Our school, (Heworth Grange) signed up to the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) to support our Pupil Premium students, after their learning was disrupted by the pandemic.
We have utilised the Academic Mentor route of the NTP and have mentors working across Years 7 to 10 to deliver tuition in Maths, English and Science. We used data from end of year assessments and tests to help us identify student gaps in each subject. We then arranged for students to work in very small groups of similar ability (typically a ratio of 1:3) with their mentor.
Schools have the flexibility when to schedule tuition for their pupils. We decided to do intensive bursts of tutoring with students, spending an hour a day with their tutor for a period of 3 weeks. We made timetables simple for students to follow, by arranging sessions during the same period each day. This meant that they were not missing the same subjects each time in order to access the tutoring, and their class teachers preferred the shorter time scale as it has been easier to manage. We have found that this enabled students to form a positive relationship with their tutor and by condensing the time frame to deliver the tuition provided maximum impact for students.
Students have responded well to the tailored support and we have even had students writing letters to their tutors saying how much they have enjoyed their tutoring sessions! Parents have been supportive, asking how they can supplement their child’s learning at home. Whilst it is too early to measure the impact, tuition has increased student engagement in their learning which will certainly benefit them academically.
We would definitely recommend the NTP to other schools because we feel that tuition has had a positive impact on students and their outlook on learning. If you are considering using NTP, we recommend that you identify when it is best for your students to access the tutoring and the main reason you want to use it. For us, student engagement was a priority. The tutors have been very independent, enthusiastic, and have built strong relationships with the students. They have revisited topics requested by us and delivered tuition to meet the students’ specific needs.