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Tute Virtual School, Tute

Tute | Denbigh High School | Case Study


Denbigh High School

Age Range
14-1616+

“It’s really enjoyable and never boring.  My teacher always makes it fun and engaging.”

School context

Denbigh High School is an English medium, co-educational, comprehensive school for pupils aged 11-18. The school serves just over 400 students and has faced falling role numbers in both the high school and sixth form in recent years. Although the number of students eligible for free school meals is broadly in line with the national average (17%), just over 14% of students live in the 20% of most deprived areas in Wales.  Approximately 42% of students are identified on the special educational needs register. The school is part of a consortium together with other schools and two further education colleges, which has been expanding the number of courses available at A level and GCSE, although this can create challenges in terms of transportation between sites.   In the school’s most recent inspection, the school’s standard, teaching and learning experiences, care, support and guidance, and leadership were all identified, as ‘Adequate, needs improvement,’ and well-being and attitudes to learning was identified as, ‘Unsatisfactory, needs urgent improvement.’  There have been a number of recent changes to the senior leadership team within the school.

 

Tute’s purpose

Tute is being used by the school to run courses at both AS level and GCSE in French.  Due to low student uptake, it would have been economically unviable for the school to offer this subject to just three students choosing it as an option (two for GCSE and one for AS). However, in order to meet the students’ needs to continue studying in the language as an option subject, and to maintain lower costs, the course is being offered online course on days and at times that suit the school and the students’ timetables.  This is something that the school recognises as helping it to retain high-calibre students and that could ultimately make the school more appealing to new students.

 

Why are you choosing to use Tute?

“As a school it’s a good thing because it allows us to run courses that we can’t actually staff ourselves; we’ve not got the staffing commitment, or the cost precludes that. It’s a much cheaper way of delivering a subject for a very small cohort of students and the key thing is to make sure that the students are keen and motivated and want to do it.  We’re happy that they are getting a decent quality education and will come out with successful outcomes.”

“We took on Tute as a way of delivering Modern Foreign Language to our GCSE and A-Level students.  We were unable to run a class.  It wasn’t viable due to the small numbers and the children really wanted to study French and this was the only viable way that we could allow them to continue their studies.  The students seem really engaged with the programme.  I think they like the 1-2-1 tuition that they get and they’re certainly happy with the way that their courses are going and they feel that they are developing their skills and their language.”

 

Would you recommend Tute to other schools?

“I’d certainly recommend Tute to other headteachers and other schools in a similar situation to ours because it does enable you to run a curriculum which is broader. We could be accused of having a very narrow curriculum and not meeting the needs of our students and in a small school like ours, we’re only 430 students, many classes aren’t viable at GCSE and A Level and in some ways it precludes the student going down a certain path which may have an impact on their career, so we’ve been able to use Tute to…fill the holes that we can’t as a school deliver and we’ve been very happy with the support that we’ve had from the organisation and the support the students get in their learning process.”

“I’d recommend using Tute for a broad curriculum. If you’re unable to deliver subjects yourself, then it gives the students an opportunity to keep that broad curriculum and follow subjects that they are really interested in and maybe that they want to carry on within the future”

 

Student perspectives

The students we spoke to also had plenty of feedback on how they were finding their courses.  Below one Year 12 Student and two Year 11 students give their impressions of their lessons with Tute:

What do you enjoy most about learning online?

“I come across quite confident, but I do get nervous and stuff…I think it has made me more confident with Tute because I have to ask the teacher stuff…It has developed my confidence.”

“My Tute teacher…is really knowledgeable about the French language, she’s really kind and patient and teaches me in a way that I find really useful and… I really like her.”

“It’s really enjoyable and never boring.  My teacher always makes it fun and engaging.”

“The one thing I really enjoy about Tute is how engaging it is and how focused it is on me.  There’s no one else in the class for me so my teacher can focus on what I need and my weaknesses, she can improve for me.”

“(My teacher) is very fun.  She is strict, so she doesn’t get talking, but she’s really nice.”

“I do enjoy learning with Tute because you do learn stuff a lot quicker because it’s 1-on-1, yeah it’s worth the time and effort.”

“My teacher…she’s really good.  She makes structured lessons and she’s great.”

“The lessons are really interactive and fun and you learn a lot.”

 

How does it compare with learning in a traditional classroom?

“It’s the same (as classroom teaching) in quite a lot of ways because it’s just learning, it’s the same course content and I still get an A-level out of it, but it’s also quite different because I’m the only one and there’s only me and the class teacher…it’s just different.

“It’s a really different environment, but it’s really enjoyable.  I like the fact that it’s really focused on me, there’s no distractions in the classroom and it’s sort of like a 1-on-1 learning environment.  It’s really handy.”

“I find it really helpful having my own space.”

“I think it is good because in a classroom you don’t get as much 1-2-1 with the teacher and it’s a lot better having a 1-2-1 because you learn a lot more then.”

“Tute is enjoyable.  I think it’s better than a normal classroom lesson it’s more fun and it’s more to you rather than like a class.”

 

Would you recommend Tute to other students

“I’d definitely recommend Tute.  It’s a great way of learning, it’s really focused and I just really like the way that they teach online.”

“I would recommend it because it is very easy to do and, like I said, you do get a lot of 1-on-1 time with the teacher and you learn stuff a lot quicker than you would do in a class.”

“I’d recommend Tute, definitely, because it’s like being in a classroom, but better really. We go over all the topics and past papers and stuff like that to make sure that we are ready for the exam.”

 

 

Student survey feedback

  • All students enjoy Tute lessons
  • All students rate the quality of what is delivered in lessons as excellent
  • All students feel safe in Tute lessons
  • All students feel that they make progress in Tute lessons
  • All students feel that their responses are valued in Tute lessons
  • All students would recommend Tute.
  • All students feel that they are given enough independent learning materials per week to support their progress
  • All students feel that the feedback they have received on their classwork, homework and assessment tasks has been valuable.

Student survey comments:

  • It’s more interactive and easier to ask questions and discuss. I think it is also better for developing oracy and pronunciation in a language.
  • It offers more interaction than a classroom and bespoke education.
  • They are interactive.
  • Lessons could be improved if there were more than two per week.

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