Beyond the classroom: Tutoring programmes boost pupil attainment and confidence

Sean Briscoe and Aimee Ashe are fully aware of the power of tutoring at Bedford Primary School. As a teacher and a volunteer tutor respectively, they both benefit from Action Tutoring’s academic programme.

Sean said: “All the staff at our school have been positive about how the programme is run.”

Aimee added: “I wanted experience with children before starting my postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and Action Tutoring felt perfect.”

Action Tutoring is a charity which supports pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds with their English and maths education, and Sean and Aimee recognise its benefits.

Sean said: “We witness the impact of the tutoring programmes each week, and our pupils return feeling assured.”

Aimee recalled: “One of my pupils struggles with division and she repeatedly told herself she couldn’t do arithmetic.

“After a few sessions, she started to work out the division on her own and got the correct answer. It was amazing as she was then able to do it.”

Indeed, the positive impact Action Tutoring’s programme has had on Sean and Aimee’s pupils is impressive.  

One such pupil is Lillia. Previously not a fan of maths, since receiving tuition from Aimee, the Year 6 pupil now finds it a lot easier.  

Lillia, who enjoys reading in her spare time, said: “Before tutoring, I felt ok about maths, though I didn’t really like it that much.  

“But now, thanks to Aimee – who is kind and a good listener – I find maths much easier to understand.  

 “I have even started getting more questions right in class.”

It is true that Aimee’s enthusiasm as a volunteer tutor is really benefiting the pupils she works with. A recent psychology graduate, Aimee first heard about Action Tutoring at university. Since joining, she has felt grateful for the opportunity.  

Aimee and pupils

Aimee said: “What I love about being an Action Tutoring volunteer tutor is by working in small groups, it feels more personal.

“This approach also better helps pupils with what they may be struggling on.”

Lillia is just one beneficiary of the hard work tutors put in when volunteering with Action Tutoring. Founded in 2011, the charity’s work involves partnering with primary and secondary state schools to deliver tutoring programmes. It supports Year 5, 6, 7, 10 and 11 pupils at risk of leaving school without reaching national standards in their exams.  

Another example of a pupil who lacked confidence before enrolling with Action Tutoring is Daria in Year 6. Thanks to her tutor Ian, basketball fan Daria’s mood has transformed.  

Daria said: “Ian is very encouraging, funny, kind and helpful and makes me feel confident about myself.

“I care about the maths group I’m in – tutoring makes me feel I can get into the top maths set.”

Seeing Daria’s progress thanks, in part, to the tutoring programme, has left phase lead for Year 5 and 6 and wellbeing, Sean, an Action Tutoring advocate.  

He said: “I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in pupils’ confidence, attitude, and resilience.  

“Since joining the programme at Bedford Primary School, I’ve noticed our pupils shift their mindset, including many learning how to tackle the question independently.”

As a teacher, how does Sean sum-up his school’s experience with Action Tutoring?  

Sean said: “No schools want to invest their time, money, and resources into something that doesn’t work.  

“That’s why I believe Action Tutoring’s programmes offer good value and we witness the impact of such supportive tutors each week.”

As for tutors and their programme highlights, how would Aimee summarise her time with Action Tutoring?  

She said: “The best thing about tutoring is when pupils get the correct answer, where they may have previously struggled.

“Their faces light up and you can see how proud they are of themselves.”

By signing up, volunteers can tutor from as little as one hour a week, either online or-in person.

If you are interested in learning more about the impact tutoring can have on your school or getting involved as a volunteer, get in touch:  



Telephone: 0300 102 0094 

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