English and maths learning – resources & tools (A to K)

Resources & tools

A to L | M to Z

Please tell us about any resources not included here that you think would be useful for other unions to know about using this online form.

BBC Skillswise

BBC SkillswiseFree English and maths resources broken down by topic, nearly everyone in our research group felt that Skillswise offers accessible supplementary learning resources.

The site is highly interactive, and includes quizzes, videos, and games, so there is plenty of variety to keep learners interested.

E, M, F, ER, LSR, ULR, LC (Key)


BKSBLearning resources, including online tools and workbooks, which can be accessed by purchasing a twelve month licence. These can be used for preparation for either functional skills or GCSE assessments.

Our research indicates that these resources can be especially useful for learning centre workers who are less-experienced teachers, to provide a structured programme for their learners, and provide ongoing feedback.

The BKSB resources are focused on preparing for assessments - and several practitioners recommended using additional support resources to complement them, and provide a broader learning experience. A free trial is available on the site.

E, M, C, FS, LC (Key)

Citizen Maths

Citizen MathsOnline maths learning that offers a new approach to learning maths, breaking down into five thematic parts (three currently available, two more to launch in spring 2016) designed to tackle the practical use of maths in everyday life.

This is an extremely flexible and interactive resource as learners can choose which parts they wish to focus on, when to start and how quickly to work through. Once registered learners can return to review materials at any time. The materials are set at level 2, so this is suitable for learners wishing to brush-up, or those wanting to build on level 1 skills. Learners gain online badges in recognition of their participation.

The site includes some detailed guidance on its suitability, including a questionnaire for potential learners to self-assess against, before deciding if they wish to proceed.

M, F, LSR, ULR, LC (Key)


Dictionary.comA useful supplementary resource for English learners, this site comprises an online dictionary and thesaurus, with a translation tool and interactive games.

Includes a blog with articles on commonly confused or misused words.

E, F, LSR, ULR, LC (Key)

English for everybody

English for EverybodyAimed primarily at ESOL learners, this site contains multimedia lessons graded from beginner to advanced.

It also features tests, games, book reviews and a section on improving written English, which some respondents reported native English speakers had found useful too.

E, F, LSR, LC (Key)

Excellence Gateway

Excellence GatewayThe Education and Training Foundation's (ETF) resources portal, this site provides a range of freely accessible resources for learning providers. There is a searchable database of English, maths and ESOL resources that can be useful for learning centres supporting these learners.

Once registered for an account, users can start building a collection of the available resources, which include initial and diagnostic assessment tools, and learning planning tools.

There are also some interactive online lessons, sorted by learning level, which learners can use to develop and practise their skills.

E, M, LSR, LC (Key)

For Skills

For SkillsA suite of online resources including screening, initial assessments, diagnostics and learning resources, all designed around achievement of Functional Skills qualifications. Organisations can purchase an annual licence with the number of credits they need for anticipated learner demand, so For Skills will primarily be of use to learning centres with a large number of learners and adequate funding support.

One of our respondents recommended For Skills on the basis of the quality of the materials and learning management functionality for both learners and administrators.

E, M, FS, IA, LC (Key)

Future Learn

Future LearnFree courses in a range of subjects, which may be useful for learner engagement in English and maths.

The site provides a gateway to the learning, which is delivered online by a variety of international learning providers in partnership with the Open University.

The courses run on specific dates, so learners need to be able to start and finish according to the timetable set by the provider. Certificates of participation are available and, for some courses, learners can sit an exam at one of many OU local centres.

E, M, F, ER, ULR, LC (Key)

Khan Academy

Khan AcademyThis site offers free learning in a range of subjects, including maths. Although Khan Academy is a US-based organisation, so the courses map to American qualifications, unions reported using it for supporting maths learners.

In particular, we received favourable comments about the progression that the site offers, from very basic to advanced level maths. The site offers instructional videos with practice exercises, and there are discussion boards for learners to raise questions.

Once registered, learners can access a personalised learning dashboard to keep track of learning, which can take place at the learner's own pace. Additionally, the site offers a 'coaching' facility, which ULRs or learning centre workers could potentially use to support learners, access resources and reference materials.

M, F, ULR, LC (Key)

Learn My Way

Learn My WayThis site includes initial assessment for English and maths with signposting to further resources, links to the digital champions online course, links to English My Way centres (delivering blended learning for ESOL) and basic ICT skills online, with a range of useful units covering subjects like online banking, shopping, job-hunting etc.

It is presented in an accessible way and several of our respondents reported using it with new learners.

E, M, F, ER, IA, ULR, LC (Key)

E = English resources M = Maths resources
F = Free FS = Can be used to prepare for Functional Skills assessments
ER = Engagement Resources LSR = Learning Support Resources that can be used to supplement course work or tutor-led sessions
IA = Initial Assessment tool ULR = Recommended for ULRs to use/signpost learners to
LC = Recommended for Learning Centre staff or tutors with experience of supporting English and maths learners.