Home-based tutoring explained
As part of the move to remote learning, pupils will now join the Vedamo virtual classroom from their homes to access our tuition. Our programme staff have been working hard to manage demands to ensure tutoring can still take place. This includes liaising with all of our partner schools, as well as each parent or guardian directly, to seek permission for pupils to take part. These conversations also help us to make sure each pupil has access to the right technology and the adults involved learn important details about sessions going forward. We have also produced new materials specifically for parents, including PDF and video guides, that outline what we do and give instructions on how to join tutoring sessions from home.
Despite no longer being in the classroom with pupils, Action Tutoring programme coordinators continue to oversee every programme, entering virtual classrooms to observe sessions and troubleshooting any technical difficulties that may arise.
Programme Manager for London, Nargis Taylor, said:
It has been really reassuring to see that the young people are able to have some consistency and normality whilst out of the classroom. It was lovely to see the pupils chatting away with their tutors. In many ways, it looked like most of the other school-based online tutoring sessions I have delivered for pupils.
Impact on tutors
For tutors already volunteering with us online, there is little change in how these sessions run. They continue to use the Vedamo virtual classroom, already in operation for our existing online programmes, to deliver sessions remotely. Home-based sessions conclude with a virtual debrief for tutors, where they can ask questions and give feedback.
Sarah Searle-Barnes, a volunteer in Bristol, said:
I have tutored three pupils at home now (I was involved in the pilot study) and have found each experience worthwhile. I have found that the session enables the pupils to engage on a one-to-one basis with the tutor, without the distractions of other pupils in the room or the background noises of school. I also think that the pupils’ confidence and self-belief is bolstered by the one-to-one attention which has a positive impact on their learning.
Response from pupils
So far, pupils have adapted to the home-based sessions incredibly well. Despite losing the familiarity of the classroom, where they would be surrounded by teachers, classmates and Action Tutoring staff, pupils have remained focused and have engaged well with the new format.
Emma Boyd, Pupil Premium coordinator at a school in Bristol, said:
The pupils access the sessions in the exact same way as they do in school and so they know what to do and they just get on with it! I’m really pleased that this is an option for them and it will help them through the last stages of their GCSEs.
The future of in-person tutoring
We plan to offer in-person tutoring opportunities again as soon as it is safe to. We are also considering ways to supplement any missed sessions later in the year, potentially with ‘booster’ days or extended sessions in the spring and early summer.
School closures impact pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds disproportionately, widening the attainment gap and putting them even further behind their peers. Our volunteers combat this inequality by giving an hour or more a week to boost pupils’ learning and confidence while at home.