News & Insights 7 October 2022

How to help disadvantaged pupils settle into a new academic year as a tutor

Our autumn term has officially begun and we are incredibly excited to continue supporting our pupils across the country!

If education equality is a cause you deeply care about, volunteering as a tutor is an effective way to support disadvantaged young people achieve the grades they need to open doors to a brighter future.

As a volunteer with Action Tutoring, you can tutor in-school for an hour once a week and meet your pupils face-to-face. But, for those who wish to join our mission and find it difficult due to busy schedules, you can tutor online too!

Here we share some tips on how to help your pupils settle into the new academic year.

How can you help pupils settle into a new academic year as a tutor?

Create a welcoming and safe learning environment

Our volunteers are provided with the support and resources they need to make tutoring sessions a safe space for all pupils. Our session plans include icebreaker suggestions to get to know each other and warm up activities to start each session.

A safe learning space, and feeling comfortable with a new adult, enables children to feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts and opinions, without the fear of being judged.

Clear boundaries and inclusive communication also allows tutors to better handle sensitive topics and create a stronger bond with pupils. 

Read more: Inclusive communication at Action Tutoring: Why it matters

Ask open-ended questions

Closed questions also seem to provide an easy shortcut to assessing pupil learning, but open-ended questions have the power to challenge pupils and motivate them to think critically. This way, they are not passively obtaining new knowledge, but process it in an effective way and provide a range of responses.

Remember to be attentive, show an authentic interest in what they say and reply with kindness.

Praise their hard work

Praise is an important part of tutoring and can motivate pupils to do better! As a tutor, be sure to remind them they are one step closer to their learning goals, and this will leave pupils feeling inspired and motivated to do better next time.

If they are struggling with a particular concept in a session, you can remind them about a time when they struggled to do something the first time, but kept going and now can do it well. Or, if you don’t know them that well yet, ask them to think of an example!

When your pupils make progress, no matter how small or big, praise makes them feel empowered and supported.

Learn more skills

A good tutor turns up to their session on time, follows our resources and engages with their pupils effectively each week. A brilliant tutor is someone who seeks ways to improve the way they communicate and interact with their pupils! 

With Action Tutoring, you can benefit from our Bright Ideas training sessions. These provide volunteers with additional, bitesize training to learn about ways in which you can go that extra mile to support your pupils.

You can also browse our news and insights for more blogs with tutoring tips!

We suggest:

Nervous about your first tutoring session? These tips will help!

Struggling to engage your pupils in tutoring sessions? This guide will help!