Vertical Tutoring at Beverley Grammar School: September 2013
BGS is an open caring friendly school which is very proud of its really outstanding student support systems and learning support provision. We have excellent students and tutors who manage to work with a tutor group system which I, and many of the staff around this hall, believe can be improved still further to provide all students with leadership opportunities and support where appropriate. We have decided therefore, to move from the current organisation of tutor groups which depend on your age, to a vertical tutor group setting where every tutor group will have a few students from each year. This will allow peer mentoring and support throughout the school and give leadership opportunities to all of our more experienced students. Imagine new year 7 students joining a tutor group with older students able to guide them and help them settle into their new school. Or year 9 students embarking on their GCSE option choices being able to talk to year 10 and 11 students about the process and being much more informed about their future plans. The opportunities for inter year co-operation are endless and you could make new friends from different years as I am sure many of you have already. The Sixth Form will have an opportunity to become involved, and Mrs Walters will be addressing Year 12 on Monday.
But what will it actually mean for you? In terms of your school day it will only affect tutor time, all your lessons will still be in year groups – so a maximum of 25 minutes per day will be different. All other aspects of your day in school will remain the same, teachers, subjects, classes but it will enable the open caring and friendly ethos of the school to be extended and built upon. Peer mentoring and student leadership will be able to flourish.
So how will it work? We intend to introduce this from September 2013 and we are informing you now so you can become involved in ensuring that we set this up correctly. There is a group of teachers who have already begun looking at the logistics. For example we intend to increase the number of tutors to include non-teachers as co-tutors to allow tutor groups to be smaller, so individual support can be even more focussed and you will all benefit from this as your learning experience will be enhanced.
Also, rather than grouping tutor groups in years we will group them in Houses and this will pave the way for lots of inter house competitions, quizzes etc. Given this very open framework we would like students to help develop the new systems and communicate to the whole student body. We would like you to meet students from other schools who have introduced vertical tutoring and hear of the positive benefits of such a change and how it has improved relationships and support across their school – some schools have done this better than others and that is why we are informing you early so we can work together as Beverley Grammar School always does to ensure that we do it right. We also want to involve parents as we firmly believe that this system will strengthen the 3 way partnership between school, students and parents.
There will be more information given out in assemblies next week, but today I wanted to bring the whole school together to inform you all together of this exciting development and the improved opportunities you will all be able to experience.
I would now like you to return to your form rooms to collect information to be taken home and discussed with your parents. We will be holding parents information evenings soon and I hope that it will be possible to answer any further questions then.
Whole School Assembly: Mr G Hodson
Frequently Asked Questions
How will it affect my son’s friendship groups?
Tutor time takes up a maximum of 25 minutes each day, for the rest of the time your son’s school day remains unaffected, and current friendship groups will remain the same. Vertical tutoring will give your son the opportunities to make friends from other year groups.
How many students will there be from each year group?
Each tutor group will be made up of 3 or 4 students from across the year groups. Groups will be smaller.
What if they are in a tutor group with people that they don’t know?
Students will have the chance to name 5 students that they do know, and will be guaranteed a place with at least one person that they know already.
What happens if the older boys are unkind to the younger ones?
Sanctions would remain the same. Unkindness will not be tolerated. Research shows that older students are much more likely to nurture and protect younger students within their tutor groups.
Will teaching groups change?
There are no plans to change the way that your son is taught. All other aspects of your son’s school life at Beverley Grammar School will remain the same.
Will it work in a single sex school?
We believe so as having the influence of older 6th form girls, as well as boys, will help the students to learn to socialise with girls in a guided and structured environment. We will continue to work to build the emotional intelligence of our boys and to build the skills needed to become considerate, tolerant individuals.
Will siblings be put together?
Siblings will not be in the same tutor group unless a special request can be accommodated, but siblings may be in the same House.
If you have any further questions, please contact the school at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Parents’ Evening will take place on the 21st November 2012.