How to use your summer to plan your future

In order to give you the best advice based on where you are in your decision making process, we have split this blog based on year groups. Find your year below and read about what you can be doing over the summer to prepare for your future. 

Year 9

It is likely that you have chosen your GCSE subjects (we hope you got your first choice!). As you know, year 10 is the start of your GCSE content so one of the obvious things you can do is read ahead. Ask your teachers for subjects you are taking where they would recommend starting. Reading ahead means that when you enter your GCSE classes, you will have a good foundation of knowledge already. 

In addition to this, you can also begin to research where these subjects could lead you in the future. A good way to do this is by using the "start with a subject" feature on Career Pilot. You can read about different careers that relate to the subjects you have picked. 

Year 10

You're entering the final year of your secondary education. This is exciting but it can also be a little scary. It's your responsibility to research your options for the end of year 11 and make a decision about which one is right for you. You may decide to stay at sixth form, go to college or find an apprenticeship. 

A great place for you to start this summer is researching these options. Your research may include signing up to college and sixth form open evenings, creating a NGTU account to start looking at apprenticeship opportunities or looking at what courses your local college and sixth forms offer. If you haven't already had one, you can expect to have a careers meeting with a qualified advisor at school. They will help you to understand these options in more detail.

Year 11

Hopefully, you already have your plans ready for September. If not, your top priority for the summer should be getting this sorted. If your plan A is an apprenticeship, make sure you have a place at college or sixth form as a plan B. If you don't find an apprenticeship by September, you should begin your college or sixth form course(s) whilst continuing your apprenticeship search.

A good way to spend your summer is by gaining some work experience. This can be in person, online or by volunteering. Work experience in an industry you're interested in is ideal but any industry will help you develop key skills that all employers will value. In addition to gaining skills, doing work experience will help you to learn more about different job roles and may even help you to make decisions about the future.  

Year 12

If you haven't already, we would highly recommend that you have done the following:

  • Completed a work experience placement either in person or online
  • Have researched your options for the end of year 13 (University, apprenticeship, traineeship, gap year, or leaving education for a "normal" job) 
  • If you're planning to apply to UCAS, understand the process including personal statements

If you haven't completed one of the three above points then this should be a priority over the summer. Another great thing you can do is attend a university summer school, lots of universities offer them and they usually offer a residential, meaning you can stay in the University halls. Summer schools usually offer subject lectures, facilities tours and student life information. If you're not sure about whether or not to do a UCAS application, this will really help. You can look at University summer school options using Unitasterdays

We hope you have found this blog useful. If you have any questions, send us an Instagram DM or Facebook message and we'll do our best to support you.

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