How is the course structured and graded?
Silver step is achievable at Entry 1 or 2. Students complete two x Component 1; the Spoken Language task comprises of a recorded group discussion, with appropriate responses awarded marks. Reading entails three x linked transactional texts. Writing one piece of transactional writing. One x Component 2 = two literary texts and one piece of creative writing. Each component carries 60 marks (180 altogether).
Gold step is at Entry Level 3 and is a pass or fail. Component balance is as for Silver level. The group discussion is followed with individual presentations/responding to questions and feedback. There are three linked reading tasks, with short form questions. One extended writing task completes the requirement of Component 1. Component 2 comprises of two linked literary texts from 19th, 20th and 21st centuries for reading and one extended piece of creative writing. 180 marks are available as for Silver level. All components are attempted in Controlled Assessment (examination) conditions, in a classroom setting.
Will this course be suitable for me?
This course is designed to stretch, challenge and encourage students who are working at Entry Level. Entry Level courses are suitable for students who are not yet working at GCSE standard. They are intended to enable students to develop the skills needed to read and understand a range of texts, besides writing clearly, coherently and accurately, using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures. Gold step is intended for students who may progress to GCSE or Functional English pathways at Level 1 and 2.
What have other students said about the course?
Students appreciate the flexibility of working in their normal classroom situation. They also comment upon the ability to attempt Controlled Assessments in short 15-20 minute sections. With no examination requirement, students at Entry Level often prefer this learning approach. The fact that the Components are about the same topic area also suits some students’ learning styles.
What could this course lead to?
Silver step (Entry Level 1 or 2) leads directly on to the Gold step (Entry Level 3). Gold step (Entry Level 3) can either lead to GCSE or Functional English at Level 1 or 2.