Ormiston Sudbury Academy

Providing a lockdown lifeline with online tutoring
Time to read
3 mins

We worked with GCSE and A-Level pupils at Ormiston Sudbury Academy in Sudbury. Through tutoring, we provided extra academic support in Maths and Biology, before and during lockdown. 


The challenge

Ormiston Sudbury Academy started the year by using MyTutor for a 10-week programme with GCSE Pupil Premium students. The pupils had been identified as working around two grades beneath their target grade - predominantly in Maths. 

The key challenge was to increase the grade outcomes and confidence of pupils who needed a boost in particular. "All the pupils were from disadvantaged backgrounds, but with a range of abilities - some high prior attainers, some lower ability," says Vice Principal Dominic Howkins. 

The school also had a second challenge - improving grades across A-Level Business and Biology to give pupils the confidence they needed to take their learning to the next level. 


The programme

Before the lockdown, the school had run all their MyTutor programmes within the school day so that they could monitor attendance and help with any technical issues. 

Teachers also found it beneficial to run the sessions in school from an access perspective - with many of the school's disadvantaged pupils unable to access a laptop at home. 

However, the pandemic forced everyone into a new way of living and learning, and the MyTutor programme during this time helped to supplement pupils' knowledge and reduce learning regression. 


The impact

Based on the school's internal assessments, all of the students on the programme between September and February made progress and engaged with their tutoring well. 


  • Improved grades

Working 1:1 with tutors had a hugely positive effect on pupils' grades. "We had one particular pupil who excelled at working with her tutor," says Dominic. 

"Just before lockdown, we had a set of mocks for Year 11, and she achieved a two-grade increase from the previous set of mocks - which we largely put down to the extra input she'd had from MyTutor." 


  • Increased confidence and understanding 

But, the benefit of MyTutor is about more than just pupils' academic outcomes. This kind of supportive tutoring through lockdown has made a huge difference in pupils' self-esteem and learning. "To have that extra support from MyTutor has been an absolute lifeline for our A-Level pupils in particular," says Dominic. 


The experience 

The school found the programme easy to set up and run. "Obviously there's some initial work to be done to identify the students for the programme, but once you've submitted their names, it's straightforward," says Dominic.

A top tip or word of advice from the school

"We gave our A-Level students autonomy over their lessons. They could switch their days when needed and take the lead on arrangements themselves." 


Have you downloaded our latest Impact Report? Find out how more schools, just like Ormiston Sudbury Academy, are making an impact through online tutoring this year- as well as exclusive insights from our latest teacher and pupil survey, up-to-date funding and programme information. 

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