House System

Here at The Oakwood Academy, we are proud to have a comprehensive House System which is designed to support a sense of belonging, achievement and pride in all of our students. As part of that system we use vertical tutoring which means that each tutor group has three to four members of each year group within it. Tutor groups are around 18 in number and have two tutors to ensure more personalised and tailored tutoring, built on positive relationships and knowledge of students in order to get the best from them.

We have four Houses:

Animus Certus Robus Virtus
Animus House
Head of House: Mr Brooke
SLT Link: Ms Byrne
Certus House
Head of House: Miss Cooke
SLT Link: Miss Crane
Robus House
Head of House: Mr Dennison
SLT Link: Mr Rochester
Virtus House
Head of House: Mrs Pettifor
SLT Link: Mr Wylie


Within each House there are nine tutor groups meaning there are around 180 students in each House, over seen by a Head of House, who is a senior member of staff.

The role of the Head of House is focused on the achievement of the students they are responsible for, including their academic performance, pastoral well-being and ensuring all students achieve their full potential regardless of background, ethnicity, gender or educational needs.

In addition, the House system together with the vertical system provides opportunities for students to have real life experiences by ensuring they have to interact with people of all ages rather than simply their own age group. Students are nurtured by older students and also learn how to communicate with younger people, be a role model and develop leadership skills.

House activities include sporting, culinary, artistic, scientific and musical competitions to name a few. The purpose of these competitions is to promote a sense of healthy competition, belonging and camaraderie. We hold at least two House competitions each half term as well as inter-House competitions. We believe that taking part in an event inspires a sense of duty and pride.  Losing, forces students to learn how to pick themselves up and carry on.  Having learned lessons on what they need to do better next time, and winning compounds their successes.  This makes students feel good about themselves and nurtures their sense of self belief. Furthermore, staff take part in House competitions to demonstrate to students that everyone at The Oakwood Academy is part of its integral family and framework.

Vertical Tutoring

Vertical Tutoring

Each House tutor group consists of a mix of students from Years 7 to 11. This provides a supportive, family focused environment and quickly builds relationships between all students across all years.

Below is an outline of some of the key aims we have in mind in choosing to move to a VTertical Tutoring structure, and some of the benefits attributed to it:

Key aims:

  • Parents and families having one point of contact in the school
  • The creation of a structure which would enable all students to support and peer mentor each other
  • A culture where it is 'cool to learn' – high self-esteem and high expectations throughout the school community
  • More effective tutoring and a clear focus on progress towards higher attainment
  • Students contributing to their own individual learning plans and being part of setting and reviewing their own targets
  • The creation of smaller tutor groups – so that the tutor can give more valuable time to students at certain stages during their learning journey
  • Access to high quality study support and advice and guidance within the school, plus support from external agencies where needed
  • A house system used successfully for sport and other activities to promote a sense of belonging and healthy competition

Key benefits:

  • Providing a mix of ages which promotes a family ethos, active citizenship and positive relationships
  • The release of the potential of the school's most important assets - teachers, students and parents
  • The provision of a structure in which personalisation can be achieved
  • Placing learning conversations and support for teaching and learning at the heart of the tutor system
  • Providing student voice through opportunities for peer mentoring and student leadership
  • Using tracking to identify and support appropriate intervention when needed

Each day Tutor time starts at 10.45am and lasts for 20 minutes.