Through the House system we seek to further foster our sense of school community and students sense of loyalty. There are increased opportunities, not only for leadership but also responsibility and competition. Students are in mixed age forms, five students from Years 7-10. Through this we hope to engender a real sense of accountability to each other as well as giving our students the skills to work successfully with people of all ages.
We feel our House system will raise standards, expectations and aspirations. It will further create group loyalty which can have a powerful shaping influence on behaviour. We hope to increase, through the House system, students confidence in being open to experiences which will help them engage with their learning.
We see the role of the form tutor as being pivotal as we feel relationships come first if pupils are to be truly successful learners. The tutor will develop and form micro support groups within the form.
Through these mixed age loyalty groups we can create students high in moral values such as reciprocity, empathy, fairness, support and a redefined version of what it is to truly care for each other.
The Tutor takes on the role as Guide Facilitator, mentor and advocate for their tutees – establishing new support groups around the student in school. Older students are trained in leadership and mentoring and are co-tutors. Students also lead on House assemblies.
Tutors really ‘know’ their tutees and are able to read the signs. Rather than fixing problems they are able to predict and prevent things going wrong in terms of students work, effort and behaviour. It’s like the image of a pupil in a river instead of throwing in the life raft, it’s about preventing than falling in in the first place.
The job of the tutor is akin to getting water to the top of a mountain, once it’s there it will very easily find its way to the sea. Once the tutor group are at the top of the mountain we hope to have created the energy to let them flow in the right direction gaining much that will set them up for life, in the process.
Not only do older students take on responsibility for younger pupils, but cross year relationships will flourish. This grows trust and leadership and allows students to be responsible for each other – we want to increase students’ sense of family and belonging.
At West Hatch we take very seriously our responsibility to ensure that we give our students the “edge” when they leave us and compete for places at top universities and jobs.
We aim to put students in the driving seat early on in their school careers so that by Year 12 and 13 they are able to do fantastic things and have acquired the sorts of skills employers want. To this end we proactively target the opportunities we can offer our students, via our new House system. Senior students from Years 11, 12 and 13 lead House events, organising sport, competitions, charity fund raising, music, drama and dance activities and performances. They are peer mentors, positive role models and are called upon to give advice and guidance to younger students at key times in the year.
"The House system provides an excellent opportunity to become a leader. Being able to connect with the younger years and to aid them in their school life is very rewarding; form time is now a truly unique experience."