Thousands of schoolchildren to benefit after University awarded over £300,000

Thousands of North East schoolchildren are set to benefit after the success of an innovative bid by the University of Sunderland to help schools catch up on missed learning. Earlier this year the Department for Education announced the

National Tutoring Programme (NTP), a scheme designed to provide catch-up support to primary and secondary school pupils who may have missed out on lessons during the pandemic. A leading team from the University’s Faculty of Education and

Society then helped devise a special Catch up and Recovery course, aimed at trainee teachers, career returners, and recently retired educators. These groups could sign up for the course to provide that much

needed helping hand to working teachers already under pressure. And with the new lockdown under way, the scheme is now more

important than ever. Now, the University has won its bid to be the provider for the

National Tutoring Partners North East region, with just over £313,000 in funding coming direct from NTP. The scheme overall is worth £396,000. Mikeala Morgans (pictured), Principal Lecturer and Team Leader,

Initial Teacher Training, has been leading on the new programme, along with colleagues Allison Wilson and Kirsty Bell. She said: “We will be working in collaboration with regional

partners to recruit and train 350 excellent tutors to work in schools across the region. “Our programme is designed to reach over 2,500 pupils from KS1-

KS4 across the North East in English, mathematics, sciences, humanities and MfL. “Tutoring will take place in small groups and schools can opt for

face to face or online sessions. This is a unique opportunity, with 75% of tutoring costs funded by the DfE and 25% by schools, to support the catch up pupils who were out of school for a significant amount of time over the spring and summer.” 12

Remote learning across the globe at a Worksop school

A Worksop school that is home to international students is setting the bar high when it comes to remote learning, having carried out more than 4,000 online lessons across four different time zones during lockdown and beyond. Worksop College, set in 330 acres of woodland just outside the town

centre on the A57 in north Notts, is an independent, broad-ability school with a rich 125 year history educating students from year 7-13, while its feeder school, Ranby House, provides wrap-around education for children aged 2-11. The school was embracing online learning across the board before the

pandemic struck, which meant it was a seamless transition for the students to learn from home when lockdown started - even for one of its pupils in Cyprus who hasn’t missed a single lesson despite his teachers being more than 2,000 miles away. 15-year-old Colin Worthen is a full-time boarder at the school, so when

lockdown happened in March, he flew home to Cyprus to be with his parents. He said: “I’ve really enjoyed all of my lessons throughout lockdown and the

fact they’re being done online doesn’t affect how much I’ve learn at all. I’ve carried on with my GCSE syllabus for all my subjects, even practical ones like science, and I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything at all. “The only difference is that my day starts a little later as there is a 2-hour

time difference with the UK – but I don’t mind that!” Headmaster at Worksop College and Ranby House Dr. John Price said the

fact that the school, which offers boarding as well as day places, is home to several international students meant it was prepared for a remote learning scenario well before other schools and academies. He said: “We could see what was coming in the early months of this year,

so we very swiftly ensured that all of our students from year 4 upwards were trained in how to use Microsoft Teams and we introduced our youngest pupils to Zoom as it allowed them to see lots of their friends’ faces on the screen. “When lockdown was announced, we were ready. That very Monday all

lessons went live online, all feedback and mark books were accessible online and of course all resources too, many of which we already used digitally, such as text books. “It wasn’t just a case of making do. We were and still are using the

technology at our fingertips innovatively to ensure each and every one of our students gets the individual, tailored education they deserve. For example, during one practical Biology lesson I was teaching recently, our pupil in Cyprus, Colin, could momentarily see the experiment better via Teams than the students at the back of the classroom, so they logged on to Teams too in order to have as good a vantage point as Colin!” November 2020

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