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15yo has no idea what to do at the end of year 11

(15 Posts)
OpenMe Thu 11-Aug-16 14:40:59

I have one of those boys who no-one else on MN seems to have but who I'm sure are fairly common in RL grin

He's bright enough and gets on well with people, never in trouble at school but has always just done enough. His definition of "enough" and mine differing somewhat.

He has started to work a bit harder towards the end of year 10 but frankly if he gets 5 GCSE A-C he'll have done well. I'm worried about the new 9-1 for English & Maths because an old C in English might have been a challenge for him and I understand getting the equivalent in the new GCSE will be harder.

Anyway he has no real interests. He's happy enough to rub along doing what everyone else is doing but there's nothing that really fires him up. He does enjoy Army Cadets but doesn't want to go in the Army (thank god!), has never been interested in sport, science/nature or anything arty.

Consequently he has no idea what he'd like to do when he leaves school or for sixth form (or equivalent)

What should we be doing now to help him see his options and inspire him? TBH coming from a fairly academic family myself, where it was always assumed one went to University at 18, I don't have many ideas for him either.

OpenMe Thu 11-Aug-16 14:41:58

Sorry, to be clear he's going into year 11 in Sep, has another year (or 2 terms) before GCSEs.

baringan Thu 11-Aug-16 14:44:50

He's 'bright enough' but will struggle to get 5 c grade gcses?

If he's bright but doesn't work then I'd crack the whip like crazy so he can have a few choices. If you think a levels are a no no then have you looked into btecs?

OpenMe Thu 11-Aug-16 14:51:41

That was my question baringan, I don't really understand want non A'level options are about.

Cracking the whip sounds so straightforward. I've managed to raise an articulate, well mannered, well behaved, friendly boy but am clearly completely rubbish at this parenting lark because I've never thought of trying to get him to work a bit harder grin

MaureenMLove Thu 11-Aug-16 15:09:49

Does he have a careers officer at school? He should be getting support from them in yr 11.

It's not just up to you to get him motivated and excited about his future. The job of the school careers person, will be far more neutral than you can be as doing it yourself will doubtless end in an argument!

If his school doesn't offer such things, Google your local youth prospects team, probably via your council website. Certainly, in my borough, they are the teams that go into schools to support.

It's so difficult to suggest/guide a year 11 child of your own, when they are already becoming nervous about what to do with their future and the prospect of lots of exams to sit in a little over 6 months time!

bettyswalls Thu 11-Aug-16 15:11:47

He needs work experience. If he doesn't want to go into the army, what about the emergency services - police/fire/rescue? Get him to organise some shadowing.

Go to college and university open days to see what's on offer. He sounds like he needs inspiration.

My brother was like that at school but had undiagnosed dyslexia. He saw me quit six form to do an art BTEC, and he followed me. Turned out to have a great gift for it, did a uni degree in illustration and is now a photographer for a prestigious company.

For years, me and my parents tried to kick him up the arse a bit, but he is just a laid back kind of guy and it took him a while to sort himself out. Getting a paid job at uni really helped him as well.

Haggisfish Thu 11-Aug-16 15:22:10

Have a look at plotr-it's a careers website that helps suggest careers.

baringan Thu 11-Aug-16 15:24:13

Sorry I'm not sure what you are saying. He's bright but unmotivated? Or not quite mature enough yet to realise that one day he will have to support himself? Sometimes mock results scare them enough to start working. Dds school offer A levels or btecs. I agree it's not just up to you but at the same time can you not think of something he'd enjoy or be good at?

usernamewastooobv Thu 11-Aug-16 15:33:52

The link below is the national careers service website which has tools for making careers decisions:

https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/Pages/Home.aspx

It might be useful to encourage him to think about the type of career her wants and work backwards to how he can achieve that.

The other option would be an apprenticeship - particularly for young people that are less academically inclined - these sit alongside formal qualifications so that even if he did not want to continue on to A levels he could still enter university for most subjects with an level 3 apprenticeship qualification.

OpenMe Thu 11-Aug-16 17:30:57

Thank you, some very useful pointers.

cdtaylornats Thu 11-Aug-16 21:29:49

www.nats.aero/careers/trainee-air-traffic-controllers/
www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/air-traffic-controller

Air Traffic Controller - try and get him a visit to Southampton Centre and your local airport tower.

Paid while he's training, paid more than most graduates, currently a shortage of controllers, opportunities to work abroad and to go on to management or engineering or training jobs.

bigTillyMint Fri 12-Aug-16 11:02:42

It is really not that unusual for 15 yo boys to not know what they want to do past the next day if not the next hour!
Mine has stared to work a bit harder (2 GCSES this year) and is majorly into his sport, but he still doesn't know what he wants to do.

And A levels aren't the only option - BTECS are a good choice too!

lljkk Fri 12-Aug-16 11:09:58

The guys who ran our cadets (volunteers, because they loved it as teens) worked in supermarkets (management), teaching & the police (PCSO or other staff). Other hierarchical, often uniform-wearing organisations.

eyebrowsonfleek Thu 18-Aug-16 16:46:32

My son sounds like yours. His grades are pretty even all round which makes choosing harder.

Recently we had a chat about A level choices and he says he enjoys maths and he finds Biology the easiest so he's definitely picking those. He also knows that he doesn't want to do essay subjects so he's going to pick physics or chemistry.(He's not interested in art-type subjects)

He doesn't know what degree he might get do but I think his subjects complement each other so I'm going to chill out about it until he's y13 and we have to think about UCAS forms.

2016namechangeagain Fri 19-Aug-16 14:50:42

Not much to add but my DS is very similar OP. Mine should get all Cs and above but nowhere near his targets. No idea what he'll do after year 11 either.

I am starting to look at prospectuses for local sixth forms and colleges as I think a change would do him good, but an idea of what he might want to do would be very useful! His school careers service is rubbish. He wants to join the police but may not be able to for health reasons, thinking of anything else is hard work!

You are not alone at all.

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