Unit 1, Question 5 - “Explain ways to imbed elements of Functional Skills in your specialist area”

The requirement to teach functional skills has been recently introduced by the government to promote and improve the core subjects of Numeracy, Literacy and ICT. By embedding these skills into all lessons, regardless of subject area, helps to ensure that students are using the skills more often and they therefore gain more confidence to be able to utilise them in the real world.

Teaching Maths and Science to year 10 and 11 students allows for many opportunities to embed the skills into regular lessons. In a recent Science lesson we were looking at chemical reactions. Numeracy always plays a big part in science and in this case we used maths to gather data from experiments and present the results in tabular and graphical form. The use of ICT is often used in the science lesson for online research but in this case we used Excel spreadsheets to present the results using tables along with bar and pie charts.

Teaching functional skills in Maths lessons can be achieved by presenting the students with problem solving questions rather than just simple calculation questions.

A simple maths question may look like - “Calculate the area of a rectangle with sides of 2m and 4m”. To embed more functional skills we could change this to a “real” problem which may look like – “Your school has some funds available to replace the carpet in your classroom with wooden laminate flooring. Create a report for the school to show how much laminate will be required and use www.screwfix.co.uk to calculate the cost of this flooring”.

This example promotes all three functional skills. Literacy skills are required to interpret the question and produce the final report. ICT will be used to research the cost of materials. Numeracy is used to calculate how much flooring will be required and the relevant cost.

The requirement to teach functional skills has been recently introduced by the government to promote and improve the core subjects of Numeracy, Literacy and ICT. By embedding these skills into all lessons, regardless of subject area, helps to ensure that students are using the skills more often and they therefore gain more confidence to be able to utilise them in the real world.

Teaching Maths and Science to year 10 and 11 students allows for many opportunities to embed the skills into regular lessons. In a recent Science lesson we were looking at chemical reactions. Numeracy always plays a big part in science and in this case we used maths to gather data from experiments and present the results in tabular and graphical form. The use of ICT is often used in the science lesson for online research but in this case we used Excel spreadsheets to present the results using tables along with bar and pie charts.

Teaching functional skills in Maths lessons can be achieved by presenting the students with problem solving questions rather than just simple calculation questions.

A simple maths question may look like - “Calculate the area of a rectangle with sides of 2m and 4m”. To embed more functional skills we could change this to a “real” problem which may look like – “Your school has some funds available to replace the carpet in your classroom with wooden laminate flooring. Create a report for the school to show how much laminate will be required and use www.screwfix.co.uk to calculate the cost of this flooring”.

This example promotes all three functional skills. Literacy skills are required to interpret the question and produce the final report. ICT will be used to research the cost of materials. Numeracy is used to calculate how much flooring will be required and the relevant cost.