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Woolton's Abbot's Lea School Enhances Curriculum With Functional Skills Exams For Year 10 Students

Abbot's Lea School in Woolton Enhances Curriculum With Functional Skills Exams For Year 10 Students

Year 10 students from Abbot's Lea School recently undertook exams in ‘Functional Skills Maths’ and ‘Functional Skills English’ for the first time in the school's history.

This significant milestone reflects the school’s ongoing commitment to providing a diverse and inclusive curriculum and accredited learning that meets the needs of Key Stage 4 students. Located in Woolton, Abbot’s Lea School delivers high-quality specialist holistic education for students aged 3-19 living with autism and other complex needs.

The functional skills exams are designed to equip students with practical skills in maths and English that they can use in real-life situations. These qualifications are highly valued by employers and further education institutions for their emphasis on applying knowledge to everyday scenarios. By offering these exams, Abbot's Lea School is ensuring that students have the essential skills needed for their future careers and personal lives.

In total, 15 Year 10 students completed the functional skills maths exam and 17 Year 10 students took the functional skills English exam. A large proportion of Year 11 students also sat the exams alongside them.

Assistant Aeadteacher, Mr Ryan Mason, commented: 'When I was appointed Assistant Headteacher in September 2023, I took stock of the new Year 10 cohort and it became apparent to me that many of them were capable of achieving entry-level qualifications, and some were on track to achieve GCSEs in Year 11. Some students had limited exam or assessment experience, which can act as a barrier for them to achieve.'

He added: 'In line with our ambition to ensure our students are in a strong position to transition to their next destination by Year 11, I felt that supporting them to secure additional qualifications in Year 10 would open further doors for them once they left school.'

He said: 'The introduction of functional skills exams is part of Abbot's Lea School's broader strategy to enhance educational outcomes and provide a well-rounded education. By focusing on core skills that students will use beyond the classroom, the school aims to foster greater independence and confidence among its students.'

One student said: 'I have never done exams before so I was a bit nervous but I want to go to college after Year 11 so I was pleased that I could do them. The mock exams and revision we did helped me feel prepared. I'm hoping I did well!'

Parents and guardians have welcomed this new development, recognising the value of functional skills qualifications in preparing their children for the future.

One parent remarked: 'Upon hearing my child would be sitting exams in Year 10, exams that they have never done before, I was initially nervous, but the support and preparation they received really helped to develop their confidence and I'm so pleased that they were able to gain qualifications in Year 10 as it sets them up well for the future.'

Headteacher of Abbot's Lea School, Mrs Ania Hildrey, expressed her enthusiasm for this new initiative: 'We are pleased to see our Year 10 students take on the challenge of the functional skills exams. These exams provide our students with a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in a practical and meaningful way. It's a testament to the hard work and dedication of both our students and staff that we are able to introduce this new pathway'

In addition to this, we are extremely proud that some of our Year 11 students sat GCSE exams in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics. It is wonderful to see our young people breaking down barriers and demonstrating their capabilities with such determination and resilience.'

Due to the success of this year’s exams, Year 9 students will sit mock exams in functional skills maths and English next year, to support their familiarisation with the exam process.


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