If you have kids in secondary school, there will (at some point) be talk of careers and options.
All schools offer open evenings to talk about the next stage (kinda like the choosing a school evenings). Go to these as early as possible to get the best understanding and time to prepare.
This could happen as early as year 8 (2nd year) or, like our local school, year 9.
This is the year they choose their GCSE options for which subjects they want to take.
Obviously, it helps to know where they’re heading. If they have a career in mind, then you (plural…with them) need to know how that comes about and then they can select GCSE courses appropriately.
For example, if their desired career requires a computing GCSE, they would choose that over art or something. There is always advice available for at school, so no need to panic.
If they aren’t sure what they want to do at 14, fair enough! There are still things they can do to help them in the future:
Firstly, most jobs require some type of English and/or Maths qualifications, but these and science are compulsory in UK education. So those at taken care of.
They get 4 choices currently and they broadly got into the categories of arts, technologies, languages, humanities (Geography, History and R.E.) and work qualifications (NVQ type courses).
The best advice is for them to do something they’re passionate about.
If they have an option spare then a language is desirable by most higher and further education courses. Up until 2020 there is an English Baccalaureate credit available (basically extra credit without doing an extra course). To get this they need to pass the core subjacts and a language and humanity (they can choose which). This basically gives them an advantage over someone without one at interview.
At the end of the day, a change of mind, or course, or even a fail in the exams wouldn’t be the end of the world. There are always opportunities to try again, grow and maybe even change direction.
So parents, don’t push too hard and students, try your best at the subjects you pick. Simple as that.
Good luck! 🍀