The impact of a “different voice” for students at Selston High School

Case study from Steve Taylor, Assistant Head at Selston High School

MyTutor has been providing one-to-one tuition support in English for Year 11s at Selston High this year. We’re pleased to hear that feedback has been really positive, and students have particularly benefited from engaging with a “different voice” as part of their studies.

Why did you decide to start using MyTutor?

“English was an area which we were looking to improve as outcomes weren’t where we wanted them to be, and so we needed something that would provide some extra help. We wanted to support underachieving Year 11s in particular, most of whom are our more vulnerable students.”

How do you ensure targeted interventions are effective?

“The needs of our students changes with every cohort, and so the challenges we face with trying to support them are multi-faceted. We’ve found that progress for vulnerable students tends to deteriorate as they move through the school.

We’re constantly looking at how we can best support our students to get the best outcomes. We evaluate everything we do, bottle the things that are working, and abandon those that aren’t. With MyTutor, the students seem to engage really well, which is great.”

What have you found to be the biggest benefit of using MyTutor?

We’ve found MyTutor to be particularly effective because it offers students a different voice, a different person, and a different experience to what they normally get with their teacher. We use it in areas that need most improvement as it reinforces learning and helps students to retain knowledge. It’s very bespoke and personalised to students’ individual needs which is really helpful for our students.

I think it helps that it’s online too. Teenagers are inherently internet and technology savvy, so anything they can engage with in that format tends to motivate them. The whole experience of MyTutor is unique, from the webcam right through to the personalisation and the way it builds attainment.

Selston case study

What’s the feedback from students and teachers been like?

“The feedback from the students that are most engaged has been very positive. Students are now well motivated, and are more confident moving towards their exams. They’ve said it was a good experience, definitely worthwhile, and they’ve gained from it in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding. The most important thing they’ve gained is probably confidence. It’s been a real confidence boost for those that needed it.

We have one particular student who asked to be on the programme! She’s said that it has been really helpful, and that it’s unlocked a door for her in terms of understanding and confidence. It’s worked particularly well because it was a different experience for her. Before, there was just something missing, and the sessions have filled that gap for us.

Teachers have said there’s been some great work done in class as a result of the extra provision, and they can see signs of improved sophistication in writing, and of understanding specific texts. So we’ve had positive feedback from staff as well. ”

How have you found the tutors themselves?

“The fact that tutors are largely students currently studying at university, and quite young, is a real positive. With 16 year olds talking to 20 year olds, there is a sense that the tutors are within touching distance of the students’ peer group. That is quite powerful. The fact that it’s not a teacher, it’s somebody else nearer in age, is a unique offering.

In terms of how the tutors run the sessions, they’ve been good at troubleshooting on the sport and offer a different approach. It’s been beneficial for us to be able to set up the areas of development at the start of each programme, but then the students will tell the tutor what they are struggling with. The ongoing personalisation is really quite powerful.”

Would you recommend to other schools?

Yes, we would recommend to other schools. Overall, it has been a very positive experience for us, definitely.

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