The issue of Curriculum Briefing – Tutoring to improve learning will provide you with all you need to use tutoring effectively to raise standards throughout your school

Managed well, tutors can be solid support for curriculum managers, working to ensure the latest approach to the curriculum is delivered to the people that matter most: the students themselves. It is their job to understand the unique needs of every pupil in their group, and to implement strategies to ensure these needs are met in classrooms throughout the school so that each day the student can gain as much as possible from the learning menu on offer. Good tutors are there to provide for the individual – and with the personalised learning agenda waiting in the wings, then arguably their role will never have been more centre-stage. Why is it then that many schools are failing to make full use of this valuable sector of their staff?

Tutoring to improve learning will help you to:

  • Understand the different roles tutors can play
  • Oversee an effective tutor team
  • Create the best tutoring system for your pupils
  • Apply teaching and learning strategies that allow tutors to raise achievement
  • Reorganise the tutor system around learning organisations and make innovative use of support staff
  • Communicate effectively with students to transform learning

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Use tutoring to transform learning in your school Tutoring is a valuable part of the school day because when used effectively it can support individual learners and help them to take their learning to the next level. Tutoring to improve learning identifies the factors underpinning successful learning and it will show you how tutors can address these to improve the learning outcomes of your school’s pupils. Tutoring to improve learning explains the difference between tutoring and teaching, and provides you with practical tips on how tutors can make a significant difference to pupils’ learning development.

Understand the different roles and responsibilities of tutors While the nature of tutoring has changed, the need for a key adult to whom a pupil can turn for support and advice is more important than ever. Tutoring to improve learning describes the different roles tutors must play and the action they need to take to ensure these are performed to maximum effect. Tutoring to improve learning offers strategies that will help you and your tutors fulfil these responsibilities effectively.

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Equip your tutor team with the required skills In order to create a first-class tutor team you need to ensure each member has the right skills and attributes to do the job well. Tutoring to improve learning discusses research findings and insights that will shed light on what makes a tutor effective, what pupils value and what experienced tutors say are the skills needed. Gaining this knowledge will help you to provide your tutors with the foundations and assets they need to progress.       Promote learning through tutor-pupil conversations Increasingly, schools are using conversations between teachers and pupils to promote better learning. Such conversations are not just chat. Tutoring to improve learning describes the structure, techniques and vocabulary for communicating with pupils so your school can make the most of learning conversations.

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Mentor students on the curriculum options available to them Tutors need to have a good idea of the options available to those in their pastoral care. To help you in the mentoring role, Tutoring to improve learning guides you through the maze of options now available to pupils and identifies the questioning, listening and management skills that a mentor needs to help pupils make the right choices for them.

Involving teaching assistants in tutoring   To alleviate the workload of teaching tutors so they can focus more on improving the learning of their tutees, a Dorset school created a co-tutoring system where support staff took on registration and other administrative tasks. The headteacher of the school explains how the system works and outlines the benefits to the school, pupils and staff. Tutoring to improve learning will help you to use support staff creatively, allowing tutors to concentrate on pupil learning.

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Develop and mentoring tutors Performance management is well established for curriculum subject teachers, but less well recognised as a tool of professional development for tutors. Tutoring to improve learning shows you how a year 9 coordinator carries out her role as a mentor for tutors in a school where curricular and pastoral systems are closely linked, and where a high value is placed on tutor development. Tutoring to improve learning will help you put in place a mentoring system that will support your tutors.