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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:46 am 
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Miss Magwich wrote:
As I continuously say, however, the issue here is democracy. There are also many negative arguments for vertical tutoring as I'm sure you all know and our school is lucky enough not to need radical reform! I know some parents on this forum are against vertical tutoring specifically at Shottery and so I have created this group to promote democracy for pupils and their parents.

Why should we have a reform for reforms sake which is neither needed nor wanted?



And as we continuously say, give it a go! Try it out - you might like it!

There are far bigger battles to fight in the outside world and this is one probably not is worth the battle.
It is interesting about democracy in schools - I am sure we had the same gripes in the 70's over things - but we got over them. Do you think that schools can run effectively on totally democratic grounds (if you are interested read about AS Neill's Summerhill )?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:01 pm 
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The problem is that the school started off with a poll to try and give the idea that they were democratic. When they did not get the answer they wanted they totally disregarded the poll despite us spending our time giving our thoughts to them. Not all things in school should be democratic but on such a large and issue and one where they tried democracy and then left it when they did not get what they wanted; we should try and get our views across to them.

With regards to the benefits of vertical tutoring:
Would you want your yr7 joining some discussions that yr11/12/13s have - I wouldn't!
How beneficial is it that there are only about 4 yr7s in a form? If you were put with some people you did not particularly get on with (as nobody gets on with everyone) then this would leave you totally miserable in your first year of secondary school. This is hardly fair whereas the system we have at the moment is fine. True, they will have lessons in year groups but lessons are hardly the place to pursue your social life. It may also be detrimental to lessons as people will know hardly anyone else in their lesson meaning that group work and discussions etc. may be disadvantaged.

There are many other arguments against vertical tutoring such as the heightened possibility of bullying which our school currently does not suffer greatly from. The main issue, however, is that on an issue that so many students and some staff are against, why should senior management just be able to enforce it without taking our opinions into account unless they agree with theirs?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:17 pm 
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re your questions about how the kids get on - they only spend on session a day together so spend lots of time in lessons with other people in the same year as them - they have friends there as well as friends in other years. The discussions with older girls are far from being inappropriate and if anything have been useful in terms of GCSE choices, University applications etc as they see their older class mates going through the process and can ask them about GCSEs.

TBH the error at your school was having a ballot in the first place - kids are bound to say No to such a thing.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:06 pm
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Location: Rugby
I have seen many examples of democracy in schools and in my opinion, schools are democratic and give real power to the students if:
1. It does not involve money being spent.
2. The senior management want it to happen anyway.
3. The students have voted for what the senior management want to happen.

Recently in my school, a very good Deputy Head had a great idea for restructuring the day (the staff new it was a bad idea), It was put to the students for a vote. It was turned down by over 95% of students. Deputy Head decided the students needed further education to realise that they really wanted his idea, because he must be right. It is planned to put it to the vote again next year. No doubt students will vote against it again.

Democracy in action... it feels like the continual re-voting on the European Union Treaty that has been going through europe because the people do not agree with the leaders.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:12 pm 
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Indeed there's more in common with the EEC than might at first appear.

I have just come across the link below, recording a Secondary Headteachers' meeting which took place back in June last year. Scroll right to the bottom and you'll see a comment from Stratford Grammar School for Girls: "Vertical tutoring (Y7-Y13) from September 2011 (decision made)".

http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/Web/Corp ... mplete.pdf

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:32 pm 
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Possible bullying/police involvement because of vertical tutor group at, wait for it, "Stratford Grammar School for Girls"! Without wishing to go all Sky Sports presenter on you, may I politely register my incredulity. :roll:

Seriously though, as other posters have mentioned it should be an ideal situation to a) tackle bullying and b) really focus on personalised learning.

Vertical tutor groups, when they work well, have a quasi family atmosphere. And voluminous international research will show you that they dramatically reduce any incidences of bullying, regardless of scale or intensity.

The most famous schools in the land (Eton, Winchester, Rugby School etc) have vertical tutor groups (otherwise known as house systems with studies etc). Tis but one of many reasons why alumni of such institutions have that hard to define confidence that opens doors for them and makes everyone else green. :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:28 pm 
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Vertical tutoring would be a great idea IF it was used to group all the quiet studious ones together but of course this will not happen. It will be an opportunity for the school to engage in some social engineering whilst they hope that the pleasant girls have some magic beneficial effect on some of the dreadful ones.
If you seriously think that the conversations which will be overheard by younger pupils will be suitable I only wish you could read and see their facebook entries!!!! I mean seriously dire!!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:47 am 
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Location: Rugby
It is interesting to see that the introduction of VT was strongly contended at LSS, yet it is now accepted as one of the factors supoporting its outstanding achievments!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:42 pm 
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I think one of the problems with vertical tutoring at Shottery at the moment is the air of mystique surrounding it - none of the girls have been told how it will be arranged and,as I say, most suspect some dubious social engineering will be going on.
Many of the staff are fairly openly against it . In the sixth form it is likely to be a disaster with no specialist staff drafting vital university references or giving proper advice about choices of courses and institutions. For example pupils have been told that they are good enough to apply to better institutions which is valuable advice when handed out by experienced and confident staff. These are NOT issues that can be covered by training courses - this knowlege is the result of experience and an interest in this particular age group.
The girls feel for the most part that they have been treated badly regarding the introduction of VT and that there appears to be a certain amount of dissembling concerning its implementation.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:31 pm 
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Location: Rugby
Magwich2 I certainly agree with your comments amout FB - several terms ago I made a song and dance to vairious parents about their childrens' FB postings. Two of them have since removed their accounts and my dd has voluntarilly stopped using FB.

I have done a little research of VT and it quickly becomes clear that this is really contentious both among pupils, staff and parents.
These comments about the subject come from http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/ ... iff_School.

"Recent changes

Many contentious changes have been made in the past academic year, including a new timetable and tutoring system. These have seen considerable debate outside of official forums, by staff and students alike. This system is being introduced in other schools around the country. Its common name is "Vertical tutoring", due to the fact that forms now consist of students from every year. In Lawrence Sheriff, forms are also organised so that only pupils from one house are in a form. Since the start of 2007, much more emphasis has been put on house competition by the senior staff, with forms now having to prepare banners and other "supporters' items" for the school's annual sports day. While there was a general consensus among students (and many staff members) about how vertical tutoring was not working, the new house-based activities have introduced renewed criticism, especially from the older students, as they are now expected to spend a not inconsiderable amount of their own time on these house-centric activities when they should be studying for exams. On the other hand, the senior staff like to point out that these activities should bring the students together as houses, and promote friendly – and possibly beneficial – rivalry between houses. They should also encourage students to make friends with people from other year groups in their form, which was not happening before these activities were introduced, even though the different year groups shared form periods with each other.

When asked about vertical tutoring, many students admit that within their form - unless forced to do otherwise by their assigned form tutor - the different years of the school usually keep to themselves within the form room, breaking off into small groups. This is mainly why the "form activities" concept was introduced, although the majority of students still refuse to participate in such things. Some form tutors disagree with the effectiveness of "form activities", as they are made to be used by all years of the form, and for this reason, they are generally based for lower years. As the form ranges from 11 year olds to 18 year olds, many tutors find the activities to be a waste of time for the majority."


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