At The Hurst our tutor groups are organised using the vertical tutor group model. We have a House-based system; Challenger, Endeavour, Invincible and Victory Houses, where tutor time is spent in mixed-age tutor groups.
The benefits and advantages of a vertical tutoring are clear:
- Vertical tutoring provides a friendlier, more cohesive social environment with tutor groups having much more of a 'family' feel.
- Tutor groups are smaller, which gives staff and students the opportunity to get to know each other better.
- Tutors are able to discuss progress individually or in small groups.
- Vertical tutoring gives students a chance to work with people of different ages and better prepares them for the adult world.
- It provides opportunities for students to learn from and support each other. For example
- Year 10 can support Year 9 with Option choices.
- Year 11 can support Year 10 with GCSE exams and coursework.
- Peer tutoring and coaching is encouraged and happens naturally within tutor groups.
- Students gain an awareness of what goes on throughout the whole school community as well as in their year group, which helps them to anticipate and prepare for the next stages in their school journey.
- Membership of a House helps students to develop a strong sense of 'belonging'.
- Vertical tutoring has opened up opportunities for friendly competitions to be run across tutor groups and across Houses.
- The House stucture and Vertical tutoring gives students relief from peer pressure that naturally occurs amongst same age groups.
- Vertical tutoring has reduced bullying and improved student behaviour.
- As a whole school, all year groups can reflect on set topics discussed in tutor periods as a mixed-aged group led by their tutor.
- The House structure provides leadership opportunities that help students develop life skills e.g. House Captains and Buddies.