September 2007 saw the introduction of a new, exciting system of pastoral and academic care in six, carefully-constructed vertical houses rather than the year-based system that is run by many schools. The six houses are all named after famous creative and successful people from history whose stories we hope inspire our students. The houses are: Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Marie Curie, Leonardo Da Vinci, Emmeline Pankhurst, Mary Seacole and William Shakespeare.
- The houses develop healthy competition, including sporting, performing arts, artistic, academic and debating house competitions.
- At the start of the academic year we see a lovely atmosphere with older students ‘buddying up’ younger ones and new staff, giving a great sense of responsibility.
- Having six houses instead of five year groups allows us to keep tutor.
- There are no more than 25 students are in any one group. This is split into groups of 5 students from each year group. The aim is for students to look after each other and understand the changing roles as they progress up the school.
- Younger students therefore, from day one, recognise and work with older students in the school in a structured environment; they have trained and carefully chosen buddies from their Learning Mentor group helping them settle in. The older students also have plenty of opportunities to widen their CV in preparation for leaving school by working with younger ones.
- 48 forms known as ‘Learning Mentor Groups’ meet each morning for registration, then for a 30 minute focused guidance time after lunch, allowing time for reading, assemblies, mentoring and learning time.
- Family members join the same house for ease of communication but siblings are not placed in the same group to foster independence.
- Groups small and personal.
Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form,
Phone: 01905 423906