How the Tutor Learning Initiative is making a difference for students at Gleneagles Secondary College
Over 6400 teaching professionals are working as tutors in Victorian schools this year, to support students whose learning was most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Gleneagles Secondary College in Endeavour Hills, seven tutors are supporting selected students in small groups, or individually if needed, to build their literacy and numeracy skills.
The initiative aligns with their already well-established learning intervention model.
At the school, every student from years 7 to 11 was assessed at the end of Term 4 in 2020 to identify those that needed extra help.
Tutors work with participating students for 50 minutes each day and monitor their learning growth in five-week cycles.
Benefiting students and teachers
School Principal Simon Sherlock explained how the initiative is already delivering great outcomes for students.
'Our model for the Tutor Learning Initiative aligns with our other intervention programs — it's evidence-based and we know that we're getting positive results,' Simon said.
'We take as our starting point our belief that students need to have rapid skill development in order to flourish in the classroom.
'Once they've gained the skills they need to be successful, they go back into the classroom and we support them as part of team teaching and small group mentoring.'
Numeracy Intervention Teacher Sarah Porter said that the initiative has been beneficial in helping students to catch up.
'Even though we've only had them for five weeks, you can already see the progress in their numeracy skills.'
Sarah works closely with classroom teachers to ensure the students get the best outcomes.
'We've been able to scaffold the work for the students, so they can access what they are learning in the classroom and get better results because of it,' she said.
A Year 8 student at Gleneagles Secondary College explained how tutoring is benefiting him.
'Tutoring has been helping me with English and expanding my knowledge on some stuff that I need for the future,' the student said.
'It [tutoring] is very comfortable. I'm not stressed, like there are always mistakes, we all make mistakes and there's certain things that we don't understand but it is easier for us to talk to the teacher about it.'
For the student, learning in a small group setting has been really helpful.
'It means the teacher is not focused on lots of children, they just focus on six or four of us which makes it easier if we need help,' he said.
School Principal Simon Sherlock said tutoring support has worked so well that the school is considering ways to continue the tutoring model at the college next year.
'We see it as part of a responsive teaching model, which ensures that we know where all our students are in their learning, and we provide immediate and effective intervention when it's needed.'
Find out more
For more information, refer to the Tutor Learning Initiative web page.