Tutoring support helping students thrive

How the Tutor Learning Initiative is boosting learning and engagement at Wandong Primary School.

During 2021, the Tutor Learning Initiative is providing additional support to students across Victoria whose learning has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Wandong Primary School has embraced the initiative, which is allowing them to strengthen their well-established approach to targeted learning intervention. 

As part of the initiative, each school can tailor how tutoring support is best implemented at their school. 

Based on end-of-year data and student assessments, students requiring additional support were identified.

Gaps in skills and knowledge related to reading, as a result of the disruptions last year, were also highlighted in the data. 

To address this, the school has employed two high-quality tutors and brought in another two learning specialists to support classroom teachers. 

Boosting learning and engagement 

Through the initiative, identified students receive tutoring support between three and four times a week.

Each student's progress is being monitored throughout the year and after one term of extra support, students at all year levels have shown learning growth. 

School Principal Kelly Morrow said the students’ progress has been outstanding and as a result, many have been able to successfully ‘exit’ the targeted intervention. 

‘Academic progress over a six-month period has far exceeded our initial expectations, with many students achieving more than 12 months growth,’ Kelly said. 

‘The Tutor Learning Initiative has allowed us to be hyper responsive to data collected. 

‘We have been able to adapt timing, explicit instruction, group sizes, target and update professional development and really use every possible moment to ensure students are getting what they require, when they require it.’

The school has seen increased confidence in students' learning as a result.  

‘The students have commented about how they feel like “experts” when they cover something in class that we have covered in our small groups, which shows an enormous boost in their confidence,’ Jodie Hempel, a tutor at the school, said. 

The initiative has, in turn, helped students to engage in their learning, with increased participation in the classroom a great result.

For tutor Nikki Potesta, student engagement has been one of the things she has found the most inspiring. 

‘When you can walk into the senior classrooms and students look to you with eager anticipation, it tells me that what we are doing is incredibly purposeful and valued by those involved,’ she said. 

The benefits of the initiative have also flowed on to teachers at the school.

‘This has opened the flood gates to professional dialogue, both formally and informally,’ Kelly said.

‘There is such a sense of teamwork and commitment to our students.

‘This is highlighted when staff purposefully seek each other out to share breakthroughs and celebrate with genuine joy and excitement the progress our students are making.’

About the Tutor Learning Initiative

The Tutor Learning Initiative began rolling out across Victorian schools in Term 1 this year, to support students whose learning has been disrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every Victorian government school now has at least one tutor on board, with more than 6,000 tutors across the state working to provide extra support for students who need it, and boost the learning and engagement of those who struggled most during remote and flexible learning. 

Find out more

For more information, refer to the Tutor Learning Initiative.

 Tutor Learning Initiative teacher and student