UPDATE 15.30pm 01/07/2022: Online Applications Update
We are currently experiencing an intermittent availability issue with online applications for full-time courses, apprenticeships and part-time courses. If you are trying to make an application or if you are having trouble logging in, we kindly ask that you try again a few hours later

*This issue does not affect applications for University Centre Colchester Degree level courses

STEPS 1 – Learning for Living

The Steps 1 study programme is for students who have complex learning difficulties and/or disabilities and require very high levels of additional support. The curriculum is varied and designed to enable students to make independent choices, develop their personal and social skills and to communicate effectively.

Delivery is through a student-centred approach involving a wide range of activities. This includes a high volume of practical based sessions, learning in the community and small group work. Students work towards completion of an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) which requires students to work towards achievement of challenging, achievable goals in order to fulfil their potential.

There is access to a wide range of specialist resources and facilities provides exciting opportunities for students to develop their skills in an active environment. Resources include training kitchens, sensory spaces and facilities to support the development of horticultural skills.

***Applications for full-time courses and joint apprenticeship applications will close at midnight on Sunday 3rd July 2022.

If you have not yet made an application then we encourage you to do so before this date, as we are unable to process any applications received after this time.

Course Info
How to make an Application
Course Objectives

The Steps 1 programme aims are achieved by:

  • Developing skills in a wide range of familiar and unfamiliar contexts
  • Empowering students to make choices and communicate these to other people
  • Supporting students to achieve increased levels of social and academic confidence
  • Encouraging students to engage in activities by providing a diverse curriculum
  • Developing students awareness of the world around them
Course Content

Students will have the opportunity to follow a personalised learning programme.

Key components in the Steps 1 study programme include:

Curriculum Theme Course content  
Subject specific/vocational skills
Personal Growth
  • Personal, social and communication skills
  • Digital Skills
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Shopping and Basic Cookery Skills
  • Accessing the Local Community
  • Art and Craft
  • Enterprise
  • Sports and Leisure
  • Enrichment activities
  • English and maths (as appropriate to individual needs of students) *

*Leaning aims for English and maths will be determined by students’ prior attainment and initial assessment.

Pathways include: GCSE (for those who have already achieved a Grade 2 or above); Functional Skills (Entry Level 3 and Level 1); Themed Awards in English and maths (Entry Level 1 – Entry Level 3).  Where appropriate, non-accredited English and maths learning is considered for students who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Entry Requirements

Whilst there are no formal entry requirements for this programme, previous Education records and experience should indicate students can thrive socially and emotionally in a large, complex education setting.  Course offer is subject to a successful interview and initial assessment. In addition, students need to show a commitment and willingness to work towards agreed goals, and participate in all of the course activities.

What Can I Do Next?

Following completion of the STEPS 1 programme it may be possible for students’ to continue their learning at STEPS 1 for a second year or progress on to another STEPS programme.

How to make an Application – Watch our video guide!

***Applications for full-time courses and joint apprenticeship applications will close at midnight on Sunday 3rd July 2022. If you have not yet made an application then we encourage you to do so before this date, as we are unable to process any applications received after this time.
STEPS 1 - Learning for Living
LevelEntry Level
DurationOne Year
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusColchester Campus
Start DateSeptember 2022 - Applications open on 1st October 2021
Fee(s)16-18 year olds: Free
19+: Variable


All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.