Skip to content ↓

Year 11 Choices - College Applications

Information about moving on from Aylsham High School

All year 11 students in England, who are 16 by 31st August, will officially leave school on the last Friday in June.  Students must then do one of the following until their 18th birthday:

  • stay in full-time education, for example at a college or sixth form
  • start an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, whilst undertaking accredited part-time learning or training alongside this.  Qualifications must take 280 hours a year to completed and be recognised by Ofqual.
Careers Provision for year 11 students

We support all students to make a positive plan for their future education, or employment with training. 
Our careers provision for year 11 students includes:

  • Events, assemblies and talks to provide impartial information about the full range of post-16 options and educational providers.
  • A booklet, entitled ‘What’s Next After GCSEs’, which contains all the key information students and parents/careers may need, in order to make post-16 choices.
  • Regular communication through our social media channels and a weekly bulletin, ‘Future Focus’; to inform year 11 families about college open days and other opportunities.
  • A dedicated session in school to explain the process of applying to college and to register students for ‘Help You Choose.’
  • Individual personal guidance appointments with our qualified and experienced Careers Adviser, Mrs Emma Durand. Request an appointment  here.
  • Referrals to Apprenticeships New Anglia who can offer tailored mentoring and support for students who would like to secure an apprenticeship

Our students leave us to attend a wide range of different colleges and sixth forms which meet their personal needs and aspirations.  Please visit their websites, below, for up-to-date information about courses, entry requirements and open days.

Independent Schools

Every year, some students choose to continue their education at an independent, fee-paying, school which they feel may cater for their extra-curricular talents and/or academic interests.  Students who excel academically and/or in the fields of: sport, music, art or drama may be awarded a scholarship, which can sometimes carry a small fee remission.  Some students may also be eligible to apply for a means-tested bursary to help pay fees and other costs.  Application deadlines are usually in mid-November.  Students have recently attended a range of schools, including:

Help You Choose

Students are encouraged to apply for college or sixth form through Norfolk County Council's careers website and Common Application System, Help You Choose.  All students are introduced to this website, and register for it, during the Autumn Term.  Please visit Help You Choose to access a huge wealth of advice and guidance about post-16 choices, including information about: travel, bursaries,  work experience, volunteering, open days, and apprenticeships.

Guidelines about using Help You Choose, can be found here.

How to choose your A Level subjects

It can be difficult to narrow down your options to 3, or occasionally 4, A Levels. 
Focus on choosing the subjects you enjoy at the moment  and are doing well in. You will usually need a grade 6+ in that subject, or a related one, to study it at A Level.  You could also consider something new that interests you - for example: psychology, law, sociology, economics, criminology, politics.  If you want to go to university, always look ahead to entrance requirements for courses you might want to consider, to make sure you have the right combination.  For example, maths and physics for engineering or biology and chemistry for medicine. 

Here are some useful links with tools and advice to help you decide:
Russell Group - Informed Choices
The Uni Guide - A Level Explorer
Careerpilot : Choosing your A Levels

T Levels

T Levels are a new 2-year qualification designed to give you a head start towards the career you want.  The government has developed T Levels to deliver world-class technical education and give you a new choice after GCSEs.  They are Level 3 qualifications, equivalent to 3 A Levels, and they include 45 days' industry placement.  

They are offered at City College Norwich, Paston College, Easton College, UTCN, Sheringham Sixth, Poultec and Thorpe Sixth Form.   For more information about  T Levels visit: 

T Levels for students | T Levels

Timeline for applications

Applications for colleges open in early October.  All colleges fill courses on a first-come, first-served basis, in date order of application.  Some colleges have deadlines in November or December, whereas others will continue to accept applications until courses are full.  It is therefore important to apply as early as possible and certainly before Christmas.  Popular vocational courses at City College, in particular, are oversubscribed each year.  Many students apply to more than one college, or for more than one course, and then decide on their preferred destination or subject/course in the Spring or Summer terms.

Access a Year 11 Calendar here.

Military Careers

Students  considering a career in the Royal Navy or Marines, British Army or the Royal Air Force should contact the Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO) in Magdalen Street, Norwich. Recruitment Officers representing all three Armed Services will be able to provide specialist and up-to-date advice about the many options for applying at 16+, 18+, or as a graduate.  Tel: 01603 624616.


Apprenticeships can be a great alternative to college or sixth form, for students who are keen to start working, earning, and learning on the job.  Please visit our apprenticeships area for more information.