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Key Skills

This page contains materials to help you with the key skills qualifications offered within colleges. Interesting thingymejiggys, as they can be useful with a bit of perspective slapped on top. If you already have good GCSE grades these qualifications are a waste of time. They are also a waste of time if you are taking a course that teaches the stuff you'd learn with key skills.

Go straight to where you want using the links:

Communication
ICT
Maths

However, if you look at them with prior knowledge of this kinda stuff then they can be snazzy-tastic (good). If you want to go to university (you're mad you are) then you can get UCAS points that help you get there. UCAS points aren't as good as Barnes points which don't actually exist but they're alright I spose (suppose). You get 10 points (yah) for a level 2 course, 20 for level 3 & 30 for level 4. Just don't tell the teachers you want to do level 4 as they will shoot you with a potato gun and throw rice pudding at you. I've done it & the rice pudding just doesn't work without the jam.

Also you can use these silly courses to do/learn stuff you can't elsewhere. The only reason I did them was because I fancied the teacher. & yes i still fancied her when I noticed her facial hair. Does this make me a bad person (yes the crowd cheers whilst showering me with lemon & marmite custard).

For example I improved my public speaking/presentation skills, my creative writing and know the proper layout of a letter which I used to fool some kid's parents into thinking he is a genius. Who says he isn't. Neither me or my dodgy letters do; thus he is a brainbox.

The following sections contain my great work plus other stuff that is going to help you pass quicker than the teachers can cope with. They say they're teachers, but where's the evidence? That's all i'm saying. I recommend as my History teacher (genius) informed me "writing in your own words means that you have to actually understand to be able to form the final work". I am paraphrasing a bit (improvising) but his lesson stuck with me and has resulted in me producing high quality work in every field due to the efficiency of the method.

Ponder this... I produced a film script for my English course (A grade) and you can learn the general rules of scripting by editing it into something completely different. So different in fact that trained teachers (whatever that means) can't recognise anything but an original piece of work. I did this with a whole essay last year and tried not to laugh as the teacher applauded my knowledge. I had the knowledge but the work was pompous pointless rubbish. A good decision was made methinks. When you use my work in this way your structure will be complete instantly and you can get creative (oh yeah).

Communication

Communication is simple, which is why most teachers make it as difficult as possible. I had all my work done for level 3 within 2 months of starting the course and proceeded to help teach other students. However, the level 3 exam has the most insane time limit ever e.g. I can do the work to at least a level 4 standard but can't write quickly enough. So levels are about speed are they? Luckily i'm having a piston engine fitted to my arm next week that will help me get my doctorate in pompous stupidity. Then I can make up stupid systems. great :) 

I'm here to make this simple. To pass this qualification you need to:

  • Take part in a group discussion
  • Do a presentation for more than 8 minutes e.g. talk about something you love
  • Find 2 documents over a 1,000 words each on the same subject and summarise them into one document
  • Write 2 different types of documents e.g. a letter & an essay, about different subjects with 1 of them being more than a 1,000 words.

By doing this you are automatically making your work up to level 3 standard. Thus, you will save lots of time, learn faster & definately pass level 2 because you are too good. This method is great but watch out for the leeches (teachers). As this is when you ask to do level 4 and they get scared (hee hee). It's time for a Barnes lesson (say that whilst grinning and they run away).

Here's my work, use it with bravado:

Nintendo PowerPoint Presentation The early history of the Apple Macintosh
Playtime is over - Publisher The History of ICT & Today's E-Commerce
Serious Letter The 39 Steps - essay - final
Funny Letter Comm,media,image analysis overview
39 steps planning notes1 39 steps planning notes2
39 steps planning notes3 39 steps planning notes4
39 steps - reviews, details 39 steps - reviews, details2
39 steps - period context

For the discussion part of the course I used a news article from www.arabnews.com as it had a subject (war in iraq) which I had a lot of views on. I knew that it could be talked about for a substantial period of time which is one of the requirements of that section. You can use anything like this.

ICT

According to the (insert snoring noise here) official booky wook guidelines thingymejig you have to include the following stuff:

  • ICT3.1 - Search for information, using different sources, and multiple search criteria in at least one case e.g. Google advanced search. Various search engines, using sources such as books, magazines & people as well as the Internet is also recommended.
  • ICT3.2 - Enter and develop the information and derive new information e.g. a spreadsheet
  • ICT3.3 - Present combined information such as text with image, text with number, image with number e.g. a PowerPoint presentation

For level 3 you need to do 2 different tasks that collectively encompass all 3 of the criteria mentioned above. A spreadsheet & a presentation will cover this although it could be covered in other ways (with a database for example). Here's the work I did and yes some of it is the same as the Communication work. I joined those 2 subjects in some ways thus saving time whilst raising the quality for both subjects.

Nintendo PowerPoint Presentation Nintendo's consolidated results - Spreadsheet
Where I saved my files Sources - Nintendo Presentation
Sources - History of Computers Advanced Internet Search Evidence

Apparently you should also send an email to your teacher (leech) and attach some files as this proves something. Screen-printing this is also useful.

Maths

On the subject of the maths bit the leech had and probably still has issues. I recommend 5 years in therapy for him. He gave us an assignment that was blantantly wrong which could be seen from the criteria. Luckily I can read and so could he 1 year too late. Just goes to show that if you waste your time feeling important and/or passing bad feelings onto others, you will mess up. Anyway, to make sure you get it right first time check out the QCA guidelines at www.qca.org.uk. These guidelines are for level 3. QCA made this stuff up, so they are a good place to go for key skills info. All Key Skills Guidelines can be found using the preceeding link.

The best website I found for this subject is www.mathsrevision.net. This site has everything clearly explained for every part of of the Maths GCSE and A-level as well. Thus it is perfect for this purpose and for many others. I recommend saving the whole site (like I did) and using it as your first point of reference. Another good thing is Dr Math It's a forum that appears to have comprehensive answers to questions not answered in books. I found several real life college questions answered here so check it out.

A quick bunch of words on maths. It is a thought projected by the Barnes Institute that much of maths is rubbish. A lot of what is taught to you at school & college will never be of any use to you. & the old/new rule of fun & useful things being easier to learn applies. Long division does not exist in the real world. There are uses for maths as there have always been but they are very subject specific.

In electronics resistances must be calculated, in engineering you have to work things out before making them & spreadsheets are very useful for businesses and people. Project management has an odd system that still doesn't fit in my head where you calculate the days the project will take. In my experience the project will be finished in less time than it takes to plan. So what is the point? There is no point, that's my point.

Some maths is useful everyday for estimating various things. If you practise a lot you can work out multiple scenarios and what you will do when 1 of them happens, if only 1 of them happens. However, if you have done some maths then take the right course or the right job and develop things from there. & if anyone ever tried to make you feel stupid then take it as a compliment. You have a creative mind that is capable of far more than them. Laugh whilst they box themselves into a boring job and fail to change anything. Ha Ha Ha.