Key Stage 4 Careers Guidance
Greenford High School is committed to providing Key Stage 4 students with high quality, independent advice and guidance with regards to careers, further and higher education and future life choices.
Greenford High School works closely with Ealing Connexions and provides students with access to an impartial Level 6 Careers Coordinator, Clare Rodway. Clare meets Year 10 and 11 students to review options for Post-16 and explore everything from A Levels to local colleges and apprenticeships. Students are supported in applying for the next stage in their education or training and where relevant helped with arranging visits and interviews. Students are free to book follow-up appointments if their plans change and the goal is for every student to have a place in education or training for the following year by the end of Year 11.
Our school’s Careers Leader is Will Halsey. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Careers advice: questions to consider
What can I do when I finish Year 11?
At the end of Year 11 you will be completing your final GCSE exams but that doesn’t mean it is the end of your educational journey. Young people now need to stay in some form of education or training until they are at least 18. The good news is you have options available to you.
Option 1: School Sixth Form
Most of our Year 11 students stay on for sixth form at Greenford High School to study a range of A levels and BTEC qualifications, but there are also many other local sixth forms you can consider. When choosing your options think about the following:
- Your grades: what do you need at GCSE to get onto the course? If you’re unsure, speak to your subject teacher in Year 11!
- Your interests: what do you really like doing? Post-16 is a great time to study a subject in more depth including lots of reading around the subject so choose wisely!
- Your future plans: thinking of going to university or have a career in mind? Look now at the entry requirements for the course/ career you want to have
Interested in this?
- Speak to your subject teachers
- Attend the Post-16 subject fair and come armed with questions
- If applicable start researching other sixth forms to see what courses they offer and what their entry requirements are.
Option 2: College
Colleges are not attached to schools, and some prefer the fresh start they offer. Colleges usually offer A levels, NVQs, Diplomas and Foundation Learning or new T-Levels. Some colleges are specialist eg. you might have a catering college that specialises in cookery courses.
Interested in this?
- From the beginning of the year start researching colleges to see what courses they offer and what their entry requirements are
- Make an appointment with the careers advisor or speak to Mr Halsey about local colleges
Option 3: Apprenticeships
An apprenticeship allows you to work for an employer, earning a wage and studying for a qualification (eg an NVQ) at the same time. You would be linked with a college or training provider to help you complete your course
Interested in this?
- From the beginning of the year start researching apprenticeships to see what is available and what the entry requirements are
- Make an appointment with the careers advisor or speak to Mr Halsey about local colleges and apprenticeship opportunities.
Want more info? Check out the following links:
...Or watch the following videos:
Apprenticeships in a nutshell:
Apprenticeship case study:
The world of work
Everyone knows what a doctor, fireman and teacher are but do you have any idea what a Political risk underwriter or an ethical trade manager does all day?! The world of work is huge! But luckily there are also a huge amount of resources out there to help you choose the kind of job that might be right for you.
Where to start?
Think about your personality - what do you like doing? Personality quizzes might be a good place to start if you’re unsure of what you want to do. Try this easy one as a starting point!
This one is huge! There are lots of places to look. There are some great sources of information online - look at our Careers links and resources page for inspiration.
Research doesn’t have to be online: talk to those around you: parents, extended family and friends could all have valuable information about different jobs to share with you!
Get some experience
If you’re old enough get a part time job or do some volunteering (schemes like NCS or Duke of Edinburgh help you with this). Alternatively, ask a friend or family member if you can shadow them at work for a day during the school holidays. See some more tips for finding work experience below!
Speak to your teachers, Year team, the school careers advisor or Mr Halsey.
As the name suggests, work experience is all about gaining some insight into different workplaces and careers. It can take many forms but usually consists of a student going to a workplace for a period of time, and carrying out typical duties to get a feel for what that sector or job is like.
Finding work experience can seem daunting but there are many different routes you can go down
Speak to parents, carers, friends and family members
You may be lucky enough to already know someone who works in the sector you are interested in. If so, approach them and ask if you can come in to “shadow” (observe) them at work or to get a work experience placement with them. If you are unsure about what you want to do, but want to get a range of experience in different fields, your personal network (friends, family etc.) are a good place to start. Don’t forget to ensure that the workplace you are going to has the correct insurance and health and safety measures in place. If you are unsure about this, speak to Mr Halsey.
You may not realise it, but volunteering can be a form of work experience and actually help you develop lots of employability skills. Eg. If you are interested in a sales job, see if you can volunteer at your local charity shop.
Common places you could volunteer include:
- Places of worship (Mosques, Churches, Gurudwaras etc.)
- Charity shops
- Animal shelters
- Kids’ clubs
- Environmental organisations
- At school
For more information about volunteering visit Target Careers' page on volunteering for teens.
Look for opportunities advertised in school
Large companies often run work experience placements for students. Often these can be competitive and you will need to submit an application. To get access to these opportunities listen out for them advertised in form time, check the VLE, check the GHS Careers Twitter @GHS Futures (Careers), check the Post-16 opportunities Google Classroom, or speak to Mr Halsey.
Try a virtual work experience programme
Many companies now offer virtual work experience and e-learning programmes which allow you to gain employability skills and an understanding of what a certain job might be like. These programmes are often free and inclusive so are a great option if you are unsure about what to do.
For more information on work experience, check out the following:
- Success at school work experience ideas
- Prospects: Work experience and internships
- Get My First Job: Work experience
- My World of Work: Work experience
Important disclaimer: If you are doing experience at a workplace, the employer may need to have certain insurance or legal protocols in place to take you on for a placement. If you are unsure of this please speak to Mr Halsey before you begin your placement.
How do I write a CV and covering letter?
If you are applying for a job or a work experience programme, the chances are you will have to submit a CV and/or a covering letter. These are different documents which aim to convince an employer that you are the right person for the job or programme.
This stands for curriculum vitae and is a document which lays out your relevant skills, qualifications and interests. Look at the Student Job website to see an example and start building your own CV.
This is a letter that you submit along with your CV. In this letter you must explain why you want the job or programme offer, and why you would be good for the role. For example, if the job description mentions that the job requires organisation skills, your covering letter should demonstrate that you have these.
For more information on CVs and Covering letters, look at this BBC Bitesize feature.
To find out about the latest opportunities for your year group:
- Listen out for careers bulletins and updates in form time and on Google Classroom
- Follow GHS Futures (Careers) on twitter
- Speak to our Careers Leader Mr Halsey