Theory 5: Evaluate a range of ways to embed elements of functional skills in your specialist area. Functional skills, according to the definition by the Qualification and Curriculum Development Agency (www. qcda. gov. uk) are practical skills that people need in order to function in everyday life. These skills are practical skills in using the English language, Mathematics and Information and Communication technology (ICT) that will enable individuals with the essential knowledge, skills and understanding to perform confidently, effectively and independently to progress in their education training and employment.
As an educator you should be able to embed these skills in the curriculum catered for the foundation levels and level 2 Diplomas and GCSE, and as a stand alone qualification by its own right. In general almost every subject provides an opportunity to improve on functional skills. In the subject area I have chosen, functional Mathematics are embedded by including various methods of calibrating measuring equipment, making actual measurements and calculations. In addition, accuracy, reliability, errors and by comparison to true values, functional Mathematics can be used to determine the level of skills for upper levels (Level 2).
Functional English can be embedded by getting the students to collate all evidence in a meaningful way and present it orally to an audience or in a written form thereby giving an opportunity to gauge their skills in English. Embedding ICT can be achieved when using a computer to research and obtain material that is relevant which will give an indication to their ability to read and understand. The level of writing and ICT skills can be tested by getting them to produce a report using a word processor including all its inbuilt functions, such as Spell check, Grammar, Thesaurus, layout and Printing etc,.
In addition, presenting data in a structured way using a spreadsheet and develop presentation skills by designing and presenting using software such as PowerPoint. To have a meaningful impact on the learner, the curriculum should be designed so that it will encourage the use of all these skills in an integrated way where all skills are embedded within it.
Bibliography: Gravells, Ann “Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector” Third Edition, 2008. Cowley, Sue “Guerilla Guide to Teaching” Second Edition, 2007. http://curriculum. qcda. gov. uk/key-stages-3-and-4/skills/functionalskills/index. aspx
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