Burnage Academy for Boys have been engaged and benefiting from the National Tutoring Programme since September 2021. They currently have 2 Academic Mentors in their school, supporting in English and Maths, having reached over 185 pupils throughout the school. We caught up with Deputy Head Teacher Helen Carter to learn more about how they have been using the programme and the benefits they have seen.
What has been your school’s main priority following the lockdowns?
I think for all schools, following a return to full opening after the lockdowns, we’ve got to prioritise children’s mental health and wellbeing. Children have been through an awful lot and part of the catch-up process needs to be making sure that pupils feel confident and secure in school.
How have you utilised the NTP?
We have used the National Tutoring Programme to fund our two Academic Mentors. We were fortunate enough to be able to use people we knew in order to support our own circumstances. So for example our English Academic Mentor is a fully qualified EAL teacher, which is useful in our school setting because we have 39 different languages spoken.
How are you using the Academic Mentors to support your school?
Across the school from year 7 to 11 we’re providing support with academic mentoring. Approximately 185 students have had some form of academic mentoring this year, be it in terms of one to one, in class support or one to three or one to six groupings.
Would you recommend utilising Academic Mentors through the National Tutoring Programme?
I would encourage all schools to consider engaging with the National Tutoring Programme. We have found it really useful in supporting our pupils in addressing those gaps where a lesson might be going too quickly for a pupil who isn’t as confident. The Academic Mentors are really well placed to ensure work can be consolidated, it can be fully understood before that pupil re-engages with that lesson.
How have your pupils engaged with the programme?
We’ve recently done pupil voice surveys with a cross section of pupils involved in English and Maths academic mentoring and 100 percent of those pupils reported that they are growing in confidence, they’re building their resilience and they’re really enjoying those sessions. They are able to see their own academic progress, but most importantly for use it is improving their mental health and wellbeing.