ARCH

Tutoring and Focus Time

Focus Time Activities at THS

It’s a long time since focus time was just about taking a register. Here at THS we pack form time with opportunities for personal development, and we use it as a vehicle to support your child’s wider learning. On the sample ‘routines’ sheet below you can see what happens each day of the week in focus time for Year 7 students. As you can see, focus tutors are involved in leading their tutees through a whole range of activities every day.

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… Why miss out?

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

Assembly is held once a week. It is usually led by a member of the Senior Leadership Team and a theme or issues is chosen which helps students broaden their understanding of the wider world. Quite often, these themes will fit with national days of observance. For example, in January there is always an assembly to reflect on the holocaust around the time of Holocaust Memorial Day. At other times, the theme will raise awareness of a school or wider world issue, for example our ARCH values or Domestic Abuse. 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 4 key qualities 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.

Wellbeing Wednesday

WBW is a weekly exploration of an aspect of physical, emotional or mental wellbeing. Students are introduced to the theme or issue and then have the opportunity to discuss this further. Recent WBW have focused on the proven link between mental and physical wellbeing, the conflict in Ukraine and its impact and the importance of dental hygiene.

Personal Development in Form Time

On one day each week, each year group is engaged in following a scheme of work linked to wider personal development. These focus on, for example, ARCH values in practice, Fundamental British Values, Mental Health and Wellbeing and Identity. Recently, we have been trying to build further opportunities for discussion and debate with regard to contemporary issues.

Other Form 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.