The House system is a fundamental part of the Academy that underpins achievement and enjoyment within and across all facets of the Academy. Each House is led by a Head of House and is made up of 10 Home Teams, ‘family units’ of students in years 7 to 12 which are led by a Learning Guide, whose role is central to every learner being ‘known, valued and understood’.
The year 13 home teams are named after universities, which are either Russell group or specialised in their fields of study. These are Liverpool, Imperial, UCL, Bristol, Oxford and Loughborough.
Five of the year 13 home teams are following a programme to support learners who are planning to go onto undergraduate study at a HE college or university. The programme includes completion of the UCAS and student finance applications. There are other sessions on preparing learners for university life, including budgeting your money, transport and accommodation, choosing a bank account and other important issues surrounding going to university. Other sessions have an achievement focus; time management and differing study and revision skills.
Bristol is our non-university year 13 home team. Learners who are not going onto further study have a separate programme which prepares them for employment or apprenticeships. Their programme covers aspects such as CV writing, letters of application, interview skills and supports learning by producing individual plans for them in order to achieve their final destination.
All learners take part in rituals looking at their Vivo points, attendance and regular one to one check ins with their Learning Guide. Other activities are usually surrounding current affairs or other topical subjects. Sessions this year will include radicalisation, British values, politics and cultural cohesion to name but a few.
The Learning Guide is the first point of contact for almost all learners at the Academy and meet with parents at least 3 times a year when they are invited to Progress Update Reviews (PURs). Here they meet to discuss the learner’s progress and identify what can be done to close the gap between potential and actual achievement. The House names were chosen by the learners at Bradford Academy through a democratic process. The House names are Malala, Wilberforce, Pankhurst, Franklin, Stephen Hawking and Arch Bishop Tutu.
Students wear a House-coloured tie and meet in Home Teams 4 times a week. Each Home Team session lasts for half an hour. On Mondays learners ‘check-in’ with each other and make sure that they are prepared for the week ahead by completing their ‘Rituals’. On Tuesday, Houses have an assembly or other “community” based activity to complete. Wednesdays are usually taken be a ‘House’ driven programme and activities completed often have a PSHE theme to them. During this time, Home Teams also ‘check-up’ with each other to make sure that the week is going well. Thursdays are taken by TRAIL and quality conversations. These are very much focused on how individual learners are progressing in lessons and give the opportunity for students to talk to their Learning Guide about their learning. This year we have also introduced a programme of Information and Guidance (IAG) to Thursdays, so that learners can spend time thinking about future careers that they might like to pursue.
Rewards are a large part of recognizing achievement through the House system. VIVOs are awarded to learners through all aspects of school life. Home Teams compete against each other alongside the House competition, to get the highest points total. The top 50 learners with the highest VIVO totals are regularly rewarded with a trip to Nando’s where they will all be entitled to dinner on Bradford Academy! Individual learners can also cash in their VIVO points for prizes available via the online VIVO shop.
Throughout the year, learners are given the opportunity to participate and compete against each other in ‘fun’ activities as part of the structured House Competition Programme, as well as numerous charity events during the year. This gives learners the opportunity to engage in alternative learning experiences with a competitive twist, allowing them to win points for their House and experience new activities which cover a range of skills and attributes.
At the end of each academic year we celebrate the achievements, participation and progress made in each House through an Awards Evening, known as The Night of a Thousand Stars. This is a fantastic event which allows learners, staff and parents to celebrate success on all levels and for a range of reasons. The destiny of the trophies on offer is in the hands of every single learner at the Academy – and the House system embraces the notion that every child matters and every child can be successful in some way.
Participation is the key to success, and the recognition of this comes not only through exam results, but in the progress made in all areas of the ECM agenda and so EVERY learner can contribute and be recognized within the House System at the Academy. Each House has elected student leaders, with House Captains in Key Stages 3 and 4/5. Each Home Team also has a Home Team Rep. Each of these positions carries responsibility for ensuring that student voice is shared and heard across the Houses and taken up to the Student Senior Leadership Team (SSLT) level and beyond.
The House system at Bradford Academy gives every learner the opportunity to shine. Every learner is definitely Known, Valued and Understood within House and participation and excellence is encouraged every day.
|Key Learning Objectives||1. how to manage transition
2. how to develop resilience, flexibility and skills
3. how to develop and maintain a variety of healthy relationships within a range of social/cultural contexts
4. to respect equality and be a productive member of a diverse community
|Key Activities / Homework|| September – October This half term learners will be introduced to ‘Learning Muscles’. This is adapted from the ‘Building a Learning Powered Mind’. Learners will explore the four learning muscle groups – Reflectiveness, Reciprocity, Resilience and Resourcefulness. Learners will participate in challenge based activities, with the focus being on a reflection of the process.
October – December This half term learners will focus on the concept on Evolution. They will reflect upon how their home teams and their overall House has evolved over time. Nearer to Christmas learners will participate in fundraising activities in order to raise money for this year’s adopted school charities, ‘Martin House’ (http://www.martinhouse.org.uk/) and ‘Fighting Ependymoma’ (http://www.fightingependymoma.org.uk/).
|Key Learning Objectives||1. how to assess and manage risks to health and to stay, and keep others, safe 2. how to maintain physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing|
|Key Activities / Homework||January – February This half term learners will focus on the theme ‘Personal Safety’. Learners will start to recognise risks, and be able to make informed decisions around their own personal safety.
February – March This half term learners will focus on the them ‘Healthy Minds, Healthy Body’. They will explore healthy eating, the importance of exercise, positive mental health in life generally but with a particular focus on facilitating effective exam preparation.
|Key Learning Objectives||1. rights and responsibilities as members of diverse communities, as active citizens and participants in the local economy 2. about rights and responsibilities as members of diverse communities, as active citizens and participants|
|Key Activities / Homework|| April – May This half term learners will focus on ‘Prejudice and Community’. Using the prejudice faced by the House figureheads as a vehicle to address discrimination and prejudice within contemporary society, learners will investigate and challenge views and stereotypes.
June – July This half term learners will focus upon ‘Celebrating Bradford’. They will explore the diversity, environment and opportunities that Bradford offers. They will also explore the future of Bradford. This will result in a house based challenge were learners showcase their research.
In my 16 years of teaching on this site I have been fortunate to lead house teams and year teams, however my present role as ‘House Champion’ is a little different to my other roles. I am really fortunate that I get to work with the 6 very talented Heads of House to help them, and their houses, be the very best that they can be. In theory this means that every year I am a member of the winning house!
I’m perhaps most excited this year by the opportunity to work with Mr Todd in developing the competition side of house, this will allow my to work with as many young people as possible in a slightly different setting to the classroom.
I’m really excited by the plans we have for house and home teams over the coming year and as a result being able to watch our family units and house communities grow from strength to strength.
Mr Brad Moxon our Associate Assistant Principal – Visible Experience is the lead for all things House related : If you have any queries about the House System at the Academy please contact him, Mr Wells or any of the Heads of House on 01274 256789 or by using the form below.