You’ve decided on your course aims; you’ve recruited learners; you’ve met them and done the first session; what next?

Hopefully in that first session you gathered some information from your learners, whether through an initial assessment activity or a more informal discussion. But what happens to that information now?

For most of us, it’s easy for the detailed information about your new group to be slightly lost among the various pressing concerns of everyday life. This is where your group profile comes in. I recently visited a Puppet-making course run by Shaun from Interact Arts and he had used the Group Profile template to excellent effect.

He had made useful comments on the template about the members of the group and this had clearly affected how he had planned the detail of his course, and how he delivered the sessions.

Some examples of the comments (this is for a group of learners with mild-moderate ALDD):

Functional skills:

Can use simple IT equipment / little IT experience / can write but very slow

Soft skills:

Enthusiastic, motivates the group / a great friend to M. / works really well within a team/ seems to doubt himself but can be pushed / loves Michael Jackson

Subject specific experience:

Has seen a puppet show but never made one / has been in a puppet show / never seen a show but very eager / has a book on how to make puppets

Additional support:

Mobility issues in right hand / mobility issues, can’t reach floor

Spending the time to reflect on these comments had clearly helped the tutor to plan the detail of the course in a way that was really supportive to the individuals enrolled, for example making sure the learner with fine motor skills difficulties was supported when using scissors, offering learners the opportunity to use their IT skills, making sure the small groups had a good mix of personalities.

Taking a bit of time as you get to know learners will also mean that you are able to negotiate personalised learning goals with them, whether that is to act as the leader of your small group, to use the computer to access Youtube or to make your puppet in the shape of Michael Jackson! This in turn will encourage learners to engage more with their learning.

Thanks to Shaun and the puppet making group for letting me use the examples!

Festival of learning Awards 2018

… the biggest celebration of lifelong learning in England…

The Festival of Learning serves to highlight the benefits of learning, celebrate achievements of adults who have used learning to transform their lives, and to encourage everyone to embrace lifelong learning.

Award nominations for 2018 will open on Thursday 2 November 2017 and close on Friday 5 January 2018, in a range of categories for learners and tutors.  We hear many stories of outstanding learners who have had success, often against the odds, on ACL courses.

It is well worth nominating a learner – the process is simple – and it a great way to recognise their personal achievements.

Advice for learners Careers service

It’s never too early to think about next steps! Please see the information here about the services offered to all Staffordshire residents by the National Careers Service:



Other interesting reading:

Other blogs I have enjoyed reading recently are:

  • How to organise a project to create an e-book with your group. I recently produced a kind of e-book with my French class. In fact they all had different levels of IT experience and devices so it ended up as a PDF document which I compiled from documents they sent me, but the sense of pride in having contributed to the finished “book” was fantastic! Read the article.
  • A thought provoking short item about thinking hard, and how it’s good to be challenged Read the article
  • The benefits of physical exercise on the brain – my daughter’s primary school teacher has the whole class run around the field twice every day in the middle of the lessons – to get their brains active! I’m not suggested that be rolled out across ACL provision (!), but a little bit of on-your-feet activity is good for everyone.  What would work on your course?  Read the article.

As ever, please leave us a comment or rating if you have found this post interesting or if you want to give us any feedback or suggestions.


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