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Exploring your Options after Year 11

30 October 2023
To help you feel prepared when making your decisionafter Year 11, we've put together all the things you need to know about applying to study with us. 

Making big decisions is always difficult, especially when it comes to your education. If you’re currently in Year 11, you may have been told by your school to consider your post-16 options for after GCSEs. This can mean staying on at sixth form, seeking an apprenticeship, or applying for a course at College. 

To help you feel prepared when making your decision, we’ve put together all the things you need to know about applying to study with us. 

The difference between A Levels, The International Baccalaureate (IB), and our Pathways 

For A Levels, you will normally choose three subjects and, depending on the subject, learning will be mostly theory-based with exams at the end. The IB is an academically challenging programme with final examinations that prepare students for university and working life. You choose one subject from each of five groups – including two languages, social sciences, experimental sciences, and mathematics. 

With us, you will specialise in one subject, with courses being more hands-on and designed to give you the skills needed to progress on to university or into employment. The benefit of this is that you get to focus on the one subject you love. This option is better for students that have a clear idea of the sector they want to go into.  

At our last Ofsted, we were rated Outstanding, and our facilities are set up for you at the College to learn in environments equivalent to those found in the respective industry. These qualifications are also widely recognised by universities, so you can still progress on to University at 18 if you wish. 

The new T Levels 

T Levels are new courses designed especially for school leavers. These two-year programmes are equivalent to three A Levels and offer the perfect combination of classroom and hands-on learning. 

We offer T Levels in Education and Childcare, Digital Production, Design and Development and Management and Administration. The Education and Childcare T Level will give you the skills and experience to work with children aged 0-7. The Digital pathway will prepare you to go into a range of careers in the computing industry. The Management and Administration T Level will have a focus on hotel management with work experience opportunities in our onsite hotel, The Yarrow. 

Deciding what to study 

Our pathways cover a whole range of different subjects that you may enjoy, so whether you’re considering learning a trade, getting a qualification in business, or want to develop your artistic or design skills, there is something to suit you. 

The ‘Explore’ tool on our website can help you narrow down your options and give you course suggestions that fit your interests. 

If you’re really struggling with deciding which pathway, or pathways, to apply for, you can speak to one of our Careers Advisors. They offer a free, impartial service and can help you look at courses across Kent. They also have access to specialist software that can help you narrow down the careers that are ideal for you. 

Make an application 

Did you know, you can apply for more than one course, at more than one college or sixth form? At Broadstairs, this means you can apply for up to 5 different courses. 

When we say, ‘explore your options’, we really mean it and making applications for different courses can help to keep your options open. Not everybody has a five-year plan but studying something you enjoy will never be a waste of time and you may be surprised at the careers you can get into based on your interests. 

Remember, making an application early is always advised as spaces fill up fast for the more popular courses.  

Attend an interview 

After making an application, you will get to choose an interview date. The word ‘interview’ sounds scary, but it is really your chance to meet the tutor and ask your questions about the course and what you will be studying. 

The person interviewing you will talk to you about the different grades needed for each level and work with you to establish which level and pathway is best for you to start on. 

Accept your offer 

After your interview, you may be made an offer on the course which you will need to accept to secure your place at College. If you are in Year 11, it is likely that your offer will be ‘conditional’, meaning that you need to achieve certain grades at GCSE to start on the level offered. 

If the course is not right for you, or you do not get the grades needed in your GCSEs, we can support you to look at alternative levels or courses. There are plenty of opportunities to progress onto a higher level when you are ready. 

Another thing to bear in mind is that your application and offer at the college are not binding. You can apply and accept offers on multiple courses and decide on which one to study later. 

Explore our range of courses available at EKC Broadstairs College.