Year 11 – Bridge to Post-16 learning and skills

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Welcome to 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 – Working Wales to create online learning experiences and resources so you can carry on with your learning and prepare to transition into further 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.

There are lots of exciting resources developed by colleges, schools and Careers Wales so you can find out what’s available and explore resources at your own pace. These include information about courses, virtual tours and open days, videos, and tutorials. They also include information about sixth form and college life, and what it means to be an apprentice.

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 you enjoy doing and are good at 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.

The Careers Wales website is a great place to start!

We will continue to add more resources to the page over the coming weeks and months, so please check in regularly to see what’s new. If there is something that you would like to see more of, please let us know via social media and we will do our best to meet your needs.

Once you have decided what’s right for YOU, you can contact the college, school, Careers Wales – Working Wales for further information on how to apply. In some subjects you may be able to start your learning on-line before September.

Watch this space!

Please share this page on social media with your friends to keep learning and tell us what you think!

A video message from Kirsty Williams to encourage you to think about your next steps and explore the many options available to you.

Please watch.

It can be a bit daunting if you’re not sure what you want to do when you are close to finishing secondary school. Our partners work together to ensure you have the right advice and guidance, access to options, and support to make your choice a reality.

Here we provide some tools to help you decide! You can navigate yourself, 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.


The most important thing for this group of learners is that they are able to Stay Safe and Stay Learning.

The subject specific booklets have been produced in order 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 and a lack of opportunity for A level taster sessions.

These booklets will provide learners with some of the tools needed to become more independent in their studies and allow them to prepare for the transition to A level study through bridging materials, additional reading and independent research which will in turn mean that they will gain the most from their A level course. Preparation, additional reading and research can all support this new level of independence and challenge and equip them with the skills needed to be resilient learners. Providing bridging material provides learners with information so that they know what to expect which could minimise uncertainty and stress.

The tasks should be viewed as 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 entirely 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 to include:

  • 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

We have been working with our partners in the post 16 sector to put together resources to support you to make the decision on what you want to do next.

STEM – Grŵp Llandrillo Menai (YouTube)

Applied Science – Grŵp Llandrillo Menai (YouTube)

Engineering and power technology – Grŵp Llandrillo Menai (YouTube)

Technocamps: STEM-based Activity Packs
A collection of fun and engaging STEM-based activities with a pan-Wales pupil Leaderboard

We have been working with schools, and colleges and regional consortia to put together resources and tasters for you explore. There are different opportunities across Wales and in your local area. If you find something that interests you, please contact your local college or school.

Don’t forget to ask about entry requirements!

Choosing to move from GCSE to A levels is an exciting time!

Subject specific resources have been produced to bridge the gap to take you to the next level of your Learning journey. These will prepare you to become resilient, independent and confident in achieving your aspirations.

Resources include:

  • suggested reading
  • a list of films to watch
  • independent Research tasks
  • TED talks
  • Tasks that build knowledge and Skills
  • activity packs
  • online courses
  • tasters

The Seren network supports the most academically able students in state schools and further education colleges to help them gain entry to leading universities. A number of Seren Academy distance learning resources are now available!

The Learned Society of Wales, the national academy for arts and sciences, celebrates its tenth birthday this month. To mark this, and to help support younger generations, we are a launching a competition to inspire curiosity, creativity and critical thinking, and to help students prepare for the next step of their studies.

We’re challenging year 11 and year 13 students in Wales to create an ‘explainer’ on a topic they will be studying in sixth form, college or university later this year. There are several prizes available in both age categories; each entrant will also receive a certificate. The first prize in each category is £300; runners up will receive £150.

To help inspire ideas, we will also host a number of Lockdown Learner Webinars. These will include sessions on the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs Boson, and a masterclass on how parliaments work. Other events will follow in the next few weeks.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams added:

“This is a great initiative and I would encourage all of our year 11 and year 13 students to get involved.

“Throughout the lockdown we have been encouraging children and young people to stay safe and stay learning and this is a great way to prepare for the next steps in education while inspiring creativity and critical thinking.

“I would also like to congratulate and thank the Learned Society of Wales for the work done to help throughout the coronavirus crisis, from assisting with our Stay Safe, Stay Learning guidance to holding masterclass webinars, the work is much appreciated.”

To learn more about the challenge please see:

We have been working with our partners, and colleges to put together resources and tasters for you explore. There are different opportunities across Wales and in your local area. If you find something that interests you, please contact your local college or school.

Don’t forget to ask about entry requirements!

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

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.

Want to learn through the medium of Welsh?

A variety of resources giving a taste of the content of post-16 courses that you can study through the medium of Welsh or bilingually.

Go further with Welsh

Want to learn Welsh?

The National Centre for Learning Welsh is starting new classes for the spring term from 12 May 2020. The Centre also offers live online learning sessions (10 minutes each day), online courses and online learning resources.

If you have decided to go back to school sixth form to study A levels or a vocational course you have probably already talked to your school about this.

Colleges also offer A levels, as well as a wide range of vocational courses to start you on a career path.

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 just 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.

If you are interested in A’ levels or vocational courses contact your local college or school.

You may prefer to learn as you earn on an Apprenticeship. As you can imagine it’s a difficult time for many employers so we want to make sure there are employment opportunities for you and you can continue what you start.

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

So that you can play to your strengths and make the right choices about what next steps are best for you, it is important that you have access to impartial advice and information about the options that are available.

So if you are uncertain about your direction you can find details of virtual open days on college and school web-sites and the link below to the Careers Wales web-site allows you to look at different ways of learning to help you make your decision.

What next for learners? (Qualifications Wales)

We are not in ‘normal’ times so it isn’t possible to visit sixth forms, sixth form centres, or colleges to look around, talk to teachers and lecturers and complete application forms.

Many colleges and schools have virtual tours on their websites that you can browse through.

All colleges will be planning virtual open days on a regular basis from now until September, visit your college web-site to find out when these will take place.

Mental health and well-being resources (The Open University)

Young person’s mental health toolkit: