals, and GCSEs and GCEs in applied subjects. Many other qualifications are explained if you go to the website below. m Worcester Colleges Below you will find links to the Worcester College of Technology and Worcester Sixth Form. These will provide you with information of courses and qualifications available.

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