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Functional Skill English

Are your English skills a little rusty? Take the opportunity to improve your skills and achieve an Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 (equivalent to a GCSE) English qualification. These qualifications are nationally recognised and can help you to upskill and gain employment. You will learn in a friendly, supportive online environment and at a pace to suit your needs.

English classes will take place once per week, between two to three hours per lesson. It is recommended that you also complete a couple of hours home study per week. Lessons take place on a variety of days and times to suit everyone's schedules. Functional Skills courses are free of charge, more details are available in the entry requirements section. 

Please navigate this page for all of the English information you need.

Entry Requirements
Initial Assessments
Entry English / Level 1 and 2 English
Exams
Contact

Current Functional Skills Timetable

Entry Requirements


Functional Skills courses are free of charge. Entry onto the course depends on the individuals situation. This will be established during initial contact. However, at the moment the entry requirements are as follows:

  • 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

If you do not meet any one of the three criteria listed, each level you study will be charged at £135 and the assessment will be charged at £20 per subject.

Assessments for Functional Skills English


You must sit an assessment in order to join a Functional Skills English course. English assessments take approximately 1 hour. Initial assessments are held in-centre every Friday, 1pm-3.30pm. You can also sit the assessment online, please contact us for details. No assessments take place on bank holidays or during school holidays.

The level at which you join a Functional Skills English 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.

To book an initial assessment please call 01325 405601, call / text / WhatsApp 07932 869325, email l&[email protected] or message us through Facebook [external link], Twitter [external link] or Instagram [external link].

Functional Skills English – Entry Level

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.

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, if applicable.

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

Please bring a pen and notepad. 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).


Functional Skills English – Levels 1 and 2

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.

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.

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

Please bring a pen and notepad. 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).

Functional Skills English Exams


A requirement of Functional Skills courses (both classroom and online based) are to sit mandatory exams to achieve your qualification. Your exams will take place at L&S at The Coleridge Centre or L&S at Bennet House in Darlington. Under no circumstances can you sit your exam at home or at any other venue.

Exams for Functional Skills in England are set by the Department for Education in cooperation with national exam boards. There are no nationally set dates and times for exams, you will only sit an exam after a period of study when your tutor and yourself mutually agree you are exam ready. Learning & Skills will book a variety of exam sessions and you will be invited to attend at least one of them.

Exams are currently held online and are no longer paper based. You will be allocated time in your lesson, or you will be invited to a practice session, for exam practice.

English exams take 1 hour per area (Speaking, Reading and Writing). Usually you will sit your reading and writing papers together in a two hour exam and sit your speaking exam within your English lesson.