publication date: Jan 29, 2008
author/source: Anne Coates
Pupils in year nine have to decide which GCSEs to study for and while much of the choice is taken away – government stipulates that they must all study core subjects like English, maths, science and ICT – decisions have to be made about other subjects.
This is more complicated two years later when 16 year olds have to decide what to study at AS/A2 level if they stay on at school or whether they want to take a diploma or BTEC qualification.
Subject combinations may depend on what teachers are available and timetabling. So it’s worth checking early on what is likely to be on offer as you may want to move your son or to another school or sixth form college.
Teenagers may have quite unrealistic expectations about what they would like to do and you may need to help them think again by asking questions and offering suggestions. But you shouldn’t present your advice as the only possible way.
If you can, consult other adults who can offer their experience, for instance if your teen wants a career in tourism and you know nothing about the industry, ask around your friends and colleagues until you find someone who does. Don’t tell your teen what she can’t do, help her work out for herself what is feasible and think about contingency options if things don’t go according to plan.
A really excellent book to consult is The Penguin Careers Guide which lists hundreds of jobs in “careers families” and gives the level of qualifications necessary plus personal attributes needed.
Get you child to log onto the UCAS website – www.ucas.com - and take the Stamford Test. This questionnaire only takes a few minutes and the results may help focus your teen’s mind about career options and A2 choices.
- Plan early to avoid later disappointments.
- Listen to what they are saying.
- Help them make their own choices – don’t make them for them.
- Be positive and encouraging without being unrealistic.
- Plan with them not for them.
- Praise should outweigh criticism highlight what they do well and how to improve other things if necessary.
- Decisions must finally be theirs.
- Think about contingency options
- The last thing we should be doing is trying to relive or fulfil our own dreams
If you would like to order a copy of The Penguin Careers Guide from Amazon, click on the link below:
The Penguin Careers Guide