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Functional Skills L2 getting harder than some GCSE

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by davegree, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. davegree

    davegree New commenter

    I have recently downloaded the latest City & Guilds L2 practice paper and was astonished with some of the content I found in it. I would like to remind you that the majority of our learner are not at all academically inclined and have failed to achieve an 'c' and in some cases a 'd' in GCSE English. Functional Skills were supposed to have been designed for these very students, to give them the skills required to function in life and work. Then why do I have to teach idiomatic language, cliches, colloquial expressions, tautology and analogy to bricklayer, carpenters, hairdressers etc? Have we lost sight of what we want for these student? Many in the staffroom could not define all of these terms.

    How will onomatopoeia enhance my engineers ability to turn? How will recognising colloquial expressions help my bricklayers? How will these rhetorical questions benefit the care worker. I am all for transferable skills but let's give them the skills they require for life and work; the real everyday language of communication.

    I don't have to teach many of these language techniques even in my GCSE classes.

    Am I going mad?
    chap_P_man likes this.
  2. blueskiesmev

    blueskiesmev New commenter

    You are right!

    The level of maths in FS L2 is not as demanding as GCSE but the way the questions are written can make them very difficult to decipher. I have on many occasions looked at a question and wondered "what is it asking me to work out?".

    One thing to remember is that GCSE (A* - C) and FS L2 are both level 2 numeracy qualifications. With a lot of the more abstract maths being removed from FS L2 they have added more problem solving to give it additional rigour.

    They do go a bit far with it sometimes!

    I haven't seen the City & Guilds papers but the language in the Edexcel papers does tend to be accessible for most learners with only the ESOL students struggling with some of the terms.
    chap_P_man likes this.
  3. davegree

    davegree New commenter

    Perhaps we need to look at Edexcel instead!
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  4. groovyjg

    groovyjg New commenter

    Hi. I am having the same problem with C&G. I am thinking of complaining to them (not that I think it will do any good but may make me feel better) and then look at another awarding body for next year. Let me know if you find one that is still 'functional' instead of asking the learners to spot idioms which is of no use to my construction students.
  5. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    True-but if you asked a group of adults-or maybe even the staff- to complete a primary SATs paper, you might see they struggle on lots of questions.
    Why are we putting people off like like-why not focus on getting the basics right!
    chap_P_man likes this.
  6. doscat

    doscat New commenter

    We too have had problems with FS maths pass rates dropping significantly ever since last summer's changes. The problem solving has bamboozled quite a number of our students and the 'wordiness' has adversely affected our students with memory and processing issues.
  7. cazzmusic1

    cazzmusic1 New commenter

    My students preferred the Edexcel FS Maths papers over the other exam boards too. As well as the language being more accessible, there is just one question book per candidate.


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