Attain was launched in 2020 as a new partnership programme providing free catch-up support to local schools. This was particularly in response to the impact of lockdown on the disadvantage gap, which was widening for the first time in around a decade. Students who took part in our programmes were nominated by their teachers as having particularly fallen behind where they should be because of the pandemic; and with a focus on students on Pupil Premium, or particularly financially impacted by lockdown.
In our primary school iteration, Latymer Upper, Latymer Prep, and partner St Paul's and St Paul's Girls' teachers provide small-group tutoring in English and Maths. Students are in Year 5 or 6, and preparing for SATs and secondary school.
In secondary schools, Latymer Upper teachers give catch-up lessons to Year 10 or 11 students preparing for GCSEs: our support covers topics in around 6 GCSE subjects.
The Attain programme aims to address the disadvantage gap exacerbated by COVID-19, by helping provide some of the lost lesson time and personal support from lockdown. As such we worked with local state primary and secondary schools, who nominated students to take part based on whether they had fallen behind, or were at risk of under-performing; and with a particular focus on students on Pupil Premium, or financially impacted by COVID-19.
Of the students who were nominated by their teachers and took part in our programme, around 59% are on Pupil Premium, while the remainder were identified as being financially disadvantaged during the pandemic. All were predicted to slip (further) behind their peers without intervention: at baseline before tuition, in Spring of their Year 5 or Year 6, around 65% of Attain students had already fallen behind in their assessments by between 2-5 terms.
In the summer of 2020, when Latymer asked its local partner schools how it could support them most effectively, the feedback was unanimous - individual or small group catch-up. Primary schools were particularly interested in input for individual pupils with a focus on reading, building vocabulary, writing, and maths.
Secondary schools on the other hand valued catch-up support for their Year 10 students ahead of GCSEs, and requested more classroom-style catch-up lessons.
Latymer Upper, Latymer Prep, and teachers at partner schools SPS and SPGS signed up to provide catch-up tutoring. These teachers were paid for their time by the Latymer Foundation through dedicated COVID-19 fundraising, though some teachers generously opted to donate their earnings towards the running costs of the programme, or our bursary appeal.
Teachers provided baseline assessment data on their pupils taking part in Attain: this provided us with a picture of our student profile compared with their peers, and a way to track long-term progress in closing the gap. This will be collected again after the 2021-22 phase of the programme. For Year 11 students, GCSE results compared with their classroom peers will be collected and assessed against the gap at baseline; and against their target grades.
In our secondary programme, we are also measuring key educational metrics such as school engagement; confidence in their academic catch-up subjects; and grit (resilience, belief in change, perseverance). These were collected in quantitative self-report surveys at baseline, and will be followed up Spring 2022.
Both academic assessments, and survey self-reports, showed our Attain students significantly behind their classmate peers before tutoring support.
After our pilot programme January-June 2021, we sent anonymous feedback surveys to our tutors, and the school class teachers.
- 82% of Tutors saw an increase in students’ engagement and attention
- 100% of Class Teachers and 100% of Tutors saw an increase in students’ confidence
- 100% of Class Teachers saw improved overall readiness to be back in school
- 83% of Class Teachers saw an increase in students’ academic ability