We’ve worked with Unity City Academy for several years now, with a focus on helping Pupil Premium pupils to build their confidence.
Most recently we supported 75 pupils with 1300 targeted tutoring lessons in GCSE Science, Maths and English. This made a huge difference to pupils' self-belief and potential.
The key challenge for Unity City Academy is to continuously boost pupils- confidence in subjects they're struggling with.
75% of all pupils at the school are Pupil Premium students, which means that most pupils selected for the MyTutor programme are from disadvantaged backgrounds.
"For the majority of these pupils, if a teacher asks a question, they're not going to be the ones who are forthcoming in putting up their hands or shouting out an answer, because they lack self-confidence," says Vice Principle, Scott Danks.
The school's normal timetable is five lessons a day, so they introduced a 'period 6' slot dedicated to MyTutor sessions. This year, the school had just over 70 students on the programme, doing a combination of maths and English.
"The majority are Year 11 students," says Scott. "But we've also added some of our Year 9 pupils onto the programme, to try and start them off earlier and establish MyTutor as 'the norm' for them."
"We've had 1300 hours of tuition across the cohort this year, with an average attendance of 69%, and a handful of students on 100% attendance, which has been a great success story for us," says Scott.
"One of our 100% attendees is a young lady who had to miss a large period of school due to medical reasons - yet she made the time for her MyTutor sessions around her appointments and other commitments, which we felt was a brilliant indication of the high levels of engagement."
After running MyTutor programmes for around four years now, it's evident that the sessions are helping pupils to reach their full potential.
In that time, the school's exam results and grades have increased every single year - "And we're making some of the biggest progress in our local authority," says Scott.
"MyTutor has been a major contributing factor, and having the extra support for our pupils has been a massive help."
High confidence levels
Last year, the school saw a positive impact via their AS (Affective Social) Tracking programme, with pupils reporting higher confidence.
“I think the 1:1 format works especially well for confidence-building, because it makes the lessons more of a two-way discussion," says Scott. "They allow students to work through problems at their own pace, without the usual teacher-learner dynamic.”
Unity City Academy is now more than familiar with the MyTutor programme set-up. They generally know the system and have good procedures in place.
"Our IT technician knows exactly how to get the computers ready, and the students know that they need to collect their headsets and laptops before the session - and they just crack on," says Scott.
"The team are also incredibly helpful and do everything possible to get you set up and running smoothly. We know that we've got someone there 24/7 if we have any issues."
A top tip or word of advice from the school
"For us, the simplicity of the programme is key. A lot of tutoring initiatives being rolled out these days involve complicated systems and programmes. With MyTutor, the IT side of things is extremely easy."
Have you downloaded our latest Impact Report? Find out how more schools, just like Unity City 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.
Get your free copy here.