Foundation Year

This Foundation Year course is a tailored programme to meet the educational and support needs of Pre-Entry and Entry Level learners. It covers the four outcomes that young people with disabilities have said are important to them: Employment, Independent Living, Community Inclusion and Good Health.

Personal and social development is key to building successful relationships with others, both in the community and in the workplace, and one of the aims of the course is to help learners develop their independence and confidence so that they can achieve their potential in life and work.

The course will include the following elements:
– Nurturing the personal and day-to-day skills needed for living with increasing independence.
– Developing the relevant skills needed when getting ready for employment.
– Activities, workshops, educational visits and a residential trip to enrich and develop knowledge and understanding.
– Work experience opportunities to develop skills for future employment and contributing to society.
– Opportunities to integrate with mainstream students in sessions such as PE, and when using the college facilities such as the shop, Food Hall, the Liberty Centre and workshops.
– Enrichment activities (one afternoon per week) including sports, arts and crafts, performing arts and swimming.

Apply for this course

Select from the start date/s below…

Sep 2024 : North Devon : Full-time
Course Code : FTB300A (2024)
Level : Entry Level
Duration : 1 Year
North Devon Campus Apply
Sep 2024 : Tiverton : Full-time
Course Code : FTT307 (2024)
Level : Entry Level
Duration : 1 Year
Tiverton Campus Apply

Course details


Students work towards internal certificates and may also work towards external Pre-Entry and Entry Level qualifications, as appropriate to the individual. Maths and English will be embedded across the curriculum and students progress through their appropriate levels whether that is Entry Level or Functional Skills. Students will be supported by their usual way of working for their assessments.

All students will work on a portfolio evidencing their weekly progress towards their individual learning plan.

If a student has not achieved GCSE Maths and/or English at grade 3/2 or above, they will retake these exams alongside Preparation to Adulthood.

Entry Requirements

For all learners joining Entry Level Study Programmes, there are no formal entry requirements, however you will have a one-to-one interview to discuss your personal learning needs. You will also be required to study English and Maths at an appropriate level to suit your ability.


Upon completion of this course, students can progress towards further education, employment, independent living and participation in the community.

Students are assessed at the end of each year to determine the most appropriate pathway for the following year. This may include a second year of Progressive Skills which will include carrying on with their existing programme as determined by their progress. Other pathway options could lead to progression onto a mainstream Level 1 study programme, onto the Preparation for Independent Living & Work study programme, or a Supported Introductory programme.

Students who are 19+ and assessed as needing further education to develop their employability and work skills, may move onto the Progression into Adulthood course. Students will need an Education Health and Care Plan issued by their Local Education Authority for the course fees to be paid on this course.

Nationally, a larger number of HN and SLDD learners are achieving employment. The national average for employment for those with LDD is 7%; for Devon it is 4%. Our projects are very successful and have achieved in excess of 90% employment outcomes. The target is to place 50% or more of those learners who are able to, into paid employment on leaving. Those students who will not be able to access employment will move into the community provision via supported living and daycare opportunities, for example, with Living Homes or Abbey Gateway.

For students whose formal education comes to an end, there will be signposting to other agencies for support and guidance.

Facilities and resources

Students on the Foundation Year course will be based in the Supported Learning Department at Petroc. All students will have a ‘base room’ within the department where they meet each morning and can socialise at break and lunchtimes with the support of Learning Support Assistants. The Supported Learning Department is set back from the main college block and students have their own entrance including access for cars, taxis and minibuses to drop off and pick up.

We provide purpose-built centres at both our campuses with resources including cafés, commercial kitchens, fitness suites, craft and furniture restoration workshops and a training flat. The cafés are staffed by Petroc students and extend from daily wholesome lunches and delicious cakes to door-to-door snacks and drink services throughout the college. Within the department, there is a physiotherapy and personal care room, art room, training and catering kitchens, and bathroom facilities. Students on Preparation for Adulthood are encouraged to use the main food hall and student shop with support, as appropriate, and participate in the cross-college cultural and enrichment activities.

Study Programme

Every full-time student at Petroc will have their own Study Programme which will include:

– Your academic or vocational qualification.

– Maths and English Language development – if you have not achieved GCSE grade 4 in either of these subjects.

– Work Experience – hours will vary depending on your qualification and course level.

– Tutor Support – to support your personal, academic and professional development.

– Sustainability – helping you to identify how you can improve the sustainability of your future employment sectors.

– Personal Development Awards – developing six key areas of personal and employability behaviours to prepare you for the working world.

Why Petroc should be your first choice

Petroc offers high quality education and training across North and Mid Devon. We provide outstanding learning, excellent facilities, strong connections to employers and a supportive environment to help you fulfil your education goals and set you on your path to the career of your dreams.

A group of Petroc students having a conversation


We offer a supportive and inclusive environment where you can flourish and feel a valued member of the college and wider community. 


Our teaching spaces and facilities are some of the best in the region, providing stimulating and true-to-life learning environments. 


We’ll provide you with the experiences you need to be ready for employment or the next step on your educational journey.

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