Engagement is key

Some of the young people our tutors work with have complex relationships with learning; tutoring offers opportunities to approach topics in a way that appeals to the individual and enables them to grow their confidence as well as ability.

One such young person, (K) in Year 11, has been working with a full-time tutor, Sarah, throughout this academic year, receiving support from home in GCSE English, Maths and Science.

When tutoring first began, K was refusing to attend sessions for any longer than 15 minutes – if at all. Tuition was placed on hold during lockdown and it was uncertain whether it would even continue if K was unwilling to attend. However, as lockdown eased, K spoke to his carer and expressed an interest in resuming tuition. Following this recommencement, K has fully engaged in his tutoring sessions, attending 2-4 hours of tuition per week. He often discusses with Sarah the ways in which tutoring will support him in his aims to go to College, and to receive the grades needed to do so.

K’s carer, an A-Level teacher, provided feedback on the progress of tutoring:

I could not be more impressed with Sarah, she is conducting some of the best work I have seen and the way she has engaged K is just incredible. I did not think he would ever engage, open up and look forward to tuition like this.

Our tutees are more than capable

Some of the pupils we work with may be dual-enrolled in a PRU and a mainstream school, and so may receive tuition for as long as they are attending their PRU.  In some PRUs, pupils may be seeing the same tutor for several hours a week, sometimes around four hours per week. For some of these young people the time they spend in tuition makes up a substantial component of the total time they spend in education each week. In many of these settings, tutors become almost integrated in the AP’s staff, coming on-site several days per week and working with multiple young people 1:1 or 1:2. These tutors may not always know which young people they will be working with each day. Working in AP is interesting but inconsistent. Tutors need to be flexible and prepared.

The AP / LAC team tutor said of the tutees:

The young people I work with have had bad experiences with education in the past, where they've not fit in with their class and not been able to form relationships with teachers. 1:1 tutoring is so much better than being in huge class. I get on with them really well. Sometimes they struggle to do the work, because they have a lot going on in their lives, but they’re more than capable – they’re really smart."