ADO Functional Skills Overview


In addition to the unique BTEC and AQA qualifications and certifications we offer children and young people at the River Valley AP, we also ensure that we cover the fundamental basics with our Functional Skills programme.

What are Functional Skills?

Functional Skills are practical skills in English, Maths and ICT for all learners aged 14 and above. These skills provide students with essential knowledge, skills and understanding that will enable them to operate confidently, effectively and independently within their personal life and future careers.

They are learning tools that enable learners to:

♦ Apply their knowledge and understanding to everyday life

♦ Engage competently and confidently with others

♦ Solve problems in both familiar and unfamiliar situations

♦ Develop personally and professionally as positive citizens who can actively contribute to society.

The Importance of Functional Skills

Functional Skills are important because they provide young people and adults with the skills, knowledge and understanding that they will need in order to progress and succeed in education, work and life.

Who Are They For?

Functional Skills are available to all learners from Key Stage 3 upwards, whatever learning pathway they are taking. The skills taught will help students to participate and progress in education, training and employment. Working on Functional Skills helps to develop and secure the broader range of aptitudes, attitudes and behaviours that will enable students to make a positive contribution to the communities in which they live and work. Functional Skills is a qualification which is widely accepted as a GCSE equivalent, this is great for our students who may find the formality of GCSEs overwhelming.

At ADO we offer Functional Skills in Mathematics, English and ICT through all the levels. This is offered currently on a 1:1 basis to ensure each individual student need is met, setting achievable and measurable targets with a bespoke approach.

What Are the Functional Skills Standards?

The Functional Skills standards are technical documents that define and differentiate the skill requirements for the Functional Skills qualifications. For Functional Skills assessment, learner performance will be measured on a pass or fail basis at five levels: Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2. Learners are not required to move sequentially through each level but to take the Functional Skills qualification at the appropriate level when they are ready to do so.

At What Levels Are Functional Skills Qualifications Available?

Functional Skills qualifications in English, Maths and ICT are available at Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2. Each subject area has a set of performance standards based on three key areas:

Key areas:

♦ Representing – Making sense of a situation and representing it mathematically.

♦ Analysing – Processing and using maths.

♦ Interpreting – Interpreting and communicating the results of analysis.

Key areas:

♦ Use of ICT systems.

♦ Finding and selecting information.

♦ Developing, presenting and communicating information.

Key areas:

♦ Speaking and listening – Making an oral presentation or report.

♦ Reading – Reading and understanding information and instructions.

♦ Writing – Writing accurately so that meaning is clear.


What’s Different about Functional Skills?

The biggest difference with Functional Skills is you can't revise, you have to be functional. Functional Skills is about learning a skill base, including communication, team working, presentation, and problem-solving, that is then transferable to other areas of learning, life, and work.

They help make sense of daily life, from getting the best deal at the shops, to applying for a job or using a computer.

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