Ivel Valley

KS5 Courses and Accreditation

Accreditations at Ivel Valley College 

At Ivel Valley College we have made the decision to invest time and resources into offering accreditations that not only support our students’ pathways into further education, employment or training, but also develop the functional skills necessary for everyday life. 

As such, we do not offer GCSEs, which tend to focus on the more theoretical aspects of learning, but rather functional skills in Maths, English and Digital Skills through Pearson Qualifications:


Levels offered

Functional Skills Maths

Entry Level 1 to Level 2

Functional Skills English

Entry Level 1 to Level 2

Digital Functional Skills

Entry Level 3 and Level 1

We have a broad and well sequenced curriculum that equips our learners such that they are typically ready to sit exams in these subjects in Key Stage 4 and continue to progress up the levels in Key Stage 5 at our college site until they leave us at the end of Year 14. 

The functional aspect of learning in these subjects is practised in real life situations from day to day as our learners engage in a very active curriculum that sees them involved in the community throughout each week in activities such as travel training, shopping, eating out, supporting local groups, enterprise projects and hosting events for external businesses.

The relationship between Functional Skills and GCSEs is as follows:

Functional Skills Level



Level 2

A* to C

Grade 4 to 9

Level 1

D to G

Grade 1 to 3

Entry 3


Entry 2


Entry 1


Examinations take place in summer each year and we only enter students who have a good chance of passing so that we maintain learner confidence and momentum of success. Our students are assessed online using BKSB (Basic Key Skills Builder) so that we can carefully monitor progress and identify gaps in their knowledge.

Most of our students who gain these qualifications with us will move onto further education at either North Herts College or Bedford College where a range of courses are available to cater for all qualification levels, including pre-entry (in the case of NHC) where they can continue with maths and English.

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