Year 11 – Bridge to Post-16 learning and skills

If you are in year 11 you are likely to be thinking about what to do in September. We are working with regional consortia, schools, colleges, Careers Wales to provide resources to support you to transition to your next phase of education.

We want to make sure you are aware of all the options available to you at 16 and provide you with resources and advice that will enable you to make the best choice for you to continue your learning either at school, in college or on an apprenticeship.

Click on the links to discover your options to continue the learning journey that’s right for you.

The links will take you to resources for you to explore. Why not start with the subjects that you enjoy and consider these first for planning your study in September. You could also use this time to learn about new subjects and topics that interest you. You decide.

Here are some tools to help you decide on your next steps. You look at courses and try some tasters. There are also some courses that you can get certificates for and will count towards your future learning.

Careers Wales

The following resources, developed by the Regional School Improvement Consortia, provide opportunities for learners to explore their choices as they transition to their next phase of education or training.

Tutorial 1: Preparing for Year 12/sixth form

Tutorial 2: Skills reflection and development

Tutorial 3: Exploring university options

Tutorial 4: Exploring employment options

Tutorial 5: Looking after your well-being

Tutorial 6: Exploring your subjects

Tutorial 7: Super-curricular activities

The subject specific booklets have been produced to support learners to bridge the gap between GCSE and AS level. The move from GCSE to A level can be quite a daunting one, even more so in the current situation with such a long gap between now and the start of the A level course.

These booklets present the skills that learners will need to be independent while studying, and enable them to prepare for the transition to A level study. Through bridging materials, additional reading material, and independent research learners can prepare for this new level of independence and challenge. Transition materials provide learners with information so that they know what to expect, which could reduce uncertainty and stress.

The tasks are an opportunity to further develop independence, knowledge and skills within that subject and to prepare themselves for the challenges ahead. They are not intended as assessment opportunities or to increase teacher workload. Teachers may wish to use the booklets as they have been designed or may choose to adapt to suit the learners in their own school. It is up to individual schools and teachers if and how they choose to use the materials provided.

The subject specific booklets include a range of activities including:

  • Suggested reading
  • A suggested list of films to watch with have a link to the subject (albeit tenuous in some cases!)
  • Independent research tasks and TED Talks that develop an interest beyond the curriculum
  • Tasks which build knowledge and skills linked to the AS syllabus
  • Preparation for the AS course

Consortia logos

Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

Art and design


Business studies

Chemistry: guide 1

Chemistry: guide 2

Chemistry (St David’s College)

Criminology (St David’s College)

Design and technology

Design and technology (Powerpoint version)

English language

English language and literature

English literature

Film studies (St David’s College)




Law (St David’s College)


Mathematics: transition booklet

Mathematics (St David’s College)


Physical education



Religious studies



Welsh second language


Vocational courses are offered from Level 1 to 3. Usually the level you study is based on the grades you get at GCSE.

If you choose a very practical career focused course such as bakery, hairdressing or plumbing however, all learners have to do some activity at Level 1 to develop the new skills required. This is to make sure you can use equipment safely and confidently and means you can progress to Level 2. After this you can be employed as you will have achieved the Level 2 licence to practise the qualification.

Your choice then is to either get a job, progress to an apprenticeship or to a level 3 vocational course.

Employers consider vocational courses as valuable qualifications; they are designed to meet the specific needs of employers so that you can develop the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. They provide specific job related training and can be an attractive option to help you to prepare for the world of work.

Here are some learner experience clips from a selection of full time courses. If you find something that interests you, please contact your local college or school.

Don’t forget to ask about entry requirements!

Animal Management – Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor

Countryside Management – Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor

Coleg Llandrillo Art Exhibition 2015

Performing Arts – Bangor

Media, TV and Film

Business – Coleg Menai


Carpentry – Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor

Engineering and Power Technology

Automotive Engineering – Rhyl College

Health and Social Care – Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor

Childcare Learning and Development – Coleg Menai

Software Development

Hospitality and Catering

Catering and Hospitality – Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor

Sport and Exercise Science – Coleg Menai

Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy

You may prefer to learn as you earn on an Apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16 in Wales and offer the opportunity to earn and learn at the same time. Apprentices will spend most of their time in the workplace whilst studying with a college, training provider or university: you will work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills and a nationally recognised qualification.

There are a wide range of Apprenticeship Sectors, from Culture, Design and Media to Engineering, set at four levels: Foundation; Apprenticeship; Higher Apprenticeship and Degree. Apprenticeships are designed to support the needs of all learners, enabling them to kick-start their career.

As you can imagine it’s a difficult time for many employers so we want to make sure there are employment opportunities for you to start on an Apprenticeship programme. We will be publicising opportunities when the situation becomes clearer.

If you are interested in an apprenticeship speak to Careers Wales – Working Wales who will set you on the right track.

See also:

Traineeships are learning programmes for 16 -18 year olds that give you a taste of work and help you develop skills to get a job or move on to college or an apprenticeship.

Have a look at the videos to hear from learners, and tutors of what being a trainee is like:

For more information, contact Career Wales – Working Wales

Here you will find resources to support the development of your skills for work and study.

Year 11 transition project (Coleg Cambria)

English Essential Skills: Level 1

English Essential Skills: Level 2

Mathematics Essential Skills

Mathematics Essential Skills: Level 1

Mathematics Essential Skills: Level 2

If you have any questions about a course you intend to start in September please contact your local college.

ALN Pathfinder provides information for learners, parents and carers, and providers.