Mixed year form classes(15 Posts)
My DC's school started this a couple of years ago and I would say all three of them don't like it. It means that the year groups don't gel very well. They only know their sets, and not all of the year as they would in form groups.
They said it was for anti-bullying reasons; this was in a school where they don't really have a bullying problem (that's not the school saying that, it's the DC).
I think it's fine for the younger DC, but not so good at all for older DC. They feel inhibited in form time when they are meant to be discussing PDW (or PHSE, whatever you like to say).
the school did do whole school vertical forms (Y7 to Y13) but it did the 6th form no favours. I don't like it and wouldn't like it. Whereas the older two DC know most of their year because they were older when the vertical tutoring started, the younger DC doesn't as this is the only system they know.
A secondary close to us does this and it seems an excellent system. They stay in the same vertical tutor groups throughout their school time, with younger children added each year as older ones leave. It works in schools which are set for lessons, because then they don't stay in tutor groups anyway. I suspect that it helps prevent bullying of younger children by older ones as everyone has friends in each of the older years..and they get to know older children and the experiences they can expect as they progress through the school.
They are only in these groups for tutor time.
If I could amalgamate the best points of my two nearest schools this is one that I would keep!
DS's school has vertical tutoring, he is in Year 9. It has been great. He has made friends from all years. He has chosen his options this week and the Year 10s have been telling him all about the subjects they took.
My ds's school has vertical forms and it's proved to be really good, only brought in in the past 2 years. It means that kids know older and younger kids as they go around the school and gives the year 7's some friendly faces to see and the year 11's get the sense of responsibility by looking out for their younger class mates.
My nieces school have vertical form groups. My sister thinks it works really well. It produces much more of a "family" type atmosphere, mixes the pupils up in another way, and therefore reduces bullying.
This is pretty standard in the secondary schools where I live and seems to work very well. The older kids tend to be quite protective of the younger ones, and help them with their problems.
My DD has assembly with her house, or sometimes 2 houses together. Sometimes there is a Y7 assembly for the whole school and probably other year groups have this as well. Her school is quite small though, only about 500 students.
Dcs comp have houses which is their form group and they keep the same form tutor as long as they stay at the school, but they set from day 1 and the only lesson they have together is pshe. There are lots of interhouse competitions and they not just sporty ones.
As i said above DH had verticle tutor groups back in the 70s. He thought it worked really well.
I think 'houses' were maybe more common in the past when state schools sought to emulate public schools and the team-spirit thing/loyalty to a group was a highly prized attribute.
I can see entirely why they might be a good idea today, especially in primary school, but I know at my DS's school, there are neither the hours in the day nor the physical space for a third or quarter of the entire school to meet together often enough for it to be meaningful. At this school, they consciously get DC to primarily identify with the 'family' of their Tutor group in which they stay for 5 years, then with the broader Year Group. There's not much stuff that spans across year groups. The school don't stream or set as such except in Maths and MFL so the DC stay together for quite a few lessons.
My DC's school now has vertical tutor groups. I think it works really well, especially for year 7s as the older kids help them settle in. My DS is going through GCSE options at the minute, and being able to talk to others currently studying different subjects is also helpful.
As they are in sets for all subjects (even PE) they wouldn't have been taught in their tutor groups anyway. When my eldest two were there, they were still using year groups, but friendships tended to be formed around interests rather than in the forms anyway.
Its not new as DH 51 had vertical tutor groups when he was secondary. He really liked it.
Interesting. Our school apparently did vertical grouping via Houses til relatively recently, but made a conscious decision to go Year Group, reasoning that DC will identify more readily with their year grouped age-appropriate peers. It's what happens when the sheer size of modern comps means that there's no space where the whole school can ever congregate together.
My DD has this - Y7-11 in the same tutor group. As a Y7 she likes it - it means she knows a few of the older children in her house and they can usually help her with something new that comes up as they've done it before. I don't know what the older children think.
DS (y8) has tutor time (think that's what you mean) with y7s-y9s. Seems to work fine, allows for continuity in identity and group memory for his house matters. I imagine the older ones come to have a benign protectiveness over the younger ones in their own house/group. That's what happens in primary school mixed groups, anyway.
My year 8 child has been told that from next September the form classes will be mixed up with kids from year 7 through to 11. Seems odd to me at a time when they are developing social skills with their peers. Does anyone have any experience of this and have any views on whether its good and bad?
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