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Copley Academy

Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow

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Post 16 Pathways

Academic Route


If you are good at exams, research, writing and independent thinking you would be most suited to A-Levels after completing your GCSEs. Students usual studied four A-Levels that are subject based and assessed via exams. Most A-Levels entry requirements are five grade 9 to 5, including Maths and English. Students mostly use A-Levels to access Higher Education, such as a university degree.


Wide variety of subjects
Combination of subjects provides more options
Highly respected by both universities and employees

Reliance on one-off exams for a two-year course
Require independence, reliance and dedication



Most students from Copley go on to study A-Levels at-
Clarendon Sixth Form College
Ashton Sixth Form College
Xavierian College
Loreto Sixth Form College



Vocational Route


If you are practical and prefer extended project-based learning, such as coursework, you might be more suited to a route that is more jobs-focused and assessed on regular written and practical assessments. Most Level 3 courses will require good grades at GCSE, but some colleges will offer the same course at a lower level to suit your ability, allowing for progress to Level 3.


Courses are for all level of ability
Less reliant on exams
Provide specific skills and knowledge valued by employers

A single course choice will often be only relevant to one possible outcome



Most students from Copley go on to study at
Tameside College
Ashton Sixth Form College



Work-based Learning (Apprenticeships)


If you want to start working straight away but want to also gain qualifications apprenticeships will best suit your needs, especially if you have a specific career in mind. They are assessment based and judge on what you do ‘on the job’. Apprenticeships are offered at both Level 2 and Level 3 and require reasonably good grades. Other work-based training at lower levels are available for students who might underperform at GCSE.


Earn money as you learn
Opportunity to gain work experience
Potential full-time work placements and employment


Very competitive
Not suitable for all careers

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