Boosting grades at the King John School

Case study from Joanna Jones, Head of Year 13, the King John School.

The challenge

“Our focus was on supporting students who were struggling in core subjects, and were falling at the weaker end of the spectrum of ability in their classes. In particular, we wanted to include our ‘bursary’ students in the programme – those from disadvantaged backgrounds who would benefit most from having extra tutoring, and whose families probably couldn’t afford it themselves.”

The programme

“Our programme ran from October through to January and up until lockdown. We selected the students who we felt would be most motivated and likely to attend the lessons. Attendance on the whole was really good, with some input from myself sending out regular reminders!”

“Overall, I felt that the programme was a great success. The individual support that the students receive really helps them to build more confidence in their subjects. We saw that, following mock exams in March, our students’ results had improved, and their confidence had increased.”

“We had one student who’s a bit of a handful and often needs a bit of hand-holding – he received English tutoring and actually went to every single lesson, which was brilliant. The fact that he managed that independently and said that the lessons really helped him, was a particular success story for me.”

The impact

“From an academic perspective, looking at the assessment data we have from March, the impact has been significant. We had one hard-working student improve from a C to a B in English, and another student who went from a C to a B in Biology. Across the board, the students on the programme  were probably looking at Cs and – at least partly because of the tutoring – got Bs, which we were really pleased with.”

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