We’re working with Selston High School in Nottingham, to provide 1:1 tuition support in English for Year 11s.
Here, we speak to Assistant Head, Steve Taylor, to find out why engaging with tutors – offering a different voice and mentorship – has benefited so many pupils.
What was your biggest challenge?
“English was an area that we were looking to improve – as outcomes weren’t where we wanted them to be,” says Steve. “We needed something that would provide some extra help for our pupils.
“We wanted to support under-achieving Year 11s in particular, most of whom are our more vulnerable pupils.”
How do you make targeted interventions effective?
“The needs of our pupils change with every cohort, and so the challenges we face with trying to support them are multi-faceted.
“We’ve found that progress for vulnerable pupils tends to deteriorate as they move through the school. We’re constantly looking at how we can best support our pupils to get the best outcomes in the long term.
“We evaluate everything we do, bottle the things that are working, and abandon those that aren’t. With MyTutor, the pupils seem to engage well, which is great.”
What have been the biggest benefits of using MyTutor?
“We’ve found MyTutor to be effective because it offers each pupil a different voice, a different person, and a different experience to what they normally get with their teacher.
“We use it in areas where pupils need most the improvement – as it reinforces learning and helps pupils to retain knowledge. Lessons are personalised to pupils’ individual needs."
"I think it helps that it’s online too. Teens are inherently internet and technology savvy, so anything they can engage with in that format tends to motivate them.”
What’s the feedback from pupils and teachers been like?
“Our most engaged pupils feel very positively about their tutoring,” says Steve. “They’re motivated and feeling more confident as they move towards exams.
“Many pupils have said that it’s definitely worthwhile and that they’ve gained new knowledge, skills and a better understanding of their subject.
“We have one particular pupil who asked to be on the programme. She has said that it’s been helpful and unlocked a door for her in terms of understanding and confidence.
"Teachers have said there’s been some great work done in class due to the extra provision, and they can see signs of improved sophistication in writing, and of understanding specific texts. So we’ve had positive feedback from staff as well. ”
How have pupils found the tutors?
“The fact that tutors are largely students currently studying at university, is a real positive. With 20-year-olds talking to 16-year-olds, there’s a sense that the tutors are within touching distance of the pupils’ peer group. That’s powerful. The fact that it’s not a teacher, it’s somebody else nearer in age, is a unique offering.
“Tutors have also been good at troubleshooting on the spot and offering a different approach. They’ve helped us set up the areas of development at the start of each programme, but then the pupils will also tell their tutor what they’re struggling with. The ongoing personalisation is great.”
Would you recommend MyTutor to other schools?
"Yes, we'd recommend to other schools. Overall, it's been a very positive experience for us."
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