Year 11

Raising the Participation Age (RPA)

It is a government requirement that young people stay in some form of education or training until their 18th birthday, more information can be found here.  This can be any of the following:

  • Sixth Form
  • Further Education College
  • Apprenticeships / Traineeships
  • Employment (with training)
  • Volunteering (with training)

If you would like a careers guidance interview, please book an appointment in person via Mrs Pipe in the library or you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The qualifications you get will affect what you do in your future, and we are here to help with college or sixth form applications and searching for apprenticeships.

If you have not yet done any work experience/volunteering in year 10, then now is the time!  See the year 10 page for more information.

By now you should all have completed a personal CV in a Learning for Life lesson.  This needs to be constantly updated with any new skills or experience.  If you have not yet got a CV, see your Learning for Life teacher or Mrs Pipe in the library.

Useful CV websites:


Options after Year 11?

Before choosing your next steps, you need to think about a few things:

  • How do you learn?
  • What kind of person are you?
  • What are you good at?
  • What are you interested in?
  • What exam results are you likely to get?

If you don't know the answers to these questions, don't worry. Use the information here to start you thinking and talk to the people that know you, or make an appointment to see the schools Careers Adviser.

The Government is encouraging more young people to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) related subjects because they will give you the skills you will need for a wide range of career choices in the future.  Have a look at these useful websites:







Timing is Important

Not sure when to start? Our Year 11 Timeline will help you to start planning and ensure you don't miss those important deadline dates. Click on the image below to see your timeline.






  • Pick up Sixth Form and College prospectuses from the school library
  • Attend Sixth Form and College open events - see below for dates
  • Check out how to apply (either online or paper application form)
  • Check out when the deadline date for applications is and ensure you apply in time!
  • Start revising for your exams – remember the better your GCSE grades the more choices you will have in the future!


Local College Open Events 2020/21

Please click document below for all College & Sixth Form Open Days 2020/21.

Check individual websites as to whether these events are ‘physical’ or ‘virtual’ . You may also need to register in advance


Year 11 Presentations from Colchester Sixth Form College

'How to Apply for a Place' presentation 


'How to Choose Your Course of Study presentation 


Year 11 Presentation from Colchester Institute  

Please click this link to view:


Step by step guide to applying for a course at Colchester Institute  

Please click this link to view:


Guide to Apprenticeships Presentation from Colchester Institute

Please click this link to view: 


What are Facilitating Subjects?

Facilitating subjects are the subjects most commonly required or preferred by universities to get on to a range of degree courses. They help you keep your options open when choosing a degree, and many of the top universities will ask you to have at least one A-level in a facilitating subject when you apply

The Russell Group, which represents 24 leading UK universities, defines facilitating subjects as:

English Literature


Modern Languages– e.g. French, German, Spanish etc.

Classical Languages – e.g. Latin, Ancient Greek.

Maths and Further Maths





Why these subjects? 

These are all subjects that universities require students to have in order to be accepted on to many degree courses.  Lots of science degrees require students to have two or sometimes three A-levels in MathsPhysicsChemistry or Biology.  If you would like to study Art or Music you should definitely study these subjects at A-level. 

Lots of specialist courses at A-level and beyond also take a large part of their content or structure from facilitating subjects. For instance, Engineering includes elements of Maths and Physics, and communication and culture includes skills from English and Media Studies – so choosing a facilitating subject will prepare you for a range of courses.


Does this mean I shouldn't study non-facilitating subjects? 

No - there are lots of other subjects, which are excellent at preparing you for university. The only difference is that they aren’t usually required by universities to get onto a particular course. 

For example, Psychology and Economics are considered useful subjects for lots of courses, but you don’t actually need them to get on to a Psychology or an Economics degree.

If you already know what you would like to study at university or you’re passionate about a particular subject, then you should make your choices based on this, or what you need to get on to your chosen course (research this on the website).

If you’re worried or in doubt about your choices, always discuss with your school/college before you commit to them.


Are there any facilitating subjects to avoid?

The Russell Group advises that Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies and General Studies should only be taken as ‘extras’, as many universities will not accept them as one of the three subjects that your offer will be based on.

In a nutshell: "Facilitating subjects don’t cover everything, but choosing one or two helps keep your options open for a range of courses and careers."


How to Write a Personal Statement?

A personal statement should give the reader an idea of the sort of person you are, your interests, skills, qualities and achievements. It should also tell the reader some of your goals and ambitions for the future.  You are likely to need a personal statement for many things in the future, such as college, sixth form and university applications.

Below are some useful points to include in your personal statement:

An outline of your current career plan and any steps taken towards this goal. job shadowing, careers advice

Work experience and any current part-time employment.

What skills have these taught you?

Why do you want to go to college, sixth form, university?

Any specific university ambitions that you have.

What is the rationale behind your course combination?

Responsibilities you may have in the home, at school, or in other organisations. (This could include caring for siblings, or a parent, or making a significant contribution to any aspect of helping at home. In school it might be being a prefect; being on the school council, or organising charity, arts or sports events. Outside of school this may involve helping with the local Scout/Guide pack or being involved with a Youth Council/Group.

Any significant achievements in the last two years– awards at school, representative sporting honours, public performances in the arts, maths/science.

Special interests or hobbies that you have (Don’t include shopping, watching TV or socialising with friends/family)

What books have you read?

What book are you reading at present?

Who are your heroes?

What or who inspires you?

Your personal qualities

Your strengths and weaknesses


UCAS Tariff Table

A Level Grade

 UCAS Tariff 

BTEC Extended Diploma Grade

 UCAS Tariff




























An apprenticeship is a real job with training which allows you to earn a wage whilst you learn.  You will gain a nationally recognised qualification in whichever sector you choose to work in.  If you need help in making applications you can make an appointment with the careers adviser in school.

You can search and apply using this link: 

Click here for resources: 


Careers: What's your thing?

The 'What's your thing? website is the online Essex careers guide for young people. It asks: 'What do you want to be when your older?' Whether you know or not, this website will show you everything you could do, here in Essex. The website is packed with some really useful videos, such as a quick crash course in engineering, and articles. Click below to explore:


Careermag for School Leavers

Careermag is a high-quality careers magazine which connects students, graduates, their parents and educators to career support and guidance. Careermag is all about helping young people unlock their full potential through telling stories, dispelling myths and misconceptions and sharing insights into employment and qualification routes. Each issue features top employers, hints and tips to help you with your job search, inspiring case studies and sector spotlights so you can make a well-informed decision on what is right for you.


Success at School - 2021/22 STEM A Parents' Guide 

Useful Information:


Careers Bulletin Autumn 2021

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Sector Information

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Useful Websites

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