For the past four years, we’ve partnered with Tutors United to deliver their ‘Tutoring Young Residents’ programme which offers free, after-school tutorials to our young A2Dominion customers in Ealing and Westminster. These tutorials provide maths and English tuition for pupils in years 4, 5 and 6, and they’re traditionally held at our Beethoven and Havelock community centres, along with the Orchard Café in Green Man Lane, Ealing.
Tutoring during lockdown
Lately we’ve had to close our community buildings to protect the health of our staff and customers. However, the team at Tutors United have continued to support our younger residents by taking the classes safely and securely online; delivering fun, interactive, small-group tuition within less than a week of the nationwide restrictions in March.
Greer Mulcahey Banks, Senior Programme Officer at Tutors United, explains: “With schools and other youth provisions in lockdown, we know how crucial it is that children have access to maths and English support as well as opportunities to interact and socialise with their peers. By late March, we trained our tutors in how to adapt lesson plans for online use via Zoom and supported parents with instructions, tutorials and ongoing technical support so they’re able to access lessons from whatever device they have available.
A smooth move to online
“Over the past four weeks, our young residents have not only continued to receive academic support, they have also improved their digital literacy and communication skills. Both the pupils and tutors adapted extremely well to the new learning environment. We’re proud of their response during what is a challenging time for everyone.”
The importance of privacy and safety
One of Tutor United’s key considerations when taking the lessons online was ensuring the privacy and safety of the pupils involved. All lessons held via Zoom are protected by a secure password, shared only with the parents of pupils who have signed their children up to the programme. Parents must also provide consent for sessions to be video recorded, so the classes can be shared with pupils and their families offline when they’re unable to attend or need to revisit the content.
“One benefit of the classes being taught online and often attended from a pupil’s living room, is that parents can see how well their child is engaging in these tutorials and can provide some much needed encouragement to focus” says Greer. “It’s added a new dimension to the tuition that has often improved the pupils’ attention span.”
Parent Thelagawathi Suppiah, whose daughter Jayna attends the programme at our Beethoven Community Centre in Queen’s Park, praised the online learning classes:
“The Zoom classes are helping to keep my daughter occupied and she’s doing very well with her lessons and teachers,” Thelagawathi said. “Jayna tells me that she loves the tuition and I‘d like to say thank you for providing these classes online while we can’t meet face-to-face.”
We love it too!
Supporting families and creating opportunities for children to develop their education is a key commitment of our community investment activities. It’s all part of keeping profit for social purpose at the heart of what we do.
Visit our website to find out more on how we invest in our communities.
You can also find more information about Tutors United on their website.