Applicants Study Packs

Year 11 Next Steps: Preparation for New City College

Message to Year 11 Students

We at New City College recognise this is a strange time for Year 11 students. You are studying in new and innovative ways - and both teachers and students have had to learn and develop different ways of working.

However, there are some positive aspects to this (you need to look for any positives you can in a difficult situation!). If you wish to progress to one of our New City College campuses for your next steps - which we hope you do - then you will be required to further develop your skills to learn independently. You will be studying far fewer subjects at college, but you will be expected to spend as much time studying outside of the classroom as you do in your lessons. You are given study periods on your timetable to complete this work - and you choose where you do it (home or study spaces in college).

Therefore, the way that you are studying now is preparing you well for your next steps. You are being supported by your teachers in new and different ways, but are also in charge of your own learning at home.

You will find some study resources in this 'Next Steps' pack that will prepare you for your next level of study at one of our New City College campuses. Please complete them to the best of your ability. We will be happy to look through your preparation work when you join us in September - although no obligation because we understand your schools are working with you in very different ways at this time.

Research Your Future

It will help you to choose the right course when you progress to college if you start thinking about what you would like to do afterwards. It might seem a long way off, but the following activities will help you to start to make some plans about your future career path - and more importantly will help you to understand what you will need to achieve at New City College in order to fulfil your plans. Make notes in your Learning Diary as you go through these activities.

Activity 1 - SACU

SACU is a free online service that has features to help you make the best choice possible when it comes to Higher Education, jobs and apprenticeships. It is designed to help you explore the range of possibilities open to you. Go to the SACU website and follow these steps.

  • Step 1: Create a SACU account
  • Step 2: Complete the Spartan Test (watch the video tutorial)
  • Step 3: View the results in either the careers cloud, apprenticeship cloud or subjects cloud (note that you can navigate between them on the next screen anyway)
  • Step 4: Investigate further some of the options shown for you by clicking on them. Note that you can click on your top 10.
  • Step 5: Add anything of interest to your 'Bookmarks'

Note: The Spartan Test is a crude tool to determine your interests. It may give you some relevant ideas, but if not then try doing the test again.

Extension tasks: Fully utilise your 'Research Zone' in SACU (shown on the right). Add research notes, use the checklist as you complete tasks, create a personal statement using the 'Personal Statement Builder' (use this useful link to start you off on your personal statement).

Activity 2 - UCAS or Apprenticeship Search

It might feel a long way off for you, but it will help you to start thinking about your future and understanding the entry requirements. Don't worry if you don't know what you want to do yet - use this activity just to get some ideas.

Research possible university courses or apprenticeships using the links below (or maybe both if you are unsure). Find five separate courses or apprenticeships and for each note down the entry requirements in your learning diary. Also in your Learning Diary, reflect on whether you are currently on target.

Browse UCAS

Browse Apprenticeships

Activity three: be prepared

Some useful questions to reflect on as you write up your research are:

  1. 1. What career do you want to be in when you are 30?
  2. 2. What do you want to be doing when you are 23?
  3. 3. Do you want (or need) to attend university in order to succeed in this career, or is it better to take an apprenticeship?
  4. 4. What course at University do you need to do or what apprenticeship?
  5. 5. What grades do you need?
  6. 6. What subject are you good at – what is your evidence?
  7. 7. What are you good at outside of school – what is your evidence?

Study Skills

It will benefit you greatly when you move to your next steps, if you continue to build on the study skills you have developed during your time in school. Complete the following activities, and make notes in your Learning Diary.

Activities to Develop Academic Writing Skills

  1. 1. Discussing Advantages and Disadvantages - Barry (Steps to Academic Writing)
  2. 2. How Do I know I've Answered the Question - Coleman (Polish Your Academic Writing)
  3. 3. How Do I Make My Point Clear - Coleman (Polish Your Academic Writing)
  4. 4. How Do I Structure My Assignment - Coleman (Polish Your Academic Writing)​

You may wish to try to acquire the books:

  • Steps to Academic Writing, Marian Barry
  • Polish your Academic Writing, Helen Coleman

​If you manage to get hold of the books, you might try these additional activities:

  • How Do I Write a Paragraph - Coleman (Polish your Academic Writing)
  • Writing For and Against Essays - Barry (Steps to Academic Writing)
  • Writing Opinion Essays - Barry (Steps to Academic Writing)
  • Writing Problem-Solving Essays - Barry (Steps to Academic Writing)​​

Reading for Betterment (coined from Andy Miller's 'The Year of Reading Dangerously')

Reading is not only pleasurable, but it will help you to develop your academic writing skills. Try to read at least three books from the College's reading list over the summer.

Note: You can join your local library online. They have a big catalogue of e-books and audio books available online.

Keep Developing Your Maths and Skills

Your teachers will be continuing to build your English and Maths skills, and no doubt are providing a raft of useful online resources for you to use. It is vital that you continue with this learning in preparation for College.

Some additional useful websites: - interactive online papers for most exam boards, for all exam sessions. As the student works through the paper, there are two marks, one for the student's correct answers so far and one for what grade they would be on if they were getting everything correct. - this is topics grouped by grade with links to past GCSE questions for revision, and the worked solutions are available. Also has links to past papers. - lots of resources. Use the 5-a-day worksheets - they are a mixture of topics to keep students on the ball. - normally a teacher only resource but the revision maths for GCSE are excellent and are available for anyone to download at this present time.

Keep Developing Your Creative Skills

Art is Where the Home Is - on this link you will find activities that artists have developed for you to make and do at home.

Developing a Mindset for Study

This part of the Next Steps pack asks you to consider the VESPA model. This looks at various aspects of your mindset for study, taking into account not just subject knowledge, but time management, effort and strategies to support stress. Each activity that you complete will relate to one of the key components below.

  • VISION: Knowing what you want to achieve
  • EFFORT: How many hours of proactive independent study you do
  • SYSTEMS: How you organise your learning resources and time
  • PRACTICE: How you practice and develop your skills
  • ATTITUDE: How you respond constructively to setbacks

Complete the activities below to the best of your ability, and note your responses in your Learning Diary.​


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