MyTutor worked with a large group of pupils at The Ravensbourne School in Bromley, Kent, to provide extra support in Maths and Science.
Alongside other initiatives, including better tier allocation for pupils, our 1:1 tutoring programme helped the pupils to make huge leaps in confidence and progress – turning U grades into strong passes.
The challenge was to help pupils across the school's weakest subjects in terms of performance - Maths and science.
The Ravensbourne School largely focused on pupils who were previously high attainers but were, at the time, under-performing.
"While this was partly due to some of them being on the wrong tier for their level, a lot of it was also about confidence - which MyTutor helped to build back up," explains Marc Naylor, Deputy Headteacher.
The school enrolled 70 pupils on the programme, 38 of which were tutored in Maths, and 23 in Science on a 1:1 basis.
For Science, they ran a six-week programme, split between Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with specialist tutors in those areas.
The school has seen an overwhelmingly positive impact as a result of the tutoring, with pupils calling out how helpful the lessons were.
The most significant impact was that tutoring helped pupils (who were previously predicted U-grades) to achieve strong passes in the core subjects.
"Every pupil in our Maths programme started with a U grade," says Marc. "Of those who went on to take the GCSE foundation paper, 69% chivied a Grade 4, and 41% achieved Grade 5+."
"We also saw this fantastic level of progress in Science, where 64% of foundation pupils achieved Grade 4, and 92% of those who took the higher paper also achieved Grade 5+."
For one Year 11 pupil, tutoring Maths and Science was integral in her achieving a place on her midwifery course. "She was passionate about wanting to become a midwife, but she was on U grades for both subjects," says Marc.
"On results day, she came to see me to show me her results. She'd got Grade 6s across the board, which meant she could take the courses she needed to do to progress her career - and she's now on course to study midwifery. So the tutoring has made a transformative difference to her life."
Positive engagement and advocacy
Pupils have reported that tutors explained things well, and were happy to go back and re-cover any areas that they didn't fully understand. "I've spoken to several pupils that have come back after the summer, and they unanimously said 'It helped loads, I'm so glad I did it'."
"I'm now in the fortunate position where we can recruit pupils for the next programme, I have several post-16 students who have already volunteered to be advocates for MyTutor - and to stand up and present to their fellow students about why they should participate," says Marc.
The school realised that parental buy-in for MyTutor was paramount. So, following a parents' evening, they gave parents a form inviting them to attend a briefing event on the tuition programme the following week - and to sign up their children.
"The majority of parents were more than happy to sign up straight away, as we pitched it to them as effectively getting hours' worth of tuition for free!" says Marc.
"We ran the lessons after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and we operated a 'two-strikes' policy where, if pupils failed to attend two sessions, we withdrew them from the programme."
Top tip or a word of advice from the school
"The focused, individualised nature of the tuition is one of the biggest benefits. For these pupils, who don't often get 1:1 attention, it gives them a tailored level of support.
"They have the same tutor each week and they develop a strong relationship and rapport - and it's this that builds confidence and helps them improve."
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