Vertical Mentor Groups

Our Tutor Group Continents are: Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe and Oceania

Our single year tutor groups are now known simply as Tutor Groups, as we have moved away from Vertical Mentor Groups (VMGs) that had students from each of Years 7 through to Year 11. Each tutor group is named after a country, and all are linked to one of five continents. Our continents are Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe and Oceania.

Tutor time from September 2020 will be at the start of the school day, starting at 8.25am and lasts for 20 minutes. Each Tutor Group has a tutor, usually a teacher, who delivers a programme of discussions and activities centred on themes outside the usual curriculum. Ordinarily there will be one assembly per year group, on different days of the week. However, due to the restrictions of Covid-19 assemblies are now ‘virtual’ and broadcast into each tutor room once a week, either whole school or by year group.

The themes for the continent assemblies are based on the habits of success, skills and qualities to enable the students to become independent learners, as well as having a greater awareness and understanding of current affairs and events happening around the world.

There will be other themes each week, where all students continue to improve their literacy and reading skills, and in ultimately “buddy” reading will also take place between some targeted students.

What are the aims of our Tutor Groups?

  • To structure tutor time so it is as meaningful and purposeful as possible.
  • To facilitate tutors concentrating on one year group of students, who all face similar challenges depending on their journey in their school journey, be it when students are joining in Year 7 for transition, picking their guided pathways options, or Year 11 are preparing for trial examinations or college interviews.
  • Arranging tutor groups within mixed age Continents helps create a more family atmosphere during Continent events, particularly as there are more opportunities for peer mentoring and the development of leadership skills amongst older students, who are seen as role models, but also can be supported in turn during their GCSEs by words of encouragement from younger students;
  • Students will remain where possible with the same mentor/tutor throughout their school career, right through from Transition in Year 6, right through to the GCSEs in Year 11.
  • There is effective partnership and communication with parents as tutors will have developed relationships with their tutees over five years.
  • Continental Assemblies have even more of a community ethos.
  • There are opportunities for friendly competitions between Continents, for example during the annual ‘Sports Olympics’, during charity fund-raising, and during initiatives such as improving attendance.

Where did the idea come from?

  • Vertical Tutoring is not new; some schools have been structured in this way for many years. In the predecessor Hillsview Academy there had also been mixed-age ‘houses’ but more recently there had been year tutor groups.
  • Education continues to change rapidly and become more personalised so we strive to look for ways to further support and guide our students. Many of the best/most improved schools in the country operate a system of Vertical Mentoring whereby tutor groups are a mixture of all ages.

Pastoral Study Programme

The weekly study programme involves topical issues, discussion to improve everyone's Mental Wellbeing and academic tasks such as word of the week. As a parent we ask that you support your child at home by going through the pastoral programme with them.

Tutor Study Programme for week beginning 22nd June 2020

Thought of the Week



These are really important if we want to be successful. Watch this video and discuss the use of a routine to ensure success in goal. What routines will you introduce this week to be really successful?s

Task for the week

Create a daily routine diary for this week. When you have followed for a few days - what can you introduce that will make you even more successful