Documents
Resources
Learning Center
Upload
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Key Skills Policy

VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 10

									Key Skills

KEY SKILLS POLICY

Key Skills Policy

Issue 1.0 / 28/03/03

Page 1 of 10

KEY SKILLS POLICY

Deeside College Key Skills Policy
All learners at Deeside College are entitled to undertake the main three Key Skills qualifications (Communication, Application of Number and Information Technology) and the Wider Key Skills units (Improving Own Learning and Performance, Problem Solving and Working with Others). Their learning programmes will incorporate the development of Key Skills. Part time learners at Deeside College are entitled to undertake Key Skills qualifications where it is a requirement of their main learning programme. Their learning programmes will also incorporate the development of Key Skills. For those part time learners for whom Key Skills is not essential, the college will endeavour to provide Key Skills learning opportunities for learners who express a wish to do so.

AIMS The Key Skills policy relates to improving the quality of teaching and learning of Key Skills at the college and its Outreach centres. The implementation of the policy is intended to improve the quality of the learner experience by developing the individual’s ability to apply the fundamental skills that underpin most vocational and academic work. Developing these essential skills should improve the learner’s personal effectiveness and employability. The ability to apply Key Skills within vocational contexts is important, as is the ability to transfer those skills to other situations and contexts. This policy document sets out the Deeside College objectives and strategies for planning, managing and delivering Key Skills, as well as describing aspects of quality assurance and staff development relating to Key Skills. The strategies within the Key Skills policy apply to Key Skills across the college, for all programmes and all learners where appropriate. All staff involved directly or indirectly in managing, delivery and supporting Key Skills will be familiar with the aim, objectives and strategy for delivery.

Key Skills Policy

Issue 1.0 / 28/03/03

Page 2 of 10

KEY SKILLS POLICY

OBJECTIVES       to ensure a co-ordinated corporate approach to define support systems (managerial, resources, learner support, staff development) to define procedures for initial assessment and review and monitoring of learners’ progress to support effective internal verification and moderation to ensure clear communication and to define procedures for sharing good practice to maintain the standards set by the assessment, moderation and external examination process.

STRATEGY A steering group will determine and maintain the Key Skills strategy. Membership will include the Director of Learning, Learner Services Business Manager and the Key Skills Co-ordinators for Application of Number, Communication, Information Technology and Wider Key Skills. The group will meet once a term to: monitor and review the college Key Skills strategy and guidelines to include delivery, support, assessment, retention and achievement of targets linked to National Comparators monitor and review Key Skills performance data, determining appropriate targets based on prior attainment.



Course teams have a major part to play in ensuring the successful implementation of Key Skills qualifications. Course teams should include at least one named member of staff with expertise in Key Skills (award) or working towards gaining Key Skills expertise [See Staff Development Page 5]. It is essential for all teams to contribute to the delivery and/or assessment of Key Skills which would be a regular item discussed at team meeting level.

Key Skills Policy

Issue 1.0 / 28/03/03

Page 3 of 10

KEY SKILLS POLICY

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES See Figure (1) relating to Key Skills Delivery and Assessment
Figure (1) General Course Teams         Integration of Key Skills Identification of “gaps” Determining assessment opportunities Mapping/tracking Progress monitoring Retention Assessment Achievement

Key Skills Co-ordinators/Specialists       Delivery of “top up” [See delivery of Key Skills page 5] Internal Verification Co-ordinators Conduits for documentation & examination/portfolio deadlines Supporting/advisory role Assessment Reporting on aspects Key Skill performance to steering group

LEARNER SUPPORT SERVICES TEAM    Diagnostic Testing Resources Additional “top up” support to include Essential/Underpinning Basic Skills Support

RESOURCES The Learner Centre will provide a centralised resource support in the form of:     Screening tools Example external assessments (for learner practice) Activities and materials for skill practice to include I.T. Exemplar assignments that can be used or adapted to generate all Key Skills evidence Specification and Guidance Notes.

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be developed to contain Key Skills teaching and learning materials. It will also provide a college-wide referencing system for CD-ROM, paper based resources and relevant web sites relating to Key Skills.

Key Skills Policy

Issue 1.0 / 28/03/03

Page 4 of 10

KEY SKILLS POLICY

STAFF DEVELOPMENT Internal and external staff development events will be identified and co-ordinated through the Head of Continuing Professional Development. Further Key Skills qualifications will be encouraged through appraisal and personal development plans.

PLANNING DELIVERY AND ASSESSMENT Course teams need to plan delivery and assessment of Key Skills according to the needs of their learners. It would be wrong to impose one college-wide method of delivery as different groups of learners may have very different needs. The aim is to maximise the integration of delivery and assessment of Key Skills into vocational areas as this has been shown to improve learner motivation. To plan Key Skills, the course team under the leadership of the Assistant Business Manager (ABM) and Key Skills Co-ordinators will (refer to Figure 1):  Audit their learning programme for opportunities for teaching and practice of Key Skills. Tutors/Lecturers need to be aware of where and when opportunities to develop Key Skills will occur and must make the most of these teaching opportunities Identify the best opportunities within their programme for learners to efficiently generate internal assessment evidence. A variety of large pieces of evidence is more appropriate than many small pieces of evidence. Substantial activities are totally essential for Application of Number Levels 2 and 3 and for Information Technology Level 3 Key Skills evidence. Extended documents are necessary for Communication Level 2 & 3. The use of worksheets to generate evidence is NOT acceptable – evidence must be produced through projects or assignments in vocational contexts or in generic, practical contexts if this is not possible (e.g. choosing a mortgage, applying for a job). At higher levels of Key Skills teams need to bear in mind the need for greater learner autonomy and planning input Evidence gathering can also be achieved through Entrepreneurship Activities, outward bound activities and also through educational visits and other college organised activities Discuss and decide upon the most appropriate method of delivering enhancement of teaching and learning of Key Skills to meet the particular needs of their group of learners, to also include additional support Schedule dates for learners to undertake external assessments and to plan in time for preparing for the tests in the weeks immediately before they are taken Ensure that the Examinations Office have appropriate notice of requirement for external assessments and proxy exemptions.











Key Skills Policy

Issue 1.0 / 28/03/03

Page 5 of 10

KEY SKILLS POLICY

INITIAL ASSESSMENT (DIAGNOSTIC TESTING) The diagnostic assessment tool used will be the Basic and Key Skillbuilder. This will be used initially for all learners on entry and during exit at the end of their course of study. Assessing will take place during induction or at any other time prior to entry to a course, this will be administered by Key Skills tutors and other learning support teams. Sessions will be booked through the Learner Centre. This assessment will cover Entry Level 1, 2, and 3 through to Level 1, 2 and 3 Key Skills:     only one assessment is needed for both Basic Skills and Key Skills answers to all assessments - tutors/trainers/learners/administrators/ learning mentors can mark identifies skill gaps and offers development in “bite-size” chunks assessments offer external test preparation materials as they cover part A of Key Skills specification and specification for Basic Skills specified to national standards (Basic and Key Skills).

If the need for further diagnostic testing is identified this will be picked up by the Learning Support Team.

INDUCTION A successful induction period is vital to the success of Key Skills. Key Skills must be a major feature of induction programmes and must include:   an introduction to Key Skills explaining what they are and how they are delivered and assessed initial assessments (diagnostic testing) for Key Skills/Basic Skills an induction session in the Learner Centre (to avoid overwhelming the learners during induction week, this should be phased during the second or third week of the learner’s course).

(Positive emphasis will be made to the relevance and necessity of the Key Skills programme by all teams and attendance requirements).

Key Skills Policy

Issue 1.0 / 28/03/03

Page 6 of 10

KEY SKILLS POLICY DELIVERY OF KEY SKILLS The teaching and learning of Key Skills must be planned into programmes of study by course teams through course grids. Learners will usually require several opportunities for practising and receiving feedback on each area of Key Skills throughout their studies. The college strategy is that the teaching, practice and feedback relating to Key Skills development will be through the learner’s main programme of study to as great an extent as possible. However, top-up delivery may also be required. Course teams should consider each of the following types of teaching and learning and plan appropriate methods into learning programmes.       resource based learning regularly timetabled sessions with Key Skills specialists individual or small group work to address particular key skill needs (either regularly timetabled or through top-up) within the resource allocation via course grids workshop classes using prepared resource packs directed study using the referred study forms.

Support for top-up delivery (in the form of resources and staff) will be provided through the Learner Centre.

INTERNAL ASSESSMENTS All Key Skill units require portfolio building and internal assessment. Learners must each create a Key Skills portfolio (separate from the portfolio for their main programme of study); course leaders will need to arrange for adequate storage of these portfolios. It is important to note that:    Key Skills portfolios are not expected to contain a large volume of evidence – the new Key Skills model has reduced evidence requirements the new Key Skills qualification emphasises quality of work rather than quantity Key Skills portfolios may contain cross-references to coursework or work in the portfolio for a different qualification, as long as the cross referencing is very specific and clear and the evidence is easily available for the perusal of the moderator.

Course teams must note:  it is preferable that evidence is generated through vocationally related projects/assignments as this ensures that learners see the relevance of Key Skills. The co-ordinators will support the process where achievement of Key Skills is not possible through vocational projects/assignments, generic assignments of interest to the learners may be used (for example, an application of number assignment on comparing salaries for various occupations, an information technology assignment on



Key Skills Policy

Issue 1.0 / 28/03/03

Page 7 of 10

KEY SKILLS POLICY storing a set of driving test theory questions, a communication assignment on applying for a job)  it is vital that staff assessing Key Skills are familiar with Key Skills specifications and evidence required to meet the assessment criteria.

EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT It is important to note that the Key Skills qualification involves demanding external tests that require special preparation. Test practice sessions can be arranged through the Learner Centre in the weeks immediately prior to tests in order to prepare learners for the exam situation and to give them feedback to improve their performance. It is vital that course teams ensure the Key Skills specifications have been completely taught to learners before they prepare for and take the external test. MONITORING AND REVIEWING LEARNER PROGRESS The review and development of Key Skills is seen as part of tutorial activities in liaison with Key Skills tutors. Each learner must have an individual Key Skills action plan linked to the ISLA that enables them to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses and to determine (with their personal tutor) activities and targets for improving their Key Skills. The results of the initial assessment (diagnostic testing) and an initial one to one interview with their personal tutor will provide the initial information to inform the Key Skill development plan. Note that the Key Skill action plan and the discussions surrounding it can contribute evidence for the Improving Own Learning and Performance Key Skill. QUALITY ASSURANCE The Quality Assurance of Key Skills will partially take place through the standard Deeside College procedures such as Course Review and Evaluation and Observation of Teaching and Learning. It is therefore vital that Key Skills is incorporated within these processes for every course. It is absolutely vital that all course teams assess to the same standards. Consistency of assessment will be addressed through the following:       staff development sessions discussions and co-ordination within each course team through the work of the Key Skills Strategy Group guidance available through the Learner Centre Internal Verification of portfolios feedback from external standards moderators liaising with Key Skills coordinators.

Internal Moderation/Verification will take place at least 3 times during the year. As a further quality measure, prior to the visit of the standards moderator, portfolios will be sampled and assessed within the course teams using a similar process to that used by standards moderators.

Key Skills Policy

Issue 1.0 / 28/03/03

Page 8 of 10

KEY SKILLS POLICY
Figure 2 – Planning Checklist (Aide Memoire - Not Hierarchical) This document is to help course teams plan out the delivery and assessment of Key Skills Have you? Yes/No Comments (If applicable) 1. Identified opportunities for the teaching Proformas exist to assist this and learning of Key Skills within the process. subject/vocational area? 2. Identified teaching and learning of Key Once the above proforma has Skills that cannot be covered within the been completed and analysed this subject/vocational area (i.e. top up)? information will be available. 3. For areas of Key Skills requiring a large If a specialist lecturer/tutor is amount of taught input: can you required, you first need to agree incorporate the services of a specialist this with your own ABM, then a lecturer/tutor within your programme? staffing request needs to be made to the specialist’s Curriculum Coordinator. 4. For areas of Key Skills requiring some If this type of top up is required, other form of top up (for example, one you first need to agree this with to one or small group work, resource your own ABM then inform the based learning); can support through Learner Centre co-ordinator of the Learner Centre meet your needs? your requirements. 5. Identified suitable dates for learners to You need to ensure Part A of a undertake the External Assessments? Key Skills specification has been entirely taught prior to learners taking an external test. External test practice sessions may be booked through the Centre Coordinator (you may need to allocate time for this in your learning programme timetable). 6. Fully considered the timetabling and scheduling of the above activities? 7. Discussed standardisation of assessment with course team? 8. Identified opportunities for evidence Remember a small number of generation (portfolio building for internal large projects/assignments is the assessment)? norm (quality not quantity of evidence). 9. Considered staff development needs? Take note of internal and external events. Let your ABM know if there is a specific staff development need. 10. Considered arrangements for storing Key Skills portfolios? 11. Planned for Key Skills portfolios to be ready for Internal Verification on three occasions through the year (Jan, March and May)? 12. Obtained copies of paperwork for tracking student Key Skills progress, giving feedback and action planning? 13. Considered arrangements for monitoring retention and achievement for Key Skills?

Key Skills Policy

Issue 1.0 / 28/03/03

Page 9 of 10

KEY SKILLS POLICY

14.

Planned Key Skills into your induction programme?  giving learners information on the Key Skills qualification during Induction week  undertaking Key Skills activities during induction week  organising a Learner Centre induction during the early weeks of their course. Organised Initial Assessment?  Scheduled diagnostic testing  Arranged time for one to one discussions with learners  Allow time to review the planned learning programme in the light of diagnostic testing results.

15.

Time can be booked in the Learner Centre to support this activity.

End.

Signed: W.G. Edmunds OBE Principal/Chief Executive

Date:

Key Skills Policy

Issue 1.0 / 28/03/03

Page 10 of 10


								
To top