Distance Learning

Successful distance learning requires a level of commitment from the learner and they need to be able to manage their time efficiently, possess a level of self-motivation, be good communicators and have the determination to succeed.

Distance learning is available to those who are working full time with initial assessment results demonstrating they are working towards a Level 1 or Level 2 qualification in Functional Skills English and/or Maths.

Our distance learning programme has been running for 4 years to meet the needs of workers preparing to enter apprenticeships or universities and the achievement results for 20/21 were above the national average.

It is important that you are able to use the internet and emails with confidence, and be able to scan and open documents when communicating with your tutor.

To enrol as a distance learner we will need to you fill in and return a Learner Info & Funding Screener 20-21 to us.  This will allow us to confirm if funding is available to you.  We will then send you details on how to log on and undertake an initial assessment in both maths and English.  The initial assessments are required for each subject, and this program works out your current level of knowledge in these subjects against the standards.  Following the Initial Assessment you will complete a diagnostic analysis, which indicates your strengths and weaknesses in the chosen topic, across the curriculum at the level shown on the initial assessment.

You will then attend an enrolment and induction session at our centre in Hatfield (this will take place remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic).  This takes approximately 1.5 hours.  At this point, we will complete all of the paperwork, explain how the learning takes place and provide usernames and passwords for our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).   We will explain the course content, how you will be supported during your learning, how you contact your tutor and methods used to submit work.

A learning review will take place every four weeks with your tutor monitoring your online attendance, and achievements, they will also set you goals for your next review.  This helps us identify any problem areas and keep you on track to complete your learning in the set timeframe.   If you are having problems on a specific subject, we will provide extra support materials, telephone advice, email assistance, a skype session or a one to one appointment with a specialist tutor as required.

Once the learning is complete, we will prepare you for your exam with mock exam papers.  We will provide feedback on these and offer extra work or a revision programme if required.  Once you are ready for an exam we will set a date with you. We have two testing sessions each week and you can pick one to suit you.  These are Tuesday afternoon at 14:00 or Thursday morning at 10:00. One exam for each module is included in the funding, however, if you do not pass the exam on your first attempt you will have a four week period at the end of your course where you can access the learning and book a retake at the cost of £35.

You will be working as an individual and you will be responsible for undertaking the learning, submitting assignments on time and attending the centre as determined by your tutor.  At the start of your learning we will set an end date for your course, you can finish prior to the set date but not after it and we will try to keep you on target for your end date.

The learning covers a period of 60 hours and we are aware that you may be working as well as undertaking other courses, so we will set you achievable goals, at a pace that you can maintain, whilst ensuring that will meet your end date.  As we have said before, you can finish any time prior to your end date but we cannot move this once it is set.  We will carry out progress reviews with you every month over the phone or by email and we will address any problems at these reviews to keep you on track and set you targets for your next review.   If, however, you encounter any problems, at any time throughout your learning, please contact your distance learning tutor, who you will meet at your induction session.

These qualifications equip learners with the basic practical skills required in everyday life, education and the workplace.  They are highly recognised by employers, and most universities accept them for entrance requirements (check with your university if you have a specific course in mind). If you have never acquired an A-C, GCSE pass in English or maths, and are a British or EEA Citizen, you may be entitled to funded learning, free courses, in these subjects.  The area for that we can offer funded learning in are: Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire and London (GLA).