After Post 16


Life after post 16

Jessica’s Journey

Jessica has attended Wilmington Academy from Year 7, and as she begins for life after Post 16 we look back on her time here at the Academy and also what her future plans are.

Having achieved 1A*, 2As, 4Bs, and 1C in her GCSE studies, Jess chose to undertake the International Baccalaureate Careers-related programme (IBCP) at Post 16, studying IB English Language and Literature, IB Biology, and BTEC Extended Certificate in Health & Social Care.

Jess chose to undertake the IBCP as she wanted to have a wealth of experiences on her CV and available to highlight during interviews.  In fact, within her first month of being in the programme Jess successfully attained employment!  In addition to the usual Level 3 studies, the IBCP pathway includes development of personal and professional skills, service learning, international language and cultural awareness, and the production of a reflective project (which is similar to an undergraduate dissertation).  For one of her many chosen service learning projects, Jessica helped to organise and run a fancy dress run for students in Year 7 and 8.  The event was a huge success, not just because of the £200 raised for charity, but also because of the sense of community instilled between her team and the lower years.

Beyond Wilmington Academy, Jessica hopes to study Psychology and Counselling B.Sc. at the University of Greenwich. Continuing to develop her experience and passion for her local community, in readiness for her chosen course Jessica hopes to volunteer in the Summer as a ‘Dementia Buddy’.

We wish Jessica every success for the future: you have been an exemplary role model not only for your peers but also the community as a whole.  You are going to achieve amazing feats!

12 months on for Jessica

Thank you to former student, Jessica Birch, for answering our questions on her journey since leaving Wilmington Academy last year.

After leaving Wilmington Academy I began an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology with Counselling at the University of Greenwich which I have been loving so far! 

In order to qualify for the course, I needed 120 UCAS points, which is the equivalent of two A’s and a C grade, which I was delighted to achieve.

I’ve found that the subject requires an ability to think abstractly, empathise and dedicate yourself to its topics; skills that I feel Wilmington helped me to build upon.

With the pandemic hitting in the middle of my first year, a lot has changed in such little time. All work has been moved online for the foreseeable; exams were replaced with coursework; it was all a little strange at first but things soon become the new normal. 

Although this has brought new challenges, it’s taught me to adapt and be more organised and driven as structures that were previously there were no longer able to provide support. I feel I’ve been able to make the best of a bad situation, if this was to happen at any point, I’m glad it was in my first year. I now feel prepared for anything and am enjoying a VERY long summer!

In the next twelve months I hope to gain some experience in the psychology field. I have applied for volunteering roles such as working on phone lines to support those need with someone to listen to, and shadowing professionals in their work in various settings. I’m so excited to take the next step towards my dream career, becoming a Counselling Psychologist and being able to make a difference by providing support and help those in need.

Harry’s Journey

As their time at the Academy draws to a close, Year 13 begin to enter the next chapter of their lives.  Here we have Harry talking about his time here at the Academy and his plans for the future.

Harry has fond memories of Wilmington Academy, having attended since Year 7. After successfully achieving 1A*, 5As, and 5Bs at GCSE Harry chose to undertake the International Baccalaureate Careers-related Programme (IBCP) Pathway in Post 16; His subject choices were: IB English Language & Literature, IB History, IB Film Studies, and BTEC National Diploma in Business.

Highlights from Harry’s Post 16 career have included participating in the Leigh Aspire Programme and international trips to Rome and Sri Lanka, where he volunteered in local communities and even helped to bathe elephants. As an IBCP student he also ran and participated in numerous community events closer to home including our annual Christmas Tea Dance.

Harry’s next chapter includes attending Exeter University to study a BA in English Literature. This is a four year course including a year of studying abroad in either Australia, New Zealand or Canada. Harry hopes his university studies will enable him to go on to undertake a Master’s Degree in Journalism or the Graduate Diploma in Law.

One thing we know for sure however is that whatever Harry chooses to do after his graduation he is going to excel: his dedication and passion for learning and helping others will be long remembered here at the Academy and in Post 16.

12 months on for Harry

I went to Exeter University last September and have been studying English Literature – every second of which has been what I could have hoped for. In my second term I took a module in Classics looking at Ancient Literature as that was something new I had discovered I loved. Due to the current situation, all end of year exams have been moved online and so we are needing to revise and adapt on the fly. However, the most striking aspect about revision is how similar my exams are to the format of the IB English ones. I mentioned to Miss Sanders after a couple of weeks in Term One how far ahead the IB places you in comparison with A-Level students when it comes to exam preparation and academic writing and research. Despite all the disruption – and as a result – I will definitely be extending my study with a year abroad between years 2 and 3 and then hopefully a masters (at least) after my undergrad. Not sure if we discussed future plans last time, but for me, it will be in the route of Master’s and either further academia or somewhere in the world of publishing.

Aside from the studying, I have been writing for Exeposé (the Exeter Student newspaper) and have been featured in print and online (Harry reviews Mercury Prize 2019) discussing music primarily. I have joined the Touch Rugby club and am involved with both sporting and social aspects of that. After a recent English Society election, I was elected Publicity Secretary, so next year will see me responsible for the marketing and online engagement of the English society. I really look forward to joining the committee and delving deeper into the university lifestyle (presuming and praying we are back in September).

Charlie’s Journey

From an early age, Charlie’s passion has been construction.  After achieving an amazing 2A*s, 4As, and 4 Bs in his GCSE results, Charlie opted to undertake the International Baccalaureate Careers-related Programme (IBCP) in Post 16; his chosen subjects were: IB Design and Technology, IB Maths, and BTEC Extended Certificate in Engineering.

As Charlie’s time here at the Academy draws to a close, we look back on his achievements and look forward to the immense opportunities he has at his feet.

Being more of a “hands on” person, Charlie is looking to pursue an apprenticeship route into Quantity Surveying, which would allow him to build on his Level 3 studies, rather than go down a pure university route. Throughout his time at the Academy, Charlie has “thrown” himself into every opportunity; his work experience placement at a local garage gave him experience of a busy, bustling work environment. His additional studies as part of the IBCP pathway have included designing and refurbishing the Milestone Academy satellite garden, as well as raising awareness of healthy eating and healthy minds amongst the lower years.

This wealth of experiences beyond his qualifications have enabled him to be in a position to apply for his preferred apprenticeship with Transport for London (TfL). We wish Charlie every success in the future, and although we will miss your smile first thing in the morning, we know that you have a fantastic future ahead of you!

12 months on for Charlie

Having left Wilmington Academy last year, we recently spoke with former student Charlie Bishop as part of our 12 months on initiative.

Charlie’s update is as follows:
“I am now completing a degree apprenticeship in Quantity Surveying with a Construction Company called United Living Limited. This includes attending Greenwich University once a week to obtain my degree and RICS accreditation after completing the 5 years.

In terms of work generally, I’m currently on two refurbishment projects, University of Essex Student Accommodation Refurbishment and the refurbishment of a social housing estate in Greenwich called Flamsteed Estate with both projects having a combined contract value of about £10 million. So far I’m really enjoying the apprenticeship and the experience I am undergoing. “

We plan to keep in touch with Charlie to hear more about his onwards journey.


For many students, the cost of undertaking a degree can be a deterrence towards attending university.  Apprenticeships offer a route into employment, which will see you mix on-the-job training, with theory based university or college learning.  They are a great way for you to learn the skills and strengths needed for your chosen career, whilst also gaining nationally recognised qualifications, many of which are the equivalent to undertaking a degree at university.  As part of the LAT16, Wilmington Academy students benefit from Trust sponsored events such as the higher apprenticeship evening, which gives students and parents the opportunity to gain an overview of the types of apprenticeships available, as well as tips on where to find opportunities and how to successfully apply.

At Wilmington Academy Post 16, we additionally run events which target students who do not wish to apply for university through UCAS, or wish to enter employment after they leave us. Events such as Routes into Training, Skills 30:30, and Debt Free Degree, help to ensure that students are familiar with their options, and are confident in applying for apprenticeship opportunities.  We also facilitate opportunities for students to hear from, meet, and speak to local and national based employers, allowing them to get a “foot in the door” of our highly competitive labour market.  Our dedicated ‘Apprenticeship’ display also makes students aware of apprenticeship and training opportunities, as well as information relating to the current local labour market to allow them to make informed decisions about which sector to seek their next steps in.

All students have access to a multitude of apprenticeship opportunities through our partnership with CTM Pathways, ASK Apprenticeships, The Education People, and the LAT Engagement Team.  These resources help our young people to make informed decisions about their next steps after leaving Post 16.  Often those wishing to pursue an alternative route to university are unclear about the amazing pathways and opportunities out there for them.  Our aim is to make our young people aware of these opportunities, and more importantly help us to support them in the application process and make them workplace ready.  

Mitchell Beale – Apprenticeship at ITV

Since leaving sixth form in July I have begun my career in TV. I  am currently an apprentice at ITV which means that part of my time here I spend  studying Level 3 Business Studies and other times I spend time working and helping  the magic of TV happen. I have had so many amazing opportunities whilst being at ITV and I’ve only been there  nearly three months! I’ve been able to travel up to Leeds to Emmerdale and to  Manchester  for Coronation Street. I’ve also had a chance to work on The Chase on the  studio floor  and participate in rehearsals for Saturday Night Takeaway, to name a few.

Being an apprentice means that everyone here is so eager to teach you things and let  you soak up the world of TV. Having exposure to all Daytime shows like Good Morning  Britain, Lorraine, This Morning and Loose Women on a daily basis means that I can learn the ropes of the more creative side of the business.  It goes to show that if you have a passion for something and your hard work, anything is possible. One year ago I was miles away from where I wanted to be. But after persevering it all pays off in the end!


UCAS Support

Through our partnership with the Kent and Medway Progression Federation, the Academy is able to access support and guidance with Higher Education. As part of this support, both University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University have worked with both the whole cohort of Year 12 and Year 13 in order to provide application support, personal statement writing support and advice and guidance. 

We also provide visits to our KMPF Partner Universities as part of the Year 12 Project Based Learning Week. This is an annual trip, which is arranged in order for students to gain an appreciation of what University life is like and the opportunities created by undertaking an undergraduate degree. Students who have applied to University, also gain the opportunity to attend a series of sessions aimed at preparing them for university life. The transition session will take place over three weeks and enable them to gain valuable study tips covering student finance and accommodation and skills such as note-taking and research. Personal tutors also provide 1:1 support for tutees interested in going to University as part of our Pastoral programme and opportunities are given to students to attend university taster days for both the University of Greenwich, University of Kent, University for the Creative Arts, Sussex University and many more.

Students also attend two days at the University of Kent, in order to gain a taste of what university study is like and also the benefits of undertaking an undergraduate degree. Taster lectures include sport, forensic science and politics.

We have built working relationships with our partner universities – the University of Kent and University of Greenwich. Working as part of the Kent & Medway Progression Forum we have access to unrivalled Higher Education activities from a range of establishments. This enables us to work closely with student ambassadors and make the option of university a real prospect for our students.

Weekly meetings will be held with a member of the Post 16 Team from June to guide you through the UCAS process including:

  • Using the UCAS website
  • Searching for courses that are right for you
  • Selecting your choices
  • Writing of personal statements
  • Submitting the application
  • Applying for student finance – understanding the fees, loans and grants

At Wilmington Academy we have 53% students who have applied for university and all applications have now been successfully submitted. Conditional offers are now coming in. Students will have to ensure that revision sessions are being attended and coursework deadlines are met to ensure that places can be accepted.

Selected students are also invited to participate in the Leigh Aspire Programme, which looks at developing skills, awareness, and cultural capital through transformational experiences.  To find out more about this programme, please click this link.

Some of the links below will help you to find the course and which universities provide it, how much it will cost and about benefits, loans, accommodation and fundraising events.

Here are just some of the courses, apprenticeships and employment secured by our alumni: 

  • University of Liverpool: LL.B Law
  • Degree Apprenticeship: Business Management
  • Apprenticeship: The Bank of England
  • University of York: English Literature
  • Canterbury Christchurch: Radiography
  • Degree Apprenticeship: Quantity Surveyor
  • University of York: Physics
  • Harper Adams: Agriculture
  • Apprenticeship: Nursing
  • UCL: Architecture
  • Degree Apprenticeship: Accountancy
  • University of Kent: LL.B Law
  • Nottingham Trent: Business Management
  • University of Sheffield: International Business Management
  • Degree Apprenticeship: Stock Broker
  • University of Exeter: English and History
  • Canterbury Christchurch: Primary Education
  • Degree Apprenticeship: Construction Management