House System & Tutor Groups
In September 2007 a House System was introduced at Calthorpe Park. All students are now placed in either Da Vinci, Kilby, Marie Curie or Somerville House, in a mixed age tutor group.
As part of our planning and work towards this development, teachers made visits to other schools to see how they introduced this initiative and to build on good practice. Our research indicated that there were many positive aspects to the House system and vertical tutoring in terms of enhancing students’ engagement with school and their learning. Older students appeared to have benefited significantly in that they were able to take on positions of responsibility and became mentors and almost 'guardians' to younger students. The way in which younger students were able to experience the breadth of school experience through their Tutor Group colleagues also impressed staff in other schools, and this is certainly one of the benefits we aim to see at Calthorpe Park.
A further advantage to this system is that Form Tutors can become much more involved in monitoring the progress and achievement of students in their form groups. With only 5/6 students from each year group in a form, a more intensive focus can be achieved at critical points, mock GCSE exams, for example.
The House system is promoted by positive competition and by committed and experienced Heads of House. There are also three Pastoral Support workers and an Assistant Head of House who support the Heads of House in terms of administration and in managing day to day behaviour in the school. The Heads of House will make the crucial strategic link between the excellent pastoral support offered to students at Calthorpe Park and their progress and achievement in school. We believe that the two cannot be separated, and with the Heads of House as well as the Heads of Department, Data Manager and Senior Team all monitoring student achievement and progress closely.