How to be the Best Form Tutor!

The Role of a Form Tutor

This week we looked at the specific roles of a form tutor. We identified different strategies on how to be a successful influence on student welfare.

 

Why is this role important?

The form tutor is the first member of staff students come into contact with on a daily basis. The small time period that the students share with their form tutor is arguably the most important period of the day. This is because this time will set the tone for the days outcomes. It also allows tutors to identify any immediate issues or problems before the working day has begun. Preparation is key in this time as it allows students to make a successful transition from home to school.

 

What do the students believe make an excellent and effective form tutor?

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We have identified the following 8 strategies as being the most important & effective ways to manage your form time:

Praise the positives

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  • Praise students who have either got lots of positives or students who have improved.
  • Compare your forms positives/negatives to other forms in the year group, create positive competition

Question the negatives

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  • Once a week, get your forms Go4Schools up and identify people that have accumulated negative points.
  • It shows the students you know exactly what is going on when you are not there

 

Be tough over the specifics

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  • Has your form got their equipment?
  • Is there planner signed?
  • Are they wearing make up?
  • Do they have shoes, correct trousers?
  • Lining up perfectly for assembly
  • You form represent you – make sure they know it!

See your form do something positive

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  • Once a half term try and find time to drop into a lesson for 10 minutes, especially if it’s a lesson they do well in.
  • It will allow you to see them excel at something and share a positive learning experience you don’t usually get as a form tutor.
  • It also reminds them you are watching them!

Email teachers about problems

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  • As a form tutor students are more likely to come to you with problems (at home, with homework, classwork, peer issues)
  • Providing class teachers with this information is crucial to avoiding problems escalating during lesson time and allowing lessons to run smoothly.

Teachers communicating with form tutor

 

  • The form tutor is not in lessons. Their only way of knowing what is going on is checking Go4Schools.
  • If you overhear something, experience behaviour/peer issues or have any concerns, the form tutor should be the first port of call.
  • Make sure the form tutor has all the facts. They will often be the ones that have the best relationship with students/parents to provide support if necessary.

 

Call/Email Home

 

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  • You will often find yourself calling home for FT report, attendance, behaviour
  • Try and find something positive to call/email home about for each student every half term. That works out approximately 1 phone call per day.
  • Parents really appreciate this and it forms a relationship which makes it more likely they will be understanding when you have to call for a negative reason.
  • Students also really respond to this

 

Set targets

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  • Set your form a target for each half term. Offer them a prize/reward if they hit it.
  • This data can easily be accessed/downloaded from Go4Schools in seconds and is easy to keep track of.
  • My target
  • At least 100 positives
  • No more than 20 negative points
  • No more than 1 day missed

Thank you to Chris and Harry, for their fantastic butterfly session and blog post! 🙂

To turn your households’ rancour to pure love.

On Saturday, Romeo and Juliet was being performed at The Globe, just down the road from London Bridge and Borough Market. Shakespeare’s language can be a struggle, keeping up with the words and devices. Watching from above, however, whilst Romeo and Juliet professed their anguish and love in the Balcony scene, what I really noticed was the raptness of the audience. They surrounded Romeo – that’s him with the face paint, on a ladder below on the left. People were just looking and listening so intently, carried away by the words and their message of love. It was magical.

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She speaks.
O, speak again, bright angel! For thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head,
As is a wingèd messenger of heaven
Unto the white, upturnèd, wondering eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy-puffing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.

Context and culture: It’s what we do here…

Every now and then this turns up on social media, and I remember how important it is:

Previous posts have set out the Westfield Way – see March post.

These are our expectations, our non-negotiables and our culture for both staff and students – this is the way we do it at Westfield Academy.

Why?

Because we have seen over time that this works for our students and staff.

So next question is what conditions are needed here to make them work?

  • Collegiality – the power of the team and creating alignment
  • Creativity – working with these foundations and making them part of our own day-to-day professional practice in our classroom. As subject teachers embedding them in how we teach our subject and mesh with our own personalities and practice.
  • Forward-looking – using all that we offer with regards CPD and developing this practice, especially subject-wise. This next half term there will be a real focus on moving onwards from the foundations now in place and embedding key next steps:

New specs

Feedback

Questioning

Assessment for Learning

Differentiation/ Scaffolding/ Extension

Broadening subject knowledge through use of twitter / social media

  • Modelling, always modelling – we never know when students and staff need us to hold the line and tough it out. Believe the culture, and trust the system.
  • Habit –  “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle
  • Relationships – these will come with the emdedding of the systems and expectations. The context, and quality of any school is based on the human relationships within, and these relationships are the glue for our Academy, and get us out of the bed come November
  • Be open – do I need support on this, as well as…
  • Who can I help?
Elvis helps Johnny Cash

 

The text below comes from Andy Buck’s Leadership Matters:

He writes of leaders at all levels helping to create great schools, and with it great learning. And that is the context for all of us.