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Achievements of adult learners captured in flexible programme

Social care provider Sense Scotland started delivering ASDAN’s Towards Independence to recognise and celebrate the skills and knowledge of learners aged 18 and over. Currently more than 40 learners are undertaking the programme in locations across the country including Glasgow, Dundee, Fife and Aberdeenshire.

“Many of our learners achieve things you would never have expected, whether it is doing woodwork, undertaking activities in the community, holding events or learning to play a musical instrument,” said Anne Sutherland, Sense Scotland ASDAN Co-ordinator.

“We wanted to find a flexible and engaging course that would enable the accomplishments of learners, some of whom have profound learning difficulties, to be recognised and certificated. Towards Independence has been a great programme for us that’s met our needs.”

Huge increase in confidence

Anne said the course has had a significant impact on learners. “All of our learners have benefitted from the ASDAN course and we’ve seen huge increases in confidence and the development of life skills.

“One student – a shy young man with Down’s syndrome – wouldn’t even look at me when he first started Towards Independence, such was his lack of confidence and communication skills. He has since made significant progress and is now communicating with his peers, taking part in group discussions and producing work he is proud of. These days, he even gives me high fives, says my name and is pleased to see me. He’s come a long way since the beginning of his course.”

Helping every learner make progress

One of the most beneficial aspects of the course, said Anne, are ASDAN’s ‘levels of support’. These show how the learner has achieved the activity and the progression they make as they move from one task to the next. It enables Anne and her team to provide differentiation and stretch each learner according to their capabilities.

Anne said the flexibility of Towards Independence allows for educators to personalise the learning, which creates a high level of engagement. “Many of them have already done five or six modules and are keen to do more.”

She added: “Towards Independence is easy to deliver and it generates great enthusiasm from the learners.”