Thorpe St Andrew School has numerous strengths which combine to make it a successful school. Divided over two sites, the pastoral structure is headed by the Principal who oversees the whole school and is supported by a Vice Principal and three Deputies. Further support is provided by four Assistant Principals, each with a specific pastoral duty.
The whole school is divided into six houses split between the two sites. This system has multiple benefits, allowing the school to be divided into manageable working units as well as creating an intimate atmosphere for each student within our large school. Each House, comprising approximately 50 students in each year group, is led by a Head of House who is responsible for wellbeing, managing the mentoring programme and promoting the school and House ‘ethos’ through assemblies and other House activities.
Houses are a vertical cross section of the school from Years 7 to 11 enabling inter year links to be made, preventing year group isolation and encouraging the development of social skills. Within each House, the students are divided into nine forms, each with their own Form Tutor. Seen as a ‘family’ the form group allows students to be given responsibilities which grow with age. Older students mentor the younger in the form, especially during the transfer from Year 6 to 7 and from Key Stage 3 to 4. Working alongside the Head of House is a leadership link teacher to ensure the smooth transfer of information between the Leadership Team and teachers.
Each student stays with the same Form Tutor and Head of House, throughout their time at Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, allowing a good relationship to flourish. Information is always available from Form Tutors or Heads of House regarding progress, grades, attitude, attendance, behaviour and rewards.
In general lessons are not conducted within form groups allowing further social networking outside of the House and Form. Similarly, year group meetings are still convened when necessary, for example assemblies for Year 11 in order to discuss work experience or Sixth Form options and welcoming assemblies for Year 7 intake.
In addition to the Form Tutor and House system, the BEST Team (Behaviour for Educational Support Team) located on each site are also the first point of contact for any issues including dealing with issues of poor attendance and behaviour, contacting home in the instance of difficulties at school, arranging home visits, meeting parents and students, implementing strategies to improve either behaviour or attendance and liaising with the Heads of House with regard to individual students. A further ‘specialised’ member of the BEST Team is available to deal with ongoing ‘family’ issues and child protection.
In response to the present situation the school has reorganised the pastoral structure. The school has been divided into 6 ‘mini schools’ (one for each year group and one for the Sixth Form). Each school has its own Head of School (Senior Leader), Head of Year(s), Assistant Head of Year(s) and BEST. Apart from the re-arrangement of staff the roles and duties of all involved in the pastoral structure remains the same.