Functional Skills Information

GCSE English

Who is the course for?

Anyone who would like the opportunity to explore a range of texts from a historical, social and cultural context including modern texts, 19th century texts and methods of communication. You will be encouraged to understand the methods writers use for different purposes and to be creative and write in different forms so that you can improve your command of spelling and grammar to enhance employability skills such as effective communication, writing professionally and expressing yourself creatively through nonfiction and fiction texts.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

You will need to complete an assessment in reading and writing to check your suitability for this course.

Most learners who have not achieved a grade C (4) in GCSE English Language will go into a GCSE class.

What is the curriculum intent of this course?

The specification will enable learners to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st century time periods as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures.  This support learners to enhance their career or in further learning.

What will the course cover?

The course will follow the latest AQA English Language 8700. The specification offers two equally-balanced papers, relating reading sources to the topic and theme of writing tasks. The reading sources act as stimulus for writing tasks, providing you with a clear route through each paper.

Each paper has a distinct identity: 

  • Paper 1, Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing, looks at how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers.
  • Paper 2, Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives, looks at how different writers present a similar topic over time.

What could I do when I have finished this course?

In most cases, employers and universities will expect you to have GCSE English at grade C (4) or above. It is an essential requirement to be able to communicate ideas clearly in written and spoken English and understand information conveyed by others.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will begin in September 2020. You will have one, three class per week and it is recommended that you also complete three hours home study per week. Due to COVID19 this course may take place online via Google Classroom, it may be classroom based or it may be a mixture of the two. This will be confirmed in due course.

What do I need to bring to the first lesson?

Due to Covid-19 this course may be delivered online so access to the internet and an internet enabled device is essential. If classroom-based lessons are established, please bring along an A4 lined pad, a folder and a pen.

How much will the course cost?

The course will cost £60, which will be fully refunded if the course is completed successfully. We will also recommend textbooks for you to purchase.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on 07932 869325 or email l&[email protected].

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GCSE Maths

Who is the course for?

Anyone who would like the opportunity to increase their mathematical skills across the three main areas of number, shape and space and data and who has the time to commit to the demands of completing a GCSE course in a year.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

You will need to complete an assessment in maths to check your suitability for this course.

What is the curriculum intent of this course?

The specification will enable you to develop skills across number, algebra, geometry and statistics and to use these skills to solve mathematical problems both with and without a calculator.

What are  the course details?

The course will follow the AQA Mathematics 8300 Foundation specification. The grades covered by this specification are 1-5 with grade 4 being a standard pass and grade 5 being a strong pass.

There are three exam papers and each paper may ask questions based on any aspect of the course. Paper 1 is a non-calculator paper and Papers 2 and 3 are calculator papers.

What could I do when I have finished this course?

In many cases, employers and universities will expect you to have GCSE Maths at grade 4 or above. A GCSE in maths can open the door to many new opportunities for employment or study at a higher level.

Where and when will I learn?

This course will begin in September 2020. You will have one, three class per week and it is recommended that you also complete three hours home study per week. Due to COVID19 this course may take place online via Google Classroom, it may be classroom based or it may be a mixture of the two. This will be confirmed in due course.

What do I need to bring to the first lesson?

Due to Covid-19 this course may be delivered online so access to the internet and an internet enabled device is essential. If classroom-based lessons are established, please bring along an A4 lined pad, a folder and a pen. You will need to purchase a maths set containing a compass, ruler and protractor. We will let you know in the first lesson which calculator you will need to purchase.

How much will the course cost?

The course will cost £60, which will be fully refunded if the course is completed successfully. We will also recommend textbooks for you to purchase.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on 07932 869325 or email l&[email protected].

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Functional Skills Maths – Entry Level

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for those whose maths is currently below GCSE level and for those who want to further improve their skills. The emphasis is on building up the basics to continue on to higher levels. Improved numeracy skills will assist in maintaining your personal finances, shopping, household bills and in seeking or improving your employability.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course, except learners must be aged 19 years on enrolment, and bring the enthusiasm to learn about and develop skills in maths in a relaxed, friendly environment.

What is the curriculum intent of this course?

The curriculum intent of Entry Level Functional Skills maths is for learners to gain knowledge, skills and confidence across the three main areas of maths–number, measures and data. The curriculum structure and delivery of the courses will help and support learners to progress to further maths learning at a higher level.

What will the course cover?

Each week, we will focus on different skills, and the course leads to achieving an accredited qualification through an externally set and marked exam from the OCR awarding body. The course covers:

  • Basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • The use of numeracy in money
  • Rounding and estimation
  • Fractions and decimals
  • Interpretation of graphs and charts
  • Measurement - time, temperature, length, distance, weight and capacity
  • 2D and 3D shapes
  • The use of perimeter of simple shapes

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress to the next level which might be at a higher Entry Level or Level 1 followed by Level 2.

Where and when will I learn?

This course runs on various different times and venues, please check the course list for up to date information. 

What should I bring with me?

Please bring a pen and notepad. Please also bring your National Insurance number to the first session.

How much will the course cost?

The course is free but learners are expected to work towards an accredited qualification, through an exam.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on 01325 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&[email protected]

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Functional Skills Maths – Levels 1 and 2

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for those whose Maths is currently below GCSE level or at Level 1 and for those want to further improve their skills. The emphasis is on building up the basics to progress to a Level 2 or GCSE. Improved numeracy skills will assist in maintaining your personal finances, shopping, household bills and in seeking or improving your employability.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course, except learners must be aged 19 years by 31st August, and bring the enthusiasm to learn about and develop skills in maths in a relaxed, friendly environment.

What is the curriculum intent of this course?

The curriculum intent of Functional Skills maths is for learners to gain knowledge, skills and confidence across the three main areas of maths – number, measures and data. This will lead to an increase in ability to solve mathematical problems. Each level of Functional Skills maths builds on the previous level up to the completion of a Level 2 qualification. Level 2 is regarded as a GCSE equivalent by many employers and for entry on to higher level courses. Many learners who study Functional Skills maths also find it becomes a valuable tool in helping their children with their education.

What will the course cover?

Each week, we will focus on different skills, and the course leads to achieving an accredited qualification through an externally set and marked exam from the OCR awarding body. The course covers:

  • Basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Ratio, proportion and scale
  • Fractions, decimals and percentages
  • Money and exchange rates
  • Interpretation of graphs and charts
  • The use of averages and probability
  • Measurement - length, distance, weight and capacity
  • The use of perimeter, area and volume of simple and complex shapes, including using formulae

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress to the next level which might be a Level 2 if you are studying Level 1 or to a GCSE (a Level 2 is equivalent to a GCSE grade 5 )

Where and when will I learn?

This course runs on various different times and venues, please check the course list for up to date information.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring a pen and notepad. Please also bring your National Insurance number to the first session.

How much will the course cost?

The course is free but learners are expected to work towards an accredited qualification, through an exam.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&[email protected]

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Functional Skills English – Entry Level

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for those whose English is currently below GCSE level and for those who want to further improve their skills. The emphasis is on building up the basics in order to progress to higher levels or GCSE. Improved communication, reading and writing skills will assist in seeking or improving your employability.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course, except learners must be aged 19 years on enrolment, and bring the enthusiasm to learn about and develop skills in English in a relaxed, friendly environment.

What is the curriculum intent of this course?

The design and delivery of the curriculum in this course will enable learners to up-skill and develop confidence in using English which will support them to enter employment, return to work or progress to further learning. The course will also help learners to develop the necessary tools to support their children at school.

What will the course cover?

Each week, we will focus on different skills, and the course leads to achieving an accredited qualification through an internally set and marked exam. The Entry levels are from Entry Level 1 up to Entry Level 3. The course covers:

  • Punctuation and grammar
  • Communicating by email and letter
  • Writing a CV and presenting information in sequence
  • Sentence construction
  • Understanding texts
  • Writing and reading skills
  • Speaking and listening skills

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress to the next level which might be a higher Entry level or a Level 1 (equivalent to a GCSE grades 1 – 3, previous grades GCSE D - G).

Where and when will I learn?

This course runs on various different times and venues, please check the course list for up to date information.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring a pen and notepad. Please also bring your National Insurance number to the first session.

How much will the course cost?

The course is free but learners are expected to work towards an accredited qualification, through an exam.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&[email protected]

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Functional Skills English – Levels 1 and 2

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for those whose English is currently below GCSE level or at Level 1 and for those who want to further improve their skills. The emphasis is on building up the basics in order to progress to a Level 2 or GCSE. Improved communication, reading and writing skills will assist in seeking or improving your employability.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course, except learners must be aged 19 years on enrolment, and bring the enthusiasm to learn about and develop skills in English in a relaxed, friendly environment.

What is the curriculum intent of this course?

The design and delivery of the curriculum in this course will enable learners to up-skill and develop confidence in using English which will support them to enter employment, return to work or progress to further learning. The course will also help learners to develop the necessary tools to support their children at school.

What will the course cover?

Each week, we will focus on different skills, and the course leads to achieving an accredited qualification through an externally set and marked exam from the OCR awarding body. The course covers:

  • Punctuation and grammar
  • Understanding the purpose of texts
  • Writing for purpose using correct language, layout, style and conventions
  • Homophones for improved spelling
  • Persuasive, informative, descriptive and instructional texts
  • Sentence construction - get your message across clearly and logically
  • Root words, prefixes, suffixes for spelling and meaning of words
  • Verbs, tenses - improve your writing
  • Fact, opinion, bias - reading between the lines
  • Writing and reading skills - write reports, articles, leaflets, formal letters
  • Speaking and listening skills - create and present a presentation and take part in group discussions

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress to the next level which might be a Level 2 if you are studying Level 1 or to a GCSE (a Level 2 is equivalent to a GCSE grade 4 – 9, previously GCSE grades A* - C).

Where and when will I learn?

This course runs on various different times and venues, please check the course list for up to date information.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring a pen and notepad. Please also bring your National Insurance number to the first session.

How much will the course cost?

The course is free but learners are expected to work towards an accredited qualification, through an exam.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&[email protected]

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Functional Skills ICT

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for learners of all levels and abilities up to Level 2. If you already have a certificate, achieved within the last five years, you will only be eligible for the level above. If you have no certificates then you will be assessed to establish your current level and enrolled on the appropriate level of course.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements for this course, only the enthusiasm to learn about and develop skills in using a computer and the Internet.

What is the curriculum intent of this course?

The course is designed to allow learners to develop the Functional ICT skills they need, in a supportive environment. As learners increase their skill level, they are encouraged to become increasingly independent when deciding on the best use of ICT. The vocational structure allows learners to practice these skills within a “real world” context and therefore increase their confidence within their current employment role or to prepare them to enter employment, return to work, or change career paths.

What will the course cover?

  • 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
  • Powerpoint
  • Creating presentations
  • Adding slides
  • Creating an email account
  • Sending and receiving emails
  • Attachments
  • Spreadsheets
  • Functions and formulae
  • Charts

What could I do when I have finished this course?

After this course has finished you may like to progress to the next level of Functional Skills ICT. 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 runs on various different times and venues, please check the course list for up to date information.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring with you a notepad and pen to take notes. You may want to bring a file to keep all your work in.

How much will the course cost?

This course is free at all levels to anyone meeting the requirements.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team on (01325) 405601, text us on 07932 869325 or email l&[email protected]

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ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)

Who is this course for?

This course is for people whose first language is not English.

What entry requirements do I need to start the course?

There are no entry requirements. You will do an assessment test to find out what level your English is so we can put you on the right course.

What is the curriculum intent of this course?

This will help you with living, studying, communicating and working in the UK.

What will the course cover?

The course covers all elements of communication: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

What could I do when I have finished this course?

You can progress up to a higher level English course (Pre-Entry, Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2). After completing Level 2 you will be able to enter Further Education courses. Employers also often ask for a completed level 2.

Where and when will I learn?

Learning on this course is online. It includes two hours per week with a tutor (online), set work and practice opportunities for self-study.

What should I bring with me?

You will need access to the internet and an internet enabled device / laptop / PC on which you can access Google Classroom. It is also helpful, when engaged in online classes, to be able to work with little or no disruption to fully contribute and take part in discussions.

It is always good to bring pen, paper and if you have, a smart phone.

How much will the course cost?

The course is free.

What shall I do next?

For further information, or to book a place, please contact the Learning & Skills team by calling or texting 07932 869325 or email l&[email protected]

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