“You’re given loads of advice about finding a job or an apprenticeship.”

“I was impressed with the University Information evening and the help given throughout the UCAS application process. Students are supported every step of the way”

“Very supportive, whilst at the same time allowing and encouraging my son to mature into a responsible adult”

Careers Advice for Parents/Carers


When it comes to Careers Education, the people who have the most influence on your child is you, their parents. Although the school provides students with information, the majority of what they know about the world of work, comes from you and their experiences of different professions.

It is therefore crucial that school and parents work together for the benefit of your child. This section of the website, aims to support you helping your child learn about the options available to them and begin working towards a rewarding career.

As a school, we give students the opportunity to use the Careers software Xello. This is a powerful tool that students of any year group can use to help them learn about different careers and pathways into them. In order to use Xello, students can follow this link which will allow them to log on using their school login information https://auth.xello.co.uk/SAML/Student/61bc869e-ef26-4ab9-9c42-7004e715d5a5. Once they have logged onto the system using this link, https://login.xello.co.uk/ they should be able to access the website using their normal school computer login credentials. 

This section includes information to support your child through Options in Year 9, Year 10 Work Experience, Post 16 choices and about life after A Levels.

Here you will find advice for the following areas.

Options Choices Year 9

Section A : Core Studies

At Thomas Adams School we consider it essential that all of our students follow a broad, balanced curriculum throughout Key Stage 4. All students study a core curriculum of:-

GCSE courses in:

The vast majority of students will also study (expectation for Set 1 and 2 students to take the qualification):-

as well as non-examination courses in:


Section B : Pathway Choices

In addition, each student chooses further subjects from:



You will be emailed a “Pathways Form” that you are to complete and submit with your choices. Depending upon your Key Stage 3 profile you will either receive a “Pathway A or Pathway B Form”.

Pathway A

Students that are in Sets 1 and 2 in French (and therefore eligible for the EBACC) are expected to select French along with:-

Either History or Geography
Select a further two choices in rank order along with two reserves.
We will strive to provide at least one of your top two choices (if not both)

Pathway B

Students that are not in Sets 1 and 2 in French follow a more technical pathway and are expected to:-

Select four choices (that includes French) in rank order along with two reserves.
We will strive to provide at least two of your top four choices (if not all).

Work Experience

Thomas Adams School believes that Work Experience is a crucial moment of a student’s education, giving them the opportunity to experience the world of work and potentially start their pathway towards their chosen career. It can provide students with an incentive to work harder in order to achieve their chosen career.

Work Experience can help in the following ways:

  • Some employers want to know if an applicant has undertaken work experience in their chosen field.
  • Provides students the opportunity to understand the world of work and if that sector is right for them.
  • Will help students identify their strengths and skills they need to develop.
  • Students may be offered a job by the company!

More information on the benefits of Work Experience can be found here https://www.allaboutcareers.com/careers-advice/work-experience/why-is-work-experience-important

The school recommends that students take the onus of finding and approaching their chosen placement as we wish to simulate the challenge of finding a job. This of course can be a nervous experience as students approach the company, but we ask that you encourage your child, as success in this can feel like an important accomplishment.

Practical information

Students will need to log onto the Grofar website and follow the instruction in the PowerPoint available in the documents section below. They will also need to complete a Health and Safety Form and hand that to Mrs Howells for Year 10 and Mrs Warr for Year 12.

Work Experience
Work Experience
Work experience

Options at 16

Helping your child decide what to do with their future can be challenging. For some students, this is the culmination of their school life; and now they have to make an important decision; what are they going to do in their future and their options.

The following options are available for students post 16:

  1. Thomas Adams Sixth Form
  2. College
  3. Apprenticeships
  4. Vocational Training

Thomas Adams Sixth Form A Levels

Thomas Adams Sixth Form is the logical next step for our students as they embark on A-Levels and BTECs. We offer a continuation of the learning journey that your child has experienced in the past. With a strong academic and pastoral focus, Thomas Adams Sixth Form offers the best of the school with the greater freedom our young adults desire For more information please see the Sixth Form section. You can also view the Sixth Form prospectus here

What are A-Levels?

A-Levels (Advanced Levels) are the highest qualification that students can achieve at secondary school and are often taught in Sixth Forms and Colleges. The study of A Levels lead to employment, training or higher education. They are sought by many employers and help students get into university.

Students often take three A Levels, often building upon what they have learnt during Year 11.

When helping your child choose their A Levels, they should consider the subjects they enjoy and what they are good at as this will most likely lead to achieving the highest grades possible. They should also consider what they wish to do as a career and choose subjects to complement this, and if they don’t know this, A Levels will keep their options open. If students have already a chosen university and course, have a look at what A Levels they recommend, some discourage certain combinations.

Apprenticeships at 16 and 18 

Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity when students when students leave Year 11 or 13 to get hands –on-experience, be treated as an employee, learn skills, earn money whilst working towards a qualification in a chosen field. Students will divide their time between their employer and a training provider which can be a college, university or another trainer. Apprenticeships last between one and four years to complete depending on level and the training industry.

There are three levels of Apprenticeships available:

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2). This is the equivalent to 5 GCSEs, studies are at the same level as the GCSE exams that students have already done.
  • Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) To be accepted onto one of these courses, the student will need to have 5 GCSE passes or an Intermediate Level 2 Apprenticeship. Level 3 Apprenticeships are the equivalent of 2 A-Level passes so would be considered the option for the majority of students post-16.
  • Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4 and above) To study a Level 4/5 Apprenticeship, your child will need to have studied an Advanced Apprenticeship or have A level qualifications. A Level 4 apprenticeship is the equivalent of a foundation degree, which is two-thirds of a university degree. Level 6 apprenticeships are available, these are the equivalent of a bachelors degree and Level 7 the equivalent of a masters degree. We would recommend Higher Apprenticeships and Degree Apprenticeships for Year 13 leavers.

Information about apprenticeships can be found in these videos:

Apprenticeship and Vocational Courses Links

Vocational Training

Vocational courses are available at some further education providers. These are available at Level 1 to 3. Access to these courses are dependent on GCSE qualifications, however, for some trade qualifications Level 1 is where everyone starts. Some of these qualifications are the equivalent of 3 A Levels and others can lead to employment in that field. The most common form of Vocational Training course is a BTEC and there are 3 levels, at 16 you would be looking at BTEC Firsts or BTEC Nationals.

BTEC Firsts are level 2 qualifications and are equivalent to a GCSE.

BTEC Nationals are level 3 qualifications and are equivalent to A levels.

BTEC Higher Nationals are equivalent to the first year, or first and second year, of an undergraduate degree.

University and the UCAS Process

One of the biggest choices students have to make during sixth form is whether they should go to university. There are many reasons students decide to  attend university, this can include, following a subject they have a passion for, getting a degree as a springboard to get into a profession (some professions still require a degree) and even the social life and independence university can offer.

Students can find deciding which degree they wish to study difficult, there are over 30,000 degree courses across all universities in the country, not to mention universities in other countries. It is therefore crucial that your child considers the options, the schools advice would be.

  1. Do they enjoy the subject?
  2. What career benefit would the subject have?
  3. Do they want a BA or a Bsc?
  4. You all like the university that the course is offered at.

More advice on this can be found here

Once they have decided on a course, the school provides support with the UCAS process. This can be a very challenging time, the schools hosts several sessions to support students with this through registration time, extra-curricular activities and attendance of the annual UCAS Conference in March.

Student Finance

During your child’s time in our sixth form, we promote the financial opportunities available to them through presentations from different organisations.  This will help them understand what support is available for living costs and tuition.

How much funding is available to your child depends on your financial circumstance, their preferred course, and destination. They will receive loans for tuition fees (which cover the cost of their course) and maintenance loans (living costs), which they will pay back once they finish university. There is also the opportunity for grants and bursaries; these are financial support which they don’t have to repay.

Student Finance Links

For more information, please visit the Student Finance website 

or alternatively the UCAS website has a user friendly guide

In addition you can look at the following:



Careers Programme and Feedback 

The school has a careers programme which it reviews every year. Over your student’s time with us they will go from learning about different jobs, different career paths and how to apply, interview and achieve their desired career. The document can be found here.

We also want to know what you think about our Careers Programme. We constantly review this, if you wish to provide us with feedback, please follow the Survey Monkey link.

Each year we collect data where Year 11 and 13 want to go after they finish their studies and where they end up going. This is so we can see how effective our Careers Programme is.  For the latest data overview for Year 11 please see here and for a more in depth analysis click here For Year 13, please see here.

Key Contacts

If you wish to learn more about Careers we recommend contacting or speaking to one of the following members of staff:

Mr Hargreaves (Assistant Head teacher for Personal Development and Careers Leader) – james.hargreaves@tas.318education.co.uk
Mrs Weston (Careers Adviser) – kim.weston@tas.318education.co.uk
Mrs Whitfield (Deputy Headteacher with careers oversight) – jennifer.whitfield@tas.318education.co.uk
Mr Allen (Assistant Headteacher – Sixth Form) – liam.allen@tas.318education.co.uk

The Thomas Adams School
Lowe Hill
SY4 5UB 

01939 237000

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