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 2020/21: 

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:  TBC
  • SDC Open Evening:  TBC
  • Exeter College Open Evening:  Wednesday, 14 October 4pm – 8pm
  • Exeter College Open Evening:  Wednesday, 18 November 5pm – 8pm
  • Exeter College Open Evening:  Tuesday, 19 January 2021 5pm – 7pm
  • Exeter College Showcase:  Tuesday, 20 April 2021 4pm – 7pm
  • Churston 6th Form Open Evening: TBC
  • Torquay Girls 6th Form Taster day: TBC
Year 8 Options
March 2021 Options Assembly   
25th March 2021 Year 8 Options’ Evening  
26th March 2021 Online Submission Start  
2nd April 2021 Options Submission Deadline  


 Year 9 Options
January / February 2021 Options Assembly  
January / February 2021 Careers Meeting in Ethics Lesson with Careers Advisor  
1st  February  2021 Options Booklet sent to parents  
4th / 11th February 2021 Year 9 Parents’ Evening (BRC/WRC)  
11th March 2021 Parents and Students attend Options Evening  
19th March  2021 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: 


All About Apprenticeships …


Below is a video which will tell you all about Apprenticeships made by the National Apprenticeship Service:



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