Do you want to improve your English skills while gaining a qualification that could help you in the future? 

It doesn't matter if you are a beginner, English isn't your first language, or you are looking to gain your GCSE qualification. 

We offer a wide range of courses to suit every ability.

Whether you are aiming to gain GCSE English or are considering feeling your way into developing your literacy skills, we have a course to suit, with all the steps in between.

There are two types of English course:

  • Accredited - courses that lead to a nationally recognised qualification
  • Non-accredited - courses that can extend and build skills between accredited courses, or ones that are studied for the joy of learning something new, such as Creative Writing.  

New courses are added over the year, so it is worth checking regularly.

We offer a Reader/Writer Development Programme for first steps into literacy, with high levels of support and small classes. The English Skills Awards provide qualifications at an early stage and support progress through the Entry levels of English Functional Skills. New for this year, "Stepping Stones Level 1", bridges the jump up from Functional Skills Entry Level 3 to Level 1. Functional Skills English Levels 1 and 2 are both qualifications that are widely recognised by employers. Level 2 or English GCSE are often essential for access to further or higher education. We also offer short "Step-Up" courses to introduce new qualifications and help you develop skills ready for the next step. 

In response to the Covid 19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown we have developed an effective on-line or blended (a mix of face-to face and online) offering for learners. This has been hugely popular and is now standard in our programme for 2020-2021. Please check what is being offered across the county.

Our centre managers and their friendly teams will support you with finding the best level of course, through chatting with you about your previous experience, finding out what you are hoping to gain and supporting you through the induction process. Part of this is to complete an initial assessment - we offer a number of methods, depending on the level of the course and the needs of the individual. For additional needs we can offer one-to-one support. More information can be found below on initial assessment and the benefits of this process.

Our experienced and enthusiastic tutors offer you excellent levels of support and work with you to set and track realistic, but challenging personal targets. These targets help you to measure your own progress and stretch yourself further.  Classes are usually small, allowing our tutors to offer personalised support to each learner.  This supportive and learner-focused process has resulted in excellent achievement rates across both English and mathematics.  We regularly achieve results that are much higher than the national average. This is testimony to the hard work of both tutors and learners and we are rightly very proud of this successful collaboration. We pride ourselves on always striving to improve.

We have learners who have learned to read and write with us and who are now sharing stories with their grandchildren, as well as learners who have achieved Level 2 Functional Skills or GCSE English, allowing them to sign up to their chosen degree course.

Why not join one of our classes? You will not regret your decision! Contact your local friendly team for more information and to arrange an initial assessment.

  • Learn or refresh the basics and improve your skills and knowledge;
  • Develop your English skills to assist you in your everyday and working life;
  • Develop an interest or passion for reading, writing - or both;
  • Establish your own starting point and work to achieve your personal goals;
  • Gain widely recognised qualifications that are valued by employers;
  • Improve other transferable skills such as independent working skills, time-keeping and many more.
Learner Comments / Case Study
"Tim is a learning on the Stepping Stones English Skills programme, Tim is in his early 50s.  He joined one of our Reader Development groups in August 2018.  He told me that he didn't believe he could ever improve the standard of his reading and writing, due to dyslexia and significant memory problems. Tim enrolled on the Stepping Stones E1 course at the end of October 2018.  Much to his own amazement, by May 2019, he had passed all six assessments for Stepping Stones.  He has now moved on to Functional Skills English E1 and will progress on to Stepping Stones E2, later next year.
Through a specialist assessment and expert advice provided by Learning Support; the help of an experienced Learning Support Assistant (a retired head teacher); trying out different strategies to find the one that fits and his own hard work, Tim has achieved what he never thought was possible.  He knows that he can read and write and is starting to believe in himself.   He recently passed the motorbike theory test and his next goal is to pass the assessment to work as a security guard."   
"Emma first chose to attend a family learning course to help my children with their maths and English homework, as I found a lot of the syllabus had changed since I had attended school. At the same time I also wanted to challenge myself as well as improve my own knowledge, especially on the maths side as this a subject I struggled a lot more with than English which I also wanted to freshen up at the same time. The main difference I have noticed since attending these courses with my children is that I am a lot more confident with my maths, which I have struggled with in the past. Since attending the family learning courses, I have obtained my Level 2 in English through my employer and my Levels 1 and 2 in maths through attending the functional skills with Adult Learning. Currently I am in the process of doing the GCSE maths course."
Online Learning Information
We are passionate about helping people to achieve their full potential and believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to continue learning throughout their life. 
We are now able to offer a range of real time, learner focused, high quality, online learning. Just have a look at what is on offer across the county!
Our online courses are being delivered via Zoom, a secure online platform. You will be supported to access Zoom via a set of instructions supplied by your centre once your place on a course is confirmed. If you have any queries contact your local Adult Learning Centre and our staff will be happy to help. Please join us as we embark on this fascinating journey!
Take a look at our Learn Online section to view the full range of courses on offer.