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Q: I want to stay in education, what are the key questions I need to think about?

A. The 2 key questions are:

  • What do you want to study? There are lots of different subjects and courses to choose from.
  • Where do you want to study? For example, at The Streetly Academy, another school that has a sixth form, college or a specialist college.


Q: Where can I study?

A. You have lots of options! These include The Streetly Academy, other schools that have a sixth form, colleges and specialist colleges. They vary in size and the courses they offer, so you’ll need to think about the type of place where you would like to study and what course you want to do.

You may want to stay at The Streetly Academy as you know the teachers and are happy here. Alternatively, you may want a change of scenery and decide that another school or college would be better for you.

There are also newer specialist colleges to consider, such as Aston University Engineering Academy that specialises in engineering and science courses and Birmingham Ormiston Academy that specialises in creative, digital and performing arts courses.

It will also depend on what you want to study. For example, if you want to do A levels you’ll need to find a school or college that offers all the ones that interest you. Colleges local to The Streetly Academy include BMET College, Walsall College and Sandwell College.

So it’s really important that you decide what course or courses you want to do and then find out which schools and colleges offer them. You can then use their website and attend open days/evenings to find out more information; such as course entry requirements, what you will study on the course, how it is taught, whether there are any exams, the results students achieve, what students do after the course and what facilities are available (such as a library and access to computers).

You should also consider travel arrangements. How far are you willing to travel and how would you get there?

Use UCAS Progress to search for courses, schools and colleges and aim to apply by Christmas.

Information about The Streetly Academy sixth form courses is available on the sixth form website.


Q: What are my course options?

A. Options include general qualifications, such as GCSEs and A levels. General qualifications prepare you for a range of different careers, rather than focusing on a specific job.

In contrast, vocational qualifications are work-related and can give you the skills needed for a broad area of work or train you for a specific job. Courses are usually practical, involve hands-on projects and include courses like City & Guilds, NVQ and BTEC.

Some schools and colleges allow students to mix general qualifications with vocational ones. For example:

  • 2 A levels with a BTEC level 3 course that is equivalent to one A level.
  • A BTEC level 3 course that is equivalent to 2 A levels with one A level.


Q: Will my GCSE grades affect the courses I can apply for?

Enrolment upon courses is conditional on meeting both the Minimum Entry Criteria and Individual Subject Criteria. Each centre would have its own individual entry criteria. For entry to the Streetly Academy Sixth Form, criteria for individual subjects are outlined on pages 3-4 of the Sixth Form Curriculum 2018-20 document. 

Minimum Entry Criteria
Total point score 37 or higher from best 7 GCSEs  including English Language and Mathematics graded 5 or higher 1. A levels
Total point score of 31 or higher from best 7 GCSEs including English Language and Mathematics graded 4 or higher

2. Mixed programme:  vocational and A Levels

(A resit is required in either English Language and/or Mathematics where a grade 4 is achieved)
Total point score of 23 or higher from best 7 GCSEs including English Language and Mathematics  3. GCSE Boost: English and/or Mathematics resit AND additional GCSEs AND work experience


Q: I want to study A Levels, which ones should I take?

A. Reasons for choosing A levels include being good at a subject, enjoying a subject and needing it for a future option/career.

To make an informed choice you need to do your research. Check what you will be studying (especially important if it’s a subject you have not studied before) and make sure your A level subjects keep open any career ideas you have.

Advice about choosing A levels from the Russell Group Universities (they represent 24 UK universities) is that some university courses may require you to have studied a specific subject or subjects prior to entry, others may not. However, there are some subjects that are required more often than others. These subjects are known as “facilitating subjects”. These include maths (and further maths), English literature, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and languages (classical/modern). You don’t necessarily need to have studied 3 facilitating subjects; some courses may require 1 or 2, whilst for other courses there are no specific subject requirements. If you don’t know what you want to study at university then it’s a really good rule of thumb that taking 2 facilitating subjects will keep open a wide range of degree courses. Other subjects that provide suitable preparation for university include economics and religious studies.

You can also see Mrs Phillips in the sixth form study room.


Q: Can you tell me more about BTEC courses?

A. BTECs are general work-related qualifications which can lead to further study at college or university, apprenticeships or employment.

They do not train you for a specific job, but they focus you on a particular vocational area, so you need to have decided on the general area of work you would like to do.

A wide range of subjects are available, such as art and design, engineering, business studies, travel & tourism, public services and health & social care.

BTECs can be taken on their own or with GCSEs and A Levels.

Level 3 BTECs are equivalent to A levels and can lead to university. You will need 4/5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above to do a level 3 BTEC.


Q: What BTEC levels are available?

. There are 3 levels:

BTEC Level 3 Equivalent to:
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma 3 A levels
BTEC Level 3 National Diploma 2 A levels
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate 1 A level
BTEC Level 2 Equivalent to:
BTEC Level 2 Diploma 4 GCSEs A* to C (9-4)
BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate 2 GCSEs A* to C (9-4)
BTEC Level 2 Certificate 1 GCSE A* to C (9-4)
BTEC Level 1 Equivalent to:

BTEC Level 1 Certificates, Awards and Diplomas


GCSE D to G (3-1)
Entry level BTEC Certificates, Awards and Diplomas are also available


Q: When should I apply?

A. Once you have done all your research you should aim to apply by Christmas (especially for popular schools and colleges).

Many places have online applications; check their website for details.

If you are planning to apply to grammar schools, check their website for application deadlines.

Information about Streetly Academy Sixth Form courses is available on the sixth form website. The school website also has an online application form.


Q: I'm not sure what course to take or where to do it, is any advice availble? 

A. If you need 1:1 careers advice, see Mrs Westlake, the school’s careers adviser. She can help you decide what to study and where. 

If you are thinking of joining the Streetly Academy sixth form please speak to Mrs Phillips in the study centre.


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