Great Torrington School has moved to a House System with Vertical Tutor Groups for Years 7 – 11.
The benefits of a house system
The House System has a number of aims that help promote the school's values of Opportunity Health, Resilience, Respect, Responsibility and Relationships.
The need to include pupils (a sense of belonging) immediately on joining GTS and build on the sense of community which starts in the family as well as the need for positive role models.
The importance of providing more opportunities for our pupils to take responsibility and develop leadership skills.
Pupils belonging to a “Family tutor Group” and House, with older pupils might begin to have a positive effect e.g. “I can be a Humanities Ambassador like Sarah in Year 11”.
In social situations and the workplace we mix with people of different ages. Communication, flexibility and resilience are essential skills for our pupils to have for their future lives.
If you have an older brother or sister at Great Torrington School, they will already be part of a House group. When you join Great Torrington School, you will join the same house. Your Head of House will really get to know you and your family well and, in turn, your family will get to know your Head of House.
We value greatly the way the vertical tutor group and house system enable pupils to mix with, learn from and support pupils of different ages.
How does it work?
Mr Bloodworth, Deputy Headteacher, leads the House System. Four Heads of House Leaders - staff that are responsible for leading their House, alongside House Captains in House events, support him in the running of the House system. All pupils belong to one of the four houses – Endeavour, Discovery, Endurance and Resolution. The Houses are vertical groups based upon the form group organisation.
We have four houses each led by a Head of House:
Endeavour House led by Mr Anderson, email@example.com
Endurance House led by Mrs Scott, firstname.lastname@example.org
Resolution House led by Mr Bolton, email@example.com
Discovery House led by Mr Rhymer, firstname.lastname@example.org
The House would consist of about two hundred pupils from Years 7-11. Siblings would be in the same House but siblings would not usually be put in the same tutor group.
Each tutor group meets for 20 minutes at 8.50 am each day with their tutor, and with the rest of their House for an assembly each week. Assemblies provide opportunities for reflection on moral and ethical issues, celebration of achievement, the communication of values (which we see as very important) and for the effective passing on of information.
Every Friday morning we have an extended Tutor Time (35 mins) with specially planned activities to enhance the bonding of the group and interaction with their peers.
To create a greater sense of identity and belonging to the House system, each house has its own colour. These colours are seen on form notice boards in most classrooms, the House notice boards in the House corridor and on the school tie.
The House colours are: Endeavour - blue, Resolution - purple, Discovery - red, Endurance - gold.
House Notice boards
The House notice boards are located in J Block entrance and are maintained by House members. Also, the House Trophy Cabinet is located above the noticeboards.
The role of the House Captain provides one of the major pupil leadership opportunities within the school. Each House has 2 House Captains and a team of school leaders who are appointed from the Year 11 group who apply for the role and are formally interviewed in September. The role of the House Captain is an important one in the school community as they lead their respective Houses in each event by recruiting, promoting, directing and supporting younger pupils’ in House events.
Pupil leadership opportunities also exist in individual subjects such as Humanities Ambassadors, Maths, Sports, Performing Arts, Languages, and Literacy Leaders.