The Form Tutor
At West Island School we are committed to a philosophy which ensures that every student matters. In this sense we are determined to create a community in which every student is known and valued. The Form Tutor plays a fundamental role in guiding each individual within his or her Tutor Group and is the first point of contact for teachers, parents and students. Form tutors instil the values and expectations of the school and contribute to the student’s development through daily morning registration, extended tutor/assembly time and individual discussions during one-to-one tutoring.
Organisation of tutor groups
Each student belongs to a Tutor Group of approximately 15 students and will remain with their tutor group during most of their time spent at West Island. In turn, each Tutor Group is assigned to one of six Dynasties. In this way students can identify with a smaller group (the Tutor Group); a larger Dynasty group, which offers a sense of belonging and a focus, for example, representing their Dynasty at events such as Sports Day; and the wider School Community.
One to one tutoring – rationale
We believe that each child should leave West Island with the capacity to be a lifelong learner. Lifelong learners recognise that realising individual potential requires courage, resilience and effort. A confident student learns to react proactively and constructively to a perceived challenge; they understand that there are strategies and techniques that can be used to become effective learners and can identify skills that require further practice.
In order to guide students in their learning journey, West Island School follows a one to one tutoring model for all year groups which involves discussions between the tutor and student. During the one to one discussions the tutor is not there to provide the solutions, but to act as a mentor. The tutor’s role is to guide students’ own analysis regarding their learning and enable each child to reflect and evaluate on their current progress inside and outside of the classroom. Through these one to one discussions, students seek ways to further develop their skills.
Occasionally, sessions may be conducted in small groups depending on the subject that is being discussed. For example, in Year 11 or 12 students may wish to speak to their tutor about revision techniques or university pathways whilst also benefitting from peer input in addition to tutor input so approaches can be shared.
Organisation of One to One
One to one tutoring sessions take place every other Monday afternoon at the end of formal lessons. Students remain in school if they have a scheduled One to One session with their tutor. If there is a clash between One to One and an enrichment activity, then One to One takes priority. Dates and times of tutoring sessions are recorded as an attachment to students’ individual timetables. Parents are informed of their child’s tutoring schedule at the beginning of each academic year. There are approximately 5-6 one to one sessions throughout the academic year.
What makes One to One sessions successful?
Productive one-to-one sessions are those where students are able to independently reflect and critically evaluate their own learning within and beyond the classroom. Tutors guide conversations rather than initiating, directing and sustaining dialogue. Achieving this sophisticated level of student reflection takes time to develop and is highly dependent upon a number of factors. A range of resources are used to structure each one to one session and are available to Tutors and students on the eportfolio. Students will record the agreed outcomes and targets stemming from each one to one session on the eportfolio and where relevant, tutors will make further comments or suggest other targets. Parents can access their child’s eportfolio.
The role of the Guidance and Achievement team in One to One
To enable Tutors to conduct effective and pertinent 1-2-1 discussions, the Director of Learning in conjunction with members of Guidance and Achievement team provides tutors with the necessary material, structure and training so that tutors feel confident and supported when talking to each tutee. The relevant Vice Principal of each phase will oversee the development of these materials and ensure the content reflects the curriculum developments in school.