Supporting your child’s career…

In Years 8 and 9, Paignton Academy pupils are required to reduce the number of subjects that they take and select specialisms which they will study alongside compulsory subjects such as English, Maths and Science.  This is an exciting and crucial time for pupils as they can now begin to tailor their education around what they enjoy and/or steer them towards a particular career path.

As a parent or carer, you are in a great position to support your young person through this process and help them look ahead to consider the implications of their choices.  As someone who knows them well, you can discuss their favourite subjects at school and what they might want to do in future.  These conversations can help your child to choose options that reflect their strengths and potentially set them on the path to their chosen career.  When supporting young people to select subject options, it is useful to discuss the following questions with them first:

  •  What subjects do you enjoy studying the most and what subjects don’t you enjoy?
  • What subjects do you think you are best at?
  • Are there any that you would like to study further at A Level?
  • Would you like to go to University?
  • What tasks/ skills would you like to do/ develop in a job? What is your dream career?


After Year 11 / GCSEs…

In Year 11 students select fewer subjects and become more focused about their individuality. They investigate the options available to them and begin the application process to one of the following routes:

  • Apprenticeship
  • Traineeship
  • Further education (at a College or 6th Form)
  • Armed Forces

How does my child apply for a course? 

Your child will be given the time to apply during lunchtimes and break time in the Careers Office or they can do it from the comfort of home if they would prefer –  they will need to go direct to the website of the College, or 6th Form of their choice.

When should my child apply? 

Applications for Year 11 should be made as early as possible most students apply between December and January.

Key Dates for 2021/22: 

There are various open evenings that you can attend to help with the decision making process and the dates of these are stated below.  You do not need to book, you can just turn up at the stated times.

SDC Open Evening:

Tuesday 20th November 4pm-7pm

Please register at:

Exeter College Open Evenings:

Wednesday 17th November 5pm-8pm

Please register at:

Churston 6th Form Open Evening:

Date to be confirmed (Virtual- registration required)


Date to be confirmed (Virtual- registration required)


Wednesday 2nd December (Virtual- registration required)

Brixham College

Date to be confirmed (Virtual- registration required)

Plymouth College of Arts

16th October 2021, 13th November 2021, 15th January 2022 (all from 10am until 4pm)


Virtual event – date to be confirmed

Combe Pafford

virtual event

Bicton College

20th November 2021 10:00am – 12:00pm

Bridgwater College

12th October 2021 6 pm – 8pm


Year 8 Options
8th April 2022 Options Assembly   
28th April 2022 Year 8 Parents Evening  
25th April 2022 Online Submission Start  
29th April 2022 Options Submission Deadline  


 Year 9 Options
8th & 9th March 2022 Options Assembly  
10th March 2022 Options Booklet sent to parents (digital)  
7th April 2022 Year 9 Parents Evening (BRC/WRC)  
8th April 2022 Options Submission Deadline  


Virtual Work Experience 

Virtual Work Experience is a broad term and can include any opportunity which provides young people with an insight into what it’s like to work in an industry or job role while at home. Most virtual work experiences range from half a day to one week, but some may last longer depending on the nature of the work experience and the age of your child.

Virtual Work Experience

Further Information

Some university courses and professions may require students to hold a certain grade in a particular subject at GCSE level/ A Level/ Level 3 in order to be considered for entry.  It is useful to check what qualifications and Work Experience your child might need to pursue their career or educational aspirations.  For further help in researching GCSE requirements for a specific career click on the link below: 



For further information on how to support your child at key transition points please download the parents guide document:

What’s Next Booklet

Alternatively you may find the following website a useful research tool.

Parents Guide Website

Success at School!

Success at School is the place for young people to explore careers, get the lowdown on top employers, and search for the latest jobs, courses and advice. Get career smart and Register today!

Click below for the latest informational brochure:

Success at School