Our "school within a school" ethos enables each learner to be part of a smaller learning community called a chapter.
Each chapter is overseen by a senior leader called a Chapter Head, while the day to day life of the chapter is managed by a Chapter Leader, with the support of a Pastoral Support Officer. There is a dedicated Pastoral Support Officer for each chapter, and they are in place to develop and build a relationship with students and their families through their seven years at the academy. In addition to this is a team of tutors. Through our chapter model we ensure that each student is supported to achieve their personal best at each stage of their progress.
Our chapters are named after inspirational individuals, have an associated colour and represent certain subject areas:
Lapper - (Alison Lapper MBE, local artist)
Performing Arts, PE
Nightingale - (Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing)
Mandela -(Nelson Mandela, political leader)
Dickens - (Charles Dickens, author)
Brunel - (Engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel)
Maths, DT, Art
We have been running a vertical system of tutoring since September 2013. This enables us to support our students more effectively and build positive relationships between all members of the academy.
Students are evenly divided into five vertical chapters, each with two senior teachers leading the work of the chapter to ensure that every child is making sufficient progress in their learning. There are reduced numbers of students in each tutor group, ensuring that there is a more personalised and productive tutor and tutee relationship. Each form has a range of age groups from year 7 to year 11, with approximately four to five students per year group.
There are many advantages of this structure for our students such as:
- creates more cohesion across year groups
- provides positive role models for younger students
- young students have close links with supportive older children through peer mentoring
- eases the transition for younger students into the academy
- reduces potential bullying mentality within an organisation
- tutors have a whole school experience and understand progression for all students
- meaningful dialogue with parents and students regarding progress
- close scrutiny of data with parents
- leadership opportunities for students
- smaller tutor groups
- mix of ages promotes active citizenship