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Careers Advice and Guidance

Careers and Post 16 Options

Deciding what pathway to choose after Year 11 can be difficult. We aim to support students to make the best choice for them. We offer all our Year 11 students an appointment with our independent and impartial careers adviser, Kathy Wittet.

Students in other year groups can request an appointment. They can also obtain independent and impartial careers information, advice and guidance through resources, websites, our annual Future Fest event in school, the Oxford City Careers Fest event, through mock interviews for Year 10 and Year 11 and our Human Library event for Year 8.  These events all involve employers.

Careers Staff

Careers Leader – Ms J Manns | Email:

Careers Adviser – Kathy Wittet | Email:

Post-16 Options

The government requires young people to stay in some form of education or training until they are at least 18. This does not necessarily mean staying on at school for sixth form. The decision on what to do after Year 11 will depend on grades achieved at GCSE, career interests and preferred learning environment.

Options after Year 11 

  • Sixth form
  • College
  • Apprenticeship
  • Job with training


  1. A Levels

Students normally choose 3 subjects which they study for 2 years. Upon completion, they may decide to go to university or apply for a higher/degree level apprenticeship. A Levels can be studied at sixth form or college. Minimum entry requirements are normally at least 5 GCSEs at grade 5 and above. Some A Level subjects require a grade 6 or 7.

Watch this short video ‘How to choose your A Levels the right way’

  1. Vocational Qualifications

There are courses at college for students of all ability levels. As a rough guide, the entry requirements are as follows

Level 3 courses – 4 or 5 GCSEs at grade 4 and above, including English and Maths and sometimes Science

Level 2 courses – 3 or 4 GCSEs at grade 3 and above, including English and Maths

Level 1 courses - 3 GCSEs at grade 2 and above, including English and Maths

Foundation Pathway – no formal entry requirements

Courses are available in a range of subjects /sectors depending on career interests.

In the sixth form, it is possible to mix one or more BTEC Level 3 qualifications alongside A Level subjects. At college, students have to choose a subject / sector to focus on (unless they choose the A Level pathway).

  1. T Levels

This is a new vocational qualification which is equal to 3 A Levels.  It is accepted by universities for undergraduate studies and includes 45 days industry placement over a two-year period. Currently, these qualifications are only available at college.

Watch this short video about T Levels.

  1. Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is a job with training. Apprentices are employed and they get paid. They have a contract of employment and are entitled to holiday pay. They may go to college or other learning environment one day a week working towards a nationally recognised qualification which will give the apprentice the skills and knowledge needed to do the job.  Apprenticeships are available from GCSE up to degree level and beyond. They can take between one and 6 years to complete depending on the level. Watch this short video to find out What it’s like being an apprentice.

To find out how about becoming an apprentice, click here

To search and apply for an apprenticeship account at the Government apprenticeship vacancy site here.

You can also find lots of information at Amazing Apprenticeships

Actions students can take to help them plan their future:

  • Research career ideas and focus on interests (see links below)
  • Think about the course / training and the learning environment that would best suit them
  • Find out about entry requirements (minimum GCSE grades needed) for sixth form and/or college courses
  • Attend open events at school/college to find out more
  • Be realistic about the grades they are likely to achieve and have a back-up plan
  • Explore job roles linked to favourite subjects here

Remember – to keep options open, students can apply for college and sixth form courses and make a final decision in August when they get their results

Researching Career Ideas


Unifrog watch this space as this is a new careers platform we have signed up to and students will receive further information and access to in the next few weeks!!

Career Pilot - a good careers website to help students plan their future

UCAS – careers, apprenticeships and university advice all in one place

Prospects – careers advice and quizzes for students wishing to progress to higher level qualifications

National Careers Service – all age careers information, advice and guidance platform

career-o-meter – good for comparing 3 jobs at once


Useful Websites

OXME | This Oxfordshire County Council website is specifically for young people. It provides information and advice on areas of Health, Life, Learning and Employment within the local area including apprenticeships.  There is also a ‘Live Chat’ facility with qualified advisers

Find an Apprenticeship | Search and apply for apprenticeships here

City of Oxford College

Blackbird Leys Campus | Next open event - Wednesday 15th November 2023, 4.30pm - 7.30pm

Oxford City Centre Campus | Next open event - Wednesday 15th November 2023, 4.30pm - 7.30pm

Abingdon & Witney College | Next open event at Abingdon campus – Wednesday 1st November, 3.30pm – 7.00 pm

EMBS | A small community college in Cowley offering sixth form courses

Ignite Sport |Sports coaching apprenticeships

Velocity Football | Full time football academy.  Next open event – Wed 21st December 2022

Programme Of Events 2023 - 2024

The Careers Department at Greyfriars is thrilled to share what events we have in store for this year! If you are an employer or parent and would like to volunteer to help out with any of these activities, that would be fantastic! You can email our careers lead, Jess Manns at 

Wednesday 8 November 2023, Future Fest is back for its second year! 

Students from Years 9-13 will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from colleges, universities, training providers and local employers to gather information that will help in making informed decisions for their futures.

Thursday 25 January 2024 - Year 11 Mock Interviews

Students will have the opportunity to build on their interview skills from last year and share all the amazing skills they developed during their work experience week at the end of last academic year.

Thursday 8 February 2024 - Year 9 Enterprise Day 

To support Y9 students choosing their GCSE options, they will have the opportunity to engage with local employers to understand how different subjects translate to the world of work.

Thursday 21 March – Year 10 and 12 trip to Careers Fest date/time tbc

Students will travel by coach to the Kassam for the annual city-wide careers fair to talk to employers, universities and training providers about local and national career opportunities

Thursday 25 April 2024 - Year 10 Mock Interviews

Each Y10 student will be prepped to have a 10-minute interview with a local business person. This will give students the opportunity to develop their interview skills and confidence to support their work experience week in June.

Tuesday 14 May 2024 - Year 8 Human Library

Students will be split into small groups and have 4 minutes to speak with a volunteer from the world of work. In the time allowed, students will need to ask questions to uncover what job each volunteer does, as well as learn as much about the job as they can.

25-28 June 2024 - Year 10 Work Experience Details coming soon!

Date TBC Y7 Career Detective.

Year 7 students will need to work as a tutor group team to discover the job of 4 local volunteers in 10 minutes by only asking 'yes' or 'no' questions!