Functional skills are qualifications in English, maths and ICT that equip learners with the basic practical skills required in everyday life, education and the workplace. To ensure that Functional skills are assessable to all learners they are available at Entry Level 1 through to Level 2. Employers are crying out for workers with sound Functional Skills - they are essential skills that are genuinely in demand. With good Functional Skills your students will have the ability to draw on a bank of transferable skills to help them succeed in all areas of life.
Functional skills where introduced due to the Wolf Report to replace the old key skills as a result of a gap in skills which The Secretary of State for Education commissioned Professor Alison Wolf of King’s College London to carry out an independent review of vocational education. She was asked to consider how vocational education for 14- to 19-year-olds can be improved in order to promote successful progression into the labour market and into higher level education and training routes.
She was also asked to provide practical recommendations to help inform future policy direction, taking into account current financial constraints. The review has been informed by over 400 pieces of evidence from the public, a number of visits to colleges, academies and training providers, and interviews and discussion sessions with key partners in the sector. Alison Wolf comments in FAQ’s in edexel. com that , “Functional Skills pass rates are lower than Key Skills pass rates.
This is still true post-pilot, and on one level may be due to this being a new qualification. However, rather than having negative connotations, this proves that standards are higher and a more legitimate marker of quality (cross-reference Key Skills where the pass rate is almost 100%). Functional Skills are challenging, worthwhile qualifications, denoting a marker of student excellence FAQs.
Functional skills ran as a three year pilot scheme from Sept 2007 and was officially rolled out nationally in Sept 2010 We use basic skills on a daily basis – while driving a car, cooking, making purchases, supporting our children in schoolwork. These daily tasks may present challenges for adult literacy learners, because they incorporate skills from a variety of academic areas – when driving you must read street signs very quickly; when cooking you use measuring tools or calculate with fractions.
Yet some learners may state, “I don’t read much,” or “I never use math. ” Teachers can help learners make connections between what they are learning in class and every-day functional skills by the contextualization of instruction. The 3 functional skills are MATHS Functional maths is what we use every day e. g counting money, calculating shopping bills basic money management adding these childrens dinner money ?
ICT Functional ict is everyday uses including online banking , paying household bills , renewing car insurance , online shopping and searching for best deals , reading e mails, texting friends ENGLISH Functional English is everyday tasks such as writing a shopping list , reading the mail reading the newspaper, reading the road signs when driving, checking shopping purchases on receipts, using e mail reading and replying. holding an everyday conversation requires speaking and listening skills. The delivery of Functional Skills should be embedded into all curriculum areas by using contextualized teaching materials, In my area of Art I can incorporate and plan functional skills in sessions by
Maths , in art learners regularly use ratio to mix art materials , e. g paint and water 2-1, mixing plaster of paris 3-1 measuring dimensions for drawing patterns e. g dividing a canvas in half or into four requires an overall measurement and then divided by 2 for half or 4 for quarters and so on. English, in art learners have to read to understand e. g study of an artist , YP read a biography of the artist and pick out relevant key points and write them down, so using sentence formation , punctuation . listening is a skill , to follow instructions in art either verbally or from a list which is used in making a clay pot , or plaster mould.
ICT in art , learners use ict to find images , so using a google search , also knowing their way around a website to find relevant images or information.
Usually images are printed and formatted to their specifications for tasks , so printing knowledge is used also saving work to relevant files are all everyday ict skills we use in day to day life and work How functional skills are implemented and supported in my organisation We are a small education setting with up to 30 YP at any time so I think we have a thorough pathway for YP Learners are assessed when they arrive at Aycliffe before entering education by the online goal assessment which gives a clear score on maths and English ability they are broken down into separate curriculum areas e. spelling , punctuation , number sequencing, adding , subtracting so can clearly give a good assessment for extra support regarding functional skills across the curriculum The senco then highlights areas for concern and distributes Strategy sheets to teaching staff and relevant support staff these give an indication of hints and tips useful in teaching a particular identified need in a student.
Provision mapping and planning sheets are used to track continual level of need and progress, In Aycliffe secure centre we also use for identified pupils a computer programme called Successmaker which is has numeracy and literacy programmes aimed at all levels this is an excellent tool to boost the attainment in functional skills as learners are supervised on a 1-1 basis by teaching and support staff, and Successmaker shows a clear improvement and highlights areas for extra need.
In our establishment the most level of need is in reading and we use SRA reading scheme which has 4 levels and the learners are assessed and placed in appropriate groups , we also have journal reading groups which are for competent readers which concentrate on reading own material and reviewing and understanding text. We also run an individualised Life Skills Programme , through assessment YP work through a life skills programme which offers a cross curricular array of Functional / Life skills from making a bed , budgeting and shopping for a healthy meal, booking a train ticket to accessing further education in their communities.