Role of the Form Tutor at William Farr
Each year group has 8 Tutor Groups and is led by a Head of Year, supported by an Assistant Head of Year.
Being a form tutor is one of the key and often most rewarding roles at William Farr. The tutor will stay with their form from year 7 all the way through to the end of year 13.
Time spent with the tutor is much more than making sure students are present and in on time!
Each day, our tutor period lasts from 9.00 -9.20 as well as a registration period at 1.35pm. We believe the relationship between form tutor and their students makes them best placed to deliver our Personal, Social and Moral Education (PSME) programme, through a taught one hour lesson every Tuesday (please see the PSME section of the website for more information.)
Tutor time is an important preparation for the day and all students are expected to be present in their tutor rooms ready for a 9.00am start to be registered ( a legal as well as safeguarding priority!) Each tutor time has its topic. The activities will vary across year groups, however there will be two year group assemblies per week, one with a key theme led by staff, students or guests to the school and the other being a ‘celebration assembly’ where awards and certificates are given out and successes both from inside and out of school are celebrated.
An example of a typical weekly tutor time timetable could be;
Monday – Celebration Assembly
Tuesday – Diary signing and Merits
Wednesday – Personal Reading
Thursday – Main Themed Assembly
Friday – Issues of the week/Quiz activity
This means that tutees spend at least two and a half hours weekly with their form tutors, often for seven years, getting to know what makes students tick nearly as much as people at home!
The relationship developed between form tutor and their students is an extremely strong one. They are involved in the often stressful transition from primary to secondary school, where routines and expectations are learned in a supportive environment, from first meeting the tutor and their parents, to helping them settle in during the early stages of their time with us.
Form tutors are pivotal in the key landmarks of student’s progress through our school. They act as mentors both academically and developmentally and as advocates for their group. All tutors will use tutor time to talk to and guide students either individual on a rota or in small groups if similar topics arise. They will also meet each student once a year for a ‘tutor interview’.
Form tutors are the first ‘point of call’ for contact from teachers regarding successes and misdemeanours by their tutees and also with parents. They will develop an in depth understanding of the members of their tutor group, throughout their time at William Farr, sharing in their successes and their mistakes. From counselling through the options process to starting out on and hopefully sharing in students GCSE results! By this time the tutor should have a clear understanding of their students and are keenly placed to help the transition either onwards with accurate reference writing or transition into sixth form and beyond, where again they will be critical to help with references for university, apprenticeships or work place applications.
Tutors are integral within the rewards systems throughout the school, from merits and excellence awards to the ‘end of key stage 3 celebration evening’ and the end of year 11 and 13 leavers proms and other activities.
Up to seven years with students as a tutor can creates a special bond, often lasting longer than their time at William Farr School, where news of success well into adult life is still shared!