TUTOR is becoming more intelligent – Introducing New Diagnostics and Focus 5

Written by Josh George
on 01 October 2023

Diagnostics & Focus 5 - combining to precisely identify attainment levels and knowledge gaps, delivering bespoke learning priorities intelligently for every pupil.

Blog Title

Many pupils struggle with learning new mathematics because their knowledge of the underlying maths is insecure. 

Knowledge gaps can develop in a number of ways, from school absence to simply forgetting over the holidays. Leaving these gaps unplugged, and moving onto more new mathematics, can be devastating to a pupil’s long-term progression and mathematical confidence.

TUTOR is already being used by schools to identify and plug these knowledge gaps for each individual pupil. But now we are going further…

We are excited to announce two big updates for Complete Mathematics TUTOR — our major Diagnostics upgrade and our landmark new feature, Focus 5!

Read on to find out what is in this release, what is behind the changes, and for answers to some frequently asked questions.

Complete Maths TUTOR Dashboard with new Focus 5 panel
A Pupil's Complete Mathematics TUTOR Dashboard, with the new Focus 5 panel.

What is in this release?

A more intelligent Diagnostics phase

The brain behind Diagnostics on TUTOR has been upgraded. It now identifies knowledge gaps and starting points with greater precision, and provides more bespoke learning pathway recommendations for each pupil.

A TUTOR that guides pupils to their learning

The onboarding and diagnostic processes have been redesigned, enhancing the experience for pupils and helping them get to the learning phase of their TUTOR journey more easily and quickly.

Helping pupils focus on the most impactful maths

Introducing Focus 5, delivering the most appropriate goals for each pupil directly on the TUTOR dashboard, five at a time. Focus 5 works together with the new diagnostics to make sure that pupils are plugging gaps, building strong foundations, and then driving forward with their learning.

Designed for all

Ensuring that TUTOR is accessible for all learners is an essential mission. Amongst other inclusions, Diagnostics has ‘Read Aloud’ functionality built in, to support younger learners and those with accessibility requirements.

New TUTOR Diagnostics & Focus 5 Release Video

What is behind the changes?

Diagnostics - Inner Workings

Following a period of impressive usage, data, and feedback from TUTOR schools, we set out to tune up the diagnostic process, with enhancing its educational impact and encouraging further pupil engagement in mind.

The feedback we received from the TUTOR community matched our own understanding of the limits of Diagnostics V1, and so we envisaged a V2 with greater precision in identifying gaps, and with a more bespoke and dynamic output for each pupil.

Where Diagnostics V1 focused on ‘stages’ of our Complete Mathematics curriculum, and a pupil’s relative security on each stage, V2 zeros-in further by splitting each stage up into its various constituent topics.

Our expert maths team determined a list of ‘Key Concepts’ across the stages and topics, and went about authoring a brand new question bank especially for the new diagnostic process. 

Instead of posing five questions on a single stage at a time, Diagnostics V2 question rounds contain multiple threads of topic-stage questioning running concurrently. In doing so, TUTOR is able to identify which topic areas pupils are strong in, and which they are weak in, much more efficiently, and precisely.

The output is no longer a stage to build on from, but a bespoke curriculum pathway beginning with goals from topics that a pupil is least secure in (by relative position in the whole curriculum), and building up.

Pupils fill in their knowledge gaps and acquire new knowledge in the most pedagogically appropriate order, encountering topics they are most strong in only once the rest of their knowledge has been built up to a similar level.

Diagnostics - The Experience

Alongside the upgrade to the inner workings of Diagnostics, we have also redesigned the user experience of the process. Our aim is to improve usability, encourage engagement, and to ensure pupils get the benefits of this key area of TUTOR. 

Now, new pupils will be taken directly into the diagnostic process immediately after they log in to TUTOR for the first time. In this way pupils begin their TUTOR learning journey with an active mathematical recommendation. TUTOR introduces itself, in the form of a chat, and takes the pupils through the steps of the diagnostics.

In the diagnostic process, pupils do not answer mathematical questions. Instead, pupils state if they are confident with the mathematics displayed. This reduces the cognitive load of the diagnostics, encouraging more pupils to complete the process and start learning as quickly as possible.

A brand new set of mathematical problems have been authored especially for this update.

As part of this, we have included ‘Read Aloud’ functionality for all of these questions, as well as for the TUTOR chat, to assist learners with a lower reading age as well as those with accessibility requirements. We know this is something that lots of TUTOR users have been requesting and are really happy to include it in this release.

Focus 5

In order to deliver truly bespoke, dynamic, goal-level mathematical recommendations following the upgraded Diagnostics, we have created ‘Focus 5’.

Learners can access the next five goals that TUTOR recommends they prioritise directly from the dashboard, no navigation or scanning required.

We’re excited about the impact of this Focus 5 release, but also the huge potential this has for the future. In delivering sets of goals at a time, rather than a whole course, TUTOR can adapt to a pupil’s activity and progression much more dynamically.

We can serve up a prerequisite goal to revisit if we’ve identified some knowledge gap through a memory boost quiz. We can add in a practice activity covering multiple goals into one of the slots. We can introduce variety into sets of goals to encourage deeper learning. We can loop in recently completed goals to revisit at impactful moments for long-term memory.

There is still a place for Courses, which is how Diagnostic recommended Goals have been delivered to pupils on TUTOR up until now. All courses remain active, with any existing completion progress unchanged. Teachers can still create bespoke courses and assign them to pupils. All previously diagnostic-assigned courses will also remain assigned, only the tagging has slightly changed.

FAQs & Implementation Notes from our Maths team

We have collated responses to some frequently asked questions, regarding both functionality and actual implementation of the new Diagnostics and Focus 5.

Click here to read our FAQ and Implementation Notes article.

We’re really excited about the positive impact the upgraded Diagnostics and Focus 5 will have for all pupils using TUTOR. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss these updates with one of our team, then please get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.