2Programme Welcome Background to Functional Skills Subject content and assessmentRefreshmentsPreparation and planningSupport from AQAAny further questions?
3What are they?Practical skills in English, Mathematics and ICT that allow individuals to work confidently, effectively and independently in life
4Why teach FS?New nationally recognised qualification that has been requested by employersFrom 2010 the FS standards will form a significant part of the new GCSE specifications in English, Mathematics and ICTThey are included in the Key Stage 3 curriculum (11-14), and embedded within the revised programmes of study for Key Stage 4 (14-16)Tried and tested qualification that has been piloted for 3 yearsL1 covers KS3 PoS & aimed at GCSE grade D-G candidatesL2 covers KS4 PoS & aimed at GCSE grade A*-C candidatesL2 approx. equal to a short course GCSEFrom pilot experience we have acquired an in-depth knowledge of Functional Skills. Feedback, knowledge sharing and ideas for best practice from pilot schools means we can now offer specifications that have been tried, tested and refined, so they can be taught easily and effectively
5Pathways Standalone qualifications at Level 1 and Level 2 Embedded into the programmes of study for ICT at Key Stages 3 & 4 (including the new GCSE in ICT)Integral part of Foundation, Higher and Advanced DiplomasComponent of apprenticeship frameworksComponent of Foundation Learning and progression pathwaysAdult learningReplacement for Key Skills qualificationsDiplomas require students to gain FS in English, Mathematics and ICT:at level 1 for the Foundation Diploma.at level 2 for Higher and Advanced Diplomas.Now a compulsory part of apprenticeship – replacing key skills. At the moment students can get a L2 apprenticeship with L1 FSAlso compulsory part of the FL programmeFor the pilot, candidates require a ULN (for feeding back data to QCDA) – these cannot be issued to anyone under the age of 12 (yr 7) - no requirement as yet for live qualificationFS will replace Key Skills from September 2010Last entry for Level 1, 2 and 3 Key Skills test or portfolio: June 2011 (AQA only – other providers until June 2012 due to their registration processes)Last certification: 31/08/2012Adult Literacy, Adult Numeracy and Wider Key Skills qualifications have been extended for use in England Accreditation end date: 31/08/2012
6AQA timelineNational teaching of Level 1 and Level 2 to begin from September 2010First assessment opportunity for L1 & L2 – January 2011Entry Level 1, 2, 3 qualifications available from September 2011*First assessment opportunity for E1, E2 & E3 – November 2011** subject to accreditation
7Designed for successContent – relevant to students’ interests, clearly written and presentedAssessment – all students have a chance to display their strengths with our assessment structureAccessibility – to all ability levels, reading level for FS is a level below the standard of the assessment (except for specialist vocabulary which is at the level being assessed)
8Designed for successStraightforward – use of Plain English and clear layouts make our assessment materials easy to understandFlexibility – available four times each academic year, so students can take them when best preparedSimplicity – streamlined resources and no- nonsense adviceFour series each academic year give teachers the flexibility to plan the course to meet the needs of the curriculum and candidates.
9Equivalence Functional Skills equivalence table (QCDA) UCAS points Functional Skills levelFunctional Skills performance points(Achievement and Attainment Tables)Functional skills equivalencesSkills for Life(adult literacyand numeracy)Key skillsGCSENVQ levelLevel 2*23Level 2A*-CLevel 1*12.5Level 1D-GEntry 37Entry 26Entry 15*The points for level 1 and 2 are in addition to points allocated for other qualifications such as GCSEs and Diplomas.Achievement and Attainment TablesPerformance points are allocated at each level:L2 = 23 (points equivalence to half a grade B at GCSE)L1= 12.5 (points equivalence to midway between half a E (28) and half an F (22) grade at GCSE)Students will gain attainment points for both GCSE and functional skills. For example:• if a student passes level 2 FS in English, mathematics and ICT, they gain points equivalent to 1.5 GCSEs.• if the same student also completes GCSEs in English, mathematics and ICT, the student will then have a total points equivalent of 4.5 GCSE passes (that's 3 GCSE passes, plus 1.5 GCSE equivalent points for passing the FS qualifications).A pass of grade A*-C in any other GCSE subject, even a short course subject, will get the student to the qualification threshold of 5.If a student is assessed in FS and key skills or FS and adult literacy and adult numeracy the points will discount each other.Every year the DCSF publishes the School and college achievement and attainment tables (SCAAT). The table provides information on the achievements and attainment of students in each school.SCAAT points are designed to provide an indication of the degree of successful attainment for a qualification in relation to other qualifications within the existing national frameworks. In addition to SCAAT points, qualifications also count towards the threshold at levels 1, 2 and 3. The figures for each qualification’s contribution to these thresholds can be found on the National Database of Accredited Qualifications (NDAQ) website atThe planned School Report CardWould set the framework for accountability for schoolsThe School Report Card Prospectus published on 30 June 2009 included FS attainment in the minimum set of KS4 indicatorsNB THE SCHOOL REPORT CARD WILL NO LONGER GO AHEAD UNDER THE CURRENT GOVERNMENTNC Levels – Level 2 approx L6Level 1 approx L4/5UCAS pointsEach level 2 FS qualification will attract 10 UCAS Tariff points currentlyNo changes are planned to Tariff points allocation for other skills qualifications, and the intention remains that all level 2 (or equivalent) qualifications will be removed from the UCAS Tariff for entry to higher education from 2011 onwards
11Functional Skills in ICT About the application of transferable practical ICT skillsA Functional Skills qualification in ICT at Level 1 or Level 2 will prove that a candidate can:use ICT systemsfind and select informationdevelop, present and communicate informationBullets taken from Skills Standards
12Benefits of FS in ICTProvides students with practical skills that can be used in further education, work and everyday lifeDevelops transferable skillsWill motivate your students through interesting and highly relevant contentEarns (additional) points on the Achievement and Attainment Tables – L1 = 12.5, L2 = 23Provides a qualification recognised by employers if the student does not continue their ICT studiesCould be provided as a precursor to GCSE suitable for Year 9 studentsOur content is engaging and accessiblePoints – Level 1 = 12.5, Level 2 = 23. In addition to those gained for GCSE ICT.The former government expected most young people to achieve Level 2 FS in English and Maths, and possibly ICT, by the age of 16 :DCSF policy statement: For learners who are not taking a Diploma, and are not on an Apprenticeship and Foundation Learning programme, it is not compulsory to take Functional Skills qualifications. However, we expect schools to give all young people the opportunity to take stand-alone Functional Skills qualifications by the end of Key Stage 4, alongside GCSEs and any other qualifications they may be taking.
13Subject contentProvided by Ofqual in the Functional Skills Criteria for ICT (Nov 2009)Designed to enable students to:apply their knowledge/understanding to everyday lifeengage with otherssolve problems in familiar and unfamiliar contextsdevelop personally and professionallyFocus in the assessment is on the Skills Standards, but teaching should address the Coverage and RangeRefer to pages 6-9 of the specificationFS Criteria – assessment must assess all of skills standards and sample coverage and rangeSample approx 2/3 of standards each assessment. Over 3 years there needs to have been total coverage
14Level 1 Skill Standards Using ICT Identify ICT requirements of a task Interact with and use ICT systems to meet the requirements of a straightforward task in a familiar contextManage information storageFollow and demonstrate understanding of the need for safety and security practices
15Level 1 Skill Standards Finding and selecting information Use search techniques to locate and select relevant informationSelect information from a variety of ICT sources for a straightforward task
16Level 1 Skill StandardsDeveloping, presenting and communicating informationEnter, develop and refine information using appropriate software to meet the needs of straightforward tasksUse appropriate software to meet the requirements of straightforward data-handling taskUse communications software to meet the requirements of a straightforward taskCombine information within a publication for a familiar audience and purposeEvaluate own use of ICT tools
17Level 2 Skill Standards Using ICT Plan solutions to complex tasks by analysing the necessary stagesSelect, interact with and use ICT systems safely and securely for a complex task in non-routine and unfamiliar contextsManage information storage to enable efficient retrieval
18Level 2 Skill Standards Finding and selecting information Use appropriate search techniques to locate and select relevant informationSelect information from a variety of ICT sources to meet the requirements of a complex task
19Level 2 Skill StandardsDeveloping, presenting and communicating informationEnter, develop and refine information using appropriate software to meet the requirements of complex tasksUse appropriate software to meet the requirements of a complex data-handling taskUse communications software to meet the requirements of a complex taskCombine and present information in ways that are fit for purpose and audienceEvaluate the selection, use and effectiveness of ICT tools and facilities used to present information
20Assessment Single unit: mainly task-based 2 hours, 80 marks Externally-set and externally-marked activities completed at a computerSet around realistic contexts, scenarios or problemsSeparate assessments for Level 1 and Level 2Not graded – pass or ungraded (U)Unlimited re-sits of the qualificationChanges from pilot to mainstream specification for 2010 due to new assessment criteria from QCDA, e.g.single unitno window of assessmentno compensatory L1 on L2 assessmentICT Criteria states assessment at L1 and L2 must be between 2 and 3 hours and must include minimum of 80% open response assessment (defined as “task-based assessment on real life contexts that require candidates to apply their skills, knowledge and understanding to resolve problem(s) or produce effective outcome(s)”).Certificates are titled by skill and level achieved, e.g. ‘Functional skills qualification in ICT at level 1’Pass marks for the pilot are confidential and have not been published by AQA – they have only been shared with the pilot schools. This was a specific request from QCDA. They wouldn’t help schools too much anyway due to the fact that we now only have one unit
21Assessment Candidate Booklet to guide through the activities Students use software available in school with the exception of one activity that will use a simulation of the use of the Internet andSome aspects of activity to be answered in writing in Candidate Booklet, others printed out and attached to the back of the Candidate Booklet
22Please refer to the Level 1 Specimen Candidate Booklet (pink cover) Level 1 assessmentPlease refer to the Level 1 Specimen Candidate Booklet (pink cover)
23Please refer to the Level 2 Specimen Candidate Booklet (white cover) Level 2 assessmentPlease refer to the Level 2 Specimen Candidate Booklet (white cover)
24Virtual desktopUseful at this point to run the demonstration and refer to the About the examination booklet
27Availability of unit and certification January 2011June 2011November 2011January 2012March 2012June 2012 and thereafterNot looking to offer on-demand assessment – our main schools are happy with 4 sessions/year.Increased number of assessment opportunities
28Planning and deliveryWorking in groups, use the A3 Level 2 planner provided. Focus on one assessment objective:Discuss possible teaching and learning activitiesThink about timing – how many lessons would you allocate?Split into groups with one pilot school representative per group if possible (I’ll place a * next to them on the attendance list).Make sure that different groups are looking at different AOs so we have something for them all.Give them about half an hour to come up with suggestions and ask them to record them on the A3 sheet provided. Then ask one member from each group to briefly feed back to the rest of the team (about 5 mins per AO).Mention that GLH for this qualification is 45 (for both levels) – although should be able to manage in less (for key skills GLH were 36) – one lesson per week should be sufficient.Collect in the completed sheets so that we can share all ideas with all attendees by at the end of the meeting series. These ideas will also be fed into a much more comprehensive SOW.
29Entry Level From September 2011, subject to accreditation Available at entry level 1, 2 and 3Assessment will be one hour on-screen test for each levelEL1 and EL2 will be practical tasks, assessed by teacher checklistEL3 will require candidate to print 2-3 pages of evidence to show tasks have been completedAll will use ‘real’ Internet andDraft specifications submitted to QCDA in MayNot meant for younger, more able students, but for older, less able students
30Transition from pilot From QCDA: No ‘re-sit’ opportunity will be required (or allowed) for the pilot FS qualificationsAll assessments post-September 2010 should be based on the live qualificationComponent results for the pilot qualifications can not be transferred over to contribute to the new qualification
31Further ICT studies Continuing to study ICT to GCSE: Provides better preparation for L3 ICT qualificationsContent in GCSE is more widespread and goes beyond that in FSSkills acquired from controlled assessment provides good preparation for ICT work in the ‘real world’Level 2 FS pitches at approximately grade C – GCSE takes students beyond that to potential A*Economies can be made in teaching as Functional ICT elements embedded as 50+% within the new GCSE ICTL2 FS pitches at approximately grade C – GCSE takes students beyond that
32SupportResource ZoneFREE online resources to help you plan, including specimen assessment materials and mark schemesFree Introductory meetings for teachersAsk AQA24-hour support through our free online question and answer serviceEnhanced Results Analysis free online tool that provides an instant breakdown of exam results
33Supportupdates from our Functional Skills subject team. Register at 2010ready.aqa.org/updatesContinuing Professional Development courses offering you in-depth training designed to meet your needsExperience drawn from the 3 years of the pilot that can be shared with schools new to Functional Skills (piloted by AQA with almost 15,000 candidates in the last two years)Encourage to register for updates as they can tick for functional skills updates as well as GCSEFrom pilot experience we have acquired an in-depth knowledge of Functional Skills. Feedback, knowledge sharing and ideas for best practice from pilot schools means we can now offer specifications that have been tested and refined, so they can be taught easily and effectively
34ContactsIf you have questions or would like to find out more: Subject Manager, Katie SmithorFor details of teacher support meetings:Samantha Higson, Teacher Support ManagerorTo view the accredited specification, assessment materials and support resources:
35Investing in technology Working in partnership Why choose AQA?Not for profit charitySize and statusMore supportInvesting in technologyWorking in partnershipThe largest Awarding BodyDedicated to educationSpecification development Examiners / moderators Controlled Assessment AdvisersFace to face supportFree meetingsDirect access to subject departments and specialistsA range of free resourcesEnhanced Results AnalysisExampro, CPDWebsiteWe don’t profit from education – you doStatement found under ethics session in all new specs. Many teachers are not aware that we are a charitable organisation and that we exist solely for the good of education. Any surplus income is ploughed back into educational research and our service to our centres.We don’t profit from education – you do
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