What is Steps4Life?
It is a holistic and practical assessment framework for post 16 learners to help them to prepare for adulthood. The framework covers academic skills, independence/life skills and employability skills. It supports a wide range of learners, from students with complex needs to students working towards functional skills level 2.
Why did we create Steps4Life?
The aim of Steps4Life is to provide a broad assessment framework that settings can use to prepare individuals for life. Some individuals will be working towards independent living with employment, while others will be working towards semi-independent living, and others will be in supported living.
The 2015 SEND Code of Practice extended the age at which councils must support individuals with an EHCP from 19 to 25 years old. Students who begin using this framework in key stage 4 could be assessed using this framework for 11 years or more. There is a need for professionals working with individuals to show progress as part of the EHCP process. Therefore, the assessment system they use needs to support this. The Steps4Life framework is designed to support professionals in showing how an individual has developed existing skills, learnt new skills or has used skills in different contexts. A student may learn to tell the time within Maths and then apply that skill within daily routines, journeys, socialising, and other areas. Some individuals can transfer skills easily. For others, the transference can take longer to embed.
How does it work?
The framework covers a wide ability range and has 12 levels in total, 7 levels that are the equivalent of P1 to P8, Entry Levels 1, 2 and 3 and RQF Level 1 and 2. It is split into 3 packs predominantly aimed at Post 16, but they can also be used with pupils in key stage 3 and above.
Academic Skills Pack
PSD (including Sex & Relationships)
Life Skills Pack
Employability Skills Pack
Choosing a Job
Getting a Job
Academic Skills Pack – (English, Maths, PSD (including Sex & Relationships), Digital Skills).
Our academic pack has more than just the core English and maths. We believe that, in addition, learners benefit from developing skills and knowledge within the fields of ICT. A proportion of learners with SEND will find computer-based work more motivating and less overwhelming than traditional subjects. It is therefore important to encourage settings to develop this area to help current learners to find work in the future. We’ve also included PSHE because some learners will have social, emotional, or mental health difficulties (SEMH) and will benefit from continuing study within this field.
Life Skills Pack – (Food, Self-Care, Independence, travel).
Life Skills is a huge area! This framework is designed to help individuals enjoy life, not just survive. The world is complicated and is getting more complicated every year. The Government is moving towards digital first across all areas to improve efficiency. Individuals need to understand subscription services, micro transactions on mobile devices, fake news and more. Technology has also changed the way we interact; it has removed several barriers that face people with disabilities and allows them to exist in worlds/communities where their disability doesn’t define them.Individuals need to understand these communities exist and how they can access them. So, we have added sections on getting involved in the local community, using leisure facilities, socialising, online gaming and more. These are often missed out in Government guidance but will help promote lifelong positive mental health.
Employability Skills Pack – (choosing a job, getting a job, rights, workplace skills, workplace routines).
Many learners with SEND will go on to gain purposeful occupation and be able to contribute to their communities in some way. It is important that they are supported in achieving this goal. They need to be able to identify the skills they already possess and may need, identify relevant jobs and be able to find employment. The learners will also need to understand the various aspects and implications of a job, as well as their rights.
Why you need Steps4Life
The majority of settings follow an accreditation system for their curriculum assessment purposes. There are several providers, including ASDAN, Princes Trust, AQA, SQA, OCR and others, that provide accredited qualifications after completing a scheme of work. These schemes of work and qualifications only cover a small part of the curriculum individuals will be following. Accreditation is only appropriate for some areas.
Students with SEND are likely to need support across a wide range of areas. You need an assessment framework that gives you flexibility and allows you to choose what areas your students need help in. You need a system that will enable you to:
- Work towards each students’ EHCP outcomes.
- Shape and develop your curriculum based on your students’ requirements.
- Show progress for learners with SEND across a wide range of areas.
- Effectively track a learner’s progress towards independence.
- Quickly identify a learner’s ‘next steps’ in their progress.
- Save time doing assessments – no need to write your own descriptors.
What our customers say?
“The life skills framework has been an excellent resource to support identifying skills and tracking progress in our cookery lessons as part of our new life skills curriculum.”
Lisa Troughton, SENCO
“Steps4Life breaks down important independence skills into small steps, which makes it easy to assess the skills we previously couldn’t. I also use Steps4Life as a tool to plan next steps for my learners to ensure I am pitching activities at the right level.”
Tamara Riddell, Assistant Headteacher & Upper Department Phase Leader
“Steps4Life has given us the opportunity to identify and focus upon key employability skills in detail and also to plan individual learning programmes using the data to show development of knowledge and skills and to identify potential next steps.”
Helen Hemsley, Deputy Headteacher
Why choose B Squared?
Schools have trusted B Squared for over 25 years. Connecting Steps, our assessment software, is designed to be easy to use and deliver the information needed. Our products are designed to reduce teacher workload, not increase it. The ongoing data you record creates graphs as you go. Sharing assessment information with parents, senior leaders and Governors only takes a few clicks. We have a wide range of assessment frameworks that can be used from birth through to post-16, covering an extremely wide ability range. As students transition from one framework to the next, their skills will transfer over automatically. Skills are also linked between areas, giving a more holistic view of the students’ achievements.
- Over 1/3 of special schools within the UK already use Connecting Steps.
- Designed by SEN teachers for SEN teachers.
- Leading the assessment market for over 25 years.
- More than 500,000 assessments are recorded in our software every week.
- Evisense, our evidence platform, allows you to capture and share student achievements.
WANT TO IMPROVE HOW YOU HELP PUPILS PREPARE FOR ADULTHOOD?
Click on the button to arrange a FREE online meeting to find out how we can help make assessment for pupils in Post-16 eaier.