This year, MyTutor worked with 20 Year 11 pupils from St Benedict’s Catholic High School in Cumbria.
Tutoring sessions helped to boost aspirations, confidence and grades in core subjects. Weekly after-school sessions are already having a positive impact, with 73% of Pupil Premium students on the programme already showing signs of improvement.
Here, we speak to Assistant Headteacher Tessa Bishop to find out about the school’s challenges and the early impact of tutoring.
What challenges are you trying to overcome in your school?
“Our main challenge is boosting achievement and confidence, particularly for our Pupil Premium students. We used MyTutor because they provide personalised, 1:1 support that our teachers wouldn't otherwise be able to offer.”
How did you select the pupils for the programme?
“Most of the students on the programme are Pupil Premium students, but, with the places that were left, we opened the opportunity out to underachieving Year 11 students, too.”
What have been the biggest benefits for your pupils?
“It’s so beneficial for the pupils as it’s an hour of total dedicated focus, with no distractions.
“Because they’ve got headphones and someone on the other end of the computer, they’re completely focused. There aren’t other kids, phones, TV or radio causing distractions.
“And, to be distraction-free for an hour, purely focused on revision and learning, is really valuable. Around three-quarters of our Pupil Premium students are showing significant signs of improvement after just 5 weeks.
“The pupils love being able to use the recordings afterwards too, as it helps them with their revision.”
How has pupil engagement been?
“The feedback I’ve had from pupils has been really positive. Other teachers have also told me how much pupils love it. When other teachers walk past the sessions in action they’re impressed with how engaged the pupils are!
“Some were quite nervous about talking to someone they didn’t know to begin with, but they’ve soon overcome this. I can see them settling down much quicker in the sessions now they’re more familiar with the tutors.
“One pupil was particularly nervous about starting the programme initially, but now she enjoys it. After her first session, it was clear she’d been learning but enjoying it at the same time. Later in the term, we’re going to run a pupil voice survey to get pupils’ thoughts about the programme in more detail.”
What would you say to other schools considering MyTutor?
“We’d definitely recommend using MyTutor to other schools. The running of the weekly sessions has been smooth. We like being able to upload resources for tutors and can easily keep track of how everyone is performing.
“The sessions are one of the favourite parts of my week – 20 pupils working independently, engaging with their tutors and enjoying their learning.”
What are your next steps with MyTutor?
“We’re looking to include MyTutor in our strategic statement for Pupil Premium students next year, as we can see it’s having a positive impact.
“I’d like to start running the programme at the beginning of Year 11 so we can get pupils on the right path from the beginning of the year. We’ll have the end of year results from Year 10 and we can focus on key areas for them to improve ahead of exams.”
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