Care, Guidance & Support

The level of care, guidance and support for students at George Stephenson High School is something we take very seriously and has been judged to be outstanding by Ofsted and by the Local Authority. Our main focus is to raise aspirations across the school through our aspirational target setting system, regular assemblies and study support and mentoring programmes.

What is the Guidance System like at GSHS?

The main school is organised into a strong guidance system, made up of five year groups, each with a Guidance Manager, Achievement Support Co-ordinator and a team of Form Tutors. The work of our guidance system is based on raising achievement and supporting students in every possible way as they progress through the school.

Students will normally remain with the same Form Tutor until the end of Year 11. This means that throughout their time at school they will have a regular member of staff to whom they can turn for help and support.

Tutors meet with their students every day and have a very important role to play in helping them settle into their new school, in encouraging their progress, in detecting any problems which may arise and in helping them to solve them. Tutors also work closely with subject staff to help students who may experience difficulties with any school work.

This structure exists in order to support and enhance the learning of students at George Stephenson High School.

What will Tutors do for students?

The Tutor is the key figure for all students and their parents in the structure and organisation of the school, and in supporting and furthering students' learning in every way possible. Tutors will: 

  • get to know students as well as possible;
  • register attendance every morning and ensure that students receive letters, messages, etc;
  • monitor attendance; praise good attendance and refer any concerns about attendance to the GM or EWO;
  • ensure that students understand and adhere to school routines, uniform regulations, fire drill, etc;
  • ensure that students understand their timetable and help them with their option choices in Y9 and Y11;
  • check planners on a regular basis;
  • monitor academic progress and personal well being through regular discussions and target setting, together with regular liaison with the Achievement Support Coordinator;
  • monitor home learning and coursework commitments;
  • advise and guide students on time management, organisational and study skills;
  • encourage students to participate in the school's reward system;
  • monitor behaviour and when necessary deal with appropriate sanctions;
  • make prompt contact with parents when the need arises;
  • act as, a first point of contact within school for parents if they wish to discuss any aspect of their childs welfare, work or progress;
  • meet with parents at Tutor Evening (Year 7) to discuss students progress and needs;
  • inform parents of the childs achievements, as well as any difficulties students may have at school ;
  • liaise with the Guidance Manager on any issues that may affect students

How else will students be supported?

  • We have two Family Support Workers who work closely with school staff to support students who may be experiencing problems at school or at home.
  • We communicate with primary feeder schools to ensure that when students arrive here in Year 7 their needs can be met quickly and effectively on arrival.
  • The study support programmes at KS3 and 4 are continually being developed in response to student feedback, to support students preparing for examinations. e.g. coursework support, booster classes in most subjects, Easter School, revision classes, and study skills advice and guidance.
  • Connexions advisors work effectively with GSHS staff and students in school on a regular basis to provide guidance at times of transition (e.g. Year 9 and Year 11 options, as well as providing advice for students leaving school for college, University and employment).
  • Students are well prepared for option choices, including through individual interviews, by tutors and senior staff. Advisors from Connexions, Further Education and Higher Education play an active role in the process.