Caring for Every Child
Although our school continues to grow rapidly, we still retain a warm, family feeling and ethos of care and support. We want every child to feel they belong to the school in a very personal way and that the staff in the school know them well.
When a child starts in Year 7 they will have the benefit of pastoral support from a Head of Year and an Assistant Head of Year as well as daily contact with their form tutor.
In Years 8 to 11 each child is placed in one of the following six Houses named after influential Catholic figures:
- Blessed Cardinal Newman
- St Edith Stein
- Archbishop Oscar Romero
- Blessed Mother Teresa
- St John Bosco
- St Catherine of Siena
The House will be their home for Years 8 – 11 with the same House Head and Tutors throughout their school life. Assemblies and inter-house competitions will promote a close identity and team spirit.
The main aim of our pastoral care is to ensure that every child feels happy and fulfilled because we believe happy learners are successful learners.
Inter Form, Rewards and Pupil Engagement
Here at BTH we put great focus on pupil engagement and pupil voice. Our staff offer a range of in school and extra-curricular activities and have an effective rewards system to engage our pupils in College life. We aim to promote a competitive and collaborative ethos in school and ensure that every child has the opportunity to get involved in what we offer.
House Points and VIPAs
In September 2016, we introduced a new rewards system, including the VIPAs (Very Important Pupil Awards). These are awarded every lesson to a pupil who has really impressed, and these then get fed into our house points system. We also give out house points for all the brilliant work that we see in our school. The league table is updated every week, and prizes are awarded every half term for those in each form who have the most VIPAs and house points. We also have the VIPA cup which goes to the person in the whole school with the most VIPAs each term. Our rewards system gives our pupils a sense of aspiration, as well as instilling a healthy sense of competition too.
We have introduced specific Oracy VIPAs into our reward system this year. Students have selected opportunities to gain them alongside a reward from Miss Sigsworth during allocated Oracy weeks and Drop Everything and Speak Days throughout the year. In addition, Form Tutors select one member of their form each week who have demonstrated compelling Oracy skills during our form time debates. We also have several debating competitions throughout the year, in which pupils are able to show off the amazing Oracy skills that they have been building throughout the school year. See how many Oracy VIPAs you can earn!
We are also keen to promote punctuality and attendance in school, and as a result give out termly awards for attendance and punctuality. Those pupils with 100% attendance for that term are entered into a ballot to win a £25 Trafford Centre Gift Card, and those with over 98% attendance have the chance to win a £10 Trafford Centre Gift Card. The forms within each house with the highest attendance and best punctuality are also able to win form prizes, often in the form of a free breakfast!
Every term, we have an inter-house competition, which is also incorporated into our house points system. Once every term, the whole school is off timetable for period one, and all forms in years 7 to 11 complete the same inter-house activity. The activity is always competition based, so we have small prizes form winners, prizes for house winners, and then a larger prize for the whole school winners. The activities are done in small groups in forms, then the best in each form gets sent to the head of house, who votes on the best in house. Then, these present their ideas to the head teacher, who votes on the best in school. According to how they get ranked by the head, we then award house points, and these get incorporated into the house points league table. Our pupils have really enjoyed the competitions so far, and it is great to see how these have contributed to our family ethos around school
Every two weeks, representatives from each form meet as a student council. We discuss issues in school and run petitions to try and improve our school. In the current school year, the school council are focusing on improving areas such as congestion at lesson change-over times. The school council also have the opportunity to attend trips in our local community, such as the ‘Let’s Talk Youth’ Conference led by the Trafford Youth Cabinet.
We have a group in place to support the young carers in our school. We meet each half term to discuss our hobbies and interests, and what we have been getting up to outside of school. The pupils also receive drop in meetings from Trafford Young Carers, and we always have our doors and ears open for anything they may want to talk about with us in school.
Trafford Youth Cabinet
In our school, we have a member of the Trafford Youth Cabinet, who even served as the Member of Youth Parliament for Trafford throughout 2016 and had the opportunity to debate on the issues affecting young people at the Houses of Parliament. We have formed a good connection with the Youth Cabinet, and have been involved in electing the Members of the Youth Parliament for Trafford, and have voted on important issues in their Make Your Mark Campaign. The Cabinet also run workshops to listen to young people called ‘Let’s Talk Youth’ which we have been able to attend in order to express our opinions on improving the services available to the young people in our community.