The key advantage of us moving to Vertical House Tutoring is that it enables us to look after our students better – academically, pastorally and spiritually – building on the strong House ethos we have at St Paul’s. The learning experience of every student is authentic, personalised and holistic.
With Vertical House Tutoring, the Tutor group becomes much more like a family; the Tutor group itself is part of a larger house family. The basic family unit is made up of Tutors, students and parents. Vertical House Tutoring provides a friendlier, more cohesive social environment. Therefore, by 2018, when Vertical Tutoring will be fully implemented, all Year 7 to 12 students will be organised into smaller teams that enable ‘all’ students to gain individual attention and support as required. Vertical House Tutoring will instil family values, a stronger family ethos and ensure the caring and nurturing of each other building on our strengths.
We are also implementing a Co-Tutor system by allocating a second Tutor to each group where we have the staffing to do this. These Co-Tutors may be other teachers or members of the non-teaching staff. These additional professionals offer an extra dimension of support as well as different life experiences and skills. In short: students will have the opportunity to access help and assistance from two different significant adults at School each day.
The Tutors and Co-Tutors, who will be attached to their Tutor groups for up to six years, provide continuity of care, developing strong, long-term supportive relationships. They will develop closer and more consistent links with families to improve their understanding of the family circumstances and improve their child’s chances of becoming the best he/or she can be.
The tutees also build up strong relationships with each other across a wide age-range, with students perhaps sharing a wider range of experiences which broaden horizons, something which is missed with Horizontal Tutoring under the current system. Barriers between year groups, which are a side effect of Horizontal Tutoring, are broken down and there are more reciprocal opportunities for leadership, mentoring, advice and support between the students. Peer Mentoring, academic Tutoring and coaching is encouraged and happens naturally within Vertical House Tutor groups. Vertical House Tutoring will also give students relief from the peer pressure that naturally occurs amongst same age groups. Our research has revealed that Vertical House Tutoring has reduced bullying and improved student behaviour.
The improved learning experience mirrors people in further education and the workplace, having a broad range of ages, experiences, expertise and skills. Our House system – spanning all ages – is already very strong and this change to Vertical Tutoring will strengthen further its positive impact on the students and is more closely aligned to the 2028 St Paul’s Vision.
From January 2017, parents, with their son or daughter, will be asked to take part in an annual 30 minute Global Citizenship Conversation meeting with their child’s Tutor. The Academic Tutorials will be arranged at times during the year, which are regarded as important stages of the student’s education journey. We believe that this meeting will offer all members of this school family – parents, students and Tutors – the opportunity to appraise current progress and plan strategies for future development. We are confident that these meetings will play a fundamental part in encouraging our students to become the best they can be in our rapidly changing world. Within a safe and caring Vertical House Tutoring environment, we shall equip our students to be resilient and agile, with an entrepreneurial mindset, innovative spirit and a heart for servant leadership.
The annual Year 7 to 12 Teacher/Parent/Student subject interviews will continue to be held