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Session 3

This session will help your pupil:

  • Understand which pathways are available to them after GCSE

  • Think about what they might want to study and where

  • Prepare for their Sector Role Model conversation


Make sure you spend some time at the beginning of the session to break the ice again! Please also note that this session has more activities in it than other sessions.

Activity 1: Pathways Seminar Debrief

  • This activity gives your student the opportunity to really take control of the conversation and is a great exercise to help you identify any activities that will most benefit them later in the session (ie if they don't seem very confident about the different providers, you can spend more time reading the information and discussing what the pros and cons are for them).

  • If your pupil is not confident or was absent during their seminar, do not worry. Just gauge their understanding at this stage and then look at the next few activities in depth.

  • Remember, your pupil is only in year 10, so these conversations can be high level and we don't expect you to know the ins and outs of these routes. But you have access to the presentation we will deliver to the pupils. (Linked above).

Activity 2: What should I study after GCSE?


  • This activity is looking at courses. Pupils will reflect on their career profiles and current grades and think about the qualifications they would like to take after GCSEs. Descriptions of all of these are on the handbook. Go through these with your pupil and reflect on the questions on the previous page. It's most important to get your pupil thinking about how these relate to their own current grades and what they might get at GCSE. It's OK to be realistic and discuss the ultimate goal, but also be really encouraging of the other options in case they don't get the grade they are aiming for.

  • Ask your pupil to select the qualification they are most keen in getting after GCSE and then a back up options for if they don't get the grades. Feel free to do some ad hoc research at this point of colleges or schools to see what the grade requirements are.  For example, to do a subject at A Level, pupils need a grade (potentially 5)/6 at GCSE.

Activity 3a and b: Where can I study after GCSEs?


  • These two activities help your pupil understand where they can study the qualifications they have selected above.

  • (3a) Encourage your pupil to take ownership of this activity and control the pen. Ask them open questions about their choices and then help them to reflect on the pros and cons, as well as considering what their local options are.

  • (3b) Using all the information you have been over so far, fill in the table with ticks and discuss with your pupil. As before, ask them to select an ideal place to study and then one that might be a back up if they don't get the grades.

  • Up to this point, these discussions have been high level and not specific yet (i.e which college or school they may want to go to). If you have time, this is a good point to speak to your pupil about where people normally go after GCSE if they don't stay at their school and google some of the colleges nearby.  This will simply show your pupil how to look up these colleges, courses and entry requirements. This is a useful skill for your pupils when they start looking at specific providers in year 11.

Activity 4: My Post 16 Plan

  • This next activity is a great way to summarise your previous discussions and your pupil's decisions. By noting down their Plan A and B options and breaking them down, your pupil can visualise and remember them more clearly. It's good practice for them to also note down their next step to achieve their plan (as seen in the example).

Activity 5: Understanding the Aspire Process


  • This is a fairly short activity for you and your pupil. Read through the Aspire timeline, which shows what the pupil can be doing between now and the end of year 11 to prepare for their next steps after GCSE. Make sure you read over the boxes that have a brief explanation as to how applications work.

  • Throughout, you can ask your pupil the questions in the speech bubbles and talk more generally about the process- are they surprised by any of it? Which bits might they find challenging? What can they do now to put them in a good position for year 11?

  • This activity is mainly to provide information to pupils and put the programme into context in terms of what they need to do in year 11.


Activity 4: Preparing for your sector role model conversation

  • Discuss again with your pupil who you are hoping to find for them for their sector role model conversation in Session 4,. Remember there is loads of support for you on the coach portal if you click on the link at the top of this page.

  • Ask your pupil to come up with 3 questions (or more!) for that role model. We also give some suggestions in session 4 if they would like some hints. Encourage your pupil to really think about what they want to get from that conversation.

  • Some examples might be quite straightforward: what did you study to get your current job? What are the best and worst bits? What does a typical day look like?

  • You might also want to encourage your pupil to thing of more unusual questions: did you do any extra training? How did you get work experience? What would you change about your job?


  • Go through the checklist noting what you have achieved that session. Give your pupil lots of positive reinforcement and encouragement for what you have successfully completed

Remember the debrief framework in training:

  • Ask what you have done in that session

  • Ask what they have enjoyed

  • Ask what the implications of this are

  • Ask what they can think about before the next session

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