“The quality of pastoral care influences the ethos and tone of the whole school. It is of crucial importance in creating an atmosphere in which young people feel secure, know that they are valued as individuals, and are encouraged in their learning, growth and social development in a healthy and safe environment.”(TJ Shaw, 2008)
What is the tutoring system?
Al Bateen operates a tutoring system to help monitor student progress and attainment. The system utilises a tutor who is a member of the teaching staff, they meet with a group of up to 23 students during tutor time every morning (07:45 to 08:05). The tutor acts as a liaison for parents with the teachers. The tutor knows the students well and will understand how the student is performing in class and will work with teachers, parents and careers to ensure that the student makes the best possible progress. The role of the tutor is essential they work more closely with the students than any classroom teacher would be expected to. They are the first point of contact for any parent or other member of staff. They work closely with the parents and student to ensure they are happy and safe within Al Bateen. Tutor time is an essential opportunity for students to prepare for the day and the week coming up. The tutor can give any important messages and speak with students ensuring any issues are dealt with quickly and fairly. This time is also another opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills of leadership as many students are given roles of responsibility within the group and sometimes the school where they meet a younger student and act as a mentor to them. At the very least tutor time is an opportunity for each student to check they have everything they need for the day so that they can be successful.
What is a tutor group?
Each Tutor Group is made of up to 23 students from a single Year group. Tutor Groups are designed to have a balance of backgrounds. This encourages students to develop as individuals and understand the needs of others. The Tutor Group will remain the same throughout all of each student’s time at Al Bateen, with the exception of students leaving and new students arriving.
Does it link to the House system?
The lower year groups have half years made of four Tutor Groups and so they are each assigned a House from the school House system. The older years where there are fewer Tutor Groups have mixed Houses and so there are students each in Form group from all the Houses. The House system combined with the Tutor Group system helps to develop a healthy sense of competition which drives success.
What happens as a student moves up through the school?
The school is separated into four distinct categories. Year 7 is led by one member of staff who is specialised at ensuring students settle in to Al Bateen effectively. Years 8 and 9 are known as the Lower School and are managed by the Head of Lower School. Years 10 and 11 is known as the Middle School focusing on their IGCSEs, with a Head of Middle School and finally the IB students in Years 12 and 13 will be known as the Senior School and is managed by a Head of Senior School/IB Coordinator.
What do students study during the time with their tutor?
The week is different for every Year group as some will be focusing on careers, others on their options or exams, while some students will be considering friendships and how to get along in the workplace. Sunday is an opportunity to speak with the tutor and check their diary and equipment for the week and collect any merits. The rest of the week will be a mix of Assemblies on a variety of topics these topics vary from upcoming events to reflecting on recent achievements, or a particular focus such as the school motto, a popular theme when Tutor Groups present their own Assembly to either their Year group or the Whole School. Other activities during tutor time include Tutor based competitions some examples include a Maths challenge and a door competition where students decorate their door ready for National day. One day in each week will be silent reading of a novel one of the best ways to develop English language skills is by regular reading.
What can they achieve at Al Bateen?
Tutor Groups work together every term to ensure they are the best. They are working to be awarded the Tutor Group of the Term for their Year group. The Tutor Group of the Term is an award for the tutor group that has made the most progress. They should be doing well in the lessons, they should be participating well in the wider school life of Al Bateen, they should have outstanding attendance and punctuality as a group, and most importantly they should work as a team to ensure they are all succeeding.
What are the changes from Primary school and other schools?
In most Primary schools students have one classroom teacher who provides most of the lessons. In Al Bateen we operate a Tutor Group system that is similar to the American Home group and similar to the Primary school classroom teacher in that they provide care for the students and have a greater and wider understanding of what each individual is doing and how they are achieving. The distinct difference is that students are taught by a variety of teachers who are specialists in their subjects. The Tutor acts as a liaison between the many teachers and the parent. They can contact the teachers and receive regular updates on progress and attitude to learning. They will work with individual students to make targets and action plans to help every student succeed.
Why is the Tutoring system at Al Bateen so special?
The tutor groups are designed and grouped according to the needs of each individual student. The groups are carefully prepared according to feedback from students previous schools. The tutor that is assigned to each group is selected based on their strengths and how they can best support the students in the group. The groups work together to achieve whilst they are at Al Bateen. Some are working on getting House points for the wider school community, others are working as a team to ensure they get Tutor group of the term or to support each other in achieving one of the many individual or group awards presented on a regular basis.
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