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Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 1 and Level 22018-12-02T19:47:18+00:00

Functional Skills qualification inEnglish at Level 1 and Level 2

Course Details

Aims and Objectives of the Qualifications

Functional Skills qualifications have been designed to give equal access to English, mathematics and ICT to a broad range of learners covering a wide cross-section of society. The fundamental skills acquired and applied through Functional Skills English aims to assist individuals in the progression and development in life, work and learning. Providing the skills and abilities needed to engage and be active within communities, workplace and in educational settings. Functional Skills enable learners to actively communicate in ways that make them effective and involved citizens who are able to operate confidently and to convey their ideas and opinions clearly in a wide range of contexts. The Functional Skills criteria in English aims to equip learners with the skills and confidence to apply and adapt their English knowledge and skills to new situations in their life and work in a range of contexts and for various purposes. The aim of the Functional Skills qualification in English at Entry 1, 2 and 3 are to equip learners with the skills and confidence to apply their English knowledge to every day functional situations in life and work. Functional Skills objectives are to develop the learners’ abilities and to apply and transfer skills in ways that are appropriate to their situation. The assessments, therefore, focus on functionality and the application of skills as articulated by the Functional Skills criteria in English. The Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications are designed to assess Functional Skills in English at Level 1 and Level 2 as determined by the Functional Skills criteria. The qualifications require learners to successfully achieve summative assessment tasks that are externally set. Candidates can take these when they have undergone a relevant teaching and learning programme that covers the skills criteria in their entirety at either Level 1 or Level 2 and have developed the appropriate skills ready for assessment.

Subject Matter and Content of the Qualifications to achieve the Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 1 and Level 2 learners would be expected to:

  • Apply their knowledge and understanding to identify the approaches required to communicate with others in increasingly unfamiliar and non-routine contexts and situations (complexity)
  • Apply a range of techniques across an increasingly wide range of texts, formal and informal situations and contexts (technical demand)
  • Use English skills with increasing levels of independence, drawing on a range of approaches to each skill area (independence).
  • Apply their knowledge, skills and understanding within familiar contexts across a range of situations and text types (familiarity).

Who are the qualifications for?

There are no age restrictions for these qualifications. Functional Skills are vital to the personal development of all learners. The qualification is suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • Adults involved in learning programmes to prepare them for work
  • Adults in work to provide progression opportunities
  • Young people involved in GCSEs in schools
  • Those involved in Diplomas and Apprenticeships. These qualifications are assessed primarily through tasks, rather than traditional knowledge-based tests, helping learners to enhance and apply their problem-solving skills effectively. Adults and young people will develop vital problem-solving skills, ensuring that they are well equipped for success in employment, further learning and life. Employers will also benefit as Functional Skills qualifications will help to ensure that employees are able to apply fundamental problem-solving skills in work situations, improving effectiveness and productivity.

Restrictions on Learner Entry:

There are no restrictions on learner entry to these qualifications. However, learners should have undertaken relevant initial assessments to ensure that they are following an appropriate learning programme leading to the summative assessment. Recommended Prior Learning There is no recommended prior knowledge, attainment or experience needed by learners wishing to enrol on these qualifications.

Progression Opportunities:

Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 1 and Level 2 enable progression to further learning, employment, and learning and development opportunities within employment. Functional Skills qualifications are designed from Entry 1 to Level 2 to ensure clear progression pathways and personal development opportunities. The levels comply with the level descriptors for positioning units within the Regulations Qualifications Framework (RQF). This will ensure that learner achievement is clearly understood by both the learner and audiences outside of the education environment. The Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 1 allows learners to progress to:

  • GSCE English;
  • Further study for vocational, vocational-related or general qualifications at Level 1 (for example, Level 1 NVQ or Level 1 Diplomas);
  • Further study at Level 2 (for example, Level 2 Functional Skills English, NVQs or Level 2 Diplomas). After successfully achieving the Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 2 learners may be able to progress to:
  • GSCE English;
  • Further study for vocational, vocational-related or general qualifications at Level 2 (for example, Level 2 NVQ or Level 2 Diplomas);
  • Further study at Level 3 (for example, Level 3 NVQ, Level 3 Diplomas or GCE A Levels). The Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 1 and Level 2 will support study in the full range of subjects and sectors.

Subject Matter and Content of the Qualifications:

To achieve the Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 1 and Level 2 learners would be expected to:

  • Apply their knowledge and understanding to identify the approaches required to communicate with others in increasingly unfamiliar and non-routine contexts and situations (complexity).
  • Apply a range of techniques across an increasingly wide range of texts, formal and informal situations and contexts (technical demand).
  • Use English skills with increasing levels of independence, drawing on a range of approaches to each skill area (independence).
  • Apply their knowledge, skills and understanding within familiar contexts across a range of situations and text types (familiarity).

Functional Skills qualifications are achieved by the successful completion of externally set summative components in reading, writing and speaking, listening and communication. Learners need to achieve a pass in each of the three components to achieve a full Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 1 or Level 2. Some exceptions do apply, please see the Reasonable Adjustment and Special Considerations guide. Assessments focus on functional real-life situations. They assess the effective application of English skills in purposeful familiar contexts and straightforward scenarios at Level 1 and at Level 2 English. They assess how learners approach familiar and unfamiliar tasks in a range of contexts including unfamiliar situations, using a range of techniques to communicate with others, read and summarise texts and use the texts to gather information, ideas, arguments and opinions and to write texts, including extended documents in a range of styles to meet different audiences and purposes.

Guided Learning Hours:

Guided Learning Hours (GLH) is a guide to the amount of teacher supervised or directed study time a learner will need to complete the learning needed for a qualification. We recognise that every learner is different and the actual time taken may vary beyond the 45 GLH stated. Training providers not reliant on public funding measured by GLH may find them a useful guide to the recommended length of a programme of study.

Total Qualification Time (TQT):

Through consultation with users, TQT has been agreed by considering the total number of learning hours required for the average learner to achieve this qualification. TQT is split into two areas:

Guided Learning Hours (GLH):

  • learning activity under the immediate guidance or supervision of a lecturer, supervisor, tutor or other appropriate providers of education or training
  • includes the activity of being assessed if the assessment takes place under the immediate guidance or supervision of a lecturer, supervisor, tutor or other appropriate providers of education or training.

Examples of GLH activities include:

  • Classroom-based learning supervised by a teacher
  • Work-based learning supervised by a teacher
  • Live webinar or telephone tutorial with a teacher in real time
  • E-learning supervised by a teacher in real time
  • All forms of assessment which take place under the immediate guidance or supervision of an appropriate provider of training
  • Exam time
  • Other Learning Hours (OLH):

o an estimate of the number of hours a learner will spend, as directed by (but not under the immediate guidance or supervision of) a lecturer, supervisor, tutor or other appropriate providers of education or training, including:

  • preparatory work
  • self-study
  • or any other form of education or training, including assessment

Examples of OLH activities include:

  • Independent and unsupervised research/learning
  • Unsupervised compilation of a portfolio of work experience
  • Unsupervised e-learning
  • Unsupervised e-assessment
  • Unsupervised coursework
  • Watching a pre-recorded podcast or webinar
  • Unsupervised work-based learning

Achieving the qualifications:

Learners will undergo appropriate teaching and learning programmes as would normally be delivered by us. Curriculum teaching and learning must cover the Functional Skills criteria for English in their entirety at Level 1 and 2. Learners can take the summative assessment for the qualifications when they have developed the appropriate skills and are ready for assessment. The summative assessment consists of externally set assessment tasks that assess the whole of the skill criteria and the underpinning coverage and range. Sample assessments and detailed mark schemes, which are mapped to the Functional Skills criteria for English, are available on our website. The reading and writing assessment tasks must be taken under supervised examination conditions. The duration of the assessments will be one hour for reading and one hour 15 minutes for writing at both Level 1 and Level 2. Reading and writing assessments are both externally marked. Speaking, listening and communication are controlled assessments. We may use the devised assessment or may contextualise the assessment in line with the guidance in the assessment mark sheet. The assessments are internally marked and internally quality assured by the Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) 10% of speaking, listening and communication assessments must be observed by the IQA and a written record made of the observation.

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