Key Stage 4 Careers

When students are in KS4, it is then that they particularly start to think about what their next steps might be after completing their GCSEs.

We would strongly encourage students in KS4 to take part in an extra-curricular activity or a volunteering placement to help develop their transferable skills and gain work-related experience. This helps students build their CV and gain confidence and skills beneficial to their post 16 plans. A great resource to read is the Choices magazine; please click here to view.

Careers Opportunities available to students in KS4 include:

  • Subject visits and events – Students in year 10 have the opportunity to experience a wide range of visits to Colleges, Universities and careers events. We encourage students to reflect on what they have gained from these visits such as improved employability skills, course knowledge and understanding about possible careers choices and options.
  • Y10 Work Experience – All Y10 students take part in one weeks work experience at a local employer, this enables them to get a real insight into the world of work.
  • Y10 Creativity Week – The last week of the Summer Term, we hold Creativity Week which includes a number of opportunities including visiting local Universities, attending a P16 Taster session at both our own VIth Form or Kidderminster College and mock interviews with local employers.
  • Y11 Sixth Form Open Evenings – Students are given opportunity to hear about what our Sixth Form can offer and external applicants have the chance to talk to subject teachers about the course they offer and what is required. Students are also informed about open evenings for a wide range of other local post 16 options.
  • AcTu/SMSC programme- Tutor time within KS4 will have dedicated sessions regarding Careers, including CV building, interview skills, employability skills etc.
  • Careers Assemblies -Assemblies regarding Careers will be timetabled in to cover concepts such as; why HE, VIth Form, why FE and raising aspirations etc.
  • Y11 One to One career guidance interview with Mrs Harrod – Our qualified careers adviser will meet with students, to provide independent advice and guidance to assist students in making decisions about their future education, training and jobs. This personal guidance provides an opportunity for all students to discuss their career ideas, plans, identify the support they may need and what they need to do to progress.
  •  ‘The places you will go’ Careers Resource Kit – All Y11 tutor groups will have a Careers Resource Kit which includes a wide range of resources to assist students investigation into Post 16 options.

When students are deciding on their options it is important they consider the entry requirements for various courses.

We appreciate that post-16 choices are a big decision. What is important is that students take their time and carry out plenty of research to allow them to decide on the best route for them. We are always happy to discuss options with students and parents in Careers. Speak to any of the team if you want to find out more.
In order to help manage you or your son/daughter through this process we suggest you use the following checklist:

  • Researched the differences between Sixth Form, Sixth Form College, Further Education College and Apprenticeships
  • Attended Sixth Form and College Open Days
  • Considered a wide variety of apprenticeships
  • Discussed options/plans with parents/carers
  • Considered where you want your post-16 choice to lead to
  • Considered entry requirements for first choice and your backup choice
  • Met with a Careers Advisor
  • Considered your own specific learning style

One last key aspect which we want you to consider is what your course is going to offer you in the future. Think about the following questions:

  • What qualification will this course give me?
  • What future courses and/or jobs will the course allow me to continue on to?
  • How will my choices restrict me in terms of what I can do after completion?
  • What opportunities will this course provide for me following completion?
  • What skills will I develop whilst studying this course?

There are specific considerations you should bear in mind if you have certain intended pathways. For example, if you are looking to do an apprenticeship – research the qualification on offer and ensure it gives you as many options as possible, or if you are looking at sixth form courses research what degree courses require what A-levels.

Post 16 Qualifications and Pathways

Work-Based Learning

You can also choose to train while you work by taking on an apprenticeship traineeship.

Apprenticeship: You work for an employer and train to do a specific job at the same time. There are over 280 types of apprenticeship for over 1,500 job roles – anything from engineering to boat-building, or veterinary nursing to accountancy.

Traineeship: Gets you ready for work or for doing an apprenticeship. They last from six weeks to six months and provide essential work preparation training, literacy and numeracy skills and work experience to get an apprenticeship or other job.

Work and job-related courses

NVQs, BTECs, TechBacs and Cambridge Technicals are good qualifications to take if you want to combine hands on, practical learning with studying subjects and technical skills. They are specialist courses which relate to particular jobs, sectors, or subject areas. Depending on what qualifications you take, you can go on to further education, training, or employment, or you can go to university.

Academic Learning

A-levels and other subject-based qualifications like International Baccalaureate (IB).

These are good if there are subjects you like and want to study further, or if you are planning to go to university. You normally need to have at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C 5 to 9 (or an equivalent qualification) and may need at least a grade B or 6 in any specific subjects you want to study.


T Levels are coming to a small number of Schools and Colleges from 2020, currently their are no plans for The Stourport High School and VIth Form College to offer T-Levels, however we want to inform parents and students of these changes to Post 16 courses, as students may chose to take a T Level at another Post 16 establishment.

What is a T-Level?

  • T-Levels are new, two-year, technical study programmes, designed with employers to give young people the skills that industry needs. They are equivalent to 3 A Levels and will carry the equivalent number of UCAS points.
  • T Level study programmes will include the following mandatory elements:
    • a ‘core’ set of underpinning knowledge, concepts and skills, tailored for their chosen industry and occupation: ‘core content’
    • specialist training covering occupational or industry-specific skills: ‘occupational specialist content’
    • an industry placement with an employer, which will last for a minimum of 45 working days

Specific Entry Requirements

  • Grade 4 in GCSE Maths and GCSE English Language

Core Content

  • The core content focuses on students’ knowledge and understanding of contexts, concepts, theories, principles and core skills relevant to the Digital T Level. This will include, where appropriate, assessment of knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to the route and the pathway. This breadth of content will help to ensure students are able to apply their skills in a variety of contexts and for a variety of different purposes.
  • The core content is assessed through an examination and a practical employer-set project.

Employer-set project

  • The employer-set project ensures students have the opportunity to combine core knowledge and skills to develop a substantial piece of work in response to an employer-set brief.

For more information on T-Levels, please click here. 

T-Levels presentation (click to view)

Post 16 Pathways – Academic Route – A Level

Reasons to take A-Levels

  • Study subjects you enjoy or are interested in much greater depth
  • Allow you to have a great base in a subject prior to studying at university
  • They are a must if you are going into certain professions such as law, medicine, dentistry and vetrinary science
  • University graduates tend to have better earning potential especially graduates from Russell Group Universities
  • Gives a chance to develop as an independent learner
  • Allow you to try new subjects that you may not have studied previously at school
  • Can take subjects that are well linked and complement each other
  • Lots of opportunities to study A-levels are available locally

Application Procedure

A-level courses last two years and tend to be subjects that you have achieved well in at GCSE level.  Different sixth forms and colleges have different entry requirements depending upon the subject and college you apply for. You normally need to have at least five GCSEs at grades 5 to 9 (or an equivalent qualification). Most A Level providers require at least a grade 6 in any specific subjects you want to study. Although some will accept Grade 5s.

Details about VIth Form and College can be found below:

Local A-Level Providers:

Post 16 Pathways – Work & Job Related Courses

Reasons to take college courses

  • Intensively learn skills and knowledge in a particular subject or work related area
  • Gain qualifications that can lead to employment or university courses
  • Specialist equipment to help your learn work related skills
  • Have opportunities to get into apprenticeship schemes and become well trained for future employment
  • Enter at a level to suit you and your qualifications from GCSE
  • There are lots of post-16 providers in the local area
  • Incredibly wide ranging types of work related and academic courses available

Application procedure

College courses allow you to study subjects that you have achieved well in at GCSE level or to embark on a course that you have a really keen interest in.  Different colleges have different entry requirements depending upon the subject, course level and college you apply for. See college open days here

Local college links