Core Skills Numeracy
I was wondering if anyone has any experience of delivering Core Skills Numeracy at level 2, 3 or 4? We are looking to deliver it in Angus and would be really grateful for any advice or support that anyone has to offer.
I was the SQA Co-ordinator at WDC and our team delivered Numeracy at those levels and still do, we tried to contextualise the questions as much as possible.
I am now at Inverclyde CLD and I believe they deliver them also.
I am also a Numeracy EV for SQA so anything I can help with feel free to ask.
Here are a couple of useful web-sites:
Thanks for your reply and also for the web-sites, these are really helpful.
If it was ok to get in touch with you for advice too that would be brilliant!
No worries, feel free to contact me either at:
I've attached my list of numeracy resources as well
Have you seen the newly published Adult Literacies Curriculum Framework Guidelines on the Education Scotland website http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/communitylearninganddevelopment/about/policy/adultliteraciesframework.asp
Numeracy is included. Some hard copies will be sent to each local authority area.
I deliver Core Skills as a tutor and assessor. I have had a learner complete numeracy level 4 as part of a modern apprenticeship. I also have a learner working on numeracy level 2 who is being tutored by a volunteer tutor who I manage. The SQA support packs are very good at showing what they are looking for and giving suggestions of how the level can be reached. I just ensure that whatever the learner has an interest in, (e.g. hobbies) is reflected in the topic used for the portfolio and helps to keep them engaged. The modern apprenticeship learner's portfolio was tailored to their job.
Not sure if that is helpful!
Thanks for replying to me. I definitely want to make sure that the learners interests are reflected in their numeracy learning and I wondered how you assess their numeracy skills? Do you build a portfolio and submit this or do you have any kind of formal assessment which you use once you feel a learner is able to meet the standards required?
Thanks again for your help!
I also have some experience of SQA Numeracy levels 2 - 4 both as an assessor and verifier in Falkirk. I have tailored each assignment to the interest of the learner. For example, one learner was a volunteer at the local steam railway and was interested in trains so theme of his SCQF level 4 numeracy around trains.
I (tutors too) usually do practice assessments (formative) and keep them as a portfolio of work over a period of time. This helps identify what gaps are in the learners knowledge and gives us goals to work on. We then negotiate when we both feel the learner is ready to do the final (summative) assessment which is then submitted (via internal verification) to SQA. I think the portfolio work over a period of time really shows verifiers (internal or external) the learning journey.
I am a bit of a stickler for evidence of learner progression so I want to see planning and progress throughout the learning journey when I verify the work submitted by my tutors.
I found the packs created by Alan Deans and his colleague as a great tool for letting learners practice their assignments and for guidance as a tutor, my team of tutors use these all the time. The SQA packs are good too.
Also as a support mechanism, we as a team have verification meetings (instead of individuals doing it) in order to agree and keep the same standards throughout.
If you would like anything further, please let me know. Although, I see that Alan has replied and gave you some good pointers to be getting on with.
Thank you for getting in touch. I really like the way that you are doing thing with your learners and this is exactly how I'd hope to do things here in Angus too.
I don't suppose you have an exemplar portfolio that I could see (I'm probably pushing my luck)? We're having a standardisation meeting at the end of September and it would be great to have something visual to help our tutors understand what we're looking for.
Thanks again for your help with this.
Hi Elaine ...
I also deliver Core Skills Numeracy here in South Lanarkshire, with my colleague Greta Fordyce. We're SQA Assessors and I'm also an SQA Internal Verifier. We've already submitted Core Skills portfolios to our lead IVs for their perusal - some of our learners were working on Level 3 and some on Level 4. I'm also hoping for a Level 2 certificate for one of my learners who just wanted to tackle the Money element but didn't want to commit to any of the other stuff ... she's more than capable of tackling Level 3 so I had to tailor her learning materials to her specific needs and expertise.
Greta worked with a group of learners who are all parents with kids and who badly wanted to boost their own skills. A couple of them have since gone on to college so it's been a good experience for them and the accreditation is an added boost.
We work with skeleton portfolios which have to be approved by our SQA Co-ordinator at Council HQ. We have regular standardisation meetings where we discuss and share portfolios and look at current examples of learner work so that we're consistent in assessor judgements. We've also used Alan's materials and found them incredibly helpful in the beginning, so that we had a good idea of what to deliver and what to look for. Since then we've built up a mini bank of resources which we can use ... the Internet is great for that as you probably know. This website is pretty good, too:
Yes, it's mainly for kids, but the explanations are clear and concise (it's helped me a lot as well because numeracy isn't my favourite subject!)
At the moment we have a couple of adult literacy tutors who deliver Core Skills directly and whilst we deliver learning ourselves as workers, we support our tutors too so there's a dual role in frontline delivery as well as backroom support.
I can see loads of great pointers here already in the discussion and I echo them! Feel free to contact us too if you need anything.
Thanks for this - everyone has been so helpful and it's been a huge help to us here in Angus.
How do your skeleton portfolios work? I'm really interested about the group of parents that you worked with too? Was it a short course that you did with them or an informal group working together on their numeracy?
Thanks again for replying to me, its much appreciated. :-)
Hi Elaine ... the skeleton is basically just that - there's a contents page to show what should be included (based on the template for SVQ portfolios which the Council uses) and then we use dividers for each section to separate learner evidence from the associated paperwork.
We've got standardised assessment plans, internal verification requests, evidence matrices, induction checklists, etc. The only quibble I have with the paperwork just now is that it apparently can't be tweaked to say SQA Core Skills rather than SVQs, but that's a minor niggle which I'm hoping to iron out with my colleagues, to see if we can get some agreement that the paperwork would look spot-on if it referred to the qualification we're actually working with. I'd have posted it here but I'd rather not until (hopefully) we get the go-ahead to change it.
Greta's group was a group of parents, all women, who wanted to do more to help their kids with their homework. Numeracy was their biggest bugbear (a bit like mine!) so we worked with the school to use some of their resources in the group so that the girls could see exactly what their kids were working on in school time, therefore giving them the confidence to tackle it at home when homework time came around. They soon found that they were enjoying learning rather than dreading it - such a common theme, isn't it? - and that gave them the spur to move on and tackle higher level stuff. Initially they started at Level 3, which three learners completed, with a further two going on to tackle Level 4.
I forgot about my own group which I partly co-tutored! I had a similar group running in another school in our local area ... just three learners who were already parent volunteers in the school and who wanted to do some more upskilling. Those three girls all achieved their Level 4 in Numeracy and like Greta's group, were really hardworking and thoroughly motivated.
So, I'm attaching the contents page here ... it just gives a rough idea of how the portfolio should be structured - it's vital for consistency as I'm sure you know. We contextualise our resources too so that they're matching learner interest. One of my learners is a volunteer treasurer so her Numeracy portfolio reflected the fact that she's working with petty cash and keeping a basic cash book. It took a lot of the initial fear away from the thought of doing the qualification because I was able to show her that she was doing all the work for real anyway, in her community life, so her assessments were pretty painless!
Thanks so much for this, what you are doing sounds great, I really like the work that you are doing with parents and I totally understand their fear of the dreaded numeracy. :-) Everything you've told me has been so helpful and helped me to get my head around ways of approaching the numeracy qualification with our learners.
Thanks again for your help with this, it is much appreciated.