Forms are the most prominent pastoral grouping in our School, with every child being placed in one from Reception onwards. Before that, in Nursery, the children operate in smaller groups with many adults on hand to ensure ratios are as they should be and that the level of care and understanding of the children is high.
From Reception on, it is our intention that children will stay with their Form teacher for all of their time in School. This enables a thorough knowledge of the child and their social and academic progress, which informs discussions with parents and, further up the School, subject teachers. Occasionally, Form teachers do change due to staff moving on, or if the School considers that re-balancing a year group will have a positive social or academic effect.
Throughout the child’s time in the Pre-Prep (up to and including Year 2) the Form teacher delivers the majority of the curriculum to their children and takes responsibility for the pastoral care for each child. They, along with the class Teaching Assistant, are the first point of contact for parents. This is still largely the case in Years 3 and 4, to maintain that level of care, but for approximately a third of the curriculum the children will go to subject specialists.
By Years 5 and 6 the Form Teacher still has primary responsibility for pastoral care and will see their Form every day, at the very least. The big difference, however, is that the children now move to subject specialists for every lesson. This is to mirror more closely what happens in the secondary environment where they will have to take responsibility for their possessions and being in the right place at the right time. This subject specific teaching is also vital in extending the children academically. Helping them to master this in a supportive, caring community makes life so much easier for them as they begin life in Year 7.
There is no doubt that the Form and Form Teacher play a crucial role in every child’s time in our School. Not only does the structure allow us to build a holistic and comprehensive picture of each child, it provides them with a sense of place, where loyalty, friendships, forgiveness and support abound.