Recent Changes

Changed on 25 September 2019

Site supporters

I would like to thank the basic skills tutors and other professionals from the following institutions for their interest and/or registering with the site; and for their contributions, feedback, encouragement, support or advice.

There may be duplication or omissions below: many colleges have merged or changed names since I began this list in 2001. Bold print indicates a 2019 entry.

Last updated 25/09/2019

1st Training Ltd
3Es Enterprise, Kingshurst, Birmingham
A4e Bootle
A4E Training
A & L Training, Birkenhead

Changed on 24 September 2019

This is a project based on Benford's law. I had this idea after watching the Numberphile series on YouTube. This is a project based activity that involves many skills including working with large numbers, using percentages, representing data and probability.

The investigation is introduced to learners using the PPT (and optional YouTube links). Learners then split into four groups - each is given a random set of  share prices [see Excel file].  Each group investigates the occurrence of numbers starting with each digit from 1 to 9.

Editor's note

Level
L1
L2
Maths
FM Complex multi-step problem(s)
L1.1 Read, write, order and compare large numbers (up to one million)
L1.14 Calculate percentages of quantities, including simple percentage increases and decreases by 5% and multiples thereof
L1.15 Estimate answers to calculations using fractions and decimals
L1.27 Represent discrete data in tables, diagrams and charts including pie charts, bar charts and line graphs
L1.28 Group discrete data and represent grouped data graphically
L1.30 Understand probability on a scale from 0 (impossible) to 1 (certain) and use probabilities to compare the likelihood of events
L1.31 Use equally likely outcomes to find the probabilities of simple events and express them as fractions
Context
Business & Money management

Changed on 24 September 2019

A nice way to check learning of probability at the end of a session.

Level
L1
Maths
AN HD2/L1.2
Functional Maths - handling information and data

Changed on 24 September 2019

5 questions based on functional skills exam questions where learners find the probability of an event happening.

Level
L2
Maths
HD2/L2.1
Functional Maths - handling information and data

Changed on 24 September 2019

A practical investigation that can be enjoyed in mixed level classes.  There's something for all learners from Entry Level 1 to Level 2.

Editor's note. One of my favourite resources that somehow got lost when the site was redeveloped in 2011.  Now fully updated to reflect the new 2018 Functional Skills content that come into effect September 2019. Pages 7-8 show detailed FS mapping to content descriptors and problem solving skills.

Level
E1
E2
E3
L1
L2
Maths
FM E1.3 Add numbers which total up to 20, and subtract numbers from numbers up to 20
E1.13 Read and draw simple charts and diagrams including a tally chart, block diagram/graph
E2.25 Take information from one format and represent the information in another format including use of bar charts
E3.23 Organise and represent information in appropriate ways including tables, diagrams, simple line graphs and bar charts
FM L1.8 Read, write, order and compare common fractions and mixed numbers
FM L2.27 Express probabilities as fractions, decimals and percentages
Context
Sport

Changed on 24 September 2019

Straightforward probability questions for L2 Functional Maths (dice, playing cards, socks, pens, etc.). Includes useful practice with simplifying fractions.
Plus an interesting extension question.

Level
L2
GCSE L1-5
Maths
FM L2.27 Express probabilities as fractions, decimals and percentages
GCSE P3 (language of probability, 0-1 scale)
GCSE P4 (collectively exhaustive / mutually exclusive outcomes)
AN HD2/L1.1
AN HD2/L1.2

Changed on 23 September 2019

Originally written as a mock E2 ESOL reading paper with a Halloween theme. Now amended with extra tasks to reflect the reformed Entry Level 2 Functional English content. Covers alphabetical order / dictionary work, general comprehension, purpose of text (E3) and some writing elements (see below). 

Entry 2 Halloween reading tasks

Editor's note

Level
E2
English
E2.7 Read correctly words designated for Entry Level 2
FE E2.8 Understand the main points in texts
E2.10 Use effective strategies to find the meaning of words and check their spelling (e.g. a simple dictionary, spell-checker)
E2.15 Use the first and second letters to sequence words in alphabetical order
E2.18 Complete a form asking for personal information (e.g. first name, surname, address, postcode, age, date of birth)
ESOL
ESOL Reading: text focus (comprehension)
ESOL Rs/E2.1d
ESOL Rw/E2.4a
ESOL Rw/E2.5a
Context
Leisure Travel Tourism

Changed on 23 September 2019

10/10/17 Several minor and one major correction made

These tasks assume no previous knowledge of compound sentences and/or conjunctions. They do assume the learner is familiar with simple sentences (i.e. one clause, one verb).
Aimed at E2-E3 students but could be useful at Level 1.

Tasks include joining pairs of Halloween sentences with a suitable conjunction; extending simple sentence with a suitable ‘ending’, and rewriting texts that are initially written using only simple sentence (in order to improve their organisation and readability).

Level
E2
E3
English
Functional English - writing
Ws/E3.3
Ws/E3.1
Ws/E2.1
Context
Leisure Travel Tourism

Changed on 23 September 2019

A set of six linked, differentiated texts about Halloween, with associated writing assessments.
Two texts for each Entry Level: an email, a party invitation, a recipe, instructions for a Halloween game, a contents page, and a newspaper article. Writing tasks include an informal note, an email, form filling, a formal letter and a report for a village newsletter.

Level
E3
E2
E1
English
Functional English - writing
Functional English reading
Context
Leisure Travel Tourism

Changed on 23 September 2019

A simplified reading comprehension based on the origins of Halloween with accompanying questions.
Two versions: one for E2 – low E3, another for high E3 – L1.

Level
L1
E3
E2
English
Rt/L1.1
Rt/E3.1
Rt/E2.1
Context
History