Adult Skills and Community Learning

Course content

The Functional English courses are for anyone who'd like to develop their English skills. The course supports you to develop your skills in reading, writing and speaking, listening and communication.

Functional English courses are available across 5 levels (from Entry Level 1 to Entry 2, Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2) and you’ll find your class is well-suited to you and your abilities.

Entry Level qualifications are designed to help you to develop practical, transferable skills in English. Achievement of these qualifications can provide the skills for further study at Levels 1 and 2.

Level 1 and 2 qualifications are designed to help you to read, write, speak, listen and communicate in English, and to apply these skills effectively to a range of purposes in the workplace and in other real life situations.

This course will enable you to:

Move into further study, it will support you to gain employment or better employment where English is an entry requirement. Some learners study this course to help their children with English homework.

You'll also develop the following skills for work:

Local employers in Barnsley have put together a list of skills they like their employees to have and be able to demonstrate. As part of your learning at Adult Skills and Community Learning, you'll be develop the following skills employers want:

  • Working as part of a team, sharing ideas and motivating others to complete tasks.
  • Having a positive attitude to plan your own work and complete it effectively within a timeframe.
  • Being a good listener and being able to follow instructions accurately.
  • Being able to adapt the way you work when circumstances change, or you need to switch to a different task quickly.
  • Being resilient, being able to stick with a task, even if things don’t go to plan, and learn from setbacks.
  • Developing your digital skills – having the opportunity to use PCs, laptops and tablets.
  • Being reliable – attending your sessions and meeting deadlines.


Course delivery 

  • 1 x 2.5 hour classroom based session per week
  • Up to one hour of homework to be completed each week.
  • Online BKSB resources and assessments for additional study and regular progress checks.
  • There is an online only course at L1/L2 for learners who have internet access and a device with a webcam, speakers and microphone who have the digital skills to access and use Teams for Education and its applications and would prefer to complete their learning at home. 


Exams are available at various times during the academic year and your tutor will book these when there is an agreement that you are fully prepared.

Entry requirements

You'll have already completed the following with Adult Skills and Community Learning:
Information Advice and Guidance and initial assessment on the BKSB software (the level that you study at will be determined by your initial assessment results)

Course fees

FREE if you don't currently hold a GCSE Grade C or above/Grade 4 or above in English

How to apply


On successful completion of a functional English qualification, you will have the opportunity to progress on to a higher level English course up to level 2 or GCSE. Progression opportunities include:

  • A functional English qualification at the next level. Course length is tailored to individual needs but most learners take one academic year. There are various examination sessions available during the year which can be booked when a learner is ready.
  • A GCSE English qualification. This is a fast-paced course for learners who already have some English skills at level 2. Courses start in September and the three examinations are taken on fixed dates in May and June.

The course tutor will complete a final review with you in the last session to discuss the skills you have developed and the opportunities open to you to progress. You can also attend an impartial Information Advice and Guidance support to help you plan your next steps to help you progress in your day-to-day life, into or at work.

What our learners say

  • I've enjoyed learning about the different English topics.
    Adult learner

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