First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon

First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon

What are essential skills?
Why do you need them, and how do you get them?

Essential skills are the skills that you will need to get on in life, no matter what career path you choose to follow.  Without the ability to read, write, communicate and use Information Technology (IT), you will find it much harder to achieve your ambitions.

While a high proportion of young people across the province expect to achieve top grades each year in their A-Level and GCSE exams, thousands of their classmates continue to languish at the back of the class with little hope of attaining very much at all when it comes to their grades.

Astonishingly, around 25% of adults in Northern Ireland perform at the lowest levels of literacy competence - meaning they cannot do simple things like read instructions on medicine bottles or distinguish the colour code systems on food labels.

Northern Ireland Qualification in Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy(English & Maths)


At Entry Level

A recognised qualification in literacy and numeracy at Entry Level designed for adults.

Who is it for?
Learners taking Essential Skills courses organised by Further Education colleges, training organisations, community and voluntary groups, army education centres and prison education centres.

What qualification will the learner receive?

  • An Entry Level Certificate in Essential Skills - Adult Literacy
  • An Entry Level Certificate in Essential Skills - Adult Numeracy

The certificate will show an overall level of achievement at Entry 1, 2 or 3, and a breakdown of the individual skill areas of speaking and listening, reading and writing for Literacy; and number, measures, shape and space and handling data for Numeracy.

The Certificate will show an overall level of achievement at Entry 1, 2 or 3, and a breakdown of the individual skill areas of speaking and listening, reading and writing for Literacy; and number, measures, shape and space and handling data for Numeracy.

What is Literacy task?
A Literacy task is made up of 3 activities:

  • a tutor/learner interview;
  • a group discussion;  and
  • a learner answer booklet for the student to complete

Each task is based around  a theme such as "Buying a Car", "Sport and Leisure" and "Health and Fitness" and tutors may choose from 14 tasks.  An exemplar literacy task and initial assessment are available for download from www.ccea.org.uk/essential_skills

What is a Numeracy task?
A Numeracy task is made up of 2 activities:

  • a tutor/learner interview;   and
  • an answer booklet for the learner to complete

Each task is based around a theme such as "Holiday", "Cinema" and "Motoring", and tutors may choose from 13 tasks.  An exemplar numeracy task and initial assessment are available for download from www.ccea.org.uk/essential_skills

When are the learners assessed?
The assesment tasks are used to confirm the tutor's judgement of the learner's level.  They should only be administered following relevant teaching and learning when the learner is ready and able to complete the assessment.

What does the learner do?
Following the relevant teaching and learning, the learner completes one unseen assessment task supervised by their usual tutor.

Qualifications at Levels 1 & 2
National qualifications for adult learners in Application of Number and Communication - a perfect progression from Essential Skills at Entry level.

Essential Skills at Levels 1 & 2 are both comparablein demand, and equivalent in value to Key Skills Application of Number and Communication at Levels 1 & 2 as they are based on Key Skills standards.  They are also mapped to the National Standards and the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Core Curricula.

To achieve the qualification learners must successfully achieve two components of assessment:

     (i)  Action-based Activity
     (ii)  Desktop Task

The assessment is marked by the tutor and moderated by CCEA.

Who are they for?
Essential Skills at Levels 1 & 2 are aimed at:

  • Adults returning to education;  and
  • Learners who have completed Essential skills at Entry Level

Essential Skills qualifications focus on raising the communication and application of number skills of those in work, enhancing the quality of those entering the workforce and addressing the employability skills of those not in employment.

If you are interesed in completing this course, please contact Joan McCool on tel: (028) 87727648.

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