News and opinion

St Charles Primary School, Bishop Hogarth Multi Academy Trust, County Durham

11 March, 2022
St Charles School Tutor sat with group of children learning together
St Charles School Tutor sat with group of children learning together

Lisa Thompson is the Headteacher at St Charles Primary School, part of Bishop Hogarth Multi Academy Trust. St Charles is in a small Durham town and has 219 pupils aged 3-11. They began using School-Led tutoring, at the end of the Autumn term, with existing teachers and TA’s running sessions for small groups of pupils in Years 2 – Years 6. They are already seeing the benefits of the National Tutoring Programme on their pupils.

We decided to take part in the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) to provide additional support for children who have been affected by the pandemic. Furthermore, to improve progress and ‘close the gap’, with at least two thirds of these being Pupil Premium. In a short period of time, our tutors have been able to identify the individual needs of our children and design a bespoke recovery programme, in collaboration with class teachers. In one case, our tutor found that a Year 3 child was consistently using capital letters incorrectly. By working with him within a small group, the tutor was able to address the issue and found that there was a gap in his actual understanding of capital letters. 

All children involved are very motivated to be part of the programme and in many cases this motivation and confidence has extended into the classroom. Children are keen to transfer new or revised learning from their tuition sessions across to their daily lessons. Parents have also been extremely supportive and grateful for the opportunity of tuition for their children. They have been happy to accommodate specific arrangements, on occasion outside of normal school hours and have fed back that their children have been happy to attend school a little longer to access this tailored support. Indeed, the children are very positive about the tutoring experience as a whole. They enjoy the opportunity to work in small groups.

Initially, we were concerned about the extra workload for staff and how they could factor in tuition to their busy schedules. All tutors have volunteered to participate in the programme and have been able to manage this alongside other commitments. 

NTP has been a fantastic opportunity to identify the specific academic needs of children and support them to boost progress. The small groups are extremely beneficial to all children involved and they have responded very well to tuition. There is a lot of freedom for schools to choose how they wish to access tuition, which is important as the needs of the children are different. We have had a positive experience of using staff who the children are familiar with and have the knowledge of the school systems, including curriculum design.

The three pillars of support available through the National Tutoring Programme

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Tuition Partners

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Academic Mentors

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School-Led Tutors

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