house system(14 Posts)
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.
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
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 -
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Boney - yep, totally agree I need to do visits...that is the next part of the research, thanks all!
My sons school has used vertical tutor groups for years. Was originally very sceptical and it seemed another huge complication. For example in year 7 he was 7/house/tutorgroup. But also was teaching group 3
Year 8 was 8/house/tutorgroup ( defined by initial of his house tutor, but this point they were in sets, so it made it even harder, sometimes they were in their teaching groups, sometimes in their ability sets.
In year 9 the teaching group concept was gone as they had chosen their options and were all over the place. Still 9/house/tutorgroup with lessons that were set being maths1 or English1 for example
So for the first 2 years they were mostly with the same kids but after that not at all. They still have a strong affinity to their ‘teaching group’ though and gravitate towards each other
Although it is ridiculously complicated I believe it works better as he will have the same house group tutor for the entire time at school, in the same room. They don’t have a beginning of the day form room registration time but rather a 20 minute period before break. It works really well with older boys mentoring the younger ones.
My daughters school has houses and forms where each form is a house. So 6 form entry, 6 houses. Strong competition between them. They have a traditional form registration and it works better for them.
I suspect some of this is boy/girl related actually. Both are single sex schools.
They both work well in their own ways. These are state grammar schools if that makes any difference
Sorry. Also that each tutor group consists of boys only from that house. There are approx 3 boys in ds year in each tutor group and they are smaller than my daughters traditional forms
I think I’ve confused myself now
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