The run-up to SATs is a busy time and we know that the worry and stress of the exam period is dawning. So, we thought it would be useful to hear some success stories from schools across the UK that use our personalised 1-to-1 interventions. From members of the SLT through to class teachers, in this post you’ll be able to see the impact our interventions have made, all from the mouths of educators who have seen the impact first hand!

A common occurrence in the classroom is that certain pupils don’t have the resilience to keep tackling a problem. As a teacher, chances are you’ve come across pupils that:

• Try to answer a problem question and are unable to do it

• Give up easily when the answer isn’t immediate

• Guess rather than taking their time to try and think what the answer could be.

When this happens pupils tend to get disheartened and we know that, in a class of 30, it’s hard to focus on these pupils without slowing the rest of the class down. As a teacher you want to be able to give instant feedback but, as Tim Jackman from Pangbourne Primary School told us, it’s hard to do that for 30 children. So the feedback that they get back from their 1-to-1 Third Space tutor is “extremely valuable”.

Improved SATs Results

Schools that use our 1-to-1 interventions identify the boost in ‘confidence’, ‘overall attainment’ and of course that ‘the children have always loved their Third Space sessions’, but as a teacher, we know you want the success stories! So, here’s a bit more detail from some of the school’s that have used our 1-to-1 interventions, how their pupils progressed and how the school did in SATs after using our 1-to-1 interventions…

Parson Street Primary SchoolSATs Success Stories

School size: 476

Location: Bristol

TSL pupils Autumn 2018: 10

Problem the school was facing: the school had some low prior retainers

Parson Street Primary School registered 10 pupil premium eligible students for our 1-to-1 maths interventions. Deputy Head Teacher Louise Hopcroft explained more to us about why they chose to go with us.

“Over the last three years, our SATs results haven’t been so great…Our pupil premium children have been historically very low and we were really looking for something that could fill that gap.”

One particular success story from Parson Street Primary School was with a Year 6 girl who did our intervention for 3 terms. This particular pupil ‘struggled all the time’ and was finding it hard to feel like she could do the maths, but Louise goes on to tell us that this student:

Was one of our big success stories, she got her expected in maths which [the pupil] was so proud of and a good score as well because the maths suddenly just clicked! A lot of that was down to the tutor who gave [the pupil] the chance to explain and understand things and go back to the basics.”

The Impact Third Space’s Interventions Had On Parson Street Primary’s Results

Since starting our 1-to-1 interventions Parson Street Primary School’s “maths progress has come out hugely better this year, [they’ve] gone from around 40% or 54% achieving age-related expectations to 70%”.

Aveley Primary SchoolSATs Success Stories

School size: 463

Location: Essex

TSL pupils Autumn 2018: 18

Problem the school was facing: the school had some low prior retainers

Aveley Primary School used our interventions to help with those children that had more of a barrier in maths than others. The school had some very low prior retainers who, with the help from their Third Space tutor, achieved their age-related and went on to get ‘100 plus’ in their SATs. In an interview, the deputy headmistress, Tracy Hart went on to say that our interventions “worked miraculously” for their chosen pupils.

The Impact Third Space’s Interventions Had On Aveley Primary’s Results

Castlechurch Primary SchoolSATs Success Stories

School size: 342

Location: Stafford

TSL pupils Autumn 2018: 12

Problem the school was facing: Pupil Premium children struggling to meet ARE

With their Pupil Premium children struggling to meet age-related expectation (ARE) and needing to boost their confidence in maths before the SATs, Castlechurch Primary School looked towards our 1-to-1 online tuition to help.

The Impact Third Space’s Interventions Had On Castlechurch Primary’s Results

Nicola Glover, the headmistress at Castlefield, told us that before using Third Space’s interventions they used ‘Puma tests’ in class and all of the children that then went on to take part in Third Space sessions scored  “around 90-95″. Since their 1-to-1 sessions, “they’ve upped that and made the grades”.

West Horndon Primary SchoolSATs Success Stories

School size: 129

Location: Essex

TSL pupils Autumn 2018: 17

Problem the school was facing: Pupils who were disengaged with learning

West Horndon Primary School have been using Third Space since January 2016. In 2017 the school had 8 pupils using our 1-to-1 interventions, this year West Horndon Primary have 17 pupils taking part in our interventions (this is ALL of their Year 6 pupils)! The school’s SENCO, Julia Bolton, spoke about the decision to increase their pupil number:

Julia tells us that in the past two years the school have seen an increase in looked-after children coming to them in Year 6 who are particularly disengaged with learning – especially maths, but she mentions:

“It’s really lovely to watch them put their headphones on and think “ah, I’m really enjoying this”’

The Impact Third Space’s Interventions Had On West Horndon Primary’s Results

Our interventions “helped across the board” with West Horndon Primary School’s overall SATs results:

The average results were 90-100%…so we’re really pleased with that and Third Space really helped us achieve these results!”

– Julia Bolton, SENCO, West Horndon Primary School

Crookesbroom Primary AcademySATs Success Stories

School size: 234

Location: Doncaster

TSL pupils Autumn 2018: 11

Problem the school was facing: Pupils working below the ARE

Crookesbroom Primary Academy used our interventions for children who were working just below the expected level in Year 6. Due to low staff numbers, Crookesbroom academy found they weren’t able to provide as much 1-to-1 intervention as they needed to for their upper KS2 pupils. Third Space Learning enabled them to run 1-to-1 lessons for 11 pupils in the space of just one hour each week, with no additional staff.

“It made them not just get to the expected it made them secure.”

– David Longley, Assistant Principal, Crookesbroom Primary Academy

Crookesbroom Primary Academy uses our 1-to-1 interventions in January and up to SATs for Year 6, then after SATs they use it for year 5 to get them ready for the Year 6 SATs the next year.

The Impact Third Space’s Interventions Had On Crookesbroom Primary’s Results

Pangbourne Primary SchoolSATs Success Stories

School size: 220

Location: Reading

TSL pupils Autumn 2018: 3

Problem the school was facing: To help the lower achievers in Year 6

Pangbourne Primary School used our 1-to-1 interventions for three of their Pupil Premium students.

The Impact Third Space’s Interventions Had On Pangbourne Primary’s Results

Tim Jackman, the schools’ maths coordinator, let us know how they did overall in SATs:

The Impact Third Space’s Interventions Have

1-to-1 interventions, such as ours, can have a real, noticeable impact on both confidence and attainment. Reasons for this include:

• Pupils are required to verbalise their thought process with their tutor, which encourages them to engage and understand concepts more deeply.

• Each individual lesson is tailored to the pupils’ needs.

• Encourages pupils to engage as they’re only speaking to one person and not having to speak up in class.

• Pupils build relationships with their tutors, having a positive impact on learning.

Helping children gain confidence in maths

Confidence is key and finding a way, and time, to improve it is something that every school aims for. As Tracy Hart, Deputy Headmistress at Aveley Primary School, notes:

“It is those children who would benefit from building confidence that need Third Space’s interventions’ and ‘they find that [confidence] with the 1-to-1″.

The children that take part in our 1-to-1 sessions, according to David Longley, Assistant Principal at Crookesbroom Primary, “progress fantastically”.

When using Third Space Learning’s interactive platform, pupils work 1-to-1 with their personal tutor meaning that they can explore concepts in a low-pressure environment without worrying about their peers. Tim Jackman from Pangbourne Primary School highlighted that:

“It’s the kids who are quite shy in class, who lack confidence, that don’t want to put their hand up because they’re scared of getting it wrong…the type of children who don’t often talk about maths, that really benefit from having one person asking them a question and they can answer it without getting nervous.”

We assess confidence at the start and end of our programmes and, of the pupils who report low confidence at the start of our intervention, 70% increase in confidence by the end of the programme.

Problem Solving and Resilience

As a teacher we know that you spend lots of time in class teaching the concepts, but when it comes to your pupils applying what they’ve learnt to a problem, some do struggle. Improving problem-solving can transform your SATs results, but it can be challenging to find the time to teach it explicitly, that’s where Third Space comes in.

Our 1-to-1 sessions inspire pupils and help build their resilience to tackle tricky problems. They work closely with their own personalised tutor each week to understand how to break problems down into manageable steps by talking through a range of methods in order to approach problems. Louise Hopcroft at Parson Street Primary School saw this with one of their Year 6 girls who was demoralised with maths:

“Her tutor gave her the chance to explain things and understand it and then go back to the basics and really go through the journey to get her to where she needs to go”.

All of our lessons include questions which get pupils to use and apply the concepts that they have been learning about. The questions in our interventions are written by assessment experts and, as the lessons are personalised, all pupils are challenged to reason and problem solve, regardless of the level they’re working at. Our tutors praise and teach with a growth mindset approach to help pupils develop the confidence they need to persevere with more challenging SATs style problems.

According to Tracy Hart, Deputy Headmistress at Aveley Primary School, pupils using our interventions worked through problem-solving ‘meticulously’ with their Third Space tutor who ‘takes it at the right pace’ for their pupil.

What do pupils think?

The 1-to-1 conversations that the pupils have with their tutors not only helps with maths, but the relationship that’s created boosts morale and confidence.

SATs Success Stories
A pupil enjoying one of their Third Space lessons!

Here are a few of our favourite quotes from some of our Third Space pupils:

SATs Success Stories

Our personalised, 1-to-1 maths interventions supplement quality first teaching, help pupils become more confident, resilient mathematicians and improve KS2 maths attainment. So, if you’d like to find out more about how we can help your school with SATs visit our website or book a call with one of our experts.  


Read more on the KS2 SATs in our blog which breaks down the 2018 SATs exam results for you in great detail.

Ellie Williams , Content Creator ,

As a member of the content team, Ellie helps to make sure that teachers and students everywhere can enjoy the maths blogs and resources we prepare here at Third Space Learning.