What Other States Can Learn From Victoria’s Tutor Learning Initiative

Tutor Learning Initiative

Old Homework Club structures v Victoria’s Tutor Learning Initiatives

As the single most “locked down” city on earth, Melbourne students faced a significant risk of falling behind their interstate peers. While the nation adjusted to home schooling, Victoria’s Tutor Learning Initiative aimed to provide comprehensive learning support and engagement to students in lockdown. And it worked. Victorian schools report rapid skills improvement and benefits for vulnerable students, and high performers. So, what can other states learn from Victoria’s Tutor Learning Initiative? Can the current Homework Club structure match the results enjoyed by Victorian schools?

The right tutoring works

Despite the frequent disruptions to Victoria’s school year, the state led the nation in NAPLAN results. Unlike ATAR which focuses solely on the older cohort with plans for further academic study, NAPLAN tracks improvement across all ages and levels of academic ability. With Australian schools already practicing “intervention” for struggling students, tutors proved to be invaluable in bringing disengaged and struggling children up to speed.

Takeaways:

  • Tutors must be practised at assisting with engagement and intervention, not just the curriculum
  • It’s not just high performing kids who need a quality tutor, struggling and disengaged students saw the biggest improvement in both commitment to and understanding of the work.

Parents and students benefit from quality tutors

As home-schooling settled in as the “new norm” for Melbourne (and wider Victorian), family stress hit new levels. The stress of balancing life during lockdown, coupled with concerns about kids’ mental health and academic performance meant anxiety all round. The Victorian Tutor Learning Initiative meant parents could delegate some of their child’s learning to a trusted third party, while feeling confident that their learning was improved, not harmed, by home-schooling.

Tutor Learning Initiative with kids on video conferencing software

Takeaways:

  • Homework stress is real. You don’t need to be in lockdown to feel the stress of helping kids to understand the curriculum, prepare assignments and study for exams. Having a reliable and trusted third party to carry this burden benefits the whole family, not just the child.

“Homework Club” is currently inadequate at most schools

Victoria’s Tutor Learning Initiative showed the potential of the nationally embraced Homework Club model. In most secondary schools, students can access group tutoring after school on one or several days per week. Victoria’s system has highlighted the importance of Homework Club but also where the system is lacking. Victoria’s program showed results well beyond a typical Homework Club set up. So, what can your school learn from Victorian schools using the initiative?

Homework Club is essential to keep your school competitive with other schools. Victoria is expecting to emerge as the academic leader in 2022.

Homework Club is underperforming in other states. Despite it being widely available to students, there is poor uptake and not all schools are showing the kinds of results that Victoria has shown.

Tutor skill is everything. While Victoria chose veteran teachers to manage their tutoring program, most schools choose former students with little tutoring experience, or teachers already struggling to keep up with their day-to-day commitments to the school. Victoria’s Tutor Learning Initiative has proven that a tutor’s ability to engage and help the child overcome the setbacks before them is just as important as knowledge of the curriculum.

Homework Club - Kids and tutors wearing masks being tutored during the pandemic

Victoria’s Tutor Learning Initiative has been a massive success but also required investment of both time and money to bring about these outcomes. Most schools operate on limited resources, especially staff resources. This can result in a subpar Homework Club performance.

How A Team Tuition has solved this problem for dozens of schools already

As the official partner to the Australian Boarding Schools Association, A Team Tuition has provided students with intensive tutoring across Australia for several years. As boarders face additional emotional and social barriers to learning (being far from family), A Team Tuition developed our Boarder Program to ensure the wellbeing of the students, as well as the academic success. It produced such impressive results that we now train all tutors to focus on mindset and support as a means of delivering the curriculum. And it works. Our results are incredible.

Tutoring kids during the pandemic.  Lots of kids sitting around working on their laptops and worksheets

Year 12 Student Harriet – 54% to 95% in Maths Methods

Harriet was at a crossroads – she received the results of her Year 11 final exams and they were a long way off where she was hoping to be.  Harriet had scored 54% in her Maths Methods and was being encouraged by her teacher to consider switching down to Maths General for the final year.  Harriet stuck with Maths Methods and started working with Tiahna, one of A Team’s Academic Personal Trainers, and by the end of Year 12 Harriet was scoring 95% for her maths results.

Year 8 Student Emily – Transforming D grades to As

When Emily started with A Team in the Somerville school program in the middle of 2020, she was consistently acheving D grades in the majority of her subjects. By the end of the 2020 school year Emily was starting to achieve B’s in most of her subjects.  After working with A Team for twelve months those B’s were A’s. Emily has continued to flourish and has found a level of confidence and passion for learning that has her now consistently achieving A grades.

Homework Club Initiative shows two tutors working with a child who holds an award for working well

Year 8 Student Makalah – Top Year 8 Somerville Student (pictured with tutors Charlotte and Shwe)

Boarding student Makalah was awarded Top Year 8 Student.  Makalah has an incredible work ethic and has managed her time very well this term. She’s always ahead of the curve with her work and her engagement this term has had a delightful sky rocket. Even though holidays are approaching and everyone is tired, Makalah has maintained impressive work habits.

These success stories are not “one-off’s”.  Our tutors work with students, parents and teachers to help kids achieve their best.  You can read more of our student’s transformation stories here.

Adapting our Boarding School Program for Day School Homework Club

While we call it the “Academic Support Program” (Homework Club sounds like the worst club ever!), we help schools overcome the barriers to providing exceptional tutoring support for kids. All our tutors are carefully selected, screened, trained and mentored to deliver the right service for your students. For your most engaged, and least engaged students. For schools, this means:

  • Your students’ wellbeing and commitment to the curriculum is our top priority.
  • We implement everything, freeing up admin staff and teaching staff.
  • We are pro-active and on hand to help with anything you need. With a pool of highly skilled tutors in your area, we don’t just match based on fields of study, we’ll match our tutors to your school’s values and goals.
  • Your teachers have our support. We’ll help you to help your vulnerable students, and your star performers.
  • We know that your results impact your ability to recruit students, and to secure funding. We are here to support your goal in developing your school’s reputation and performance.
  • We’re happy to share our track record with your board, your P&C and your parents to ensure that all your stakeholders are excited to transform your school into a better learning environment for kids.
  • Empower your students to be competitive with Victoria’s Tutor Learning Initiative graduates.

Find out if this program can work at your school

We work closely with all our schools, and pride ourselves on providing support to the whole school, from the board to the prep class. We’re always here to answer any questions, so simply get in touch to find out how we can help your students to thrive.