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#1 Elle

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:20 AM

There is a move at my school to go to vertical forms next year. Does anyone have this at their school? Would you recommend it? What are the advantages/ disadvantages? Currently I am against the idea, the tutor groups were messesd about last year, and this will only cause more chaos, but I also suspect I am very prejudiced against SMT at the moment so am inclined to view any of their suggestions in a poor light!

You're scared of mice and spiders, but oh-so-much greater is your fear that one day the two species will cross-breed to form an all-powerful race of mice-spiders, who will immobilize human beings in giant webs in order to steal cheese.

 


#2 Martin Ingram

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:40 AM

Just seems to me like another gimmick. Education seems to be in a form of stalinist perpetual revolution. Have your SMT done any form of cost/benefit analysis? Or is it just another 'idea' sent down from on high? One day people will begin to ask why do we have this constant change for what appears no real purpose.
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Cumbria
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#3 Elle

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:06 AM

The thing which has annoyed me the most is that at the end of last year all the form groups were given to new tutors and all put into the same area. The buildings were renamed from nice local names to "block A" and "blcok B" - you can tell the head used be a maths teacher! Each block was then designated to a year group and they were given "ownership". This was all very high profile, lots of money spent and now they are going to change it all. Considering bugets are being cut and they are making teachers redundant this waste of money is shocking. Ok, it is not much money but it's the principal of the thing!

You're scared of mice and spiders, but oh-so-much greater is your fear that one day the two species will cross-breed to form an all-powerful race of mice-spiders, who will immobilize human beings in giant webs in order to steal cheese.

 


#4 Helen S

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:35 AM

We had vertical forms for years 8-11. Year 7 were in their own groups.

We tried it and then we scrapped it as of September 2005. We now have year 7 forms, mixed year 8 and 9 forms and mixed year 10 and 11 forms. This was done as years 10 and 11 were seen to have seperate needs from years 7, 8 and 9 and the decision was made to change to a new Key Stage structure. (It was also possibly so we only needed three year heads instead of five, cost cutting?????).

H.
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
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#5 Elle

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:11 AM

I think the plan is to include at least 3 students from every year, so yr 7 through to yr 13...

You're scared of mice and spiders, but oh-so-much greater is your fear that one day the two species will cross-breed to form an all-powerful race of mice-spiders, who will immobilize human beings in giant webs in order to steal cheese.

 


#6 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 12:17 AM

I think the plan is to include at least 3 students from every year, so yr 7 through to yr 13...



Vertical tutor groups across the whole age range???? Sheer madness. How can the kids be expected to relate to each other at all? Their educational, social and emotional needs are so very different. I can't even see that the Y13 pupils are likely to exert any significant, beneficial, influence if there are only 3 of them.

It would be virtually impossible to tutor these students effectively too.

#7 JaneMoore

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 08:44 AM

In defence of vertical forms - I taught for one term (and as a tutor) in a school with this arrangement, and although I was initially sceptical, it seemed to work well. They did have a very strong house system for pastoral care, but the tutor group itself seemed to gel quite well. I was only there for one term though so I'm hardly a seasoned veteran of the system.

I think the main objection in Elle's school must be the complete change around after only one year.

#8 Guest_terryjones_*

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 08:22 PM

:flowers: I have taught / tutored in both systems and as a tutor I liked the vertical groups - if you have good seniors they look after the younger - we used the terms of parents - grand parents - great grand parents etc - very loosely for fun - but the tutor group looked after each other - it also strengthened the house system - especially in inter house competions - At report writing times as a tutor you only have a few in each year group to process rather than spending a whole weekend processing 30 - with those tutees taking external exams you can give much more support. If you stay long enough at the school you have the benefit of seeing your tutees all the way through their schooling.

I have tried to persuade horizontally grouped schools I have worked in to change with no avail.

Go for it and enjoy it. :thumbup

#9 bobspeight

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 09:06 PM

I, too, am quite positive about the idea. We are introducing it for 9-11 from half term having done it with years 7 and 8 this year (we are a split site). The thinking behind it that we have been given is that in tough inner-city contexts pastoral systems are much more effective when broken down into smaller units that mirror the school - hence the four schools and 'coaching groups'. The idea is that it breaks down social divisions between the year groups, helps combat bullying, encourages the older kids to take on more of a leadership/coaching role and allows the tutor and kids more of an insight into the school as a whole. It will also mean that groups are reduced in size from 30 to 18 (lots of senior and support staff will become coaches). The problems will be that year heads are being encouraged to step back from behaviour issues and focus solely on good old 'learning', as if they exist in seperate universes, and Heads of School will vary massively in their effectiveness...

Two big changes in consecutive years though sounds like a bit of a joke, though, Elle. Sounds like a member of your leadership team doesn't have enough work to do... Either that or the NPQH effect. Has anyone else noticed this? We've got four SMT people doing this at the moment so they are often out of school, don't do their jobs properly, are so focused on thinking outside the box that they do little more than produce unnecessary programmes of meetings and gimmicky initiatives to use in their applications...

#10 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 09:37 PM

In the light of the posts after mine, I think I'd better rethink this one. Some convincing-sounding arguments have been given.

#11 Elle

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 06:37 AM

I think the main objection in Elle's school must be the complete change around after only one year.



That is really my main problem with it! I have whinged so much about it that I have been invited to join the committee to discuss it.

However to continue the whinge here... I was having a rant at my form yesterday, about the fact that in one week 4 of them have been excluded, so it's no wonder they are on their third form tutor, and then one of them said,

"Miss, we will have you until year 11 won't we?" (sweet of him really considering what I had been saying to them!)

The another said,

"yeah, I will be really annoyed if they mess us all about again."

Which is were I rest my case. Three form tutors in three years, soon to be four in four years if we change again. There is no continuity, they don't really have time to build a proper realtionship before we have to start all over again. And there are some "challenging" students in my form who I think I have done well with, got to know, and got on side, and all that will be lost.

So, thank you for all the comments, especially the positive ones, I am not as adverse to vertical tutoring as I was before I posted. It really is the messing about of the tutor groups again which bugs me the most, as opposed to the idea of vertical tutor groups.

You're scared of mice and spiders, but oh-so-much greater is your fear that one day the two species will cross-breed to form an all-powerful race of mice-spiders, who will immobilize human beings in giant webs in order to steal cheese.

 


#12 bobspeight

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 04:09 PM

We have been given the opportunity to nominate six of our current tutor group that we would like to hold on to. Interestingly, nearly all staff have not gone for the charming swots but have been fairly 'selfless', opting for the more troublesome ones who they have spent most of the year battling with.

It could be an idea to propose to your SMT? Although if it were only three then it would be less of a consolation. Some form of consultation with the kids and the staff over groupings would definitely smooth the transition.

Our Year 10 were originally up in arms as they didn't want to be split up after 4 years. It was sold to them really well though by the Head as an opportunity for them to show their leadership skills and maturity - it had to be or she would have been booed off the stage (it's happened before!).




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