Introduction by Mr. C Robson, Head of Lower School and Mr A. Marsh, Head of Year 7
Boys join this school in Year 7 and form part of the Lower School until the end of Year 9. They join one of our five forms on entry to the school, and each form is associated with one of the five school houses: Manor, Warwick, Greyhound, Lenham or Throwley. The house system helps greatly to foster team spirit, as various competitions and a House Points scheme (more details below) mean each boy's house has a real meaning for him. The numerous house competitions, held throughout the year, range across the whole academic, sporting and cultural domains and most competitions offer every boy the opportunity to participate.
All boys are helped to develop by working within a firm, disciplinary framework which nevertheless allows staff to deal with each boy and his problems on an individual basis. All staff are constantly aware that individual boys may sometimes have problems, and great care is taken to respond to these quickly. The pastoral care centred on each form group encourages a real community spirit within which problems - such as bullying and absenteeism - are minimised.
New pupils to the school are invited to a whole day induction in July where they have the chance to meet the rest of their form and their Form Tutor. They spend most of the day with their Form Tutors, but they are also given the opportunity to 'tour' the school and are asked to complete a quiz afterward, aimed at familiarising them with the school. New pupils also take part in various 'lessons' during the day, such as Science and Drama, specially designed for the day.
Parents/Guardians are given the opportunity to meet their son's Form Tutor - as well as other members of staff and other parents - at a welcome evening in July. There is then a barbecue at our playing fields in Cheam for new parents to socialise with each other and for the new boys to meet their form prefects.
Each form in Years 7-9 has a dedicated tutor to monitor the welfare and progress of the students in their care. The primary responsibility of the tutor is to promote respect, responsibility and resilience while maintaining an overview of the wellbeing and academic progress of the boys and communicating closely with the Head of Year. Student’s change tutors at the end of year 7 and will have a new tutor to guide them through years 8-9. The school encourages a positive and open relationship between the parents and the tutor, who will be a main point of contact for the parents of boys in their form.
The Head of Year has overall responsibility for each year group, both pastorally and academically – he or she will monitor all of the students and work alongside the tutors, teachers and sepcialist staff to ensure that each student can flourish and develop in a positive and supportive environment.
One major difference between Primary School and Secondary School is the use of specialised staff for each subject. Different parts of the school are specially equipped for the various subjects and boys move between these areas for each lesson. Lower School boys have the majority of their lessons in their form groups, although they are sometimes taught in sets for Maths. In Year 9, boys will start the GCSE modules in the Sciences but at the end of Year 9, pupils choose their 'options' for GCSE - these are the subjects/courses they will take at GCSE-Level in Years 10 and 11.
Pupils are given homework on a regular basis and are all supplied with a student planner in which they must write details of the homework given for a particular day, although Show My Homework is also used as a homework diary. Show my Homework is a good place for parents to track the homework of their child. The types of homework given may differ from subject to subject, but they should expect to be set between one and three pieces of homework per night in their first year at Sutton Grammar School. As you would expect, the volume and variety of homework tasks will increase as the pupil moves up the school.
All pupils attend regular assemblies. These take place in the school hall, or drama studio, twice a week with their Head of Year, Deputy Head or Headmaster. The content of these assemblies varies, but provides the occasion for worship, reflection upon events or stories and a sense of shared responsibility and common endeavour. Pupils also participate as readers, or by presenting form assemblies which they prepare with support from their Form Tutor. Guest speakers are also regularly involved in assemblies.
Students in the Lower School participate in a House Points scheme; individuals, groups and sometimes whole forms can be awarded points, and these, along with the results of various house competitions, count towards the House Shield Competition - the overall award for the house that performs best across all aspects of school life, both academic and sporting. Pupils are awarded House Points for...
- Excellent pieces of homework, suggesting special care and conscientiousness
- Outstanding classwork, including performance, reading, contribution to class discussion, or written work in class
- Work showing a major improvement, or work showing that a pupil is really trying their best, perhaps in a subject they find difficult
- Exceptional behaviour that suggests - either inside or outside the classroom - that they have the best interests of the school and/or their fellow pupils in mind.