About the courses

Length of Course:
1- 2 years, depending on ability and readiness

Literacy foundation
Entry level
Functional Skills
GCSE Language and Literature

Exam Boards: 

English classes are taught in personalised 1:1 and 2:1 classes with qualified teachers who plan individualised teaching to suit the needs and interests of each child.

As students increase their competence in literacy they become more confident about progressing to their chosen workplace or further education course.

gateways provides a wide and varied curriculum for all ages and abilities ranging from basic skills up to GCSE. For many students, who have been out of education for a long time, the entry level and functional skills courses are a gentle and non-threatening transition back into learning, whilst giving them essential skills to help navigate the challenges of independent living and working.

Whether you require top up support or a complete curriculum delivery, gateways is dedicated to tailoring support to meet the needs of every student.

Teaching staff have a wealth of experience and are committed to addressing not only students’ learning needs but also their overall well-being.


Basic Literacy

The basic literacy course is designed for students who have been out of education and is non-accredited, the curriculum typically focuses on fundamental skills necessary for reading, writing, and communication. The goal is to build a solid foundation in literacy without the pressure of formal assessments or accreditation. The topics covered may include:

  • Phonics and Pronunciation: Learning how to sound out words and recognise letter sounds to improve reading skills.
  • Vocabulary Building: Expanding vocabulary by learning new words, their meanings and how to use them in context.
  • Reading Comprehension: Developing the ability to understand, interpret and infer texts, including simple stories, articles and instructions.
  • Handwriting: Learning and practising correct letter formation and handwriting techniques to improve legibility and writing skills.
  • Grammar and Punctuation: Understanding the basic rules of grammar and how to use punctuation marks correctly in writing.
  • Spelling: Learning common spelling rules and strategies to spell words correctly.
  • Sentence Structure: Exploring sentence construction, subject-verb agreement, and basic sentence types.
  • Paragraph Writing: Composing simple paragraphs to express thoughts and ideas coherently.
  • Listening and Speaking: Developing basic listening and speaking skills, including clear pronunciation and effective communication.

Entry Level Certificate

Edexcel Entry Level Certificate is a one – two year course, designed as an entry level alternative to, or route towards, GCSE study.

Although mainly studied by 14-16 year old students, the Edexcel Entry Level Certificate is open to a wide range of learners, including adults returning to education and people with special educational needs.

Regular assessments ensure students ongoing progress and comprehension of course material, offering real-time feedback to guide their learning journey.

Completion of practical, hands-on assignments to apply knowledge in real-world scenarios, developing valuable skills for everyday life.

Externally set non-exam tasks.

Functional Skills level 1 & 2

Functional Skills qualifications in English are a set of essential, practical assessments designed to equip students with the fundamental language and communication skills necessary for everyday life and the workplace.

These qualifications focus on reading, writing, and speaking and listening skills, emphasizing their application in real-world situations.

By fostering proficiency in areas such as understanding written materials, composing clear and coherent texts and effectively communicating ideas, Functional Skills in English enables individuals to navigate their personal and professional lives with confidence and competence.

Whether it’s reading and interpreting instructions, drafting professional emails, or engaging in effective conversations, these qualifications provide learners with valuable linguistic tools to excel in various contexts.

Functional Skills level 2 qualification is an equivalent to a pass at GCSE.

Reading and writing exam and a speaking and listening assessment.

English Language GCSE

At gateways GCSE’s can be taken at any age and can be delivered over a 1–2-year period depending on abilities.

GCSE English involves comprehensive evaluations of reading, writing, speaking and listening abilities, providing a solid foundation in English language, equipping students with critical communication and analytical skills necessary for further academic pursuits and future career opportunities.

This qualification assesses students’ reading and writing skills, as well as their ability to analyse and evaluate texts.

GCSE English qualifications are a vital benchmark for students and serve as a steppingstone toward higher education and professional development.

Assessment Examinations: The qualification consists of two written examination papers, which are typically taken at the end of the course. These exams are designed to assess students’ reading and writing skills. Non-Examination Assessment (NEA): This component includes a spoken language study, where students are required to present and discuss a topic. The NEA is internally assessed and externally moderated.

English Literature GCSE

In this course, students will explore the themes, characters, and contexts that shape some of the most iconic literary works in the English language.

From Shakespearean drama to modern novels, our curriculum covers a wide array of texts, allowing you to develop critical thinking, communication skills, and a deep understanding of the human experience through the written word.

With a focus on both prose and poetry, our English Literature GCSE programme will not only prepare you for the examination but also foster a lifelong love for reading and literature.

Assessment Examinations: The qualification consists of two written examination papers, which are typically taken at the end of the course.

Meet the English education team



Lorna - English