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Maximising impact: quality of teaching

In my previous blogs, we began looking at how to maximise the impact of short-term interventions and optimising that impact further by adjusting the frequency and duration of programmes.  We want our students to get the most out of their programmes and really thrive in their subjects through their lessons with Tute. This week, I want to talk about another key factor in ensuring this is the case: the quality of teaching.  

Quality of teaching is advocated as being instrumental to progress in all learning contexts.  In their paper, ‘Improving the impact of teachers on pupil achievement in the UK,’ The Sutton Trust previously suggested: 

  • The difference between a very effective teacher and a poorly performing teacher is large. For example during one year with a very effective maths teacher, pupils gain 40% more in their learning than they would with a poorly performing maths teacher.

  • The effects of high-quality teaching are especially significant for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds: over a school year, these pupils gain 1.5 years’ worth of learning with very effective teachers, compared with 0.5 years with poorly performing teachers.

The EEF suggests:

“The best available evidence indicates that great teaching is the most important lever schools have to improve pupil attainment. Ensuring every teacher is supported in delivering high-quality teaching is essential to achieving the best outcomes for all pupils, particularly the most disadvantaged among them.”

Ensuring high quality teaching is, without question, crucial in ensuring impact, but how can this be done, especially in the context of remote lesson delivery and online teaching? I refer to ‘teaching’ and not ‘tutoring’ or ‘tuition’ deliberately here because often in the realm of online learning, and tutoring in particular, these two concepts are conflated; whilst teachers can also be tutors, not all tutors are trained and qualified teachers. A cornerstone of our practice here at Tute is that all of our teachers are fully qualified, DBS checked, experienced classroom practitioners and this makes a big difference to the quality of teaching.   

Tute teachers have designed and refined a pedagogical approach to engage, motivate and challenge learners. They know how to assess and provide feedback that identifies gaps in learning and encourages metacognitive thinking so that students can address those gaps. Tute’s teachers build genuine, meaningful relationships with their students and guide them to achieve real outcomes in a virtual environment. The whole team is committed to student outcomes, putting the young person at the core of everything it does and this is evidenced through their dedication to quality assuring high standards of teaching and learning.  

In addition to being fully qualified classroom teachers, all Tute teachers are also subject to an extensive safer recruitment and selection process and, once enrolled, they are given rigorous, bespoke training and ongoing professional development specific to online learning. Tute has a dedicated Teaching & Learning quality team led by a passionate Head of Teaching and Learning. This team reviews and observes lessons, identifying best practice and striving for continuous improvement across the range of subjects and teachers.  

To further assure Tute’s high quality of teaching and learning is maintained, Tute also contracts Ofsted Outstanding Teaching School Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust to regularly review teaching and learning, provide feedback and support professional development. 

The best way to understand what high quality teaching looks like online though, is undoubtedly to see it in action. Booking a free taster lesson is a great way to do this and then you can see the potential for impact yourself.  

Next time, we’ll look more at maximizing impact through promoting student engagement

Dr. Sharon Smith
Impact and Evaluation Manager

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