“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 (Student Area)
Here you will find advice for the following areas. Click on the link to jump to that area.
Advice for students post 16
- Facilities within school
- Careers Resources
- Who can I speak to?
- Options Choices Year 9
- Work Experience
- Studying at Thomas Adams Sixth Form
- Vocational Training
- STEM Opportunities
- Learning Skills
- Careers Programme and Feedback
- Key Contacts
Facilities within School
When you begin to think about what you want to do in the future, it will feel scary! That is completely understandable. You are expected to stay in school until the year of your 16th birthday, then you have the option of deciding what you want to do next. You will have to stay in some form of education or training until you are 18. There are many different options, these include completing A-Levels at Thomas Adams Sixth Form, completing a college course, an apprenticeship, or vocational training.
The school is here to help you. In fact, by the time you read this, you have already likely attended numerous Careers Fairs, Assembly presentations and had lessons on Careers in school.
The school pays for the Kudos Careers Service. This is a website with up-to-date careers information; you will need to contact this email address to receive a login email@example.com. You will have several opportunities to use the programme within school but we recommend that you use it at home and look at it with your parents.
You can find additional information within school, we have Careers related books in the school library which you can borrow to do your own research. We also have a host of information about different careers, college and university prospectuses to browse through in our Career Hub. You can also keep tabs on your progress within Careers Education by looking at your Careers Passport, available from your form tutor.
Who can I speak to?
The best person to speak to would be our Careers Adviser, Mrs Weston email here. She is available for Years 9 – 13 on Mondays, with drop-in sessions on Monday lunchtimes. We also offer the opportunity for your parents/carers to attend. Other people with a Careers overview in the school include Mr Hargreaves, Mr McAleavy, Mrs Squire and Mr Allen (PE), but you can always ask any member of staff about their career journey.
Options Choices – Year 9
You are approaching a very important time in your education – the final two years of secondary school, leading to external examination qualifications. These qualifications will determine, to a great extent, your future opportunities and careers.
Thomas Adams’ offers a broad and balanced range of courses, with an element of choice. As well as traditional academic courses, we offer a range of more practical learning opportunities.
It is important that you consider these choices carefully, discuss them with your parents, teachers and friends and read through the booklet very carefully before making your decisions. The following information explains how the options decision process works.
Section A : Core Studies
You will study a core curriculum of:-
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
This process enables you to have an element of personal choice in what you study. However, it must be noted that this is a guided choice, some students being strongly advised to take certain subjects. Some of you may have a particular career path in mind and choose subjects accordingly. But don’t worry if you haven’t yet, it will come in time!
You will be asked to write down reasons for choosing particular subjects. We look too at the commitment and ability you have shown in Year 9 across all their subject areas. We then discuss the options with you individually and agree your courses.
Please click here for the latest options booklet.
Thomas Adams School believes that Work Experience is a crucial moment of your education, giving you the opportunity to experience the world of work and start your journey towards your chosen career. If you have a good experience, it can help push you to work towards better grades so you can get your dream job!
Work Experience can help in the following ways:
- Some employers want to know if you have undertaken work experience and where.
- Work Experience provides you the opportunity to understand the world of work and if that sector is right for you.
- Will show you what you are good at and which skills you should work on.
- The Company may offer you a job! This happens every year!
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 you find and approach the placement yourself as you would getting a real job. Try not to be too nervous, often employers find your efforts a positive thing and will encourage you. If you can do this, you should be proud of yourself!
- You will complete Work Experience in Year 10 and it will take place during the last week of the summer term annually.
- The school launches the work experience programme at the end of Year 9 or start of Year 10.
- Year 12 are also expected to complete work experience during the final week of the school year.
- You will need to bring in 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 (last day before Christmas holiday) to allow our Health and Safety checks to be completed.
- All data is kept in accordance with the school’s GDPR policy.
Work Experience Forms and Letters
Post 16 Options
Studying at Thomas Adams Sixth Form
Thomas Adams Sixth Form is a logical next step for you if you are considering A-Levels and we also offer some BTECs. We offer a continuation of the learning journey that you have experienced during your time with us. With a strong academic focus and pastoral focus, Thomas Adams Sixth Form offers the best of the school with the greater freedom that you, as young adults desire. You can view the sixth form prospectus here
What are A-Levels?
A-Levels (Advanced Levels) are the highest qualification you can study at secondary school and are often taught in Sixth Forms and Colleges. The study of A Levels lead to employment, training or higher education and many employers want you to have them and can help you get into university.
We advise students take three A Levels, building upon what you have learnt during Year 11.
When choosing your A Levels, we recommend you consider the subjects you enjoy and what you are good at, as this will most likely lead to achieving the best grades. You should also consider the job you want and which subjects complement this, (Kudos can assist with this) and if you don’t know what you want to do, A Levels keep your options open. If students have already chosen a university and course, have a look at what A Levels they recommend, some discourage certain combinations.
Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity to get hands –on-experience, learn skills, earn money whilst working towards a qualification in your chosen field. You will divide your time between the employer and a training provider which can be a college, university or another trainer. Apprenticeships last between one and four years depending on the level and industry.
There are three levels of Apprenticeships available:
- Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2). This is the equivalent of 5 GCSE passes, so is studied at the same level as the GCSE exams you have already done.
- Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3). To be accepted onto one of these, you will need 5 GCSE passes or a Level 2 Apprenticeship. Level 3 Apprenticeships are the equivalent of 2 A-Level passes so would be considered the option for the majority of you post-16. These may feature supervisory aspects of that trade.
- Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4 and above). To study a Level 4/5 Apprenticeship, you will need to have studied an Advanced Apprenticeship or have A levels. 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, a masters degree.
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.
STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is an expected area of growth in the UK over the next few years. There is an expected shortfall in the number of jobs and students following such a path. As such, the school wishes to promote these jobs. If you are interested in STEM opportunities within the school, please see Mr Gilbert and Mr Allen (In D&T).
STEM Careers Links
There are several websites that can help you learn about your skills. These help you learn about what you are good at, but also skills that you may need to work on. These should help you consider which career paths that you may be suited to.
You can use the KUDOS quiz https://kudos.cascaid.co.uk/#/review-skills by logging on to your account. If you need information on KUDOS click here (bounce up to KUDOS part of website)
Just be warned, they are not perfect. Only you fully know how skilled you are at different things.
Careers Programme and Feedback
The school has a careers programme which it reviews every year during the Summer Term. Over your time at Thomas Adams you will start by learning about different jobs, to learning about what career path is right for you, to learning the skills you will need to apply, interview and achieve the career you desire. 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 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 destination data please see here.
If you wish to learn more about Careers we recommend contacting or speaking to one of the following members of staff.
For Thomas Adams Sixth Form information, please speak to Mr Allen – firstname.lastname@example.org