Best options for after GCSEs (and career suggestions please!)(13 Posts)
sorry a bit long.
Hi, my Year 9 DD is quite hardworking, but about average ability. We obviously haven't got GCSe predictions yet, but my best guess is she is likely to get a crop of Cs with maybe some Bs.
She has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up. She is good verbally, good at memorising lines, hopeless practically (poor motor skills and visual perception). Her selected GCSE options are 2 languages drama and history.
In our area, there are no 6th forms at schools, only 6th form colleges.
So with Cs and Bs, would she be capable of doing A levels if she wanted to? Assuming Cs and Bs equates to lower grade A level results (Es-Cs?) is there any point in doing A levels to get those grades? I know they wouldn't get to a RG university, but would they still be OK for an ex-poly more vocational type of degree?
Or would she be better off doing something more vocational at college? But what if she still has no idea of a career. Are there any useful but not specific courses?
If she didn't go to university, is there any difference to employers between her having lowish A levels and a non-relevant vocational qualification?
I know this is ages away but I like to cross bridges early, and then also help set 'expectations' as to what might be feasible.
You need to ask your local colleges; around here they only need 5 passes (Cs) to get accepted to do A-levels, but obviously not just any A-level. And believe it or not, some of those all-Cs pupils even go on to RG Unis, never mind the worthwhile (yes I do mean that sincerely!) degrees from ex-polys and every type of Uni inbetween.
We need plumbers & caretakers & nurse auxillaries, too, all kinds of occupations that aren't on the Uni path. I think just keep letting her explore her interests.
Yes it is a little early. You have more than a year before she even needs to think about the next step. There is nothing wrong with sixth form colleges for A levels but they can be different, look at them on open days as you did for secondary school. More and more sixth forms also offer slightly more vocational subjects alongside A levels.
You will also have a better idea of her GCSE potential in another year. A levels are much harder than GCSEs and even the A* students have to work very hard.
Does her school do work experience? Could you arrange some for her? It might help her to find something she would like to pursue?
I know we are early and there is around 18 months before any mega serious thinking is required. Our local 6th form colleges are very well respected, so I am not worried about them. We have good academic and vocational options.
I guess my issue is not what is permitted, but what is sensible. e.g. You can do A levels with C grades, but is it wise? What do you apply to do if at just 15 (she is young in the year), you don't know what you want to do? Our school has stopped y10 work experience as it was finding more and more employers unwilling to take 14 year olds (insurance issues).
If anyone has any suggestions for a verbal non-practical average academic person please say. So far we have thought of:
- interpreter (if her languages stay strong)
- tour guide / tour rep
- customer facing roles
I guess we'll park it until Christmas and then see how things are going in Y10
As an admissions tutor I see loads of university application forms.
Some C grade GCSE candidates get better results at A level (A/B grades) and some A/A* students GCSE students flounder.
There are good universities (including RG) and a wide range of subjects for a BBB candidate at A level, and lots if worthwhile careers for students outside of A level.
So I would say don't worry about it now, see how she gets on in year 10 and where her interests lie.
It's far too early to be worry about this.
You may be surprised at her GCSE results.
You need to wait for those and then see which subjects she chooses for As and if she has any career path in mind.
Don't want to sound mean, but it's not your role to find her a job or a career- she needs to think independently about her personality and what she might enjoy.
I'm sure you don't mean to be but How deterministic in your thinking! That is, that a particular gsce profile must lead to pre-determined outcomes at A level and, presumably, beyond. Rather depressing and terribly English; everyone in their rightful place and best not have too high expectations. I hope you don't transmit this to your daughter. The greatest determinants of outcomes for school age children are the expectations of themselves, their teachers and their parents.
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I think I'd probably encourage her to do A levels anyway, in subjects she's interested in e.g. English. Only because I think most of the apprenticeship types things tend to be in practical things.
Things that sprang to mind for me were:
Civil service - lots of good admin/mgt roles - some in things like heritage management if she's interested in history.
Something I personally think is a good pathway for someone without high grade A levels is legal secretary because they can work their way up to being legal executives/paralegals.
Charity fundraiser, going into raising awareness - I know a couple of people doing well through this type of role.
Interpreting is very difficult. Is she a native speaker in the languages she is studying? I have a degree in French and German, and we were advised that usually only people who are bilingual from a very young age become interpreters.
It also comes down to her interests and what your colleges offer
some of the ones round here offer no A levels at all
as they are specialist in
others send bus loads to Oxbridge
There are different levels of interpreting, so if she is good at languages she could become an interpreter or a translator. Interpreting is more difficult and demanding. I studied interpreting and ended up working in marketing. Some of my friends became interpreters and none of them was bilingual from birth, so it is doable. After all you only work into your mother tongue.
if she is young in year then she is likely to get lower results up to and including GSCE but the gap virtually disappears at A level. www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22469216 So please don't give her too low an expectation of her future yet, you both need to believe that she is likely to do better at A level than at GCSE. Her poor motor skills may also be because she is assessed against physically older students and they will also improve with age and confidence.
A good sixth form college should be aware of this, if they aren't you might need to point it out. If she gets Cs and Bs they would probably allow her to start AS levels (if they still exist by then) and then see if she was capable of progressing to A2.
She is not likely to find work experience yet, except with friends, but she could volunteer in a limited number of areas. She could do St Johns Ambulance www.sja.org.uk/sja/young-people.aspx which might encourage her towards a career in health care and if not possibly get her into some entertainment First aid training is always useful to employers. There may be local volunteer police cadets or army/air force cadets. Guides would help build her confidence and give her women role models.
Children who are young in year can really surprise their teachers later.
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