STEPS 1 – Learning for Living

This study programme is for students who have severe or 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.

***Applications for full-time courses to start in September 2022 are now open!***

Application for this course are made by the ‘Apply Online’ button located further down the page.

If you are looking to start, or are a parent/guardian of a learner looking to start in September 2022, then bookings for our popular October Open Events are also open.

October Open Events

Course Objectives

Learning for Living course 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

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 equipment, independent living bungalow, specialist workshops and facilities to support the development of horticultural skills*.

Students will have the opportunity to follow a personalised learning programme within Foundation Learning. Key components include the development of the following:

  • Communication
  • Cognitive and IT Skills
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Shopping and Cooking
  • Using the Local Community
  • Art and Craft
  • Enterprise
  • Sports and Leisure
  • Drama/Music
  • Horticulture

*Please note: Resources/facilities may vary between campuses.

Entry Requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this programme. 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: Learning for Living 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!

We have also prepared a step-by-step video guide – please view this video which will guide you through the application process.

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 and prices 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. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

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.