Positive Steps 16

PS16 is the online college application service that students in Year 11 will use apply for college and 6th form courses. All students will be given a log-in in Year 11. The service links students to all college providers in the local area, all information is on the PS16 website.

  • Click on ‘courses’ and select by ‘provider’, there will be a list of all the different colleges, 6th forms and other providers (sport academies etc). There will be the opportunity to look at the different providers prospectuses and learn more about their offers.
  • Start looking at what courses are available, you will be given more information about courses and course levels during your careers sessions during your growth curriculum. You will be receiving your username and password in Year 11 which will enable you to set up an account and get things started.

Course Levels – there are different levels of courses available to you at College or Sixth Form College, the courses that you are able to apply for are based on your predicted grades/the grades that you are working on). Please open the document attached to see which level courses you would be able to apply for.

Understanding Grades –

GCSE Level Post 16 Level
Mainly 1s and 2s Entry Level or Level 1
Mainly 3s including Maths & English Language Level 2 – Btec/Foundation T-Level
Mainly 4s but 3s in English Language and/or maths Level 2 plus retake of Maths/English to get a 4 before progressing the Level 3
Mainly 4s including English Language & Maths Level 3 Btec or T-Level (Level 3)
Mainly 5s & above including Maths & English Language Level 3 – Btec/T-Level or x3 A-Levels

Differences between College and Sixth Form College – sometimes there can be confusion over what a college is and what a 6th form is but really it is just a word. Some schools call themselves colleges even thought they have Year 7 students, and some colleges are just 6th Form (Post 16) colleges.

There are many things you need to consider when making choices –

  1. Let the choice be YOURS – many people will offer support and potentially have their own opinions about your choices, this might be friends, parents or even teachers. Remember this is YOUR decision and ultimately it has to be something that YOU want to do. Success often comes from informed decision-making, passion and aspiration. So, think carefully about what you are going to choose.
  1. Look at the subjects and course content for Post 16 courses – make sure you really understand what you are going to be learning. This really does make a difference. Also take a look at the mark scheme and style of learning to find the pathway that suits you.
  1. Decide which subjects interest you and potentially what you might be good at. If you are not sure, attend college /6th Form open days and taster days to find out more, as these people deliver the courses so will be able to give you the information you need.
  1. Types of Courses available – You may be unsure what course you would like to take after Orchard Mead, as you have the choice of A levels, BTEC, T levels which are new this year or an Apprenticeship, please click hereto find out more information.
  1. Introduction to T levels – T- levels are now being offered at some local colleges including Leicester College, Loughborough College and Gateway College.  Click here for more information about T levels.
  1. Apprenticeship Information – You may prefer to do an apprenticeship programme after Orchard Mead which would combine study and work.


  1. How to register for apprenticeship opportunities– You can also sign up to the apprenticeship service where you will receive alerts about apprenticeships that are available in your area, if you decide that you would like to apply for an apprenticeship you would still need to submit a college application in case you weren’t successful.  You would need to start looking at applying for apprenticeships from April 2023 onwards for a July/August start.


  1. Careers Quiz – If you are unsure about what you would like to do after you leave school, try this quizto see the type of job you may be suited to!


  1. Personal Statement Advice – As part of your PS16 college you will have to submit a Personal Statement, this is a chance for you to tell colleges about yourself, click on the attached document to show what information a personal statement should include. Tips for completing your personal statement – see attached word document and put a link for this which is the UCAS Further Education Personal Statement Guide -https://www.ucas.com/further-education/post-16-qualifications/post-16-options/how-write-personal-statement-further-education


  1. Mock Interview Information– When your PS16 application has been submitted you will be asked to attend an interview/applicant event at your chosen college/s, attached are some useful interview questions and responses that may help you. You will be having a Mock Interview session at school in January, this will help you prepare for when you have your college interview. Interview Technique Questions