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Essential Skills Policy College Policy No C04 Approved By

Grant Ritchie

Date

23/10/15

Policy effective from

23/10/15


ESSENTIAL SKILLS POLICY – No C04 Prepared by:

K Murphy

Approved by:

G Ritchie

Revision Date:

23/10/15

Contents

1.

Purpose ................................................................................................................................ 3

2.

Definitions............................................................................................................................ 3

3.

Scope ................................................................................................................................... 3

4.

Context ................................................................................................................................. 3

5.

Programme Design ............................................................................................................. 4

6.

Pre-Course Entry................................................................................................................. 4

7.

Core Skills Diagnostic Test ................................................................................................ 4

8.

Delivery ................................................................................................................................ 5

9.

References ........................................................................................................................... 5


ESSENTIAL SKILLS POLICY – No C04 Prepared by:

1.

K Murphy

Approved by:

G Ritchie

Revision Date:

23/10/15

Purpose The purpose of this policy statement is to support existing strategies and policies and to:  

2.

Promote and develop the broad range of Essential Skills Define how Essential Skills will be delivered across the College

Definitions Essential Skills, as defined in this policy, refer to a wide range of skills and attributes required for people to be successful in life, learning and work. Our specific definition of Essential Skills is:     

3.

Personal and learning skills that enable individuals to become effective lifelong learners Skills for Enterprise and Employability Skills for Health and Wellbeing Literacy and Numeracy The five core skills of: Communication; Numeracy; Problem Solving; Information and Communication Technology; and Working with Others

Scope This policy applies to all Essential and Core Skills provision (planning, directing, delivery, monitoring and evaluating) as determined through the Course Development and Approval process for all non-advanced provision (up to SCQF level 6) for full and part-time courses and within the scope of awarding body criteria. Higher National awards define entry and exit core skills profiles as required by SQA. Core Skills are usually signposted and evidenced through the relevant arrangement documents. College approaches to admissions, diagnostic testing and learning and teaching approaches will seek to enhance Essential Skills development on these programmes.

4.

Context This document defines the Policy for Essential Skills and takes account of awarding body requirements and guidelines. This policy supplements any Essential and Core Skills regulations or requirements set by individual awarding bodies and should be read in conjunction with the appropriate Core Skills regulations for the qualification being assessed, including any specific Core Skills regulations in respect of the mode of delivery/assessment adopted (such as open learning or on-line assessment). Appropriate cognisance of core skills development should also be taken in the design, delivery and evaluation of all non-assessed provision offered across the College.

Essential Skills Policy No C04 v 1.0

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ESSENTIAL SKILLS POLICY – No C04 Prepared by:

5.

K Murphy

Approved by:

G Ritchie

Revision Date:

23/10/15

Programme Design All programmes will support the development of Essential Skills. The planning of provision at all levels (programme, course, and individual class) should identify opportunities for all learners to develop a range of Essential Skills. In designing the curriculum each course must ensure that learners have the opportunity to obtain their essential skills entitlement and allow them to progress to the highest SCQF level they are able to achieve. This may in some cases exceed the level required by the course. Each course will have an identified Entry and Exit SCQF level for each Core Skill. The resulting skills map or matrix will outline a smooth Core Skills pathway for progressing students. Literacy (Communication) and Numeracy will be a mandatory and assessed component on all non-advanced programmes either as discrete, embedded, or thoroughly integrated/project based learning and teaching approaches. Learners on Introductory/lower level courses (up to SCQF level 4) will be exposed to a higher proportion of Essential Skills with Numeracy, Literacy, ICT and Enterprise/Employability as mandatory and assessed components. The full range of Essential Skills will be included as part of course design. Personal Development Plans (PDPs) will be used to enable all learners to review, reflect on and record their development of the full range of essential skills. All academic and support staff (where appropriate) will promote the development of Essential Skills in their planning and delivery of learning activities. Every opportunity will be explored to signpost Essential Skills in learning activities and promote their importance in terms of learning, life and work.

6.

Pre-Course Entry All courses will provide guidelines to learners on the required Core Skills profile for entry. Diagnostic testing at interview stage would be desirable. The College will provide opportunities for learners to develop and enhance Essential Skills levels and other generic skills prior to commencing their course of study.

7.

Core Skills Diagnostic Test The College will use Core Skills Diagnostic Tests (Communication, Numeracy and ICT) along with Awarding Body candidate reports and/or Certificates to recognise prior attainment and ability. The outcomes of these tests will be used to ensure that learners are provided with appropriate opportunities for development. All full time and substantive part time learners on non-advanced programmes will undertake a Core Skills Diagnostic Test, to establish their level, as appropriate to the needs of their programme.

Essential Skills Policy No C04 v 1.0

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ESSENTIAL SKILLS POLICY – No C04 Prepared by:

K Murphy

Approved by:

G Ritchie

Revision Date:

23/10/15

Direct-entry students on all advanced programmes (HN’s) will undertake a Core Skills Diagnostic Test in order to establish any potential support needs. All learners applying for ESOL courses will use the Cambridge Quick Placement Tests instead of the standard Dundee and Angus College diagnostic test.

8.

Delivery The Essential Skills team will work in partnership with course teams to plan and support the delivery of learning at the appropriate levels. They will facilitate sharing of good practice and the rigorous monitoring of quality standards in Essential Skills provision across the College. Both vocational and Essential Skills staff will plan and integrate activities in ways which support learners to focus on and build their Essential Skills through connections to more vocational aspects of their programme. This partnership approach should provide the combined expertise required to enable high quality, effective, relevant and contextualised approaches to learning and teaching. In partnership, the most appropriate method of delivery will be determined on the basis of learner needs, and in deciding on the appropriate method of delivery, issues of skill development and skill assessment should be planned. Where College courses include delivery of discrete Core Skills units, opportunities for contextualisation will be maximised and the Core Skills units will be delivered with staff input and expertise from the related vocational area. Where discrete delivery of Core Skills is not considered the best approach in terms of engaging learners or improving retention and attainment, staff will work collaboratively with the Essential Skills Team and consider opportunities to embed Core Skills units within vocational delivery.

9.

References         

Learning Experience Strategy Curriculum Policy Course Naming/Structure Guidelines Essential Skills Procedure & Guidelines Course Development and Approval Process Recruitment and Admissions Policy and Process Assessment Policy Course Delivery and Monitoring Process Awarding Body Guidelines and Assessment Strategies

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