Schools » Case Study

Cultural shift at Tring School

Tring School in Hertfordshire has been working with MyTutor since September 2017 to provide 1:1 tuition for their pupil premium students. Tuition is run as an after-school club, and throughout this year over 50 students have benefited from tuition. Students receive tuition in maths and science with the aim of boosting their attainment and subject knowledge in the lead up to their GCSE exams.

Iain Rogers, Deputy Headteacher

How did you find setting up MyTutor?

MyTutor is so easy for a school to set up: once MyTutor came in and told us how to set the package up and how it all runs, we got our IT team on board and they set up the connections with MyTutor. It runs itself now.

What changes have you noticed in your students since they started using MyTutor?

The progress they’re making in maths and science has been fantastic. So there’s 20 students doing maths, for example, and 15 out of those 20 students have made at least one grade or better in terms of movement towards their target grade. So for us, progress is fantastic, and so is the independence and resilience of all our students.

“In terms of pupils’ attitude in class and around the school as well, there’s been this big sort of cultural shift as we call it here at Tring, and we’ve got greater independence and greater resilience. ”

Have you noticed any changes in pupil attitude in classes since starting MyTutor?

In terms of pupils’ attitude in class and around the school as well, there’s been this big sort of cultural shift as we call it here at Tring. We’ve got greater independence, greater resilience, and we’ve seen with our year 11 that they’re developing that want or that hunger to learn.

Laura Toovey, Interventions Coordinator

What made you decide to start working with MyTutor?

The reason we started to use MyTutor is because I believe you need to try something different. We got recommended MyTutor by someone who’d already used it, and we thought let’s give it a go and see what happens. We started with a group of 20, and very quickly we grew to a group of 40 and it’s been fantastic.

Please could you describe the programme that you run at Tring?

So the programme that we run at Tring School involves 40 students. 20 do maths, 20 do science. Within the science, they’re spread between biology, chemistry and physics depending on what the student wants to do. We run it on a Monday after school in our library, and they choose a corner that they want to sit in and they log on and get their tuition.

“Tuition is so specific and tailored to their needs, which is why it’s very unique and a fantastic programme for pupils.”

What do students get from MyTutor which is unique?

MyTutor is a unique programme, there’s nothing we offer like it to our current year 11s. I think if you look at what they’re getting, it’s in a world that they understand, it’s online. It’s also not a teacher, so although they might feel nervous about approaching their teacher with questions, they’re happy to ask their tutors.

It’s also unique in the sense that we can have 40 students in one place at one time receiving personalised tuition, whereas if you run a class-based session you can’t offer that as a teacher. You can offer general revision to them and general support, but this is so specific and tailored to their needs, which is why it’s very unique and a fantastic programme for pupils.

“It’s been fantastic for raising aspirations among students, because they look at the university students and think ‘actually, they’re studying it, possibly one day I could do that too.'”

Could you talk about the quality of the tutors and what the tutors are like?

One of the real positives of MyTutor is that the tutors are actually young. They’re university students, which from a year 11 or 10 point of view actually means that you can relate to them. They’re still younger than their teachers would be, which I think it a real positive. They’re also at the cutting edge of what the subject is because they’re doing a degree, so for example if you’re being tutored in maths, they’re at university living it day in, day out, and that’s really positive for the students.

I also think it’s been fantastic for raising aspirations among students, because they look at the university students and think ‘actually, they’re studying it, possibly one day I could do that too’, which I think is a real bonus from the programme and maybe something that we hadn’t considered previously.

Charlie, year 11 student

What’s your tutor like?

I really like my tutor. I’ve had two tutors in my span of doing MyTutor and they’ve both been really helpful. Both have been really knowledgeable and smart and if I have any questions I can be quite confident that they’ll know.

What’s your favourite thing about MyTutor?

My favourite thing about MyTutor is that fact that it’s so personal. Obviously when you’re in class in school it’s a free for all, and everyone’s trying to get their part in and the teacher’s trying to do the best for everyone. Whereas with MyTutor it’s specific to me; if I have any needs I know that they’ll cater to my needs, and just the fact it’s personal really boosts it.

“One of my main worries was whether it would be awkward between me and my tutor but that was just not a problem”

Which areas has your tutor helped you with?

I’ve started with mainly the basics because a lot of the time that’s what I forget, and obviously when you don’t understand those things that’s when it starts to break down, so I’ve just been doing things like ratio and percentages.

Can you tell me a bit more about your tutor?

My tutor’s name is Luke. He’s very chatty, he’s very smart, you can tell as soon as you talk to him that he’s really clever! He’s quite a nice guy and he’s very easy to get along with. One of my main worries was whether it would be awkward between me and my tutor but that was just not a problem, straight away that was fine.

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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