“All Toynbee wants is for you to be an incredible you”
What is a ‘typical’ student experience? One student said in their head Girl presentation that …
so we respect the individual and try to foster everyone’s talent or skill whatever it might be. This is why we provide so many different opportunities at different times and stages of the school day and year to encourage ALL of our pupils to get involved. We believe that participating in school life is a healthy and developmental experience which nurtures the whole child.
We have one tutor slot at the beginning of the day and one at the very end so that our tutors can pick up any issues and intervene at critical points in the school day.
Citizenship, Literacy, Numeracy.
During tutor time we have a structured programme of weekly Current Affairs presentations. These can range from political events, through to sporting events, cultural events and global catastrophes. Whatever is in the news we’ll be discussing it, picking out and learning words which extend our pupils’ vocabulary and linking it to our Theme of the Week.
Each week there is also a Literacy Focus which is then reinforced in all lessons across the curriculum and called a ‘Literacy Moment’.
We engage in weekly Numeracy Challenges which can last a whole term. For example, all staff and pupils were challenged to remember their times tables and negative numbers one term.
We do not have Heads of Year. Instead we have Guidance Managers who deal with both discipline and pastoral matters; one for each year group. They are skilled counsellors & practitioners and have the expertise to help children with the transfer to secondary school, relationship issues and exam stress for example. They also deal with pupil attendance & punctuality as well as discipline and uniform issues.
The Parent section on Home School Communication will tell you which Guidance Manager is responsible for your child.
We have a 4 houses at Toynbee, all named after local 'heroes' and local places;
Clarendon, Solent, Spitfire, Drummond.
Each tutor group belongs to a house and during the course of the year each subject runs special house cup challenges which gives the pupils the opportunity to win points for their house. The emphasis is on participation so the winners of the House Cup are not necessarily the house with the most wins but the house which encouraged the most pupils to participate in the competitions. This reinforces our approach and ethos ...namely that those pupils who get involved in some aspect of school life are more likely to succeed in their learning. Educational research has clearly identified school participation with likelihood of success in exams and the future.
A termly club list is posted to all tutor rooms and the school website. These take place after school and during lunchtimes. Music, Pe, Dance and Drama are particularly active and as a result put on performances throughout the school year.
Competitions & Challenges
Opportunities for getting involved in competitions arise during the course of the year. We do not always know which organisation or group they will come from or when. Regulars are the Hotel Challenge, Salters Chemistry Challenge, Bright Sparks & Blue Fusion with IBM & STEM Challenges. These are announced in assemblies, in lessons and through tutor notices. We encourage our pupils to get as involved as possible in these activities which help them develop skills, competencies and abilities beyond the classroom.
Personal Development Days
….or PDL days. Each year group, apart from Year 11, have a PDL programme which involves a mixture of Careers, Citizenship and Enterprise education along with Health and Safety topics. The year group concerned is taken off timetable for the day and will typically have a range of external presenters and/or challenges to experience. Previous year’s topics have been; personal safety, Fairtrade, Careers & Personal Future planning.
Curriculum Focus groups
Over 400 pupils in the school have volunteered to be part of a curriculum focus group. This means they work with the Head of Department to review schemes of work, facilities, resources and extra curricular activities. They meet during lesson time termly.
Some areas of the school train subject leaders notably Pe, History, Science & MFL. Along with a range of other activities this mainly entails teaching and leading other younger pupils either at secondary school or primary school.
Prefects & Head Boy/Girl
Towards the end of Year 10 we invite applications for becoming a prefect. If accepted, prefects play a vital role in the school : carrying out duties and tasks across the campus, fundraising for charity and representing the school at a variety of events.
Head Boy and Girl positions are decided through a letter of application, a presentation to the prefect team and Senior Leadership Team as well as a face to face interview with the Headteacher.
Day trips and Residentials
Like any school we offer a rich range of learning opportunities which extend the curriculum beyond the classroom. Just scanning through the Toynbee Life buttons will give you an overview of a typical year at Toynbee. We do not allow trips during curriculum time for Year 11 except in exceptional circumstances.
Achievement Points & Awards Evenings
We send home ‘Well Done’ postcards throughout the term and pupils can also earn Achievement Points. These are added up and win pupils prizes. Those students with the most Achievement points earn the right to a free place on a Day trip to a place of their choice in the Summer term.
Parents are invited into school for a special Awards evening if their child has been selected to win a subject prize. These are special celebrations which involve performances of dance, drama and art.
"a friendly school, fantastic students,
a specialist humanities school