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Inspiring Progress at Djanogly City Academy, Nottingham

Djanogly City Academy in Nottingham has worked with MyTutor to provide tuition for over 120 of their students. Last year, MyTutor helped Djanogly to achieve their record results, with 90% of students on the MyTutor programme attaining a grade C or above in Maths, and each student increasing their grade by an average of three from when they began tuition.

Tom Pearce, Director of Achievement at Djanogly

Why did you get in touch with MyTutor initially?

We signed Djanogly up to MyTutor to help with a number of issues. For example, staffing in core subjects can be an issue, particularly in Maths and Science, and tutoring is an extra way to supplement those students who don’t get what they need to fulfil their potential.

Was MyTutor easy to set up?

It was absolutely straightforward, all you need are some good working laptops and headphones.

How do you find the support from the MyTutor team?

We have a lot of contact with the people from the MyTutor team – they are incredibly responsive to emails, so we get a lot of information back and forth very quickly, and they are very accommodating.

What are the main challenges your students face when achieving their potential in school?

Students face a number of challenges in the school climate today – class sizes are noticeably very large, and students don’t get the same attention and support they might have done a few years ago. MyTutor allows students to get one-to-one support, and that can have a big impact.

“MyTutor allows students to get one-to-one support, and that can have a big impact”

What impact have you noticed since the students started using MyTutor?

Our students very much enjoy the MyTutor programme; they like the one-to-one support and attention they get, and they’re often very receptive to a different face explaining something in a different way. It’s quite nice in class when a student says “that’s what I was doing in tutoring the other day”, and you can see that their tutor has actually reinforced what they’re doing in the classroom.

What do you think students get from MyTutor which is harder to give to them in an classroom setting?

When the students are going through the MyTutor process they feel looked after; they’ve got one-to-one attention and dedicated support, and they very much appreciate that

Could you explain Djanogly’s study leave strategy this year?

Having used MyTutor before, we’re very familiar with how it works and the possible gains that students can make from it. When students have completed their exam in a subject, there’s an option for those students to be doing something with that time. We run early-morning classes and after-school MyTutor sessions, and we find running MyTutor all day every day gives students a number of alternative strategies for making progress

What type of student do you normally try to target with MyTutor?

When deciding who to target with MyTutor we have several things in mind, one of those being students who need to make particular academic thresholds. A grade 5 is a strong pass within the new grading systems, so we try to target students who are on a grade 4 looking to push a grade 5 in English and maths.

Similarly, a grade 4 will get these students into colleges and further education, so we also consider any students who are on a 3 and need an extra boost for MyTutor.

“One of the best incentives for students is the progress they make”

What do you do if a student is absent from school when they have a MyTutor session scheduled?

Every morning I’ll be given a register of who isn’t in and who can’t do their sessions, and then I can find a suitable replacement. There will always be reasons why kids can’t make it, but I would strongly advise any schools who are looking to set up the programme: don’t just jump into it, you do have to think through your process of what will happen at what time.

Do you have any other methods for encouraging attendance?

Being honest, one of the best incentives for students is the progress that they make. There’s one boy who will come to me every morning and say, “can I do tutoring today” because he enjoys it so much. He doesn’t mind what subject it is, he just likes the dedicated support, he’s keen to learn, and the only incentive he needs is the progress he’s going to make and the grades he’s going to get.

Jack Garner, Year 11 student at Djanogly

What was your first session with MyTutor like?

I was nervous about MyTutor at first, but now I’m used to it I find it really easy to get into the sessions.

What do you think about the tutors?

They’re obviously very friendly and knowledgeable. I like that the tutors are close to me in age because they’ve sat the exams recently, so they know what I’m going through.

“One-to-one tuition is better for me because the tutor can address my individual needs”

How do you find learning online?

I find it easier to use the online space because it’s one-to-one and I can get a lot of help which I wouldn’t get in an classroom of 30 kids. One-to-one tuition is better for me because the tutor can address my individual needs.

Are there any particular topics which MyTutor has helped you with?

In English, my tutor goes through the poems I’m studying, past paper questions and exam technique with me. She gives me the independence to do the question, but if I need help I just ask her for assistance.

In biology, my tutor has helped me to understand meiosis and mitosis, and it has made me more confident to ask questions in class and even help out other students around me. My tutors have helped me to feel more confidence about my GCSEs by going through topics at my own pace.

Written by - Alice Farrell

Alice is part of the schools’ team, supporting tutors and helping give students better access to one-to-one tuition.

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