We have a vertical house tutoring system across Years 7 to 11 split into five Houses.
Since September 2007, we have been successfully running a House system, with all students split into five Houses. The Houses are all named after famous ships (Endeavour, Invincible, Triumph, Valiant and Victory) and each House is based as closely as possible in one geographic location in the academy.
Each House is led by a Head of House and a Pastoral Manager, with the whole pastoral system in the academy coming under the leadership of one of our Assistant Vice Principals.
There are fifteen tutor groups in each House, and the tutor groups within a House work closely together to develop their own ethos and learning environment. Each tutor group has their own tutor, and every House team has support staff, who are available to work more closely with students and to support tutors.
Why we believe in the House system
“To achieve a creative community of staff and students working together to support and develop everyone on their journey to OUTSTANDING achievement.” – Our Pastoral Vision
In essence, the Pastoral Team’s ambition is to support every single student, no matter what their age, ability or circumstances, to be the best that they can be. The idea of community is important to us, whether it be the form community, the House community, the academy community or our contributions to our local community and beyond.
Within the House system, we operate Vertical Tutoring; this means that each tutor group contains approx 3-4 students from each of Years 7-11. The benefits of this system are too numerous to mention, but they include:
- Allowing students of all ages to mix more freely and learn to work with people outside of their normal peer group;
- Developing leadership skills in students, by expecting them to act as a guide and role model for our younger students;
- Giving tutors more focused, meaningful one-to-one time with students at crucial times of the year; for example, the three or four Year 11 students get much more support with revision techniques and planning than they could have received from a traditional Year 11 tutor;
- Providing students of all ages with automatic mentors in the years above them; for example, Year 9 students naturally consult Year 10 and 11 students for advice when choosing their options;
- Creating a real sense of community within the House; an impression of a small “academy within an academy”, which is particularly valuable as our academy continues to grow;
- Breaking down the traditional barriers between year groups, thus allowing students to feel safer and more supported wherever they are on the academy campus.
As a team, we spend a huge amount of time putting students into tutor groups to ensure that every child is allowed to flourish in the right environment for them. Where possible, we like siblings to be in the same House, as this allows parents to have one point of contact for all academy issues.