“Distraction-free” one-to-one learning at St Benedict’s High

Case Study from Tessa Bishop, Assistant Headteacher, St Benedict’s Catholic High School

This year, MyTutor has worked with 20 Year 11 students from St Benedict’s Catholic High School in Cumbria to help boost aspirations, confidence and grades in core subjects through one-to-one learning. Weekly after-school sessions are already having an impact, with 73% of pupil premium students on the programme showing positive signs of improvement after just 5 weeks.

What challenges are you trying to overcome in your school?

“Our main challenge is boosting achievement, aspiration and confidence, particularly for our pupil premium students. We wanted to use MyTutor because it provides personalised, one-to-one support that our teachers would not otherwise be able to offer. We do interventions and revision classes but it’s never really one-to-one.”

Which students were selected for the programme?

“Most of the students on the programme are pupil premium students, but we then opened that out to underachieving Year 11 students with the places that were left. After the first few weeks, we’re finding greater impact with pupil premium students.”

What are the biggest benefits for your students?

“It’s so beneficial for the students as it’s an hour of total dedicated focus, with no distractions. Because they’ve got headphones and someone on the other end of the computer they are totally focussed. There aren’t other kids or phones causing distractions. Even if they are revising at home there will be a radio or television on. To be distraction-free for an hour, purely focussed on revision and learning, is really valuable and it’s been a real benefit. The students love being able to use the recordings afterwards too, as it helps them with revision.”

What’s the student engagement been like?

“The feedback I’ve had from pupils has been really positive. Other teachers have also told me how much pupils love it. When other teachers walk past the sessions in action they are really impressed with how engaged the students look! Some were quite nervous about talking to someone they didn’t know to begin with, but they’ve soon overcome this. I can see them settling down much quicker in the sessions now they are more familiar with the tutors.”

One student was particularly nervous about starting the programme initially, but now she really enjoys it. After her first session, it was clear she’d been learning but enjoying it at the same time. Later in the term we’re going to run a student voice survey to get students’ thoughts about the programme in more detail.”

What would you say to other schools considering MyTutor?

“We would definitely recommend using MyTutor to other schools. The running of the weekly sessions has been smooth. We like being able to upload resources for tutors and can easily keep track of how everyone is performing.

The sessions are one of the favourite parts of my week. 20 students working independently, engaging with their tutors and enjoying their learning. ”

How are you thinking ahead to next year?

“We’ll definitely be looking to include MyTutor in our strategic statement for pupil premium pupils next year, as we can see it’s having a positive impact.

I’d like to start running the programme at the beginning of Year 11 so we can get students on the right path from the beginning of the year. We’ll have the end of year results from Year 10 and we can really focus on key areas to improve ahead of exams.”

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