Evaluate a Range of Ways to Embed Elements of Functional Skills in Your Specialist Area

Evaluate a range of ways to embed elements of Functional Skills in your specialist area

Functional skills are defined as ‘practical skills in English, information and communication technology (ICT) and mathematics that allow individuals to work confidently, effectively and independently in life.’ (The Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, 2009). These skills are often termed ‘transferable skills’   as they can be applied (or transferred) to different situations/contexts (Gravells. A, 2008).

Within the teaching of students BTEC engineering modules I have ensured that functional skills are embedded within the courses I teach. Mathematics is not only taught a course in its own right, but as my subject area is engineering I try to reinforce the basic mathematical knowledge gained throughout my teaching of other subjects. This is performed both through the going through of worked examples, the question and answering of students, the handing out and subsequent working through of practise exercises and the inclusion of mathematical aspects within both the practical and written assessment techniques.

ICT is also embedded within the course in various ways,
1. One of the BTEC modules I cover is ‘Communications for Technicians’ this course focuses on the ICT and English skills of the students. Within its structure the students are educated in common ICT software such as the Windows Office suite (Excel, Word etc). The students are given both tuition and practical guides and it is ensured by the end of the module that each student has provided evidence of a reasonable competency in ICT skills
2. In addition the students are asked to perform self study research exercises in which they investigate aspects of engineering systems such as the railway signalling system. During this research exercise the students are given internet time and must produce a Powerpoint presentation which they present to the class on the final day.
3. A further application of the...