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Digital skills

A group of learners sit next to desktop computers

Technology continues to advance and having good digital skills is essential for every day life as well as the workplace.

We offer a variety of digital skills courses, for people aged 19 and over,  which range from basic computer skills for beginners, through to GCSE equivalent courses.

All of our digital skills courses are free of charge, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

Visit our support for learners page for criteria details.

Our class sizes are small and we offer personalised support to help learners achieve their goals.

Students who have not already achieved grade 4 or above in GCSE ICT will receive additional help to gain this qualification.

One-to-one support outside lessons is also available for students whose learning has been disrupted.

Course summary

This course is for those who want a basic understanding of computers and how to use them.

This is an unaccredited course that is perfect for those who feel digitally excluded and you will learn how to switch devices on and off, how to access the Internet, how to create documents, and how to stay safe online.

Once you have completed this course, you may like to move on to one of our accredited Functional Skills courses.

This is an in-person course taught at Darlington Library.

Entry requirements

  • Aged 19+
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK
  • Reside in Darlington and the Tees Valley area

What is the curriculum intent of this course?

This course will develop knowledge on the basic use of digital devices and the internet, help those who feel digitally excluded or disadvantaged and emphasise how important it is to remain vigilant when accessing the internet

What will the course cover?

The course will cover the very basics of using a computer and the internet.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • switching devices on and off
  • adjusting displays to suit your needs
  • accessing the internet
  • browsing the internet
  • staying safe online
  • creating documents
  • editing, saving and printing documents

What could I do when I have finished this course?

You could progress onto one of our accredited ICT courses, such as Functional Skills or Essential Digital Skills, that will be made available to you.

Where and when will I learn?

Venue  Date / Weeks  Time 
Coleridge Centre  9th September - 18th November, 10 weeks  9:30am - 11:30am 

What do I need to bring with me?

You will not need to bring anything along to these sessions, just roll your sleeves up and try something new or develop your skills.

How much will the course cost?

This course is free of charge.

What do I do next?

Apply for the​ course

If you require help with the form please contact us on 01325 405601, 07932 869325 or l&[email protected]

Course summary

This course is for those who does not have an ICT qualification.

You will build up the basics of ICT and digital skills so that you can then continue on to higher levels.

This is an in-person course taught at the Coleridge Centre in Skerne Park, Darlington.

Once you have completed the course, you may like to progress to a Level 1 or Level 2 (equivalent to a GCSE).

Entry requirements

  • Are aged 19 years or older;
  • Have been a UK, EU or EEA resident continuously for the previous three years;
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK, EU or EEA

Curriculum intent

The curriculum intent of Digital Skills/ICT is for learners to get to grips with a variety of ICT technology and learn how to effectively operate a computer/laptop, including safe internet searching, creating documents, adapt settings, using Microsoft Office and various other soft and hard ware, plus lots more.

Each level of Digital Skills/ICT builds on the previous level up to the completion of a Level 2 qualification. The E3 and L1 qualifications are nationally recognised and can help you to upskill and gain employment. 

Initial assessments

  • You must sit an assessment to join an ICT course
  • Assessments are held every Friday between 1pm-3.30pm at the Coleridge Centre. You can also sit the assessment online if you cannot come in-centre. Assessments are not held on bank holidays or during school holidays
  • Assessments take approximately 1 hour
  • The level at which you join an ICT course is dependent on your results of the initial assessment and any previous qualifications you may hold
  • You may incur a waiting period in between completing your assessment and starting lessons

Levels

We offer ICT at the following levels:

  • Entry Level 1
  • Entry Level 2
  • Entry Level 3
  • Level 1 (equivalent to GCSE grade 1-3 / old graded D-G)
  • Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE grade 4 / old grade C)

Course content

Entry level 1 and entry level 2

  • Switching on and closing down the computer
  • Using a mouse and keyboard
  • Word processing
  • Saving and organising your work
  • Using tools to create a poster / party invitations
  • Adding formatting to a document
  • Moving and modifying text
  • Using a printer
  • File management
  • Using flash drives
  • Using a search engine to source information effectively

Entry level 3

  • All topics in Entry Levels 1 and 2 plus:
  • Using devices and handling information
  • Creating and editing
  • Communicating
  • Transacting
  • Being safe and responsible online
  • Assessment

Time and location

  • You will attend one 2 to 3 hour lesson per week at the Coleridge Centre in Skerne Park, Darlington or a Darlington Library
  • ICT courses are roll on/roll off - there is no set start or end date and you will work at your own pace
  • Courses are held on a variety of days and times

Equipment

All ICT equipment is supplied to you. Please bring:

  • a notepad
  • a pen (or a digital device) to take notes
  • a file to store your work

Cost

This course is free of charge, providing you meet the eligibility criteria above. If you do not meet any one of the three criteria listed, you can pay for the course - please contact us on the details below for costs.

Exams

  • You must sit a mandatory exams to achieve your E1, E2, E3 and L1 qualification
  • Exams take place at The Coleridge Centre or Bennet House in Darlington
  • Under no circumstances can you sit your exam at home or at any other venue
  • Exams for Digital Skills/ ICT in England are set by the Department for Education in cooperation with national exam boards. There are no nationally set dates and times for Digital Skills/ ICT exams, you will only sit an exam after a period of study when your tutor and yourself mutually agree you are exam ready
  • ICT exams take approximately two hours to complete

Progression

After this course has finished you may like to progress to the next level in ICT which might be a higher Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2. You may also wish to join other courses delivered by Learning & Skills across a variety of areas. 

What do I do next?

Please contact us to book an initial assessment on 01325 405601, 07932 869325 or l&[email protected]and please let us know if you have been referred from the Job Centre.

Course summary

This course is for those who have an ICT qualification below GCSE level or those who want to further improve their digital skills.

It’s also the next step up for those who have completed the Entry Level digital skills course.

This is an in-person course taught at the Coleridge Centre in Skerne Park, Darlington or at Darlington Library and once you have completed the course, you will have a qualification equivalent to a GCSE.

Entry requirements

  • Are aged 19 years or older;
  • Have been a UK, EU or EEA resident continuously for the previous three years;
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK, EU or EEA

Curriculum intent

The curriculum intent of Digital Skills/ICT is for learners to get to grips with a variety of ICT technology and learn how to effectively operate a computer/laptop, including safe internet searching, creating documents, adapt settings, using Microsoft Office and various other soft and hard ware, plus lots more.

Each level of Digital Skills/ICT builds on the previous level up to the completion of a Level 2 qualification.

The E3 and L1 qualifications are nationally recognised and can help you to upskill and gain employment. 

Initial assessments

  • You must sit an assessment to join an ICT course
  • Assessments are held every Friday between 1pm-3.30pm at the Coleridge Centre. You can also sit the assessment online if you cannot come in-centre. Assessments are not held on bank holidays or during school holidays
  • Assessments take approximately 1 hour
  • The level at which you join an ICT course is dependent on your results of the initial assessment and any previous qualifications you may hold
  • You may incur a waiting period in between completing your assessment and starting lessons

Levels

  • Level 1 (equivalent to GCSE grade 1-3 / old graded D-G)
  • Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE grade 4 / old grade C)

Course Content

 Level 1

  • All topics in Entry Levels 1 and 2 plus:
  • Using devices and handling information
  • Creating and editing
  • Communicating
  • Transacting
  • Being safe and responsible online
  • Assessment

Level 2

  • All topics in previous levels, but more in depth, plus:
  • Word Processing
  • Image Manipulation
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Using the Internet
  • File Management
  • Spreadsheets
  • Databases

Time and Location

  • You will attend one 2 to 3 hour lesson per week at the Coleridge Centre in Skerne Park, Darlington or a Darlington Library
  • ICT courses are roll on/roll off - there is no set start or end date and you will work at your own pace
  • Courses are held on a variety of days and times

Equipment

All ICT equipment is supplied to you. Please bring:

  • a notepad
  • a pen (or a digital device) to take notes
  • a file to store your work

Cost

This course is free of charge, providing you meet the eligibility criteria above. If you do not meet any one of the three criteria listed, you can pay for the course - please contact us on the details below for costs.

Exams

  • You must sit a mandatory exams to achieve your E1, E2, E3 and L1 qualification
  • Exams take place at The Coleridge Centre or Bennet House in Darlington
  • Under no circumstances can you sit your exam at home or at any other venue
  • Exams for Digital Skills/ ICT in England are set by the Department for Education in cooperation with national exam boards. There are no nationally set dates and times for Digital Skills/ ICT exams, you will only sit an exam after a period of study when your tutor and yourself mutually agree you are exam ready
  • ICT exams take approximately two hours to complete

Progression

After this course has finished you may like to progress to the next level in ICT which might be a higher Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2. You may also wish to join other courses delivered by Learning & Skills across a variety of areas. 

What do I do next?

Please contact us to book an initial assessment on 01325 405601, 07932 869325 or l&[email protected]and please let us know if you have been referred from the Job Centre.

Course summary

This course is for anyone who would like to learn more about Microsoft Office and how to use it.

You will need access to a computer with Microsoft Office installed, broadband and video conferencing facilities.

Through the course, you will learn how to create, save and edit documents, make presentations and spreadsheets, and so much more.

This course will take place online so that you can learn from the comfort of your home

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements for this course.

You only need the enthusiasm to learn and develop skills in Microsoft Office.

The course is delivered online.

You will need access to a PC with:

  • Microsoft Office installed
  • broadband internet access
  • video conferencing facilities

What is the curriculum intent of this course?

The course will help you to develop the basic skills you need in a supportive environment.

As your skills develop we will encourage you to become independent in using Microsoft Office.

You will practice your skills in a ‘real world’ context.

This can help you in your current role, prepare you for employment, returning to work or changing career.

What will the course cover?

Basic introduction to MS Word:

  • Create a document
  • Save a document
  • Edit a document
  • Formatting a document
  • Adding graphics
  • Inserting tables
  • Printing documents

Basic introduction to MS PowerPoint:

  • Create a presentation
  • Save a presentation
  • Edit a presentation
  • Adding graphics
  • Adding transitions
  • Adding animations
  • Viewing a presentation

Basic introduction to MS Excel:

  • Create a spreadsheet
  • Save a spreadsheet
  • Edit a spreadsheet
  • Using basic formulae
  • Using basic functions
  • Printing a spreadsheet

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress to functional skills ICT.

After an initial assessment to establish the appropriate level for your progression you can study at entry Level through to Level 2.

Once you have completed Level 2 you can apply to progress to a Level 3 ICT course at a college.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will take place either in a classroom setting or online using Google Classroom.

Course dates and times to be confirmed for new term. 

What do I need to bring with me?

For classroom based sessions please bring;

  • paper
  • a pen (or a digital device to take notes)
  • a file to store your work

For online courses you will need access to the internet and an internet enabled device on which you can access Google Classroom.

How much will the course cost?

This course is free.

What do I do next?

For more information, or to book a place, please contact the learning & skills team:

Course summary

This course is for those who would like to learn how to effectively stay safe online.

You will learn about features of the Internet, web risks, recognising online propaganda and much more.

It is recommended that learners interested in this course have or are working towards an English qualification at GCSE level.

This course will take place online so that you can learn from the comfort of your home.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

  • Aged 19+
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK
  • Reside in the Tees Valley area: Darlington, Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland.  Any questions please contact us.
  • It is recommended that you currently hold, or are working towards, an English qualification at around GCSE old grade C/new grade 4 or Functional Skills Level 1

What is the curriculum intent of this course?

The course intent is to highlight particular areas of concern for internet users, such as sharing personal information online and the possibility of being groomed online.

What will the course cover?

  • Features of the internet
  • How adults, children and young people use the internet
  • Risks associated with using the internet
  • Staying safe when using the internet
  • Recognising online propaganda

What could I do when I have finished this course?

You could progress onto one of our many other Distance Learning or CPD courses, depending on your pathway of choice. Or you may want to achieve a qualification in Maths, English or ICT. Many free courses will be made available to you at the end of this course.

Where and when will I learn?

  • You will learn in your own time to set deadlines
  • This course will take place online via our online portal. You will receive your login details during enrolment

What should I bring with me?

  • Access to the internet
  • Access to an internet-enabled device (PC, Laptop or iPad/Tablet - smart phones are not suitable for this course) 

How much will the course cost?

This course is free.

What should I do next?

Apply for the​ course

If you require help with the form please contact us on 01325 405601, 07932 869325 or l&[email protected]

Hear from current and former learners on our Functional Skills courses in the video below.

Need more information?

If you have any queries about our digital skills courses, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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