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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

Futures & Choices

Helping your child make the correct choices about their future is very important and we place great emphasis on equipping pupils with the skills to make an informed decision. Encouraging pupils to reflect on their achievements to date and look towards future goals enables them to build towards their future choices and be successful.

There are many different pathways that can be chosen and it is important that parents, pupils and the school work together to ensure pupils understand the differences between them and to make a choice as to what is right for them. The school organises a variety of different events during the school year to help inform decision making at the two key times whilst your child is with us. These include:

  • Year 9 Pupil and Parents Learning Conferences (October)
  • Year 11 Learning and Curriculum Evening (September/October)
  • Years 8-11 Careers Convention (October) 
  • Year 9 Key Stage 4 Options Evening (January)

We work in partnership with a Careers Advisor who provides impartial advice and guidance to pupils in school. All pupils have access to him either in small group sessions or individual appointments. If your child would like to make an individual appointment, they should contact Miss Brace or their Year Leader. 

Throughout your child’s time at Deer Park, we strive to introduce and develop their ideas about their futures.  Our Futures and Choices programme is continuous evolving as different opportunities develop. 

Our Team

Miss Brace, Assistant Head;
Miss Hope, Head of Ethics and Computing;
Mr Bellamy, Assistant Head;
Andrew Lloyd, Careers Advisor

Pupils can also talk with their tutors and Year Leader.

Our Futures & Choices programme



As an 11 to 16 school, we work very closely with our local Post-16 providers to find the best route forward for each of our pupils once they finish their education at Deer Park.  There are a range of different Post-16 pathways available and it is important that our young people make informed choices about their next steps.

Following the completion of Key Stage 4 courses, our pupils have to decide between:

  • Stay in full time education – sixth form, college, school with post 16, UTC etc;
  • Start an apprenticeship or traineeship;
  • Work/volunteer for 20 hours a week alongside part-time education or training.

What is an A level?

  • A Levels are Level 3 qualifications and are a 2 year linear course;
  • They are mainly assessed by exams at the end of the 2 year period of study;
  • They allow students to keep their options open or to specialise;
  • There are a huge choice of subjects;
  • It is essential that you check the entry requirements for the subject and the place you wish to study.  Some subjects and places of study have different entry requirements, e.g. Maths A level often requires a grade 6 at GCSE or some places may require cumulative 48 points across the best 8 GCSEs.

A levels are offered by:

  • Balcarras Sixth Form
  • Bournside Sixth Form
  • Cirencester College (Sixth Form)
  • Farmor’s Sixth Form
  • Hartpury College
  • Malmesbury Sixth Form
  • Marling Sixth Form
  • Pate’s Sixth Form
  • Stroud High Sixth Form
  • Sir Thomas Rich's Sixth Form
  • South Glos and Stroud College (Bristol campus)

See list at the bottom of the page with links to these providers and any details about open events.

What is a T level?

  • T-Levels were formally introduced to the Post 16 curriculum from September 2020;
  • Technical alternative to A levels;
  • They are Level 3 courses;
  • They are a 2 year course that combines a mixture of practice skills and technical classroom based knowledge;
  • They are occupation specific and focus on the practical and technical skills required for that particular occupation
  • 45-50 days of industry or work-based placement.

T levels are offered by:

  • Cirencester College (Sixth Form)
  • New College Swindon
  • Hartpury College

What is a Vocational Course?

  • There are different levels of vocational qualification;
  • Depending on your level of vocational course, the entry grades will vary.  You need to check the entry requirements;
  • Vocational qualifications are career-focused courses;
  • They are designed to prepare you for employment and higher education within a sector;
  • They combine practical, theory and work experience;
  • They provide students with industry-ready skills as well as a wealth of transferable skills;
  • You can progress into Higher Education with vocational courses.

Vocational Courses are offered by:

  • Cirencester College (Sixth Form)
  • Gloucestershire College
  • Hartpury College
  • New Swindon College
  • South Glos and Stroud College

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job with substantial training and the development of transferable skills.  It is a way for young people to earn while they learn, gaining a real qualification and a real future. Read more...

Apprenticeships are offered by:

  • Cirencester College (Sixth Form)
  • Hartpury College
  • Gloucestershire College
  • New Swindon College
  • South Glos and Stroud College

Local Colleges and Sixth Forms 

Post 16 Transport

It is very important that students think about transport when they choose the Post 16 provider they would like to attend. The majority of students are not eligible for transport and this will usually have to be organised and paid for by the students themselves.

No student aged over the age of 16 years receives free transport to their school/college, although the County Council does offer transport assistance to those students who are entitled and who have made the contribution to the cost of provision. There are some special circumstances - for full details please go to

 Useful Links

Local colleges and Sixth Form Open Events

We suggest that you check the individual provider links on the 'College & Sixth Form Open Events Dates 2023-2024' document below.


Careers Convention

In Autumn 2023, our annual Careers Convention, organised in conjunction with Kingshill School, will be hosted at Kingshill on Tuesday 10 October 2023.  There will be a wide range of organisations present, from sixth forms, colleges, universities and apprenticeships, through to financial services, engineering, armed forces, healthcare, aviation and much more besides. We encourage pupils in Years 8-11 to visit and explore some of the options available to them post 16.

>>  Go to Careers Convention...