English Sixth Form - OCR Life and Living Skills (Entry Level)

Rationale:

All the skills standards for Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3 and Level 1 are assessed in each task delivered. These skills standards are assessed through the application of the coverage and range. The coverage and range is indicative of the type of English/ Literacy content candidates are expected to apply in functional contexts; however relevant content can also be drawn from the National Curriculum levels 1 to 3 and Adult Numeracy standards at Entry 1 to 3. These skills standards are derived from the process skills with reference to the differentiating factors which are detailed in the AQA course specification.
The skills standards for Entry Level require:

  • Contexts which are very familiar and accessible to the candidate
  • Identification of a situation or problem
  • Application of Literacy skills using simple, clear and specific to each situation.

Students working at this level learn the Literacy skills most useful to them in everyday contexts and the world of work. Students are assessed via individual tasks which have been broken into shorter more manageable activities, making them achievable and adopting a teaching approach that is enriching and engaging for students.Functional Skills courses based on these Entry Level/ Level 1 specifications aim to support students to gain the most out of life, learning and work.

The Literacy skills developed are the learning tools that will enable students:

  • To apply their knowledge and understanding to everyday life
  • To engage competently and confidently with others
  • To solve problems in both familiar and unfamiliar situations
  • To develop personally and professionally as positive citizens who can actively contribute to society.

The Entry Level/ Level 1 Assessment Process:

Entry Level Functional English helps students read and communicate in real-life contexts and situations.
Each Award at Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3 and Level 1 Functional English consists of three components:

  • Component 1 Reading
  • Component 2 Writing
  • Component 3 Speaking, Listening and Communication.

All of the components are equally weighted. Candidates must achieve the appropriate level in each component to be certificated at that level.

A theme will run through all the components for each level. Students are presented with realistic contexts, scenarios and problems through specific tasks that are relevant to the context:

  • Requiring the application of knowledge, skills and understanding for a purpose
  • Requiring problem solving
  • Assessing process skills and the outcome of their application in different context
  • Covering the three skill areas of the Skills Standards at each assessment and covers all the indicative Coverage and Range statements.

If, due to physical limitations, a student is unable to access one element of the assessment appropriately i.e. Writing, it is possible to work alongside the Exams Officer to apply for an exemption from that one element. Providing the evidence presented for the remaining elements meets the criteria adequately the accreditation can be awarded in those areas.

The students benefit from:

  • Learning the importance of Literacy in their everyday lives
  • Gaining confidence and achieving their full potential
  • The motivation provided by the course which increases their self esteem.

Follow-on studies:

Completion of an Entry Level/ Level 1 qualification in Functional English can lead to the next level of Functional Mathematics once all components have been attained.

Functional Skills:

  • Provide learners with the Literacy skills which are most useful in everyday contexts and the world of work
  • Promote an understanding of text, the pleasure of reading, recognising genre, a range of authors and how to apply their own creativity to their writing.
  • Assess learners via individual tasks which have been broken into shorter parts – so they are accessible but can still allow independent thought and the process skills to be demonstrated at the appropriate level encourage a teaching approach that is enriching and engaging for all learners –the contextualisation of the material demonstrating the benefits of the Literacy skills being taught to learners – particularly those who are ‘turned off’ by reading and writing.
  • Promote creative thinking and activity through a range of stimulating and recognisable tasks.
  • These specifications allow learners to consolidate and apply their prior knowledge and to communicate clearly.

A course of study based on these specifications will:

  • Allow learners to appreciate the importance of English/ Literacy in their everyday lives
  • Provide opportunities to use English within realistic contexts
  • Provide opportunities for progression through to the next level of Functional English.
  • In addition, Functional English provides a worthwhile course for learners of various ages and from diverse backgrounds in terms of general education and lifelong learning difficulties.
Grouping for English:
  • Students are assessed through BKSB assessment tools, MALT Maths tests, All Wales Reading tests and AQA practice papers alongside teacher assessment throughout the term.
  • Students are grouped in Maths and English according to ability. Groups are small and individual needs are met on a 1-1 basis enabling reinforcement of core skills, scaffolding of prior learning and opportunities to develop skills through tasks presenting measured challenge, encouragement and a sense of achievement.
  • Where appropriate students can move groups to ensure the level of challenge and success meets their personal learning needs.