Learners in North Wales improve their Essential Skills with the support of Adult Learning Wales | Adult Learning Wales

Learners in North Wales improve their Essential Skills with the support of Adult Learning Wales


Adult Learning Wales’ Essential Skills programme offers learners the opportunity to improve their numeracy and literacy skills to a level that is recognised by the vast majority of colleges and universities in Wales as an equivalent to a GCSE A-C grade in Mathematics or English Language. These programmes are not just about learning; they can be life-changing by boosting confidence, creating new opportunities both at work and at home, and developing additional skills in other areas, such as digital technology.

Adult Learning Wales’ Essential Skills tutors, Sue Jones and Ann Jones, deliver online sessions for learners to progress their Literacy and Numeracy skills.  The learners join online sessions once a week and follow a course that is tailor-made for their needs. Learners enjoy the course and find the online format allows them to work flexibly around other commitments. Since starting the courses, they have improved their skills and confidence in a range of tasks and have had the tutors’ support in achieving accredited units with Agored Cymru. 

Three examples of how Adult Learning Wales’ Essential Skills Programme have helped learners in North Wales can be found below. For confidentiality reasons, the learners will be referred to by the initials JK, KJ & AR.

JK attends face-to-face sessions in the JCP (Job Centre Plus). She has MLD (moderate learning difficulties), has low esteem and struggles with her confidence. Her initial WEST assessment for communication was E2; however, with sheer determination, she has now reached E3, but also displays elements of both L1 and L2 in some aspects. To help herself progress, she purchased a Chrome Book, which she could not use. We have worked on her IT skills, and she can now not only use search engines and access WEST but can answer emails, create files, download, edit and save photographs. She has produced her own CV using a Word doc after learning how to insert text boxes and bullet points, and choose font style and size. A real success story! 

Learner KJ has moved from non-accredited to accredited in both Literacy and Numeracy. He has struggled with spelling and grammar but finds the patience of the tutors and the flexibility of online learning suits him and has given him the confidence to progress and he has achieved several Agored units in both subjects. He has also benefited from using devices and MIFI from ALW to be able to access the courses. 

Learner AR has attended online Literacy and face-to-face Numeracy. He has struggled with serious mental health issues and low self-esteem but has made great progress, firstly in Literacy and more recently in Numeracy. He has achieved several units in Literacy and has spoken about how the course has given him confidence and a positive focus in his life.

Both learners KJ and AR have made excellent progress in digital literacy alongside their Literacy and Numeracy as they had to use devices, MS TEAMS and software to access the courses.  

The progression and success of these three learners from the Essential Skills programme shows how impactful learning with Adult Learning Wales can be. The three learners are just a small section of the hundreds of learners who progress with their numeracy and literacy every year with the support of Adult Learning Wales. Below is some further feedback from other learners who have been part of the Essential Skills programme:

“I have learnt a lot from each lesson about how to find correct spellings and how to add words to make sentences make sense.  Sue (tutor) is so patient and understanding in helping me achieve what I want.  I have also completed a level 1 unit which I enjoyed. The online lesson is good as it can be done from home.”

“In my Numeracy online course, I have completed different topics such as adding, subtracting and money. I enjoyed completing the accredited unit and learning the skills needed.  Ann (tutor) understands how to make things easier for me and has good ways to explain maths topics.”

“I enjoy the sessions and it gives me a good focus on something positive. The tutor has a fun personality and makes the sessions enjoyable as well as educational.  I like the flexible format of the online sessions. I’ve made a lot of progress since I started and have completed units in Maths and English, moving up the levels and gaining confidence.”

If you would like to find out more about the Essential Skills courses Adult Learning Wales offers, please email Jane Watkins – jane.watkins@adultlearning.wales or visit www.adultlearning.wales/community-courses-landing/essential-skills-and-esol/

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