In Year 10 you'll start courses which will usually take two years and you'll work towards General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exams, Certificates of Achievement or other qualifications.

In most schools, Year 10 is when you'll need to decide what you would like to do on work experience. Work experience offers you the chance to find out about the world of work and to try out career ideas. You will also explore your career ideas by discussing and researching careers and jobs.

Work experience

Work experience isn’t just about trying out your own career choice, but finding out about working life and work skills in general. Work experience will help you to learn more about the world of work. That means understanding the workplace, working with other people and being able to communicate clearly with adults. You’ll get the chance to learn skills that will help you in your education and future work.

Making the most of work experience

Different schools complete work experience at different times in Year 10, Year 11 or Year 12. Your Work Experience Co-ordinator will usually talk to you about work experience some months before you actually go on your placement. You will be asked to think about where you might like to work and the kind of jobs you think you will like or be good at. Every effort is then made to find a placement to suit you.

If you'd prefer to find your own work experience placement your Work Experience Co-ordinator will offer you support, help you with paperwork and ensure that all the necessary health and safety checks are in place.

Most students have a one week placement, although you may get the chance to do an extended placement, which can be for one or two days a week for a term or more.

For more information talk to your school Work Experience Co-ordinator, your Connexions Personal Adviser or visit the Connexions Work Experience Tyne and Wear website.