Key stages in education                                                         

Student doing activity worksheet


This page highlights the key dates/times of year that are important in the educational future of your son/daughter before they start Higher Education.

Year 8 & 9

GCSE Choices

During Year 9, your son/daughter will need to make decisions as to which subjects to study for their GCSE’s. These choices are known as 'options'. At 14, pupils rarely link their options to their career as it seems so far away, however, subjects studied at school can play an important role in career choice. As parents, you need to encourage your child to think things through. Your son or daughter should be aware that they may need certain GCSE subjects to be able to progress to their chosen course at college and beyond.  

 Yr 11

GCSE Exams

GCSEs are often a good pointer to success at post 16 level and many universities look at a students’ GCSE results when considering applications to university. The majority of universities look for good performance, for example over 5 subjects at Grade C and above, including English and Maths. Please note that some degrees may require higher than grade C in English and/or Maths if they were not studied at A level.

As a parent you can support your son/daughter in many ways preparing for their exams, even if you don’t know a subject well yourself. Providing somewhere quiet to study will enable them to prepare and revise for their exams (and to complete any coursework they may have). This will hopefully enable them to achieve the grades they are capable of.

Yr 12 & 13

Open Days

All Universities offer open days, which give potential students the opportunity to go to the university campus and have a look around. This is an excellent way of finding out more about a university. Open days can be either pre-application or post-application. (For details of Aston Universities Open Days please visit http://www.aston.ac.uk/opendays). Pre-application open days tend to be very general about the university, giving you a feel for the campus and the institution. Post-application open days or Applicant Visit Days are linked to the course you have applied for and give you detailed information about the course itself as well as the university. UCAS also organise a programme of HE Fairs across the UK. For information regarding UCAS Higher Education fairs and conventions, please visit http://www.ucas.com/students/exhibitions/

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research