As an alternative to GCSE, we also offer functional skills English which, as the title suggests is more functional and practical than GCSE. The length of the course is usually one academic year although students can progress more quickly if they are willing to put additional work in outside the classroom. We have a September intake and also a January intake. The qualification is split into three components: reading, writing and speaking and listening. The reading and writing elements are exam-based, which are usually taken online and the speaking and listening is done in small groups within the classroom.
English skills are vitally important for progression, whether that be progressing on to higher education, accessing higher level courses or improving employment opportunities. Employers say that communication skills (which include writing as well as speaking) are some of the most important skills they look for in potential employees – which makes developing English skills critical for a student’s future.