Our Vertical House System allows us to have a more personalised learning and student support system. It is a system built on mixed-age mentor groups, ranging from 11-18 with two adult form mentors facilitating each group. It has three main purposes:
- to improve student outcomes
- to increase student mentoring, support and leadership
- to improve relationships and communication between parents, staff and students
At Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School we want our students to:
- be resilient, reflective and to take responsibility for what they do
- be motivated and enjoy learning
- develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain
- be confident, happy and feel safe
- be friendly, respectful, caring and polite
In a school that:
- fosters individual talents and abilities in every child
- has the highest expectations for itself, its staff and students
- celebrates success and achievement in all its forms
- values the role parents and carers play
- is continually striving to improve, and
- actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
It is our goal to create a school where the academic progress and welfare of every child matters – "success with care". We want to ensure that a young person's learning needs are met, and where there are barriers to learning and academic progress, school will co-ordinate appropriate early intervention to reduce or help a student overcome these barriers. Success will be measured by appropriate annual targets including progress, achievement, attainment, attendance and punctuality.
Along with achieving academic progress, the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of every student in our school matters. The responsibility of student support and welfare rests within the school's vertical house system (Form Mentors, House Academic Mentors, House Support Managers and House Progress Leaders) along with support from other leaders in the school, including Heads of Faculty, the Director of Learning Support (SENCO), external agencies and the Strategic Leadership Group.
The vertical house system is designed to give adults at every level in school a number of students for whom they are responsible for in terms of welfare and academic progress. In 2011, the school’s inclusion support system became a vertical model, based around the school's 6 "Houses" – Baggaley, Buxton, Fanshawe, Gosforth, Millican, Spaven.
The benefits to students of the vertical system are:
- Raising of learning and achievement, due to a greater sense of their journey in school from having the opportunity to learn from or care for students in different years as well as their own
- Development of positive relationships across year groups
- Promotion of the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
- Raising of standards and expectations within school with respect to uniform, equipment and punctuality due to a 'team ethos' being developed within a mentor group and house.
- Creating further opportunities for peer mentoring, peer support and buddy reading consistently for all students
- Increasing the responsibility of 6th form students within school, as role models, support mentors and active members of the house and mentor groups
- Allowing staff in school (Form Mentors, Progress Leaders, Support Managers, and Academic Mentors) to provide more personalised advice and guidance to students at key dates throughout the year due to the small number of students in that year group they are working with
- Smoother transitions between key stages
- A reduction in bullying or anti-social behaviour around the school site
Our aim is to continue to further increase the sense of community, pride and belonging in school.
Vertical teams in school have a responsibility towards promoting a school culture that helps foster individual responsibility, independence, resilience, reflection, care and respect for others and ambition. In addition, the vertical teams have a responsibility to monitor and care for students who are not making the expected progress in their learning or are not meeting the expectations of the school.
All students will be encouraged to build positive relationships with their mentors who will monitor their academic progress and welfare. Students with additional needs or students who are significantly underachieving in terms of their academic progress will receive further intervention from other adults from in or outside of school.