Boosting attainment at Ryde Academy

This year, we worked with a targeted group of 52 GCSE students at Ryde Academy to give them the boost they needed to reach pass grades in GCSE English, Science and Maths. Vice Principal at Ryde Academy, Will Doyle, shares his experience of the programme, which saw over 1,100 lessons delivered.

The challenge

“The types of students we’re trying to engage with through the MyTutor programme are the toughest 30% of our school, so the bottom third in terms of attainment. One of the key headline figures that all schools are held to account on is the combined score of students achieving 4+ and 5+ in Maths, so improving this figure was a priority for us.”

The programme

“When we were introduced to MyTutor, we took a data-driven approach to choosing the students, identifying what we referred to as ‘key tipper’ students – those that we believed could make the transition from those 2s and 3s to 4s, 5s or above.”

“We targeted just over 50 students for our programme, and, once they made significant progress, which we measured through internal assessment, we swapped them out of the programme and put a new student in.”

“A real strength of the programme was that MyTutor allowed us that flexibility.”

The impact

“This year, we were on track to get our best ever results, so of course we feel completely robbed by COVID and the fact that our students didn’t have the opportunity to sit their exams. However, we felt that MyTutor was having real impact, and definitely played a part in students’ progress.”

“To give some broad brush strokes, we had 52 students accessing the programme. Of those 52, in English and Maths:

  • 84% achieved a 4+ (44 students)
  • 34% achieved a 5+ (18 students)

To give another sense of the impact, I received an email from a Year 11 student who’s left school now, which I’ve put on my wall. He emailed me to say: ‘thank you for all the hard work you put into us in school, such as the lesson 6 and MyTutor, and making sure we’re all OK’.”

“The fact that he especially mentioned MyTutor speaks volumes – because sometimes it’s not just about the outcomes, it’s about the confidence the students gain from it.”

“A lot of these students lack self-confidence, and what’s amazing is the transformation they undergo once they’ve done the programme and they feel really proud of themselves. Typically, before they do their first ever sessions, they’re incredibly nervous because they don’t know what to expect.”

“But their self-confidence afterwards, that’s something you can’t quantify. You don’t have numerical data on it, but you physically see it with your eyes. And you see their self-confidence grow.”

The experience

“In terms of onboarding, the uploading of all the students and all the data is a really simple process that MyTutor have got spot-on. From an engagement perspective, we’ve learned loads this year, and we’re already changing how we’re going to run the programme to make it even better for future years.”

“One change we’re making is to move the sessions from after school (which was sometimes quite difficult to get students to engage with, although we did reasonably well with 70% attendance), to a timetabled in-school lesson.”

“To engage parents, I’ve also recorded my own instructional video about MyTutor, what it is and how it all works, which will be emailed home. We’ve moved to a video approach because when you send a letter, with our parents, we’ve found that they don’t engage particularly well – whereas video, with a personal touch from someone they know, works really well.”

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