Essential Skills for Life and Learning

Would you like to gain skills to help you get a better job?

Our range of GCSE & Functional Skills courses can help build your confidence, help you succeed in the workplace, improve your job prospects and pass on your skills to aid your children with their schoolwork. Within small, friendly groups you can work at a pace to suit your ability and individual aims.

Some of the benefits our courses can provide include:

  • The ability to write letters, notes, messages and emails
  • Create a better CV
  • Improve spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Produce succinct reports and summaries
  • Become confident working with everyday numbers for real-life situations
  • Better understanding of the Key Stage 4 curriculum.


Functional Skills:

Our free Functional Skills courses are for anyone who would like to improve their Maths or English for work, education or daily life. You will work at your own pace in a friendly, supportive atmosphere and gain confidence and a qualification. Following an initial assessment, we will design a course to suit your needs.

English topics will include: reading a variety of texts to interpret meaning; writing in a variety of styles - for example letters, emails, newspaper articles and stories, using correct spelling, punctuation and grammar; constructing compound sentences; taking part in group discussions.

Maths topics will include: shape and space; fractions, decimals and percentages; measurement and time; ratio and proportion; handling data and probability; money.

Improve your English - North Devon - PTB430
Improve your Maths - North Devon - PTB429
Functional Skills English - ONLINE - VPSMN0062
Functional Skills Maths - ONLINE - VPSMN0061

GCSE Maths & English:

These GCSE courses are designed for adults who may not have studied for some time and who lack confidence in these subjects. They are free, are available in the daytime or evening, and don’t require any entry qualifications. In the first few weeks, we will assess your progress and recommend either a one-year or a two-year GCSE option. If you follow the two-year route you will gain a qualification in Functional Skills Level 1 in the first year, developing your skills and confidence, and then progress on to the GCSE.

Fast Track English - North Devon - PTB104 
Fast Track Maths - North Devon - PTB105 

We also offer community learning programmes in Ilfracombe, Sticklepath and Bideford. Please contact​  for more information.


GCSE Biology, Psychology and Science

Many students hoping to progress to higher education require an improved GCSE profile. GCSE Science and Biology are beneficial to students considering careers in primary school teaching and nursing. This year, we also launched our popular GCSEs in Psychology and Spanish. You may be able to receive funding for these courses, subject to conditions.

Biology GCSE Fast Track - North Devon - PTB108 
GCSE Psychology - not currently available
GCSE Combined Science Trilogy - not currently available

We also offer community learning programmes in Ilfracombe, Braunton and Bideford. Please contact​ for more information.


English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL):

When you study on an ESOL course, you will gain the confidence you need to communicate in English at work, in education and in your social life.  You will also meet new friends from all over the world in a relaxed atmosphere.  There are no entry requirements for this course - an initial assessment will determine the correct level of class for you.

We also offer a bespoke programme that can be held off-site. Please contact​  for more information.


Access to Access

If you are looking to enrol on an Access to HE course but feel your confidence and study skills could do with a boost, then this course could be for you.

The course will help you make decisions about your future, and prepare you for progression to further study and improve your Maths and English attainment levels.

The course includes GCSE Maths, GCSE English and a Level 2 NOCN Award in Skills for Employment, Training and Personal Development (Level 2)

This course is free to learners progressing onto an Access to HE course.

Need further assistance?

Please get in touch with our decicated team:

  • Essential Skills

GCSE English and Maths
GCSE English and Maths