Chapters / Houses
Woodard Schools and academies are collegiate communities in which a high priority is given to ensuring that each pupil feels a sense of ownership and belonging as part of a ‘family’.
It is our mission to ensure that every young person feels valued, well cared for and safe. Chapters play a key role in developing the skills and personal qualities of every child, driving aspirations and ambition and embedding the culture and ethos of a Woodard academy. Each student’s Chapter experience helps to ensure the development of wider key skills, such as leadership, teamwork and problem solving, alongside a sense of self-worth, positive attitudes and behaviour, and a high degree of self-discipline.
Within the Woodard Academies Trust, Chapters form the basis of the ‘school within the school’ model. They are perhaps more easily understood if thought of in terms of ‘homes’ or ‘houses’. Young people of differing ages come together to learn and grow, both academically, personally and socially. The Head of Chapter is effectively the Head of a small school, responsible and accountable for every aspect of a young person’s development and takes great pride in establishing the Chapter identity. He/she is the first point of contact for the parents. Siblings usually follow into the same Chapter.
Students’ welfare, safety and progress are underpinned by their place within one of the school’s Chapters, crossing the more traditional pastoral/academic divide. The Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship education programme is delivered through the Chapter, utilising the skills, experience and personal qualities of the older students to support the development of younger students, whilst also providing opportunities to develop age appropriate skills and learn in cross-age environments. Chapter Days are scheduled in the calendar and are sometimes known as Super Learning Days.
The creation of distinctive chapters as ‘schools within a school’ reflects our strong commitment to ensuring that each students will have the highest quality pastoral care and be personally known, valued and supported to achieve maximum achievement.
All students are given individual attention and the opportunity to succeed. Nobody is ‘lost in the system’. Students are thus encouraged to develop as both confident, flexible learners and responsible citizens.
Each Chapter will develop its own identity, but all will embed the following four aspects:
Each Chapter will develop practical links with another community in another country and this will include active support for people in the developing world.
Each Chapter will take up a charitable service and support function for a community less fortunate than themselves – encouraging responsible citizenship.
Each Chapter will identify itself with a part of the area the Academy serves and develop strong links and practical involvement with it.
Each Chapter will be the focal point for providing support for each of its members.
Chapters in the Primary setting
Our mission to develop and champion outstanding academies, with Christianity at the heart of the organisation and the nurturing of the whole child, remains relevant across the whole age range. Our core values of Transformation, Inclusivity, Community engagement, Holistic learning, Chaplaincy, Chapters and Celebration apply equally to all our academies, regardless of individual academy context.
As such, in developing Woodard Primary Academies we will ensure that we work alongside existing school leaders to envision a Primary Academy that is innovative, child focused, diverse, dynamic, enterprising, and at the heart of its community.
There will be flexibility in how chaplaincy is delivered e.g. it might be by the local incumbent or a lay person or a shared Chaplain, across the cluster and/or across the phases. The significance and role of Chapters will run in parallel with the traditional role of the primary class teacher, but will be much more than a house system. Ideally we would link Chapters to one of our secondary academies, as the place of Chapters becomes more overarching in the care of students as they progress through the primary academy. There will be no fewer than three Chapters, and where there is an associated secondary academy ideally they would bear the same names and cooperate in Chapter activities. In this way the Chapter will act as a learning community within an academy and across a WAT cluster.
Within an individual primary academy, vertical tutoring might encompass Y1 to Y3 and then Y4 to Y6. Where the primary academy or primary cluster is linked to a secondary academy, the Chapter experience might include cross phase working, increasing as the child progresses through the academy. The all through academy offers the greatest potential, with Y5 being a key shift in the role of the Chapter and Chapter leadership. In the lower years the Whole Child remains in the domain of the class teacher, but as children mature and specialist teaching increases, the Chapter experience takes on a different guise.