Schools » Case Study

Fulfilling potential at Oakfield Academy

Posted 4 days ago by Alice Farrell

Oakfield Academy works with MyTutor to help Year 7 students who were below target their Year 6 SATs. The students receive weekly tutorials in English and Maths, ensuring that they have the support they need to catch up with their peers. Since they first collaborated with MyTutor at the beginning of 2017, Oakfield have seen big changes in students’ attainment and enjoyment of learning. We travelled to Bath to visit the school and find out more.

Michelle O’Shea, Deputy Headteacher

What made you choose tutoring for your students?

I thought that tutoring would benefit the students because they would be able to work at their own pace, at their own level, and have that one-to-one tuition that they need to take them forward.

We decided to try MyTutor because we wanted to be able to have the flexibility for the children to have sessions when it was most suitable for them, rather than having to get someone in on a particular day and having to squeeze everything in on that one day.

We’re doing it in Reading and Maths, which are the two areas students may not have achieved their expected SAT result in.

What type of students do you try and target with MyTutor

We are targeting children who didn’t get the needed level in their SATs. Through the catch-up 7 programme we are endeavouring to help them catch up with their peers. A large majority of the students who we’ve signed up are Pupil Premium students.

“the MyTutor programme has helped the children because they’ve been able to improve and understand concepts which they couldn’t understand before”

What do students get from tuition which they don’t get elsewhere?

I think it’s certainly helped to improve their confidence and their ability. I think that in a lot of cases the MyTutor programme has helped the children because they’ve been able to improve and understand concepts which they couldn’t understand before, and that has then enabled them to get more positive. I think one of the benefits of the tutoring programme is that the students do gain in confidence, and that confidence has certainly led to improved results.

How do you run the programme at Oakfield?

We’ve based the MyTutor programme in or enrichment centre in the library, so Chris who’s our librarian is able to monitor when they arrive, and also help if there are any problems with the software.

Because I’ve got that flexibility to then let MyTutor know when I want [the students] to have their lessons, that means they can choose which lesson they’d like to come out of.

Chris Perrett, Librarian

How do you think the students have reacted to MyTutor?

I think the children have responded really positively to the MyTutor programme, they each have improved in all the different assessment areas. We have data showing where they were at when they started the programme and where they are at the end of term, and it’s a very positive outcome. We find it works really well, and the children enjoy doing it.

What does MyTutor give students?

The MyTutor programme gives our students confidence, it improves each of the subjects they’re learning from; they seem to enjoy the process and they look forward to coming in each week. Whereas initially I had to go and chase them down for their sessions, they are now turning up on time keen to start and eager to enjoy the whole session.

“I can see a huge improvement in the literacy of our children since using the MyTutor programme”

I work with the literacy children and I can see a huge improvement in the literacy of our children since using the MyTutor programme. They seem much more confident, and more relaxed. I feel that they’ve benefited enormously from MyTutor.

What do you think is different that students get from tutoring?

The main difference with MyTutor is that children have a one-to-one, they have that immediate contact with their tutor, and that’s what they respond best to. They build up a rapport with their tutor, they look forward to coming the following week and it sets the pattern from there.

I think the children build relationships with their tutors, and they form them quite quickly actually. They immediately feel relaxed and seem to be able to communicate quite easily with them.

“The main difference with MyTutor is that children have a one-to-one, they have that immediate contact with their tutor, and that’s what they respond best to.”

Which students do you prioritise for tutoring?

We target children who we have recently given interventions to, children who maybe are not quite up to where we would expect them to be age-wise and ability-wise for this level. We also tend to target Pupil Premium children, particularly for the core subjects Maths and English, because those are the areas they seem to need input from.

How do students find the technology?

Our students are always ok with the technology; they have no problem with the system at all – they seem to embrace it!

How do you find the support at MyTutor?

The support from MyTutor has been fantastic and it’s really been so helpful from my point of view. Any type of problem from my end was so easily resolved by just getting on the telephone, or emailing Will, and we had an immediate response. I think that’s been key to why we’ve had such a successful programme here.

Jade, Year 7 student

How has MyTutor helped you?

My English tutor has helped me with my reading, my confidence, my spelling, and my writing as well. It makes me feel confident - if I go wrong I don’t give up like I used to, I just try again.

“It makes me feel confident - if I go wrong I don’t give up like I used to, I just try again..”

What kind of activities do you do in your tutorials?

We’re writing a story in English at the moment to help me with my writing, spelling, and punctuation. In my maths tutorials we do stuff like fractions – it helps me feel more confident in maths when we do really challenging stuff.

What do you think of your tutors?

I think my English tutor is really kind and supportive; she’ll give you time if you need to work something out and she doesn’t mind if you’re a bit slow. My maths tutor is supportive as well, if you go wrong he’ll show you where you went wrong and try and help you.

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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