"Working with Yipiyap will enable us to ensure that our students have the best possible opportunity to obtain the grades they need to have a rewarding and successful future career."
Barry Atkins, The Manchester College
The Manchester College and peer tutoring organisation Yipiyap have partnered to create a system that connects students with a tutor of their choice, close to them in age, to give them additional support and teaching in a series of remote lessons.
540 students across Greater Manchester will benefit from the process, which will involve 15 tutors from across the north, each providing 1-4 days a week of tuition. They themselves have recently completed A’ Levels and have deferred university to do this. Each tutor, recruited through an extensive process by Yipiyap, has created an online pen portrait and video so that the GCSE students can choose who teaches them based on personality as well as availability, and the sessions will be run in groups of up to three learners at a time to support learners ahead of upcoming exams.
Anne Morris, founder of Yipiyap, says: “Peer teaching has generated proven results as the tutors are so close in age and relatable. We already work with schools to provide peer tutors for in-class support, but our ‘Upgrade’ programme is the first time we have created a complete network of tutors with the express purpose of helping those who did not pass maths or English now get the pass they need.”
Barry Atkins, Vice Principal, commented: “As a College we are committed to ensuring that no student is disadvantaged by the Covid-19 pandemic and that we are doing everything we can to ensure that our students have all the skills they need to become the next generation of industry excellence. Ensuring that they obtain a grade 4 GCSE qualification in English and Maths is critical for a large number of careers. Working with Yipiyap will enable us to ensure that our students have the best possible opportunity to obtain the grades they need to have a rewarding and successful future career.”
School-assessed grades in the wake of COVID led to many pupils getting excellent results, with the proportion of the highest GCSE grades awarded in England this year rising by over 25%, according to regulator Ofqual - however many did not receive Grade 4 in maths and English, which, as of 2016, requires a resit.
Anne Morris concludes: “2020 saw a huge rise in blended learning as schools entered lockdown - and being young and very tech-efficient, our tutors have been the driving force of many remote learning programmes. Being agile and providing support in a digital space is something we’ve been doing a lot of over the past few months and we’re excited to build on this as the key is to continue to adapt and provide increased support for learners wherever needed.”