Functional skills can be studied as a course via a local provider and/or through self-directed learning via HEE’s free bksb package. Regardless of which path the learner chooses, an exam will still need to be arranged through a local provider. Many learners benefit from additional support, below you will find resources for specific functional skills subjects, which supplement and enhance learning.
Free Online Learning Tools
- How to plan your approach
Improve your everyday maths with the Numeracy Champions Network
The Numeracy Champions Network offers a space to explore becoming a numeracy champion, to interact and share best practice for supporting numeracy in the workplace.
You can access materials to help you champion numeracy in your workplace and support colleagues in improving their numeracy. Areas of support include:
- Videos on Value, Belief and Persistence as well as the Essentials of Numeracy
- Workshop Plans and Learner Session Slides
- Facilitation Tips
- Top Tips for Learners
- Comms in a box such as posters posing questions like: How do you feel about maths?
You can also network with other numeracy champions across the country. The network is maintained by National Numeracy and funded by Health Education England. Follow these steps to access the network.
Improve Everyday your everyday maths with the National Numeracy Challenge
The Challenge is a free website to help you check and improve your numeracy – the maths you use in daily life and at work, like managing your money, working out measurements or understanding percentages, rather than algebra or trigonometry.
In March 2020 the Challenge was updated with a whole new look, a new quick check so that it only takes around ten minutes to practise or check your skills, videos to show that however you feel about maths, you’re not alone, and increased flexibility, so that you can choose what you want to do.
- Quickly check your everyday maths
- Improve your skills
- Increase your confidence with numbers
- Find out the level you’re working at, your strengths and weaknesses, and print a certificate
- Get the ‘Essentials of Numeracy’
- Get yourself ready in your own time to take a more formal maths course
Open Learn Everyday maths 1
Have you ever noticed how often you need maths skills in everyday life? This free course serves as good preparation for Level 1 Functional Skills in maths, and whilst it does not cover all aspects of the current 2019-20 curriculum, it is designed to inspire you to improve your current maths skills and help you to remember any areas that you may have forgotten.
Working through the examples and interactive activities in this course will help you to, among other things, run a household or make progress in your career. To complete the course you will need access to a calculator and a notepad and pen.
The National Literacy Trust have put together a range of resources that can help you and your colleagues develop reading, writing, speaking and listening skills at work.
Digital Skills (IT)
HEE Digital Literacy
HEE sees person-centred digital literacy as encompassing six different categories. Each has its own capabilities that describe what is needed from staff in order to maximise the potential that technology offers. The focus is not simply on technical skill but includes a range of dimensions, mapping to knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours across social, cultural and ethical dimensions. These are:
- Digital identity, well-being, safety and security
- Communication, collaboration and participation
- Teaching, learning and self-development
- Information, data and content
- Creation, innovation and research
- Technical proficiency
To find out more about this, please watch this short video.
Learn My Way
Learn My Way has free courses to learn digital skills to stay safe and connected. This includes:
- Using your computer or device
- Online basics – Using the internet, online forms & email
- Office programmes – Introduction to office programmes, creating documents & spreadsheets
- More internet skills – Video calling, online shopping & socialising online
- Online safety – Being safe online & keeping your personal data safe
- Finding a job online – National Careers Service website: a how to guide for jobs and interviews
- Improving your health online – GP services online & The NHS website: a how-to guide
- Managing your money online – Online and mobile banking & Make money work
Microsoft Digital Literacy
Microsoft Digital Literacy is for anyone with basic reading skills who wants to learn the fundamentals of using digital technologies. There are 6 Learning Paths.
- Work with Computers – 1 hr 9 min, 4 Modules
- Access Information Online 48 min, 3 Modules
- Communicate Online – 33 min, 2 Modules
- Participate Safely and Responsibly Online – 26 min, 2 Modules.
- Create Digital Content – 1 hr 9 min, 6 Modules
- Collaborate and Manage Content Digitally – 1 hr 5 min, 4 Modules
Also, there are many resources on Microsoft’s Digital skills platform, accessible here.
ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages. The resource below was designed for nurses but much of the guidance is transferable to other roles and professions. It covers areas that are key to communication in any language but where extra attention can be helpful in a language other than your first, such as slang and idioms, local accents and dialects, manners and etiquette, topics and conversational behaviours, humour and indirect speech and understatement.
- Click here to download the OET resource.
- Click here to download Iolanda’s simple tips that are easy to apply in everyday life and you can use to support ESOL learners.
- Supporting ESOL colleagues? Click here.
Conversation Clubs can provide an informal space to build both language skills and relationships. Conversation Clubs can be led either by volunteers or a dedicated staff member.
- For access to high quality resources on establishing your own Conversation Club, click here.
Next section Support for Managers and Networking