See Itslife Library for other reading
Overall this is an area which can be very confusing when
you are trying to provide an overview, and it has been so for a
considerable number of years. What is involved is quite simple, and it
is trying to help all members of the community develop and gain enough
of the general capabilities and skills which are seen as 'essential'
for us to function as an effective human beings. The problems tend to
be around what these skills are, and what they are called. This page tries to collect together some of the best
general online resources which are currently available, rather than
trying to provide a definitive guide, and uses the general heading of Language, Literacy and Numeracy
BBC Key Skills is a good little site aimed at young people, with video content, tutor resources and more (still useful) at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/keyskills/
Embedded Learning Portal. Describes itself as follows: 'Skills for Life Materials for Embedded Learning aim to help learners to improve the literacy, language or numeracy skills they need to succeed at work, in community-based activities or as part of vocational training programmes. The materials are professionally produced, and by the end of the project in June 2006 they will cover 20 vocational and community contexts. The materials are mapped to the Adult Core Curricula for Literacy and Numeracy, the Key Skills Standards and the National Occupational Standards wherever relevant.' at http://www.dfes.gov.uk/readwriteplus/embeddedlearning/index.cfm
The Life2 project -The ‘key competences in life skills’ project, or LIFE 2 for short, is all about helping young people to develop the skills and confidence needed in the workplace during their vocational training. A specialist team from vocational education organisations and networks from Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the UK will research and update the LIFE Train the Trainer Pack developed in a previous project to help teachers to integrate life skills into vocational learning. The project is supported by the European Union through the Leonardo da Vinci programme, aimed at improving the vocational education systems of Europe.
Project website at: www.life-2.eu
August 2013 - Project materials now available at:
The literacy trust is an excellent source of resources, comment and analysis which covers more than just literacy. The trust web site home page is at: http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/
Move On - Describes itself as follows .. 'offers a direct approach to promotion, engagement and delivery that highlights opportunity for all rather than need for some. It describes the benefits that learning and qualifications can bring, and encourages people to believe that they can progress.' This is one of the best web sites around, and has masses of resources relating to adults and literacy and numeracy. Try the mini tests yourself!! Must visit web site http://www.move-on.org.uk/index.asp
National research and development centre for adult literacy and numeracy describes itself as follows - 'The National Research and Development Centre (NRDC) is a consortium of partners, led by the Institute of Education. NRDC is dedicated to conducting research and development projects into adult literacy, numeracy, ESOL and ICT.
‘You wouldn’t expect a maths teacher to teach plastering…’, Embedding Literacy, Language and Numeracy in Post-16 Vocational Programmes (NRDC, 2006) This is one of the most cited sources to endorse the principles of embedding and the potential impact on teaching and learning it can have. Probably over-used, but take a look. Download from: www.nrdc.org.uk/download.asp?f=3188&e=pdf
Embedded Teaching and Learning of Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL: Seven Case Studies of Embedded Provision (NRDC, 2005). Download from: www.nrdc.org.uk/uploads/documents/doc_822.pdf
NRDC is at: http://www.nrdc.org.uk/
The Network for workplace language, literacy and numeracy
Offers 'all workplace language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) stakeholders a wide - ranging portfolio of information to support good practice LLN delivery and success in the workplace.' Try the Vault which offers a growing collection of resources, case studies and links to help plan and deliver workplace literacy, language and numeracy learning programmes. At http://www.thenetwork.co.uk/
Professor Freedman's Maths Help - A clever and well constructed site which has won awards in various countries, and has tutorials written by students amongst other things. I tried a maths test, and got some wrong (which could have been me or the test !!). The site introduces itself like this - 'This site provides information about basic maths, algebra, study skills, math anxiety and learning styles and specifically addresses the needs of the community college adult learner. A student who is frustrated by college maths can be helped by identifying his individual learning style and recognizing the instructor's teaching style. This site provides links for students and teachers to information about learning styles, study skills tips, and ways to reduce math anxiety. This site gives the student access to tutorials, algebra assignments, math videos, and a forum for discussing with the professor a variety of math topics.' http://www.mathpower.com/
Skills for Life Quick Reference Guide - The Moser report "A Fresh Start" was published in March 1999 and this was subsequently launched by the Government as "Skills for Life: The National Strategy for improving adult literacy and numeracy skills" in April 2001. This national strategy has resulted in radical changes to Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL provision in England. The pace of change and development since The Moser Report has been rapid. This booklet aims to provide a quick reference guide and resource including 'Who's Who' in Skills for Life, key documents, and some useful sources of information and resources. The LSC commissioned the attached document as an internal document, but as it has proved to be useful and beneficial, we decided it was only appropriate to share it with our providers and stakeholders. Skills for Life Quick Reference Guide July 2003 (doc 548 kb)
Skills for Life Resources
This online catalogue has been designed to help guide you through the list of Skills for Life publications available, free of charge, from the Skills for Life Improvement Programme. Many publications / resources which are useful.
The Workplace Basic Skills Network is a national organisation based at Lancaster University. It describes itself as follows : 'We have been established for over 10 years working successfully with international, national & regional agencies to help manage and establish workplace basic skills development. We have supported the DfES through a number of funded projects to help deliver 'Skills for Life', the national strategy for improving adult literacy and numeracy skills.' www.lancs.ac.uk/wbsnet
Functional Skills Support Programme Archived now, but has material which those working with Functional Skills should find useful. Do take a look. http://excellence.qia.org.uk/functionalskills
Development and publication of support materials
Resources have been produced to support the pilot of functional skills and are available for download using the links below. These updated guides are essential handbooks for managers and practitioners, providing practical help and advice to enable the reader to move forward with teaching and learning strategies or the management of functional skills.
Teaching and learning functional English, updated 2008 (PDF document, 554kb)
Teaching and learning functional mathematics, updated 2008 (PDF document, 1.2MB)
Teaching and learning functional ICT, updated 2008 (PDF document, 1.3MB)
Earlier versions of the teaching and learning materials are still available to access here:
Teaching and learning functional English (PDF document, 754kb)
Teaching and learning functional mathematics (PDF document, 1.8MB)
Teaching and learning functional ICT (PDF document, 1.3MB)
Managing delivery of functional skills (PDF document, 674kb)
New resources have also been published to support the introduction of functional skills for adult learners. These are available for download using the links below:
Where are you now? A diagnosis of centre needs (PDF document, 215kb)
Preparing to co-ordinate and manage functional skills (PDF document, 229kb)
Preparing to deliver functional ICT (PDF document, 204kb)
Preparing to deliver functional mathematics (PDF document, 204kb)
Preparing to deliver functional English (PDF document, 208kb)
A suite of publications to help practitioners to deliver functional skills within Diplomas is now available.
Access the first three of these publications below:
‘Functional Skills in Diplomas: Construction and the Built Environment' (PDF document, 240kb)
'Functional Skills in Diplomas: Society, Health and Development and Development' (PDF document 252kb)
'Functional Skills in Diplomas: Engineering' (PDF document 237kb)
Limited hard copies can be requested by phoning the Helpline 0870872 8081.
Functional skills definition from the Literacy Trust - clear and useful as a starting point for functional skills.