Student Gabriella Revach during a tutoring session.
Students from the University of East Anglia (UEA) have provided tutoring sessions to pupils from across Norfolk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sessions in maths, English and science benefitted more than 300 pupils from nine secondary schools and aimed to close the attainment gap between children from wealthier and less wealthy backgrounds, which the pandemic has widened.
Over 30 UEA students delivered more than 1800 hours of tutoring between January and May 2021. Sessions were delivered online to small groups of pupils in Years 8, 9 and 10.
The scheme was delivered as part of UEA’s Make It Count Outreach Programme.
It started swiftly after schools shared their concerns with the University that lockdown closures were most detrimental to the education of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Charlotte Wheatland, Head of Outreach at UEA, said: “We were clear that we wanted to take action and rapidly formed a tutoring programme.
“The pupils we have managed to work with have increased their skills, knowledge, confidence and passion for their studies. Teachers have been incredibly positive about the scheme.
“We know this gap in attainment doesn’t end now schools are open again and will be looking to continue our support for the most disadvantaged pupils to close attainment and knowledge gaps over the coming years.”
The sessions were tailored to cover any subject areas the pupils and their teachers felt they could improve.
Third year Biomedical Sciences student Erin Casson was part of the team of students that delivered the tutoring sessions. She said: “I truly enjoyed my experience working with the Make It Count scheme, and I know that my students felt the same way.
“I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to get some real life practise in teaching children, as I will be training to become a teacher next year.
“Delivering these sessions showed me the qualities I already possess which would make me a good teacher, but also highlighted areas where I can improve.”