St Michael’s Catholic Primary School in Tuebrook, Liverpool, has just over 70% pupil premium students.  The headteacher Alyson Rigby and her team are dedicated to providing high quality teaching and learning for the children. As well as this, they firmly believe in working in partnership with parents/carers, the parish, and members of the wider community to ensure their children have the best opportunities to thrive.

We began working with St Michael’s in early 2020 through the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) as part of an Archdiocese project across multiple primary schools in Merseyside.  This work has continued throughout the pandemic into summer term 2021.

As the current tutoring assignments draw to a close, we are discussing a new programme with St Michael’s that would be heavily subsidised by the National Tutoring Programme.  This will be for a minimum of 12 pupils and possibly 24.

The work we have done at St Michael’s Catholic Primary School

St Michael’s have become a long-term partner of the Tutor Trust. In their latest programme with us, the subject is Reading and three of the four Year 6 tutees are Pupil Premium. Reaching these pupils is key to Tutor Trust’s mission of providing high-quality tuition to those who need it most.

The pupils were chosen by Year 6 progress leaders and tutoring initially took place in school, with strict COVID measures in place. This worked well to boost the self-confidence of the children and their enjoyment of learning during such an uncertain time.

Our partnership with St Michael’s has worked very well due to the school’s willingness to engage all the pupils in our programme positively and to ensure high attendance rates at sessions. While tutoring outcomes cannot currently be measured through SATS results due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, we carefully track the additional progress made by the pupils as well as the boost to self-confidence that pupils gain.  The latter is particularly important as Year 6 pupils prepare to make the transition to secondary school.


Flexibility during lockdown and the return to school

During the third lockdown in the Spring term 2021, tutoring moved online while the pupils were at home.  Tutor Trust was pleased to be able to continue supporting the pupils during this difficult time.  Although there were some issues with pupil attendance, our tutors were flexible in rearranging sessions so that pupils still got some support.

Once all pupils returned to school from March 8th, pupil attendance at sessions has been 100% and we are delighted about this.  It is clear that pupils, tutors and teaching staff all prefer our traditional model of face-to-face tutoring in school.  


Feedback from the Headteacher and Deputy Head

Alyson Rigby, headteacher, and Kelly Nuttall, deputy headteacher, say the partnership works well:

We have partnered with Tutor Trust for a long time, and it has helped to boost the confidence of our students, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when learning has been put under more restrictions. Tuition sessions can easily slot into our school timetable, becoming a part of students’ whole syllabus, and were set up quickly.”

Since the face-to-face tutoring resumed in school, Kelly Nuttall has commented that:

  • Pupils thoroughly enjoyed the tuition and working with Gabriella, the tutor.
  • Building that relationship between tutor and pupils worked brilliantly. 
  • Even through numerous lockdowns, keeping tuition running was great. 
  • The Y6 teachers saw it as a good addition to classroom learning.

Gabriella Cantwell, the tutor at St Michael’s, had this to say:

“Throughout the pandemic, the pupils approached tuition with a willingness to learn. Each individual student's confidence developed throughout the face-to-face sessions. Working with the students has been as rewarding for me as much as it has been for the students. It is evident that each student's resilience and ability to flourish in a positive learning environment has been key in providing successful tuition.”