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Development Spotlight: English Functional Skills

In this edition of development spotlight, we take a closer look at our upcoming suite of Functional Skills qualifications in English.

The English suite consists of five qualifications at Entry Level 1, Entry Level 2, Entry Level 3, Level 1 and Level 2 and forms a mandatory part of apprenticeship programmes for learners without a GCSE at grades A*- C. This range of levels will allow us to cater to all levels of learner ability, providing a Functional Skills solution for everyone.

Each qualification consists of a single unit which is divided into three constituent parts, which are separately assessed. These are:

  • Speaking, listening and communication (SLC)
  • Reading
  • Writing.

All of our questions are based on roleplaying real work and life scenarios and are given in the form of instructions to the candidate. In a writing question, for example, the learner might be asked to compose an email to their boss, whilst a reading paper might test their understanding of a set of company procedures.

At the entry levels, the reading and writing components are both externally set (by IQ) but are marked internally by centres. This gives centres the freedom to adapt or contextualise papers to a learner’s own unique circumstances and working / living environment. The SLC component is an internally set and marked assessment at all five levels and centres are free to use naturally occurring evidence so long as it’s not drawn from an existing portfolio.

For learners taking an English Functional Skill at level 1 or 2 the papers are externally set and marked by IQ, either by posting them to us or through our new online assessment system. Sample papers are currently being added to our website and should be available for download from the qualification pages shortly.

We anticipate that all Maths and English Functional Skills qualifications will be live and available to centres before the end of the month. To add them to your list of approved qualifications or to become a centre with IQ, please get in touch.


Aug 01, 2013 02:18 PM