Ormiston Park Academy is leading the way when it comes to keeping students learning and developing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Each week, 25 Year 10 students have been benefiting from personalised 1:1 tuition on English, mathematics and sciences, alongside wider support and work provided by the academy.
The government has recognised the impact that tutoring can have on helping students catch up, and, according to research by the Education Endowment Fund, one-to-one tuition can help students make an additional 5 months of progress. The Department for Education has allocated £1 billion of additional funding to support catch-up programmes, with the majority of this expected to be spent on tutoring, allowing students to make up for lost time in the classroom.
However, in a decision that put it ahead of the curve on the government’s strategy, Ormiston Park Academy had already introduced a tutoring programme at the start of the summer term. Working with leading online tutoring organisation MyTutor. Year 10 students have continued with their tutoring throughout lockdown and summer holidays, helping to tackle learning gaps and keep them on track with the curriculum.
MyTutor has delivered more than 1 million tutorials to date and works with over 500 state schools and 40,000 teenagers across the country, with all lessons taking place on a secure online platform. Tutoring is delivered by high-achieving undergraduates from the UK’s top universities. Applicants go through a rigorous selection process that checks for subject knowledge, teaching and empathy skills, along with safeguarding requirements, and only 1 in 8 are accepted.
Sarah-Louise Thacker, Assistant Principal at Ormiston Park Academy, said:
“We have utilised tutoring programmes now for the last two years and have seen significant impact. When done in partnership with schools, tutoring is a very effective way of enhancing the students’ knowledge and skills in a subject that they may be finding challenging, or lack confidence in. Tutoring supports the identification of and helps to address any gaps in knowledge a student might have and can promote engagement in their learning at home and in school.
"The online tuition programme has been incredibly beneficial for many of our students throughout lockdown. It has given them some regular 1:1 contact with a subject specialist, who really knows and loves their subject area. We have received very positive feedback from our students, and their families. The tutors tailor the sessions to the needs of the individual student, so the impact of the sessions can be substantial.
“The weekly reports, submitted by the tutors, also allows the students’ teachers to keep updated on the students’ progress, what they have covered and what areas they are still finding challenging. In addition to our own assessments, this helps teachers at the academy to plan their lessons, to support and meet the ongoing needs of our students. It is great news that the government is investing in tutoring across the country – this will definitely be one of the ways that we incorporate into supporting our students in the year to come.”
A student currently benefitting from MyTutor said:
“I just wanted to say the tutoring is going so well. I am really enjoying it. Thank you.”
Following the introduction of the tuition programme, one parent said:
“Every lesson my daughter was so pleased. She really started enjoying chemistry more and more and felt confident talking about what she has learnt each lesson. Diana was always pushing Valeria to do her best and made her more confident in the answers she was giving too. I’m so happy.”
James Grant, Co-Founder of MyTutor said:
“Tutoring has long been recognised as a powerful way to supplement in-class work and tackle students’ specific learning gaps; especially when done well and in close collaboration with school staff. But the Covid-19 pandemic - and the challenges of lockdown - have brought fresh urgency to the need to introduce tutoring for students alongside their mainstream studies, especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are disproportionately affected by school closures.
“Our impact studies have shown that students who have been tutored by MyTutor see twice as much progress in their results, as those who haven’t been tutored. Clearly, now more than ever, we all need to be doing everything we can to ensure students can make up this lost time. Tutoring has a role to play in that, and we look forward to continuing to work with schools like Ormiston Park Academy so that children don’t get left behind.”