To help mitigate potential disruption to education arising from the pandemic, Bury College has received 16-19 Tuition Fund support for 2020/2021. This has allowed the college to conduct small group tuition in English and maths, targeting those working towards a grade 5 GCSE in either subject.

These learners have benefitted from the new funding through English and Maths Skills Boost sessions, which support them in overcoming any barriers to learning created by either pastoral and wellbeing gaps, or through certain curriculum areas being particularly hard hit by the pandemic. These sessions mean that for an hour at a time, students can receive personal attention and support in a class with a maximum of five students in attendance. These sessions began online, but are now continuing in-person.

Samia Ashraf, 18, is one of the learners to benefit from these additional sessions. She said, “The Maths and English Skills Boost sessions have helped me a lot. The English sessions have provided me with so many books and GCSE papers to make sure I understood how I would be assessed. The maths sessions have provided me with videos explaining the different topics and lots of useful tasks. For someone who had no maths or English qualifications, there were so many resources to help me achieve good grades.”

Upon gaining her English and maths qualifications, Samia intends on starting an Access to Higher Education course at Bury College University Centre, and then applying to go to University once she has completed this course.

Daisy Ferris, 17, has also been enjoying the opportunity to progress in English. She said, “The English Boost sessions are great because they give me the chance to go through topics that we may not have time to do in normal sessions, such as verbs and adjectives. My English tutor advised me to attend these extra classes and I have found them really beneficial, and they will hopefully boost my grade up.”

Daisy will progress from a Level 2 course in Health and Social Care into a Level 3 qualification in September. Her long-term ambition is to go into midwifery.

Alongside these sessions, Bury College continues to deliver a range of activities to support students through the pandemic, including:

  • Providing additional 1:2:1 sessions with students, e.g. with Progress Managers
  • Introduction of a Personalised Learning Centre, to allow for individual / small group learning / catch-up sessions
  • Providing additional small group Vocational sessions, e.g. to support catch-up, re-cap, consolidation
  • Providing additional online resources that students can access at times convenient to them, e.g. on areas such as mental health and wellbeing
  • Expanding the college’s Positive Future programme, which seeks to develop key study, employability and transferrable skills to assist students progress to a positive destination