bringing out the best in boys

Transition from Year 11

The transition from key stage 4 to 5 is a big step, and one in which students should be equipped with the skills to make informed choices about their futures.

Connexions Appointment 

In order to help your son make those informed choices he will receive a 30 minute 1-1 Connexions appointment. At the appointment your son and our Connexions advisor will discuss all the different pathway options. Once all the interviews are completed by the end of Autumn 2 your son will have the opportunity to book a follow up appointment with our Connexions advisor should he require it. The vast majority of students will be looking to study level 3 courses. However, there will be some students for whom a foundation course is more appropriate. 

Application and Interview

In Year 10 your son will write a CV and personal statement. A letter of application with an accompanying CV is an opportunity for your son to show his commitment to level 3 and provide the college/employer with a useful document to be used at the interview. The application and interview process is a learning opportunity for your son, and a safe space to make mistakes and/or rise to the challenge. 

Applications to A levels must be made prior to the respective institutions deadlines so it is important you know when these are. Deadlines for A levels however, are normally at the end of the 2nd week in December. Deadlines for vocational courses can vary but we expect that your son has applied to at least one college before the end of February. It is important that your son applies to more than one course and institution; that way he is increasing his options. He can then decide where he wants to attend on enrollment day after his GCSE results. 

If your son wishes to do an apprenticeship there he will need to apply directly to the employer. The application process for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a regular job and it can be a nail-biting time waiting to hear if your son has been shortlisted for an interview; keep a record of the closing date for applications as this will give you an indication of when you should hear back. It's a good idea to apply for more than one apprenticeship vacancy at one time. Try and get a number of applications to potential employers; that way your son is increasing his options and not waiting for a response from one employer.

If he doesn’t get an interview, don't take it personally. It's usual to apply for a number of vacancies before he will find the right apprenticeship for him. This happens to everyone and it's part of the normal process.

Once successful your son's employer will find a training provider that is best suited to deliver the training for his apprenticeship. Some training providers also offer support to help your son apply for an apprenticeship.


The induction process is key and usually happens once the GCSE exams are complete. During this period, students should be able to experience post-16 life, understand the challenges of level 3 study, make decisions about subjects and careers, form new relationships with new peers and current level 3 students, and establish links with new teachers.

The induction is often the first hands-on experience of post-16 life and setting the right ethos and expectations will make life easier come September. A mixture of the academic and extracurricular is always the best balance for the induction period.

Early Assessment

September is still the transition period and can be crucial in ensuring your son remains on the course. Are they on the correct pathway? Have they chosen their subjects correctly? Are there any early warning signs? Do you need to intervene?

Keeping the lines of communication open between teachers, students and parents is vital in the retention or adjustment of student pathways. Early assessment and brief individual tutor meetings can help with students’ needs and concerns.

If you require any further information on transitioning from Year 11 please contact Mr Duffy at jduffy(at) or our Connexions Advisor Peter Lovatt at Peter.Lovatt(at)

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