Years 7 to 9 (Key Stage 3)
Use this section to understand what subjects you should focus on in secondary school and then in Year 9, what subjects you should be choosing for your studies during Years 10 and 11.
Engineering is going to involve a broad spread of both academic and practical based subjects. These are often know as the STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Each have their place in building a foundation for engineering and depending on what you enjoy most, these may dictate the type of career you should consider.
Keep an open mind as you migrate your way through these subjects during Key Stage 3 as you will be taking them all up to the end of Year 9. Yes some will be tough, whilst others may be easier for you. Never shy away from the tough ones - do the opposite in fact. Talk with your friends and teachers about them and get those tough aspects understood. You never know, understanding and dealing with those demons may then open the way to an aspect you really enjoy.
This journey will help you determine which subjects you enjoy the most, which may in turn help you understand the type of career best suited to you. Accordingly this will help you make your subject choices in Year 9 (generally around March/April time) for Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4).
So what should you go for in Years 10 and 11? Maths, English and Science are compulsory. Other subjects you may wish to consider are Design & Technology (resistant materials, design, electronics in particular) and ICT (if this is not compulsory). If an engineering orientated course is offered at your school (maybe in conjunction with University College Isle of Man), then that would be a good choice especially, if you are considering a more practical based way of learning after Year 11 such as the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering (FAIE) course at the University College Isle of Man.
Consider subjects based on your interests and strengths. If you are interested at something then you tend to do better at it.
If at this stage you have an idea of what you'd like your career to involve, then choose subjects that support that. If you're not sure what type of career you want at this stage (that's not unusual by the way so don't worry) then choose subjects that keep your options after Year 11 as broad as possible.
Try not to pick subjects that you feel are the easiest or because you like the teacher. Pick subjects that help towards you career aim. Equally try not to make your decision based on what your friends are doing, or your relatives say you should do. By all means listen to them, but make decisions based on the information you have researched and know are the right choices for you.
Finally, bring into the mix any other subjects that you enjoy - geography, history, french, drama, whatever. They will, believe it or not, be complimentary towards a career in engineering as they will help you develop knowledge and other skills which may be useful in the fullness of time in an engineering career.
"If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first six sharpening my axe."
Abraham Lincoln (16th President of the United States) [Preparation is key in other words]