Essential Skills

The Essential Skills Programme is designed to help improve students’ literacy skills so they can achieve the highest possible grades in their chosen subjects and present themselves in the best possible light to universities and employers.

Below is an extract which appeared in the Metro newspaper on Monday 21st November 2011, from a letter by a Recruitment Consultant in London:

‘People are making themselves unemployable, with slang, poor vocabulary, negative attitudes, and lack of common sense, lack of business dress, lack of personality, lack of skills, lack of education and a lack of drive… I meet people who speak as if they are texting their friends. I interview some young people whose speech is completely inappropriate, using slang or ‘street talk’, which I frankly don’t understand…’

Who is the Essential Skills Programme aimed at?

Students who have a Grade C or D in English Language GCSE.

Is it compulsory?

Yes! All students who meet the entry criteria are required to attend one double Essential Skills lesson for the first twelve weeks of the Autumn Term.

What kind of topics will students cover on the course?

  • how to plan and write an essay or report
  • exam techniques
  • skimming, scanning and summarising techniques
  • critical research and note-making techniques
  • language styles e.g. formal and informal writing
  • spelling strategies
  • use of grammar e.g. punctuation, sentence construction, paragraphs etc.

What can students achieve by doing this course?

Students can improve their:

  • chances of attaining a higher grade in their chosen advanced subjects
  • communication skills; both written and spoken
  • literacy skills, to help them get a job when they leave College
  • spelling and grammar
  • exam and note taking techniques
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