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Introduction to Year 10

In Plymouth, we strongly believe that all young people in Plymouth, regardless of their ability or background, should achieve their full potential.

We are determined that your child should have equal access to excellent education and choice, as well as being safe, healthy, happy and resilient when learning in Plymouth.

A good place to start planning your child’s post 16 options is to think of these three questions.

  1. Where am I now? (What qualifications, skills, and interests do I have?)
  2. Where do I want to get to? (What would I like to be doing in 5 years time – job, house, children?)
  3. How will I get there? (What course or training is likely to get you where you want to go?)

Of course, at 16, young people don't necessarily know the answer to all these questions, but now is the time to start exploring information about careers, jobs and courses.

Planning for your future

Options evenings and Careers Education Advice and Guidance are critical in Year 9 to ensure that your child chooses subjects that will support them planning for their future. 

By 2020, Technical Levels (T Levels) will be introduced in England as an alternative route to A Levels from Year 12. For further information, contact your School’s Careers Coordinator for further information.

If your child has a part time job, encourage them to balance work and school work. Help your child build up their CV. What can they capture already? How can they build it up? Ask for help from their tutor and/or employer.

Job types and career ideas in Plymouth    Careers advice  

Colleges and training providers    Find a school   

If your child has a part time job, encourage them to balance work and school work.  Help your child build up their CV. What can they capture already? How can they build it up? Ask for help from their tutor and/or employer.

How you can support your child at school

  • Find out how to contact your child’s teachers and communicate with them. 
  • Find out about Parent Forums and Parent Voice
  • Keep an eye on your child’s progress and encourage them in all their subjects including English and Maths from year 10. Help them to plan a work and revision timetable if they are due to sit exams this year.  Talk to the school about tips for revision and recommended revision guides.
  • If your child is working below target in English and Maths, ask the school for additional support and intervention.  They will have lots of ideas and suggestions.
  • Speak to the school if your child experiences any issues with his/her work.   
  • Start thinking with your child about the subjects he/she enjoys most and how they feel they are progressing and can progress.
  • If your child does work experience in Year 11, start thinking about it now. 
  • Begin thinking about your child’s next steps after their options and qualifications in Year 11. You and your child can start to attend Open Days at local schools, colleges and training providers. Find out about apprenticeships at different levels.
  • Talk about other skills your child is developing positively, like interpretation and evaluation. Resilience and coping with challenge. Critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Observation and enquiry. Financial literacy, data and statistical confidence. Innovation and strategic thinking. Technical and technological knowledge.

Maths and English

Maths and English are essential skills for helping young people achieve in their lives. These subjects help young people with all the other subjects they are learning. Maths and English build confidence and self-esteem, preparing young people for the world of work in the future. 

It is now a government requirement to be working towards a Grade 4 or above in Maths and English Language. This is also the entry criteria for some apprenticeships that’s expected by many employers.  

Whatever subject or trade young people want to specialise in, those who have not achieved a grade 4 or above in Maths and English Language by 16 years old will continue studying these two subjects.

There are lots of ways to improve your Maths and English. Speak to your child’s teachers for some advice.

GCSE grades are changing

It’s a good idea to understand what your child will be working towards. 

Here’s a quick video to explain:

How qualifications work

Find out more information about qualifications by visiting our qualifications explained page.