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house system

(14 Posts)
cuggles Thu 08-Feb-18 21:19:25

hi all..after some advice/your experiences if you have two minutes please. We have the basic five year groups, five year heads system with normal year group tutor groups at present. The Head wants to move to vertical tutoring (maybe) but definitely to house system...any thoughts either way? any advice if we do? I have been tasked with researching it - quite up for it myself (I think!) but want to get it right.

OP’s posts: |
BackforGood Thu 08-Feb-18 23:43:55

dd's school moved to this when she was in Yr10.
She hates it. He 'form' now has Yr7s, Yr8s, Yr9s, Yr10s, and Yr11s in it. It means there are very few people of your age in your form group.
I guess it depends how much form time you have / what you do in your form. Both my other dc did quite a lot of stuff, that was age appropriate for their Yr Group in form time - from PSHE stuff to getting information they needed about things coming up (eg careers stuff for older ones, 'settling in' stuff for Yr7s.). She seems to miss quite a lot of information she ought to get, and I do wonder if this is to do with the fact that the form teachers have to have information for all the different Yr groups (as well of course as all their subject teaching work).

OTOH, my dns' school has had vertical grouping for years. It is all they knew and it did seems to work quite well in terms of different Yr groups knowing each other, and interacting with each other more than in a lot of school (I believe the original idea is to prevent bullying as people know older and younger children personally??)

Only anecdotal I know

GreenTulips Thu 08-Feb-18 23:49:13

I like the idea - after allnkids have siblings and mixnwoth differnt age groups.

You can have plenty of google classroom information to help overcome anything that have missed - in sure there are parent teacher apps as well -

noblegiraffe Fri 09-Feb-18 00:22:44

It's crap. Vertical tutoring sounds great, the older students being mentors to the younger ones, which would probably work in a vertical tutor group of nice kids, but do you really want your bright-eyed Y7s to be spending every day with a bunch of disaffected Y11s who scoff in the face of revision timetables, laugh when they get their mock results and talk about how they can't wait to be out of the school? Or moody Y9s who are hostile to any suggestion of doing an activity in tutor time because it's all boring or pointless? And trying to do stuff that appeals to or is relevant and suitable for both 11 and 16 year olds? Tricky.

House systems - Not having any one person responsible for a particular year group means they all get lost in terms of priority. Y11 mocks while Y9 are taking options? Y6-7 transition when Y10 are doing work experience? There's no focus and no expertise.

BackforGood Fri 09-Feb-18 00:27:15

That's my experience Noble (as a parent).... the 'no focus and no expertise' bit. Plus, it gives a really small pool of similar age people in your form to form those important new friendships from, when you move to a new school, in Yr 7, surely ? (I'm guessing here, as dd's school were in normal Yr7 forms when she started)

Toyboysrus Sat 10-Feb-18 18:43:13

DD's school recently moved to vertical tutor groups, she is in year 11. She doesn't like it at all. She misses her old tutor group who were all the same age and who had been together for 4 years. If the school had done it when she joined in year 7 she would have hated it, she was a very shy 11 year old and would have been terrified of the year 11s.

cuggles Tue 13-Feb-18 20:39:54

Thankyou all - very useful...I will present all this to the rest of SLT - Vertical tutoring in particular I just dont think we have the staff/rrom to downsize to the right size groups.

OP’s posts: |
sashh Wed 14-Feb-18 07:06:53

I've worked in one place where it worked, the school had quite strict behaviour policy though so not sure if it helps.

Advantages - Yr 7 know older pupils by sight and name. If you have inter-house competitions you can involve all age groups and count house points.

Disadvantages - if you are doing something in tutor time it has to be suitable for Yr 7 which might be a bit easy for year 11.

I think, like all things it depends on the school. The school I'm talking about is in a partial grammar area, this school wasn't a grammar but the intake was quite mixed with 1/3 coming from the local council estate and quite a few middle class kids.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Wed 14-Feb-18 07:57:34

we have a house system, but year group tutoring. We do have Head of Years though (plus head of Key Stages) who keep on top of academic stuff, the House teams deal with pastoral stuff.

As a parent, my main point of contact should be the tutor, the head of house; for subject specific things I go to the class teacher, or head of subject/department/Key Stage as appropriate.

IME the house system works - we have inter house competitions (sport, subject/department, attendance, behaviour) which all get added up at the end of the year for the main interhouse cup. Fortnightly house assemblies (that can be tough, as the 6th formers often feel patronised), uniform with house colours. My advice to my DC newly starting in Y7 was "if you get lost, look for either a teacher, a 6th former, or a girl with your house tie, and ask where to go --avoid Y10 boys at all costs as they think it's funny to send you to the other side of school--". It does give a sense of belonging I think - we're a massive school though, and without the house system, I think it cold be difficult.

Other things I think of offhand - house charities and fundraising, house reports in newsletters, the fact that any ex pupils meeting as adults ask first "what house were you in?" rather than "when were you there?".

Plus points of a house system for you, although it does need to be properly embedded, and need to mean something, not just "dividing into coloured groups for sports day". Can say as I'd like vertical tutor groups though.

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 15-Feb-18 15:01:07


Have you visited any schools that do these bits?

It would be a lot better to see this in action rather than voices on the internet

CraftyGin Thu 15-Feb-18 15:10:48

All schools I have taught in have had a traditional house system, with the main focus of the school year being Sports Day, and a few other sporting throughout the year. Add on to that talent shows, quizzes and assemblies, gives sixth formers excellent leadership and planning opportunities.

I’ve been in two schools with a full vertical system, and they have been good for behaviour, as well as weekly competitions (eg a news quiz), where the vertical groups means all the forms have a fighting chance. PSHE has always been taught in year groups, so age appropriate.

At my DD’s school, they are generally in traditional form groups, but have one form-time a week in their vertical group.

cuggles Fri 16-Feb-18 16:52:54

Boney - yep, totally agree I need to do visits...that is the next part of the research, thanks all!

OP’s posts: |
Newscoliosismum Fri 16-Feb-18 17:04:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Newscoliosismum Fri 16-Feb-18 17:09:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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