Tutoring and Focus Time
It’s a long time since focus time was just about taking a register. We pack focus time with opportunities for personal development, and we use it as a vehicle to support your child’s wider learning.
Equipment and uniform checks
The equipment poster below, shows what we expect each students to bring every day. Having this kit with them means they will be able to access their learning and there will be no barrier to them getting on with what they’ve been asked to do in every lesson. Please support us in your role as parents, by checking that your child has their full set of equipment with them every day. We insist on spare black and green pens so that they are always prepared for a pen to run out and it doesn’t interrupt their learning when it happens. The ruler is necessary as we expect students to underline each date and title neatly; students have a responsibility to present their work as neatly and carefully as they can.
As well as checking equipment, tutors will undertake uniform checks. A reminder of how uniform should look can be seen below. Students missing essential elements will be supported via our spare uniform supply; please let us know if there is a problem with any aspect of your child’s uniform, or you need some support – we are here to help.
Tutors check equipment and uniform is right every day – students must be absolutely perfectly dressed and equipped to get the +5 positive form time points on offer every day. These points add up to all kinds of rewards and opportunities.
To promote whole school literacy and engage our students in reading, each form reads a book together during form time. These books are carefully selected to engage students at a wide range of abilities and ages. These books focus on topics that are particularly relevant to the students' personal development. Tutors are guided to ask questions that prompt discussion and debate based upon the texts.
Champions of maths
The first thing students do, once they have laid their equipment out on their desk, is the daily ‘Champions of Maths’ challenge. They complete this in their form time books and it is designed to support students in learning the skills they need to have mastered in order to succeed in their maths GCSE. The tasks are taken from the bestselling book, ‘A Compendium of Mathematical Methods’ by Joanne Morgan and students will work through the recall and retrieval of these facts sequentially. By revisiting these regularly, and engaging with this process, the information will move into students’ long-term memory, so that they are able to recall these maths facts much more easily as time progresses.
Assembly is held once a week. It is usually led by a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). Assemblies are themed to match our core values ambition, respect, care and honesty. Content will be relative to these values, while covering a wide range of topics. Once the member of SLT has delivered their element, the Learning Manager for that year group will go through their weekly rewards and give out any additional notices. Weekly rewards are for those students best exemplifying our four values of ambition, respect, care and honesty. There are also regular attendance awards as well as overall ARCH winners. Each weekly winner is entered into a termly draw and prizes are given out in our Celebration Assemblies at the end of each term.
Other focus time activities
As well as all this, tutors will often take the opportunity to explore world news in tutor time via programmes such as Newsround. They will also review the class charts profile of their tutees, and support with any issues arising, as well as discussing any attendance concerns with their form. As parents, your child’s form tutor might well be your first point of contact, should you have any concerns, though you are more than welcome to contact the Learning Manger for your year group, too. You can find contact details for our Learning Manager team on our pastoral page.
The ARCH minute
The ARCH Minute provides the opportunity for students to consider spiritual and moral issues and explore their own beliefs while engaging in thoughtful personal development questions. Through the ARCH Minute we promote a common ethos in line with our values of Ambition, Respect, Care and Honesty, and reinforce positive attitudes.
The intention of the ARCH Minute is to allow valuable reflection time for students to ruminate on a question provided by their form tutor. Students reflect individually and in silence so that private prayer and worship can take place should a student wish to do so and to allow for a short period of focussed, independent reflection. We believe that allowing our students to engage in these important questions prepares them for opportunities, responsibilities and potential experiences of adult life. A summary of our aims as follows;
- Inclusive, all can access and gain from it.
- Curricular, relating to areas of school life inside and outside of the classroom.
- Educational, exploratory and an independent learning experience.
- Contributory to the spiritual and religious education of all.
- A sense of occasion – depth time.
- Shaped to the social and moral values our school upholds.
Questions are designed to align with our ARCH values and to provoke thought and response from all year groups. Some examples are provided below.
If you would like to speak to a member of staff regarding the ARCH minute and the activities we undertake for this, please contact Miss Shirt on email@example.com.