Fatima Begum is 14 and attends the Mulberry School in Tower Hamlets.
Her school is part of a two-year pilot project aiming to improve school attendance and grades. It works on the idea of "time banking"with older pupils sharing their time tutoring younger pupils to build up credits leading to a reward of a computer. The "peer tutors
are chosen because they have difficulties with school work or behavioural problems . A teacher has responded on Fatima's behalf.
How did Fatima become a peer tutor?
Fatima was invited by her teacher to participate in the project, because she was told it would help her at school, and she liked the idea of the reward computer.
What does she do to help younger children?
She works step by step through a pre-set activity book with the pupil she tutors, teaching her language skills. Her first tutee didn't really keep up her diary or come to the sessions, but now Fatima is tutoring Kerri in Year 8 and finds her brilliant. Fatima has occasionally used study support sessions herself, but never before has she been involved in helping others with their work.
How much time does she spend?
Fatima has really set about banking her hours. She tutors for one and a half to two hours per day outside her normal studies, and was the first to earn the 30 hours necessary for the computer, but she still keeps up the pace.
What does she get out of it?
Before, she didn't have anything to do after school, but now she does something and she also thinks it has taught her to be well organised.