Key skills has been a flop

6th April 2001 at 01:00
I am a 17-year-old student taking four AS-levels at Poynton high school where there is a lack of interest in key skills as Steve Hook mentions ("Fears that key skills curriculum will flop", FE Focus, March 2).

I have attended few key skills lessons. This is due to several factors. I have only two hours of free time a fortnight in school. I also face a heavy workload. This is because subject tutors are unsure of the amount of work demanded for the new AS-levels. Most have opted for a "better safe than sorry" policy: setting us an equally heavy workload to that of their previous A-level students who took fewer subjects. This has encouraged students to miss key skills lessons.

Another huge factor in students' lack of interest in key skills is that they appear pointless. They have little value when applying to higher eucation both in terms of points and the value that universities are likely to attach to them. It is also debatable whether employers will understand or value yet another new qualification.

I feel that key skills need restructuring. In lessons on the application of number we go over the same material we covered in the higher-level maths GCSE course. Having achieved a grade B at that level I do not find it important to go over that same ground. The time could be better spent on my AS subjects.

By the same token I feel I am wasting my time in communications lessons when three of my AS subjects are drama, English language and English literature.

Until these problems are addressed I cannot see students taking an interest in key skills.

Ellie Robinson

26 Market Street



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