GCSE Results Day  

Welcome to Help4Teens! Welcome to Help4Teens! GCSE Results Day

Thursday 24th August is GCSE results day!

If you’re waiting for your results you are probably starting to feel a bit excited and nervous…or perhaps a little scared! Whatever you achieve you will be moving on to the next stage in your education, training or work. Some of you may have already started apprenticeships or training courses over the summer others may just be enjoying the break after the pressure of exams.

Most of you will collect your results by going to school on results day; this is a great way to catch up with your friends and say thanks (and perhaps a final goodbye) to your teachers. You might have been able to arrange to have them posted out to you; or have a parent or carer collect them. Whichever way you get them, it is important that you have your certificates when you go to more for the next stage of learning, keep them in a safe place. If something happens on the day and you don’t make it to school, don’t worry school will hang on to them and you can collect them when term starts again in September.

Staying in Learning

Whatever you plan for your results, you have to stay in learning until at least your 18th birthday. So should try to make this something that is interesting and you think you’ll enjoy.

As a general rule you will need to achieve GCSE grades A*-C (9-4) for study in a sixth form or sixth from college or for a vocational level 3 programme. Some courses ask for specific grades in specific subjects and if you did not achieve these you will need to speak to the guidance staff at the college about what that means for your place. You will find more information later in this article.

If you already if you already have the offer of a place for September

If you have a place in college or sixth form that is not conditional on your results, you will be invited to induction event where you will formally sign up. (Unless this is in your own school you will be expected to bring along evidence of your GCSE grades and any other qualifications that you have achieved). If you didn’t quite achieve the grades you were hoping for you should still go along and it is likely that the college will offer you a place on alternate course.

If you have started an apprenticeship (or are still looking) you will probably need to show you your certificates to the employer or training provider. You can add your actual grades to your CV.

If you don’t have a plan for the next step…

You still have time to sort something out!

Colleges and sixth forms may still have places and there are apprenticeships available right across County Durham. Start by thinking about what you want to do long-term and the routes that are open to you. Some careers require you to have ‘A’ levels and go to University to study at degree level (e.g. Medicine, some pure sciences, dentistry and veterinary science). In many careers you can take a variety of different qualifications or undertake as an apprenticeship.

If you think you need some help to look at your options or if you have changed your mind and don’t want to go to where you have the offer of a place, you can speak to an adviser from the One Point Service or Durham Works. You will be able to contact them by calling your local one point centre.

The advisers are qualified career professionals who can talk to you about the range of options that would suit you. DurhamWorks is a specific service to help young people who are aged 16-25 and are unemployed to get extra help to find education, training or work. Get DurhamWorks information here. You can also get help by contacting the student services of the college that you applied (or are thinking about applying) to; just call a general number and ask to speak to a careers adviser.

If you don’t get the grades you need for sixth form or college

You may need to re-think your plans. Most sixth forms have a minimum grade requirement for entry (usually more than 5 GCSEs at Grade A*– C but this can be higher depending on the school and what you want to study). If you don’t achieve these grades you may not be able to take up your place. You will need to discuss this with the sixth form that you have applied to; if you just miss out on a grade speak to them to see if they will still take you with the lower grades.

If you have just missed out on a grade, or you feel strongly that your grade doesn’t reflect your ability, you can ask for your paper to be remarked. This can be set up through your school, but you will have to pay a fee which you can get back if the grade changes.

Getting lower grades than expected does not mean that you can’t go anywhere; you might just need to think again about where you will study. ‘A’ levels are significantly harder than GCSEs and if you worked really hard and didn’t get the grades you expected, it may be because you are more suited to learning in a different way – you could think about a college course or apprenticeship.

Re-sitting Exams

If you have achieved lower than a C grade in English literature, English language or maths you can re-sit these in November. All post 16 courses are structured to accommodate additional maths and English study because it is a requirement that all young people who do not have these continue to study them until they achieve the grade C or until they reach the age of 19.

It can be harder to re-sit other subjects and you need to discuss this with your sixth form or college. You will not be able to re-sit these in November and would have to wait until the following June. Unless you need a specific grade in a specific subject it might be better to move on to you next stage of study (even if it means going somewhere else) and try to make up the grades by taking a level 2 course. For example if you need a 4 C grades for a level 3 course in Sport at college but you don’t get them, taking a level 2 course in Sports that is worth 4 C grades on completion might be a better choice than resitting.

If you don’t get the grades that you need for a college course

Most colleges are used to this situation, every year they have students who change their course choices or get lower grades than expected. The key thing is to talk to them about your options. Each of the colleges has a careers team who can explore other courses that might suit you, get their contacts here. This could be a course in the same subject but at a lower level or a course in a different subject. For example you might have planned to go onto a Level 3 course in Construction and the Built Environment but you might choose to go onto a Level 2 course in Construction or a more practical and hands on Level 2 in Bricklaying.

I don’t think I want to study any more

Under the change to education legislation introduced in 2014, all young people have to stay in learning until their 18th birthday. This does not mean that you have to stay in sixth form or college you could get an apprenticeship or a job which has nationally recognised training. An apprenticeship involves study too, but this is directly related to a job so it might feel more relevant.

An Apprenticeship combines practical training in a job with study to achieve a qualification. You will be working alongside experienced staff in a real working environment, and will be paid £3.50 per hour during your apprenticeship. This is paid for the hours that you are in the workplace and if you have to spend time in a college or training centre. Many employers may more than the minimum. If you are looking for an apprentice you can use the national ‘Find an apprenticeship’ or search for local vacancies here.

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Posted 31st August 2017
By Liam

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