Developing strategies to build self-belief in learners in the North East

This project incorporated two colleges and an independent training provider working on strategies to inspire learners facing different challenges as they embarked on Functional Skills, GCSE and ESOL qualifications.

Newcastle College had identified a lack of communicative purpose in ESOL entry level 1 exam writing tasks and attempted to address this by organising an email exchange between classes. Feedback from instructors working in support roles was instrumental in modifying and developing the method and resources and improving links between classroom and computer lab sessions. This led to liaison with a separate project which had successfully used Padlet for improving learners’ engagement with reading texts.

Springboard Sunderland Trust worked with GCSE resit students, including learners referred from probation services. This project aimed to improve learners’ choice and commitment to engaging in Functional Skills. Learners were encouraged to select targets and were asked to identify the resulting outcomes. In some cases, this proved noticeably effective.

Sunderland College focused on raising learners’ awareness of their existing skills. Staff used an outcome star as a vehicle for initiating meaningful conversations about learning. This resulted in both learners and staff recognising learners’ hidden potential. This encouraged the staff to evolve responsive strategies to address individual learners’ needs.

Tricia Millar was the strand lead for Project 11. Read her editorial: ‘Spelling with Post-16 Phonics’

Watch the group presentations at the final dissemination event by clicking play (to the right). You can also view their slides here.