Next Steps After Heathfield

Don’t know what you want to do when you leave school?
Don’t know where to start?

There are a number of options you can choose:

  • Full-time education e.g. at a college or sixth form
  • An apprenticeship or traineeship



Further education courses can be studied at a college or a sixth form. There are a wide range of courses available; these can be studied at different levels, each course will have specific entry requirements.

Typical qualifications offered at colleges and sixth forms include:

A levels: Academic type study, usually exam based, only available at Level 3 and require 5 grades at 9-4, usually including English and Maths. Often you will need a GCSE at grade 6 or above in a subject if you want to go on to study it at A Level. Colleges may allow you to retake Maths or English if you do not achieve a Level 4, but have good grades in your chosen subjects.

A Levels will give you a chance to find out about your GCSE subjects in greater depth or you can choose to study one of the subjects that many 6th forms and colleges only offer at A Level such as Law, Economics, Politics or Psychology. They are good preparation if you are thinking of going onto higher education e.g. University or if you are not sure of your career plans, as they can keep your options open.

Vocational qualifications: available in Levels 1, 2 and 3 and Foundation Learning. Courses are designed to help you learn in a practical way about a specific job area. They can help you get the skills you need to start a job, an apprenticeship or go on to higher education (university). Examples of vocational subjects include: Health and Social Care, Business Studies, Performing Arts

T Levels are new courses coming in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.

T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship. Examples of subjects that are possible are: Design and Construction, Digital production, Education and Childcare, and in September 2021 also Health and Healthcare Science, Engineering and Construction, Digital Business, Digital Support and Science. Follow this link for more information:



If you have a job sector or career in mind then an apprenticeship can be a great choice, as you will learn about a job area and get paid, and you could have a good chance of getting a job at the end of your training. There are different levels of apprenticeships, depending on the level of your GCSE qualifications. If you feel you’re not ready for an apprenticeship, a traineeship can help to prepare you for one. This is a course, with a work experience placement included, that can last up to six months and they will also help you with maths and English if you need it. Apprenticeships – to search and apply for apprenticeships.

“We would like to thank Heathfield community school for providing us with such an excellent candidate, Harry's attitude, empathy and attention to the task and his colleagues was outstanding. He is a real credit to the school and we wish him well with whatever his future vocational role becomes.”
Eurosigns - Work Experience Placement Provider.


You may have the chance to spend a day at a college and try out a couple of courses you are interested in, as well as get a feel for college life and all the extra activities that could be available. Make sure you consider what you want to do and try not to do something just because your friends are doing it. You will need to register (usually on the college website) and you may need to attend in your own time or ask school’s permission. Attend college open events, usually held in October and January – check out college websites or your school may publish the dates. Speak to your careers adviser in school, Jackie Martin. Ask your head of year or Mrs Rogers or reception if you’d like an appointment. 


During the past 2 years, unfortunately, work experience has had to be cancelled. For the current Year 10 we are very keen to ensure that all students have a valuable experience of the world of work, and also have access to the very best information and experiences of the career sectors that they may be interested in.

We would like all students to receive an equal valuable experience and due to a number of factors it has not always been possible for many students to access a quality placement.

We have therefore decided to take the situation in hand and develop our own bespoke careers enrichment experience in school over 3-4 days. This allows us to minimise the risk of cancellation and allows us to focus on what will help our students the most. The new programme will include workshops led by a range of career sectors and business partners, and every student will have the opportunity to engage with the full range of our local colleges. There will be a focus on employability skills and preparing students for the future, and the event itself will be at the end of June after their Year 10 mock exams. More details on this exciting programme will follow.


All colleges and 6th forms hold open events, usually around October/ November, January and June – check websites for details. They also produce a booklet (called a prospectus) giving information about all the courses and how to apply. Prospectuses from Richard Huish and Taunton and Bridgwater College are usually distributed to Year 11 students at school in the Autumn term. We advertise as many events as we can both on the school website and also through our careers newsletters.

Year 11 students will be reminded and supported through the College application process during Year 11. They will receive guidance and will also be offered an interview with our careers advisor Jackie Martin. This will have been a small group interview in the Summer term of Year 10 and an individual interview if needed in the Autumn. Please contact Mr Caddy for more details:


Bridgwater and Taunton College (including Cannington College)
Richard Huish College
Exeter College

Other Careers Support

You will be introduced to this website in Year 9: to help you to plan your study & work. This is a great resource for parents and students. Your choices at 14, 16 and 18, routes to different qualifications and job sectors with career tools to help you decide. There is also a parent/carer zone.


Student Padlet is a one-stop-shop for up-to-date information on a wide range of topics from the Heart of the South West Careers Hub to help support students. It has sections on the following: Information and Opportunities, Post-16 Opportunities, Apprenticeships, Traineeships and T Levels. 


This is a resource which helps with information about choosing a university and degree course. It also provides insights and resources about average salaries and repayment of student loans. You can compare different parts of the UK to help understand the real cost of living after graduating or entering the world of employment. To sign up as a Parent/Carer or as a Student use these links and instructions:

Student sign-up instructions:

  • Visit the website -
  • Complete the form to create an account
  • Ideally use a personal (CV appropriate) email in order to continue to use TPI after school/college. If this is not possible a school email is absolutely fine.

Parent/Carer sign-up instruction:

  • Visit the website -
  • Complete the form to create an account
  • They should select the school of their child but in the year group option they need to select “Parent/Carer”

To view film and video clips relating to many career areas go to If you are considering university go to and can be used to find out more about degree level courses.


Please click on this link for information about our careers curriculum and some of the careers and enterprise opportunities across the Year Groups.

To ensure that we our offering our students the best possible advice, we are continually monitoring and assessing our career programme. To do this, we use the Gatsby Benchmarks. The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of 8 guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges. Further information on the Gatsby Benchmarks can be found here. The results from this year's evaluation can be seen below.

To ensure the advice on this page is current and relevant, all information is reviewed annually. Our next review will take place in Spring 2021.


Since 2018, Schools in their Careers Guidance have a legal obligation to explain all of the post-16 pathways open to students. The guidance stipulates that schools must allow colleges and training providers to access every student in years 8-13 to discuss non-academic routes that are available to them. ‘Schools and colleges have a responsibility to set students on the path that will secure the best outcome which will enable them to progress in education and work and give employers the highly skilled people they need.’ At Heathfield we ensure that all students are aware of both the academic and non-academic options available to them. This is done by:



Careers Advice – Jackie Martin

Impartial careers advice and guidance is provided for students at Heathfield by an Independent Careers Adviser, Jackie Martin.

Jackie is a Level 6 qualified careers adviser, with extensive experience of providing careers guidance to students in secondary schools. Jackie’s expertise includes advising on options within further education and apprenticeship opportunities. Jackie is available in school one day a week; students will be made aware of the times.

She delivers information, advice and guidance to students both on an individual level and in groups. All students in years 10/11 are given the opportunity to have an individual careers guidance interview and students are offered guidance, if required, when selecting their GCSE options.

Jackie delivers presentations to students in assemblies, and is available to meet with students (and parents/guardians should they wish to attend) during the school day, or at lunchtimes and after school by arrangement. She also attends parents' evenings for Years 8-11.

Appointments with Jackie can be made via your child's tutor or reception, or please contact Mr Caddy

Jo Rogers Head of Careers
Ian Caddy Careers, Business and Enterprise
Jackie Martin Independent Careers Advisor
  • Visit the website -
  • Complete the form to create an account
  • They should select the school of their child but in the year group option they need to select “Parent/Carer”
    • All students have an independent careers interview where all pathways are explained.
    • Both school assemblies and assemblies by our local colleges (Richard Huish and Taunton and Bridgwater College) explain all of the courses available to students- Vocational subjects, T-Levels, Apprenticeships, Traineeships and A-Levels.
    • Year 10 in their careers enrichment programme have presentations given by ASK Apprenticeships where the Apprenticeship pathway is explained in depth with opportunities to ask questions. This is repeated in Year 11 in more depth.
    • The school advertises regularly extra-curricular opportunities available to students in career pathways, both academic and non-academic.
    • The school is further developing links with local businesses and employers to explain careers and pathways which are through non-academic routes.


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