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Big day ahead as students prepare to receive GCSE results

PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:44 22 August 2019

Dereham Neatherd High School on GCSE results day 2018. Photo: Archant

Dereham Neatherd High School on GCSE results day 2018. Photo: Archant

Archant

Thousands of students in Norfolk and Waveney will today open the door to the next stage of their life and education.

At schools around the county, students will be opening their GCSE results to find out if their hard graft has paid off.

For these teenagers it will be the biggest step in their educational journey so far and could determine where they spend their next two years of study.

GCSEs have been through a turbulent few years as students, teachers and parents adjust to new tougher courses and a new grading system, which sees numbers used instead of letters.

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Students in Norfolk have ridden out the storm, with 63pc achieving a grade four and above - roughly a C - in English and maths last year, and schools will be hoping for an improvement this summer.

Whether students make the grade or not when they open that all-important envelope, there are a number of options available for post-16 study:

- A-levels - the traditional, academic route. School sixth forms, sixth form colleges and some vocational colleges offer A-level courses, which involve two years of study. Changes to the courses mean they are now only formally assessed at the end, with reduced coursework and no first-year exams. When choosing A-level options it's important to think about future education or career possibilities.

- Vocational courses - more practical courses can still be a route to higher education. They include BTECs, which can be taken in combination with A-levels, and other diploma courses. Places such as City College Norwich, East Coast College and Easton and Otley College run specialised vocational courses. From 2020 students will also be able to study T-levels, a two-year vocational/technical course equivalent to three A-levels.

- Apprenticeships - there's also the option to earn while you learn on apprenticeships. These are available in a variety of sectors from construction to tech and through a number of education providers around Norfolk. For young people who lack some skills or experience, traineeships are an option.

- See Friday's paper for our special GCSE supplement with results and pictures from around the region. We will also have live coverage of the results as they come in on Thursday on our website.

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