How we are using the National Tutoring Programme (NTP)
We have engaged with the NTP from the start, as we viewed it as an excellent opportunity to provide our pupils with additional support. We currently have two Academic Mentors working in the school and this year we also decided to engage with a Tuition Partner, Teaching Personnel. We partner with them to deliver online tuition to our pupils, in small groups of a 1:3 ratio.
We had 24 pupils complete 15 one-hour tuition sessions and now we have a further 12 pupils accessing tuition, to help them catch up on lost learning. Our students really enjoy the online lessons and the tutors have built a rapport with the pupils – who never want to miss a session!
The positive impact of tuition
We knew our pupils had gaps in learning due to school closures during the pandemic. We had supported our pupils by providing access to technology and online learning. However, we identified various pupils who we thought could benefit from additional support and wouldn’t typically be able to access tuition. We wanted to focus on reading and maths, in particular maths seemed to be the area pupils fell behind on during school closures.
We have seen massive gains in confidence for students and can see the evidence of this in their performance. Assessments which took place in February 2022 found substantial progress between terms one and two for our pupils. There has been an increase in pupils achieving their Age-Related Expectation (ARE) in reading and maths. 10%-25% more when compared to Term one. In one class, 100% of pupils achieved their ARE in maths!
The feedback from our pupils who are accessing tuition is that they love it! They see our Academic Mentors as part of the school team, as they have been with us for so long, they love working with them both in class and in small groups. Parents have been incredibly supportive and grateful for the tuition their children are receiving, in the subject they need it most. They understand that the tuition content is driven by the class teacher and delivered by professionals to address specific gaps in learning.
Advice for schools yet to use the programme
Our advice to other schools would be to look at your options and how you can utilise the funding. Choose the method that is right for your school and select pupils carefully. For us, the pupils who were below the ARE point, who were not already receiving other targeted support, were our focus.
The availability of Academic Mentors in certain areas is a challenge, we managed to overcome this by nominating our own candidate for the training. We would also recommend working closely with your Tuition Partner to implement online tuition. Our Tuition Partner, Teaching Personnel, were helpful and responsive, and we always made sure we had an IT technician on hand in school to support with the set up. Now everything runs smoothly!
Overall, the programme has given us support at a time when we needed it the most. Our pupils are delightful, inquisitive learners who deserve the best education. By accessing tuition to help them catch-up, this has helped them to reach their full potential.