Securing pass grades at New Rickstones Academy

Case study from Simon Gibbs, Deputy Headteacher, New Rickstones Academy

New Rickstones Academy had an incredible year for attainment in 2019, achieving their best ever results, with 76% of GCSE students receiving a 4+ grade in Maths. This year, we worked with New Rickstones on a GCSE Maths tutoring programme for 12 students that helped to not only increase their confidence in Maths, but also across their other subjects.

How did you select the pupils to be included in the programme?

“The students that we chose were all, for one reason or another, struggling to reach their potential, generally at the grade 4 or 5 boundary. There were a couple that were at the 6-7 boundary or 5-6 boundary, but all of them were lacking confidence – so the main criteria was that they just weren’t very confident in their own abilities.”

What level of impact did you see from the tutoring sessions?

Every single one of the students, apart from one, went up in terms of grade progress from their mocks – it was really good. The best bit about it was that we felt that they didn’t just improve their confidence in Maths, but they also improved their confidence generally across the whole range of subjects.

Our biggest success story was probably Tom, who was working at a 3 grade and seemed on course to get a 3 in the exam. We crossed our fingers that he could make it up to a 4, but then he actually came out with a 5! I think the tutoring had a big impact on him, not just in terms of the lessons, but also in giving him a kick-start to do more independent work and revision at home.

Logistically, how did you find setting up the programme?

“Right from the start, everything was quite easy to do. The spreadsheets MyTutor sent over were self-explanatory, and there wasn’t loads and loads of paperwork to fill in – it was literally just pupils’ names, their current and target grades, and some topics to focus on for the lessons. So it was very straightforward and simple.”

What are the biggest benefits for your students?

“I think because students nowadays are so at ease chatting through different devices, the format of the online lessons was a natural fit for them. They felt really comfortable saying to tutors exactly which topics they did or didn’t understand, and they weren’t scared to ask to move on, or to ask the tutors to explain something again.”

“So I’d say the biggest benefit is the ability to have that one-on-one time with someone that’s a role model and close in age, with an understanding of their social level.”

Would you recommend MyTutor to other schools?

“Yes, but I’m not going to recommend it to too many, because I don’t want to take away from our advantage! But no I would, definitely. Because of the ease of setup, increased confidence in the students, and the clear impact it’s had on the students.”

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