Maths – Level 1 Functional Skills

Course Description

Maths is an important skill that you need in everyday life. A key aim for this course is for you to gain confidence and fluency in mathematics and develop a positive attitude towards it. 

At Level 1, you will cover the basic concepts required for work and everyday life. The main areas of study are Number, Fractions, Decimals and Percentages, Measures, Shape and Space, and Handling Data. 

Classes are either online, being delivered in virtual classrooms or at one of our centres. If you join an online class, it is important that you have easy access to a computer/device with the internet. 

At Level 1, there are various course structures:

  • September start year-long - one session (2.5 hours per week)
  • September start Fast Track - two sessions (5 hours per week)
  • February start Fast Track - two sessions (5 hours per week)

Maths will be taught from the first session of the course. All Level 1 courses include a short IT Fundamentals course at the start to maximise participation in learning using digital tools and also a Taster course at the end to help you prepare for the next level. The once weekly L1 September start courses also include a preparation for Level 1 course to build and prepare number skills.

Route to Work 

As part of your programme of learning, we will support you to develop the skills you need to get a job or a better job. Throughout the year, modules covered include Career Planning, All about Money, and Timesheets and Payslips.

Entry Requirement

Your English skills need to be at Entry 3 level or above, and you need to understand some basic maths concepts. There are different entry requirements for the various Level 1 courses throughout the year. For example, if you want to join a Fast Track Level 1 course, your maths will need to be at a higher level than if you join a once weekly course in September.

Initial Assessment

Main courses start in September and February. To gain a place on a course, you must book an initial assessment by phoning the BAES Info Line (0121 303 4318) or one of the BAES centres. Functional Skills initial assessments are carried out face-to-face at a centre. Depending on the results of the assessment, you may be advised to join a different level or course. 

Learning Strategies

In order to cover all of the course content, you will be expected to carry out at least 2 hours of independent study each week.

It is important you attend all required sessions and make time to work at home every week, in order to prepare, practise and consolidate your learning. The Service has on-line subscriptions to MathsWatch and MyMaths, and you can access videos, quizzes and other activities on our BAES Moodle site.

Progress Monitoring

Your progress and attendance will be monitored throughout the course. After the first progress check, you and your teacher will determine if you can cope with the level and amount of work required, and if you have demonstrated good attendance and punctuality, in order to continue with the course. It may be that a more suitable course is recommended.


There is one exam, which includes two papers: a calculator paper and a non-calculator paper. The exam will be in January, May or July and will be carried out at one of our centres. Papers will be marked externally by Pearson Edexcel examiners. 


Maths Functional Skills Level 1 will prepare you for Maths Functional Skills Level 2 or GCSE Maths. If you join a twice weekly Fast Track Level 1 course in September (5 hours per week), you will have the opportunity to join a Level 2 course in February. There will be a short assessment to check whether a Level 2 course is suitable.

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