At the end of Year 11 the main options available to you are:
Whatever you choose to do the government requires you to stay in some sort of education or training until you are 18. Your choice for post 16 may be influenced by several factors: your grades at GCSE, the subjects you want to study, or whether you want a more hands-on education.
If you decide you would like to study at sixth form, you can choose to study at St Peter’s or another sixth form. Sixth forms tend to mainly offer A Levels, although some also offer BTECs too. You may choose to stay at St Peter’s because you know the school and the teachers and it will be a familiar environment, as well as probably being easy to get to. However, you might choose another Sixth form if we don’t offer the courses you are looking for, or if you would prefer to go somewhere else. Visit our Sixth Form Page to read more about staying on at St Peter’s.
It’s likely that you’ll find the atmosphere at a further education college different from that of school. It will probably be more laid back, you’ll be able to wear your own clothes, oversee your own time when you’re not in lessons, and maybe even call your tutors by their first names.
You’ll still be expected to stick to a timetable and attend lessons, but you might not have to stay in college during your free periods. You’ll be given a lot of independence and expected to manage your own time. Everyone is different – would this way of working suit you? Think about that when you decide what kind of environment will inspire you.
Colleges tend to specialise more in vocational and practical courses and not all colleges offer A Levels. They also have a much more varied body of pupils that can include full and part time pupils, day release pupils as well as school leavers and adults. There are several colleges around Solihull and Birmingham and you can find out more about them by looking at their websites:
Sixth form colleges fall halfway between sixth forms and colleges. They tend to be bigger than sixth forms but smaller than colleges but will offer both BTECs and A levels. Their pupils are all aged 16 – 19. The nearest sixth form college is Solihull Sixth Form College. You can find information on the sixth form college at:
An apprenticeship is a form of work-based learning and is very practical. You will spend three or four days a week with an employer and one or two days a week at a training provider. You will also receive a training allowance while you train. Apprenticeships are very good for people who are not keen on classroom study and like to learn by doing. The best way to look for and apply for apprenticeships is to use the below apprenticeship websites:
- Vacancy Snapshot – https://amazingapprenticeships.com/vacancies
This Webpage shows a selection of very well-known Companies and Familiar Brands that employ Apprentices.
- Live Broadcasts – https://amazingapprenticeships.com/live-broadcasts/
A selection of bite-size videos (each about 15 minutes long) Interviewing Apprentices from different sectors to talk about their experiences.
Fewer and fewer school leavers take this option up straight from school, but if you decide you would like this, any job you apply for will need to include training and qualifications – any young person must be in education or training up to the age of 18. Often this will include day release. The best way to go about finding a job is:
- To approach employers direct to ask if they have any vacancies.
- Use local papers to look for job adverts
- Use internet job sites to search for vacancies
- Register with employment agencies who can help you find a job (could be good for finding a short-term job, but not so great for long term jobs and careers)
- Visit local job centres or use their website (often these jobs are for 18-year olds though)