Year 10 assembly

Year 10–11 Assembly

Students have a lot of options at the end of year 11, and may need help deciding which route is best 

Next Steps

There are some big decisions for students to make in years 1011. And we're here to help you support them. Our recorded assembly gives students information about post-16 pathways.

Through case studies of our own undergraduates, we encourage your students to dream big and think about what they could achieve in their next steps after school.

Year 10–11 Assembly

With case studies from our undergraduates and tips on how to make choices in year 10–11, we give students key information about post-16 pathways.

Hi guys, my name's Helen and I'm an outreach officer at the University of Portsmouth.

Today, I'm going to be talking to you a little bit about your next steps after year eleven, all the different routes that you could take, as well as talking you through the journey of some of our students here at Portsmouth.

So if you ever looked at images like these and felt that there's nothing you could do about it or about how people come up with ideas to solve problems in different ways, whatever your interests are at this point, you're already on a journey that could lead you to anywhere you want it to go.

J.K. Rowling once said, "We do not need magic to change the world.

We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.

We have the power to imagine better." 

I want you guys have a little think about that and what you could do to make the world a better place.

Pursuing something you're passionate about is so important and the interest that you have will most likely be linked to something that you can study after year eleven.

Whether you're really good at sport and want to go on to do a level 3 BTEC or maybe A-level sports science, or you're more of a practical learner and you want to go onto do T Levels, which involve a lot of work experience, there are so many routes that you can take.

All of us have the ability to imagine better and follow our own paths to achieve our dreams.

You could be sitting on an amazing talent that you're too afraid to pursue or you haven't realised something that you're really good at yet.

All of these things could lead to an amazing career, perhaps at university.

I'm now going to talk to you guys about one of our students at Portsmouth, Anna.

Anna studied LLB Law with International Relations at Portsmouth.

At school, Anna absolutely loved photography.

She would always try and compete with her classmates to get the best photograph and that was one of the hobbies that she really enjoyed.

She knew what she was good at in her spare time and what she enjoyed to do, but she wasn't sure what she wanted to do after school.

Anna's parents really wanted her to study medicine.

She's from a place in Africa which suffered from political instability so she knew that she wanted to study law or politics or something that was going to make a difference in the world.

However, Anna's parents did very much want her to study medicine.

When she came to picking her GCSEs, she decided that she would pick Portuguese, express arts, health and social care and design and technology.

She made these choices for a mixture of reasons; mainly she enjoyed some of them, she wanted to learn a little bit more about art and languages, and wanted to kind of express her creative side.

But she took Health and Social Care due to the medical side; she wanted to explore science and things like that.

Her results of her GCSEs, she didn't do extraordinarily well, but she didn't fail anything.

She would describe herself as an average student but she was involved in a lot of extra curricular activities.

After her GCSEs, Anna's parents still very much wanted her to do medicine but she wasn't so sure about that idea.

She was still very passionate about pursuing something like politics, where she could do something to actually change the world.

She ended up going to college and doing A-levels.

Anna studied photography because that was something that she really enjoyed and she wanted to continue to pursue her artistic side.

She also studied business; she absolutely loved the teacher that was teaching her at school and she wanted to learn loads more about the business world.

She also took history because she was a great lover of why we are what we are today, how we got there, how history has changed our lives and how it's possible for us to be here today.

In particular, she enjoyed African history, learning about her own roots as well as great wars.

When it came to her A-level results, Anna got A, B, B.

She was hoping to do a little bit better but she was involved in a lot of extra curricular activity, so she felt that she'd done well in her exams as well as her personal life.

It was never an option for Anna not to go to university.

Her parents wanted her to pursue medicine, she knew that she wanted to do something a little bit different from that but she always knew that she wanted to go to university.

Anna obviously decided to come to Portsmouth University and study Law with International Relations.

She wanted to go to university for the experience.

Her parents also very much encouraged her to go.

She decided to do Law and International Relations as that was something that she really loved doing and wanted to learn a lot more about.

So from Anna's journey to university, you can see just how many things she considered before choosing to study what she wanted at university.

She decided to focus on something that she was really passionate about and that she believed would help her widen her knowledge in a subject that she hadn't really extensively explored before.

During her degree, Anna loved looking at relations between different countries as well as the historical side of things.

She chose a degree where she was able to study a range of things.

The law element of her degree, she really enjoyed as there were lots and lots of different areas that she explored within law.

Anna looked at criminal law and European law but she soon discovered that she was most passionate about human rights, as that gave her the motivation to go out and protect our rights and the rights of others.

Once Anna finished university and graduated, she applied for some graduate courses to train as a solicitor, because that's what she thought she wanted to do.

After the application process of that, she then decided that she actually didn't want to become a solicitor and she wanted to focus more on making a difference in the wider world.

After this, Anna went travelling and she volunteered in East Africa to help young adults and children integrate into society.

After doing this work experience in this volunteer work, she realised that she had a real passion for human rights and went on to do an internship at the United Nations, before returning to the UK to complete a Masters.

After this, she started a social enterprise to help her community resolve issues that they were unable to deal with themselves due to language barriers.

When Anna was younger, in primary school, she had to leave school at times to help her mum with translation.

She wanted to make a real difference to young people who may be in the same position that she was, where her mum wasn't so strong on speaking English.

In the work that she did, she hoped to make an impact on children and families so they don't experience the same things that she did.

I'm now going to talk to you about another one of our students, Matt.

Matt, when he was at school, he didn't particularly enjoy it.

It wasn't something that he naturally engaged with.

However, he did know that he enjoyed drama and being involved in group work, so he was involved in lots of those activities at school.

From a young age, he knew that he was really passionate about science and that was something that he wanted to pursue.

He thought maybe one day he might want to become a science teacher.

At sixteen, Matt decided to do A-levels.

He eventually chose to do biology, chemistry, psychology and physics.

He did consider studying drama, but as he knew that science was something he wanted to pursue, he decided to just stick with the science subjects.

His grades on results day weren't as he expected so he unfortuntately didn't get into his first choice university.

However, he now can't imagine going to any other university; he ended up coming and joining us at Portsmouth.

When he was 18 and he'd got his results and everything, he knew that he wanted to go to university.

He wanted to gain independence and develop a career in something that he was really passionate about.

So he decided to study Biology at Portsmouth.

From Matt's journey, you can see that there are quite a few twists and turns and points where he was unsure of himself and what to do.

Ultimately, in making the decision to pursue something that he knew he was really passionate about and good at, he found the right university course for him.

When Matt started university, he quickly realised that he really enjoyed the independence aspect of it, moving away from home and studying something that he really loved.

During his degree, he worked on a really important research project, relating to plastics and the enzyme which helps break it down to prevent further plastic pollution.

From this research, that Matt was part of, he realised that he wanted to be part of solving an issue, which was having such a huge effect on the world as a whole.

Ultimately, after his degree and being part of all of this research, Matt now wants to encourage businesses to take responsibility for plastic pollution and first by starting with giving them a solution to this problem.

We've heard a little bit about our students at Portsmouth and the journeys that they took from school on to university.

Now let's have a think about you guys and the options that you have and what's coming next.

Key stage 4, you've got your GCSEs or vocational courses that you can do, BTECs and things like that.

Your choices at sixteen are really important thing to consider because your options really widen.

You've got A-levels or a vocational course or you could also go on to do an apprenticeship.

There's also a new qualification coming out called T Levels; these are coming in September 2020 and they will follow your GCSEs.

They're more practically based course, where you do a lot of work experience.

So that's something to consider if you feel as if you learn best in the workplace, hands on.

It is really important to consider how you learn best and what interests you, because those are decisions that are going to be personal to you.

So don't just follow what your friends are doing.

Have a serious think about what kind of qualification is going to suit you best.

Leading on from that, choices at 18, there isn't just university.

You could go to university and do a degree but you could also go into an apprenticeship or a degree apprenticeship.

Degree apprenticeships work quite different from usual degrees.

You do a lot of hands on, on the job experience as well as doing some university work at the same time.

You could also take a year out, take a gap year, have a year and maybe go travelling or do some work, earn some money before you go to university.

Or you could go straight into employment.

There is no right path for everyone; everyone's gonna be different and everyone's gonna make their own decisions in different ways.

So it's really important for you to think about what you're passionate about, what you're good at, what motivates you and what you want to do, because you have so many choices ahead of you and so many things that you could study.

So thinking about a future career, just have a think about a subject that you're really passionate about at school or something that you're good at in your spare time and then consider jobs that are related to that or link in to that.

You'll most likely find that there'll be obvious careers that you'll think of straight away.

Let's take sport as an example, so you're really interested in sport, so you might want to go on to become a personal trainer or a professional footballer or maybe even a PE teacher.

Then have a little bit of a think of things around that.

So had you ever considered things like a media manager or an events coordinator would be related to something like sport? 

There will be so many different things that you can go into with those subjects that you enjoy and those things that you're passionate about.

As there's such a broad range of jobs out there for you to explore.

So university might be the right place for you to pursue that, or maybe you'll take another route.

But I think the important message here is that you guys have got the courage to think big and achieve massive things.

There's so many opportunities ahead of you.

It's really important that you guys know about all the different places that you can access information in terms of your next steps.

So whether that's gonna be A-levels or BTECs, T Levels; whatever path that you want to follow, there will be a place where you can get that information.

I'd definitely recommend having a chat to your teachers as well as careers advisers at school.

They'll be able to guide you and point you in the right direction if you're ever unsure as to what to do.

Also, talk to people like friends and family.

So you may know people that are in the jobs that you want to go into.

Have a chat to them, ask them how they got where they are now.

Really use that knowledge that you've got around you.

On top of this, go along to college visits and university open days and get all of the information that you need to make the right decision for you.

If you don't have a clue what you want to do at this point, that's also absolutely fine.

I would say work on doing what suits you and think about where you can see yourself in the future and in years to come.

Pick things that are going to be right for you and not anyone else.

Use websites to get more information and never stop asking all of the questions.

There's some websites listed on the screen there so I'd definitely recommend going and checking those out.

Thank you for listening.

Bye Bye.

Book this talk

You can book this workshop for your school to be delivered in person or virtually.

Want to find out more? Please contact us at upforuni@port.ac.uk or call 023 9284 6214.