The Minster Junior School, Croydon
School stories

The Minster Junior School, Croydon

The Minster Junior School, Croydon

Victoria Matthews, Leadership Consultant at The Minster Junior School, shares her school’s experience of accessing tuition with NTP Tuition Partner CoachBright.

Context

The Minster Juniors is a larger than average sized Church of England junior school in the heart of Croydon. The demographic of students places us in the top quintile of percentage Pupil Premium, with this number ever-growing as a result of Covid-19.

Although our school’s deprivation indicator is 0.25, placing it in the bottom 35 per cent of schools nationally, soft data would indicate that deprivation was a greater factor in the lives of the children than the statistics suggest. As well as this we have an above national average proportion of pupils who have English as an Additional Language (EAL), with SEND, have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), and who are eligible for pupil premium funding.

The school has been on a journey of rapid improvement over the last five years. Our pupils’ progress and achievement has risen over the last three years, and the teacher predictions for 2020 were in line with the schools’ attainment in 2019, demonstrating a continued improving trend for a fourth year. Pupils made strong progress from their KS1 results in Reading, Writing and Mathematics putting the school in the top three per cent of schools in the country.

Covid-19

The extended periods of school closures have resulted in ever-widening gaps in our children’s learning. It was essential that these gaps were identified quickly so as a school we could support our children. This was different for each lockdown:

  • During the summer lockdown, like most schools in the country – we spent it working out how to adjust to a new way of delivering education to our children remotely. Much of our work was delivered through work-packs and books.
  • In the autumn term, we closely worked with our children to gauge the effects of lockdown. We ran initial assessments to determine and identify gaps. We then closely looked at the curriculum and put in place a recovery curriculum which we continually reviewed in line with how the children responded to the work and the progress they made.
  • During the current lockdown, we moved to online learning. This has involved live lessons in the morning and projects set for the afternoon. Pupil engagement has been incredible with attendance averaging 93%, with a number of classes regularly having 100% attendance.

Currently, our children are benefitting from excellent learning opportunities, with lessons delivered by their class teachers, breakout intervention groups led by teaching assistants and in-school learning mirroring the remote learning. The children love still seeing their teachers and classmates online each day, and it has been a great way to keep in regular contact with parents, and carers so we can support families as well.

I have seen first-hand the impact small group tutoring has on children working at all key stages so with the Government funding, the barrier of affordability was removed as we could use some of the catch-up funding to pay for it.

NTP

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is a great opportunity to take advantage of high-quality tutoring at a more school budget-friendly cost.

When setting up the NTP a lot of information was shared with us about Tuition Partners beforehand. We attended NTP webinars and were given supporting documentation to help our school understand the process and make the decisions on which Tuition Partners to work with.

Having worked with CoachBright before I was already aware of the calibre of tutors they worked with and the quality of the tutoring sessions delivered. The tutoring sessions complemented the work the school did; not as a replacement.

I have seen first-hand the impact small group tutoring has on children working at all key stages so with the Government funding, the barrier of affordability was removed as we could use some of the catch-up funding to pay for it.

CoachBright

CoachBright has given us excellent communication since we started working with them. They have been quick to solve any problems we had and they’re such a friendly team to work with. We can’t recommend them highly enough. Their team has been a wonderful support and has talked through the process, they always stay in touch, provide regular feedback and conduct robust quality assurance of their sessions allowing us to join each week as well.

CoachBright tutors have been a big hit with the pupils. They hold all of their sessions remotely through teaching classes online.

Our class teachers have identified a number of pupils who are normally quieter in class. We wanted them to have more of a voice during online lessons, and that’s worked, their contribution has increased and they are shining. The concern they may not engage with the process is no longer an issue.

Our children are now receiving these sessions in-school and our staff are able to support them and join the sessions. Working together with our tutors allows for a smooth transition between the tutoring sessions and the work they are completing with their teachers. Pupils have their own laptops and headphones and join their tutors for their sessions each week.

After just two weeks, the tutors have already built up a great rapport with the children in their groups and are getting a great response from them. While it’s too early to say the impact it will have on our pupils, the students have already responded to the NTP tutoring so positively.

One child had said:

The sessions are really fun and they help with my maths. My coach listens to us and he explains things. I’m looking forward to learning about fractions!”

Another said:

I enjoy everything! My coach is really nice and he pushes me to learn. He helps me to learn in a nice way.”

The Minster Junior School is accessing tutoring for their pupils with NTP Tuition Partner, CoachBright. Schools can search for in-person and online tutoring for their pupils here.

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