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Vertical Tutoring

(20 Posts)
jojo1201 Thu 17-Jul-08 21:22:50

DD's new High School is going to start Vertical Tutoring when she starts in Sept. From what I gleaned at the new parents evening this means that all form(tutor) groups will have 4 children from each year in it. They will have half hour or so form time each day. Plus I think twice a year each child, parent and tutor will have a meeting to look at progress set targets etc. Not too sure if there will be the usual meet every teacher kind of parents evening as well. Each tutor group is part of a community or house - I'm assuming that PE non setted lessons would be with the children of her year that are in the other forms in that community.

I can see the pro's of this ie DD will know older children and be able to gain from thier experience when it comes to choseing options later on plus when lost in her first few weeks be able to spot a familar face to ask where to go. I also like the idea of not having a five min slot to talk to a form teacher on parents evening as well.

Has anyone had any experience of Vertical Tutoring? And does it work?

Jux Thu 17-Jul-08 21:36:59

No experience but I like the sound of it.

StellaDallas Thu 17-Jul-08 21:39:20

No experience at secondary level but they operate a similar system at my children's primary school - they call them family groups. They work really well and you can really see the links that form between the children of different ages, it's absolutely lovely.

Heated Thu 17-Jul-08 21:43:41

The pupils get used to it very quickly; they're together with their year group at all other times. It's the teachers who moan about it. wink

jojo1201 Thu 17-Jul-08 21:49:57

Thanks for the replies!

littlerach Thu 17-Jul-08 21:53:54

At our local secondary they are starting this in September.

I htink it has the potential to be a very good hting.

Jux Thu 17-Jul-08 22:01:51

By the way, my cousin's son's school (in New Zealand) teaches to ability not age and there are classes with kids from 5 to 8yo, and others with 7 to 11yo. It works extremely well and the older kids look after the younger kids and really close friendships are made, which have the potential to last all their lives.

Lucycat Thu 17-Jul-08 22:06:20

what will they do in their tutor groups for 30 mins each day?!

the only school that I know who does this was a top ranking Secondary that was put into special measures last year!

i personally like the 'all together' aspect of Year 7 - I teach Year 10 and I'm not sure whether I'd like my dd being subjected to them!

beansmum Thu 17-Jul-08 22:07:01

We had this at secondary school in NZ. We met for 10 mins first thing in the morning and then 15 mins straight after lunch for SSR (sustained silent reading). At assemblies we had to sit in our vertical forms within house groups. It was great actually, I did a few 6th form subjects a year early and was in classes with people I already knew. It helped a lot when you first started secondary school as well, we had a kind of mentoring thing where the older ones showed the new ones around school.

roisin Thu 17-Jul-08 22:23:23

The school I work at has vertical tutor groups. I don't like it, but apparently that's because I haven't experienced the alternatives.

Pros Pupils integrate better across the year groups
You are less likely to get 'gangs' developing within year groups
Older pupils can be a positive influence on younger pupils

Cons It is very hard to get messages to pupils, because notices for yr7s, say, have to be given out in every form group
Older pupils can be a negative influence on younger pupils, and they seem to 'grow up' faster.

At our school yr7s and 8s don't have 'traditional' parent's evenings with subject teachers; just review meetings with form tutors. (But this isn't actually linked to the vertical tutoring thing.)

christywhisty Fri 18-Jul-08 10:03:32

DH's school used it in the 70's and he always liked the system. I am not sure if they still do it.

herbietea Fri 18-Jul-08 10:09:17

Message withdrawn

twinsetandpearls Sat 19-Jul-08 16:24:11

The school I am leaving is going this way, it is one more reason that I am glad to be leaving. Vertical tutoring is the bizz at the moment, more and more schools going that way.

RustyBear Sat 19-Jul-08 16:34:08

A school near us is planning to do this from next year - when the pupils heard about it they walked out in protest (described by the local paper as a 'riot'

afaik, it's still going ahead though.

twinsetandpearls Sat 19-Jul-08 17:23:02

I think in a school with good discipline this could work, the school I am leaving does not.

swedishmum Sat 19-Jul-08 17:38:33

The dds' school have been doing this for a year, and I had a vertical tutor group in the first school I taught in in the mid 80s. It was quite hard when it came to option choices for eg, though I got to know all of the children pretty well. They don't spend a whole 30 mins in there each day. Dd2 now knows a number of girls across the whole school, and it's easier for Y12/13 to be involved with younger children. Also as a parent you get to know one tutor pretty well. Not all tutors are great though, and this is where the system can fall down.

twinsetandpearls Sat 19-Jul-08 17:40:22

Most children should have one tutor for their whole school career unless the school can't keep its staff

ecoworrier Sat 19-Jul-08 17:56:54

Our school doesn't have vertical tutor groups but each class still keeps its tutor for five years, unless the teacher leaves of course.

I'm a bit puzzled that people don't seem to think children mix outside their own age groups - is that really true? I know my own children at secondary school have a wide mix of friends. Yes, I would say the majority are from their own year group, but they have fairly close friends from the year below them and the year above. They also know other pupils, from the youngest to the oldest, pretty well from clubs etc, and the strong prefect system means all the younger children get to know 'good role model' older pupils fairly well right from the start.

I'm not really sure I'd want my just-turned-11-year-old mixing with some of the more behaviourally-challenged or 'grown-up' 15 or 16 year olds. Yes, their current tutor groups are mixed and you have to learn to get on with, or cope with, all sorts of people, but I think there's something to be said for letting children 'grow up' at their own pace.

On the tutor time issue, our school has 25-30 mins each day, a short amount in the morning which really is just for registration and notices, and a longer period in the afternoon. This is used for group work and discussions of various sorts, and a couple of times a week the teacher also uses it for her 'one to ones' - each child has an individual interview with the form tutor 3 times a year to look at progress, targets, any problems etc.

fashionista Sat 19-Jul-08 21:46:19

How would this work for a brand new school where the only year to start is year 7.

twinsetandpearls Sun 20-Jul-08 10:45:37

They would just have the teams in place and then filter the year groups in as they arrive.

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