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Validating life skills learning through Personal Progress

“At post-16 level, we offer ASDAN’s Personal Progress (PP) Entry 1 qualification,” said Kirsty Hodge, Post-16 Manager at Portesbery School, Camberley, Surrey.

“I created a curriculum for the learners based on life skills and functional skills and we were looking for a qualification to validate that learning. We looked at the courses offered by various awarding bodies but the one that was the best fit for my life skills curriculum was PP. I wanted to avoid a situation where we were ticking boxes merely to achieve a qualification – all of PP is about teaching great life skills that are relevant and meaningful for the learners.”

Portesbery School recently started offering ASDAN’s Personal and Social Development (PSD) qualification for their more academically able post-16 cohort. PSD is available at Entry 1,2 and 3, while Levels 1 and 2 are used by mainstream students.

“We are running PSD for some Entry 1 pupils alongside PP,” said Kirsty. “It means we can push our more academic learners and if they don’t achieve the standards, they have the safety net of PP and being able to pick up a certificate at that level.”

At Key Stages 3 and 4, the school delivers Transition Challenge (TC), which supplements National Curriculum-based learning. TC is used to record the students’ progress and provide a certificate acknowledging learners’ achievements.

“We make a big fuss when the learners are awarded their certificates, whether it’s for PP, PSD or TC,” said Kirsty. “It boosts the students’ confidence. When I first discovered ASDAN courses, I found that the organisation specialised in the very type of learning that I was striving to achieve with my pupils – life skills. ASDAN is very much on our wavelength.”

Caption: Students undertaking Personal Progress at Portesbery School learn how to make their home healthy and safe by taking part in domestic activities