Foundation Studies


The Foundation Studies department offers full- and part-time courses for students with a wide range of additional learning needs. Each course includes a structured timetable, study support, access to a breakfast club, chill out/quiet rooms, enrichment activities and an introduction to College life and Further Education. Students develop communication skills, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy skills. With this comes improved confidence, personal development and strengthened personal, social and emotional skills required for learning and life.

The department holds employability and progression events with employers and support agencies. The department also runs a variety of enterprise and volunteering activities, participating in competitions at regional and national levels. We entered Channel 4’s Shed of the Year, set up pop up shops, Inspiring Skills, and Disability Wales Football.

Students have learning and skills plans with regular reviews with tutors, parents/carers, careers advisors and other agencies.

Students can progress onto the most appropriate level courses, supported placements or training opportunities. Some student on entry-level programmes will progress into supported living.

The department will identify students’ long-term aims with an initial educational and life skills needs assessment undertaken during the transition and induction process to identify suitable targets and routes for progression.

The courses offer learners an introduction to College and opportunities to sample various vocational areas such as construction, horticulture and catering from which learners will be able to make an informed decision on future progression routes.

Students on all campuses are encouraged to make links with supported employment organisations such as Bspoked, Shine Cymru and Polestone Support Ltd. Work experience over the summer holidays has also been set up through the College’s work-based learning department.

The foundation courses allow students to develop their employability skills by progressing onto vocational gateway programmes.

The foundation department staff have taught a range of vocational subjects and have extensive experience in working with students with additional learning needs.

In 2017/18 over 95% of students progressed to higher-level foundation studies courses, mainstream College courses, supported employment, or voluntary services.

The department is also responsible for the delivery of adult and community learning. English for Speakers of Other Languages courses are available to students who are resident in the UK and want to improve their English skills. Students can work towards a full ‘Skills for Life’ qualification or gain unit certification in areas including grammar, speaking and listening.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for the full list of courses we offer.

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English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

NPTC Group of Colleges has an excellent reputation for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). We are one of the biggest providers in Wales. We will help you to improve speaking, listening, reading and writing in English to enhance your career prospects.

ESOL courses are offered at the following levels:  Entry Level 1, Entry Level 2, Entry Level 3, Level 1 and Level 2. Study ESOL at the right level for you and gain skills, experience and a qualification in your chosen career area.

You will complete exams and gain certificates in City and Guilds, Skills for Life and Agored Cymru units. Full-time and part-time courses are available at the different levels. The courses take place over five days and students can attend up to 16 hours a week. We have evening classes and a number of outreach centres in Powys and Neath Port Talbot. At present, full-time provision is offered at Neath and Newtown Colleges and can be expanded to include Brecon, subject to demand and you can join us at any time of the year. We have a team of highly experienced ESOL lecturers. Some with over 20 years’ experience in teaching ESOL in countries around the world.

Our ESOL courses which focus on the language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Grammar, vocabulary and cultural issues are also a very important part of these courses and students will be able to develop these areas and this will help to increase confidence when communicating with English speakers in different situations.

We organise events for our ESOL students to socialise together and make friends. Our ESOL students feel part of a big family. We have a course that concentrates on English for work – helping with CVs etc.  We hold progression events so that learners can meet with providers and support agencies. Our Newtown full time provision includes a work/enterprise unit where the learners visit different employers. After ESOL some students progress on to mainstream college courses in that subject – others move on to Higher Education or into employment.

If you attend a full-time ESOL course you can join taster sessions for other courses, such as, carpentry etc. You will improve your English skills as well as develop skills in your particular area of interest. Part time students will receive help to improve literacy, numeracy and digital literacy skills with specialist tuition. Additional resources are also available such as computers, iPads and educational software to aid literacy and support additional learning needs.

We also have an IGCSE course available which you can use, instead of IELTS, for University admissions.

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Gateway Level 1 (Full-Time)