“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/Guardians
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.
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
- Work Experience
- Options at 16
- Thomas Adams Sixth Form
- Apprenticeships at 16 and 18
- Vocational Training
- University and UCAS Process
- Student Finance
- Careers Programme and Feedback
- Key Contacts
The school uses the Kudos Careers Service to support students with their decision making. This is a website with up-to-date careers information. Students have the opportunity to complete some activities using Kudos during my future days.
Although we give students time to do this, we believe it would be a more valuable experience for you to look at the website with them. This will help give students a realistic expectation on what they can achieve and their suitability for a career. In order to access the website, please contact this email address to receive a login email@example.com.
Options Choices Year 9
The first choice students need to make at school that will have an impact on their future are their options for GCSEs which they will study during Year 10 and 11. Although these will not have a large impact on their options at A Level, they can influence the courses they may choose to do and some A Levels build upon skills they have learnt during their GCSEs. The latest booklet can be found here.
We offer a broad and balanced range of courses, as well as traditional academic courses, we offer a range of more practical learning opportunities.
We encourage students to talk to you about possible options and suitability to the courses. The options are organised as shown below.
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:-
as well as non-examination courses in:
- Physical Education
OR, if advised by the Modern Languages Department that French is not appropriate, then one of:
- Product Design
- BTEC Business Studies
If you are taking French, you must choose at least one of:
- Computer Science
Section B : Option Choices
In addition to the above optional subjects, each student chooses further subjects from:
- Business Studies (GCSE or BTEC)
- Religious Education
- Design & Technology
- Food, Textiles
- Art or 3-D Art
- PE BTEC
- ‘Top-Up’ Science
- Health and Social Care
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.
- Year 10 and 12 undertake Work Experience on the last week of the Summer term annually.
- The school launches the work experience programme during the end of Year 9 or at the start of Year 10.
- For each child, the school needs two forms; a placement form, and a medical form. Both will be expected to be handed in during the final week of the Autumn term to allow our Health and Safety checks to be completed.
- All data is kept in accordance with the school’s GDPR policy.
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.
To support your child, the school would like to offer you the best help we can offer. We would recommend that you use the Kudos website to do so. Your child will need to sign up to a Kudos account. To do so you will need the license code (email this address to get your code and further instructions firstname.lastname@example.org). We would recommend that you and your child spend time together to searching the options, discuss their interests and the likelihood of achieving the required grades and practicalities of the different jobs.
The following options are available for students post 16:
- Thomas Adams Sixth Form
- 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, (Kudos can assist with 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:
Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/what-different-qualification-levels-mean/list-of-qualification-levels
Amazing Apprenticeships – https://amazingapprenticeships.com/vacancies/
Apprenticeships UK – Get in go Far https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/#
Government UK website – https://www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships
County Training Website- https://www.ctapprenticeships.co.uk/
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.
- Do they enjoy the subject?
- What career benefit would the subject have?
- Do they want a BA or a Bsc?
- 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.
UCAS Process and University Guide Links
More information about the UCAS process can be found at:
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 link (Survey Monkey link) (Different survey to students)
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. If you wish to know how this process takes place, please view the latest data here.
If you wish to learn more about Careers we recommend contacting or speaking to one of the following members of staff.
Mr James Hargreaves (Careers Leader) – email@example.com
Mrs Kim Weston (Careers Adviser) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Tom McAleavy (Assistant Headteacher with careers oversight) – email@example.com
For Thomas Adams Sixth Form information, please speak to: