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KS4 Students - Planning for your Future

After you have finished Year 11 at Tapton, you continue your learning in a school sixth form, at a college, with a training provider, or in an Apprenticeship with a company.

Vocational Courses

•There are a huge range of vocational courses available at college. These are related to jobs or specific employment sectors such as catering, child care, engineering, sport, health and social care and many more

•You would study ONE vocational course plus you would need to resit GCSE Maths and/or English if you do not get grade 4  or above in Year 11

•You would get a qualification such as a BTEC diploma in the vocational sector

•Vocational courses are offered at different levels, dependent on the GCSE grades you get at the end of Year 11

•You can go to university with a level 3 vocational course, or you could go straight into employment or onto an advanced apprenticeship

A levels

•You can also take A levels where you continue studying subjects you have done at GCSE at a much higher level, or take on a new subject. Check ucas website

• You would do 3 or 4 subjects at A level, over two years, at college or in a school sixth form

•You can go to university with 3 A levels or you could start a job or an apprenticeship

•A levels are only offered at level 3, requiring at least 4 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, and higher grades may be required for specific subjects

University Technical Colleges

There are two UTCs in Sheffield;

•City Centre, specialising in Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing and Creative Digital Media

•Olympic Legacy Park specialising in Health Sciences, Sport Science and Computing.

Both UTCs are for 14-19 year-old students, students can join in either Year 10 or Year 12.

Further information can be found for both at

Employment/Training – Apprenticeships and Traineeships

•Train for a skilled career by starting to work for a company, and attending college, or a training centre, or studying while you work for a vocational qualification related to the work. You are paid whilst doing an Apprenticeship

•There are a wide range of Apprenticeships – check on

•Training providers are like colleges which support students looking for Apprenticeships and provide help with CVs, job search and arrange interviews

•Many employers expect students to have or be predicted to achieve grade 4 or above in GCSEs in 5 subjects, including English, Maths and Science if it is a scientific or technical Apprenticeship

•Traineeships and study programmes are work based programmes where students attend sector-based training centres to learn skills and improve on English and Maths, as well as gaining work experience before moving into an apprenticeship.  You are not paid on a traineeship or study programme but child benefit continues to be paid to your parents.


What to do now?

  • Start thinking about the career you would like to have.
  • Look at your most recent tracking as this will tell you predicted grades and will help you choose the level of course you can apply for
  • Find out about any additional support available if you need to improve your predicted grades for the course you want
  • Use UCAS Progress to start searching for courses and training opportunities at local colleges, sixth forms and training providers
  • Find out when the college and sixth form open evenings are so that you can visit, find out about the courses, talk to tutors and students about what is involved and where the course will lead.
  • Attend your careers interview in school with the careers adviser to talk over your ideas and start planning
  • Talk to your parents about your plans
  • Make sure you attend all the interviews you are invited to – you will only be offered a place at college, sixth form or training if you attend the interviews
  • Attend the Post 16 Opportunities evening at school in October when providers from many different training providers and colleges will attend.