New house system

Introduction

From September 2019, students in the main school (year 7 – 11) will be placed in mixed-age groups for tutor periods only (not for taught lessons). This will mean that a typical tutor group in the main school will comprise approximately six students from each of year 7 to 11. There will be six houses, each with a new house name and each will be led by a Head of House (instead of a Head of Year), with each house comprising approximately eight, mixed-age tutor groups.

Students in the sixth form (year 12 – 13) will also be placed in mixed-age sixth form tutor groups for tutor periods only (not for taught lessons), with each tutor group comprising approximately twelve year 12 students and ten year 13 students. Whilst these sixth form tutor groups will still engage with the house system and related activities, it is felt that the type of support required at this stage of their education is so bespoke, that they require their own tutor group structure.

Aims

  1. Enable students in different year groups to build positive, healthy relationships with each other.
  2. Nurture an enhanced sense of family and community between our students.
  3. Provide opportunities for older students to act as role models for younger students and conversely, opportunities for younger students to have meaningful conversations with older students about school life and future aspirations.
  4. Re-energise our school’s house system.
  5. Further improve home/school communication.

How will this be achieved?

  • A comprehensive tutoring programme will form the basis of the activities that take place during the daily 30 minutes tutor period. This will include paired-reading, discussions regarding current affairs/debating, peer mentoring and opportunities for the tutor to speak to the six students in each specific year group regarding their attendance and progress. Age-appropriate careers information, advice and guidance will form part of the tutor programme.
  • Sixth form students will visit main school tutor periods twice per week and lead a variety of activities (individual, small group and/or whole-class) each focused on supporting main school students and raising aspirations.
  • Opportunities to celebrate house identity and core values through a weekly house assembly programme.
  • An annual calendar of curricula and extra-curricula house activities will enable students to work together within their tutor groups and houses, competing against other houses across the school.
  • Student leadership will be re-modelled to ensure that it fits the new house system and that students across all year groups are given opportunities to further develop their leadership skills.
  • The house system will drive student recognition and rewards. Our approach to this will also be re-modelled and students individual and collective achievements will all contribute towards individual rewards, in addition to the house point total, which will culminate in the school’s house trophy being awarded at the end of the year to the winning house.
  • The combination of different lunchtimes and different houses will enable the school’s leaders to ensure that the minority of students who exhibit poor behaviour are kept apart at social time and are placed in different tutor groups, hence minimising any disruption to learning.
  • Tutors will have approximately six students in each year group, rather than 30. This means that at key points of the year (end of first week of school for year 7 students, year 9 options, year 11 examination preparation, etc) it will be easier for tutors to be proactive and communicate home to discuss the school’s support for students.