Wellbeing Support for young people at 16+

Aside from choosing your GCSE options in Year 9, deciding what you want to do after secondary school is likely the biggest decision of your life so far.

You need to choose what type or level of qualification to study, the subjects or course, where to study it and maybe even start thinking about what comes next. You may have different ideas to your friends or family, and the whole thing can feel brushed with uncertainty when it all comes down to what GCSE grades you’ll get anyway.

It’s natural at this time to feel a bit overwhelmed. You might feel under pressure to make a choice, anxious due to the scale of change this means, demotivated about the future or unsure where to start.

Break everything down into small chunks, do as much research as you can and speak to those around you. You’ve got plenty of time to weigh up your options and, even if you make the wrong choice or don’t get your first choice, there’s so many different ways to study at 16+ you’ll be sure to find the right path for you in the end.

Download our Lesson Plan to help you talk through this topic.

Learning Objectives

In this lesson students will learn about the support for young people at 16 and 18. You’ll discuss the needs of young people in preparing for next steps after school or college, learning to understand how to handle change and transition to adulthood. You’ll also summarise the range of support services available for young people in Stockport and how to ask for help. At the end of this session, students will:

  • Have a wider understanding of the support available if and when you need it (for you or your peers)
  • Be able to identify signs of when and why you might need additional support
  • Be able to identify at least three local providers who can offer support

Support for Young People – Resources for students

To get started in tackling the decisions that lie ahead, make a list of what you’ll need to consider and set yourself a to-do list of how you’re going to proceed. Our Digital Prospectus 2023/24 explains all your options for post-16 study – from A-Levels to BTECs, Apprenticeships to NVQs – including the courses on offer, entry requirements and what they different levels mean. You’ll also find a full list of all the colleges, sixth forms and training providers in the local area, including what they offer, their contact details, online prospectus and open dates. If you need inspiration, try using our Career Guides to learn about different jobs, training routes and future career prospects. Or watch our Employer Videos to hear from local people talk about what their jobs involve day-to-day and what they enjoy about them.

Turning 16 also means taking on additional responsibilities. You’ll be issued with a national insurance number so you can get a part-time job for example. You’ll likely need your own bank account if you don’t already have one, and may need other forms of ID like a passport, birth certificate or provisional driving license for college or apprentice applications. You may also need to thinking about the financial costs of a longer commute to college, sixth form or an apprentice job, as well as textbooks, food and drink, work/college wear etc. Using a budget planner can help with this, plus learning about bursaries, travel passes, funding and student discounts.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, find out where you can access support for young people here in Stockport.

Teacher Guide

You can use the one-page plan above and accompanying resources to create your a lesson of your chosen duration, lead a short assembly or start conversations during form time.

Alternatively, you can download our Extended Lesson Plan (with LMI and full notes on each slide) – a ready made 30-45 mins lesson for you to simply talk through using the information already prepared for you (with key stats and discussion points).

Bitesize Videos

You may also wish to watch this bitesize video summarising the support available when you leave secondary school during the lesson or send the links home to students to watch independently in order to prepare for the session or as a follow-up.

If using during school time, you could use our Bitesize Bingo sheets for younger students to check off what they’ve learnt about in the videos.

Support if you have an EHCP or Disability

16 to 18 year olds with an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan will receive an Annual Review in Year 10 to help you start thinking about your next steps. In Year 11, your school will arrange for you to speak to a careers advisor, explore your options and apply for education or training.

At 16, you can choose to stay in full-time education (at a mainstream or special sixth form or college) or combine volunteering, work and study. In addition to the academic (like A-Levels or T-Levels) or vocational qualifications (like BTECs or Apprenticeships), you could also choose a Supported Internship.

Games, Activities & Worksheets

The following printable materials can be used during lessons or sent home with students as follow-up activities:

Individual Activity – The Future YOU

To inspire your future career choices, it sometimes helps to think about all the things you enjoy or want to achieve. Putting all your ideas and aspirations in one place will help you feel motivated and positive about your end career goal, before breaking it down into achievable milestones to reach those aims. We’ve created a mood board template and example for you to use to get started. You can use any medium preferred to show what the future YOU might look like.

Group Activity – Support Services Flyer

There’s lots of support on offer in Stockport and across GM for young people – from travel discounts to mental health services. Search online or visit our Support Services for Young People to find out more about what’s on offer so you know where to turn if you or one of your peers need help.

You can then use our Support Services Flyer template to record what you’ve found out. You could choose to advertise one service in particular or those in a specific theme (like mental health) or a mix of everything you think young people should know about.

You can keep this yourself and display on your fridge or noticeboard at home, share it with your parents or carers, or pass it onto a friend or colleague if you think they might need it. Ideal for starting discussions in the classroom or bringing careers conversations home.