The end of GCSE exams heralds the end of an era in a child’s life. More often than not, everyone focuses on the significance of the end of A Levels, and the move to university or into the workplace. But the end of GCSEs is equally, if not more, important.
This is the first time that a young adult has to make a really important decision. Much focus is given to the decision-making process post A Level. But at this point, students are already down a particular route or pathway – one that began after their GCSEs. So, right now, when pupils are considering what to do now they’ve finished their GCSEs, is the real time that students begin to forge their future. The decisions they make at this point are monumental.
Up until this stage, students have been limited in the decisions they can make. Of course they can decide which GCSEs they study, but it’s often from a carefully defined group of curriculum areas. So their subject choices are narrowed and focused for them – they only have to make a few, limited decisions. Also, when they were making GCSE choices they were 14 years old – an age where they are heavily influenced by opinions from parents, teachers and peers.
So 16-year-old students now find themselves facing far more decisions than they have ever faced before:
· what do I really want to study (not what my parents think I should study)?
· what’s the best type of sixth form education for me – A Levels or BTECs?
· what will I enjoy studying for the next two years?
· what am I good at, so I can get good results?
· what do I see myself doing in the future?
· what do I really want out of a sixth form – what’s important – exam grades, skills to take into the workplace, or both?
· which is the best sixth form to go to – logistically (how will I get there?), socially (where will my friends be going, or where will I make friends?), and educationally (which has got a good teachers, facilities, opportunities?)
That’s an awful lot of decisions that need to be made! And sometimes students aren’t really able to make all these decisions before their GCSEs. Sometimes they need to have gone through their exams to really help to focus their minds. After all, they’ve just spent weeks working on each subject. Right now they’ll know exactly which subjects they’ve enjoyed studying the most. And, they’ll also have a pretty clear idea about which subjects they don’t want to return to ever again!
So, right now is a really good time for students to consider (or reconsider) their sixth form decisions. They have plenty of time to give this the thinking time it deserves, both now, and over the summer. Don’t leave it until after results day, as this can all be a bit frantic – without the time or space to think about what they really want to do next. Try to take some of the worry or stress out of the day by thinking it all through beforehand.
Even more importantly, many Sixth Forms will be starting to offer induction days - which will give students a real taste for what’s on offer and what the next two years will hold.
Our Induction Day is on 6th July – and there’s still time to join us. We’ve got a fantastic day planned for our first-ever cohort of Logic students – including a series of Masterclasses, run by experts in the Business of Sport, Fashion as a Business, Computing for the future, and Logistics as a Business . Just click here for more information.