What is a ‘typical’ pupil experience?
One pupil said in her Head Girl presentation that …
"All Toynbee wants, is for you to be
an incredible you !"
We thought this was such an incredibly powerful endorsement of the Toynbee ethos and of everything we were trying to provide for our pupils, that we have taken this as our key driver and it underpins all that we aim for. 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 of the school day and for all year groups, 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 focus on politics, sport, cultural events, art, social media and global catastrophes. Whatever is in the news, we’ll be discussing it, learning words which extend our pupils’ vocabulary and linking it to our Theme of the Week.
Our tutors deliver the school's Literacy & Mathematical focus on alternate half terms. This is subsequently reinforced in lessons across the curriculum and called a ‘Literacy or Mathematical Moment’.
Personal Development Days
….or PDL days are when the whole school timetable is suspended for the day and we deliver instead a programme of Careers, Citizenship, Sex and Relationships, Enterprise, and Health & Safety education. We have 3 PDL Days during the course of the year and each year group has a different programme according to their year group needs. For example, Year 11 will focus on Post 16 choices and revision, whilst Year 8 focus on careers to prepare them for their GCSE courses in Year 9 and Year 7 focus on Team Building. Our pupils really enjoy PDL Days and a great deal of effort goes into offering them a range of external presenters from local government, public services, local businesses and parents and governors.
Curriculum Focus groups
Our pupils really like to get involved and have a say about the school curriculum. Over 400 pupils in the school have volunteered to be part of our curriculum focus group. This means they work with the Head of Department to review schemes of work, facilities, resources and extra curricular activities. CFGs meet during lesson time termly and play an important role in reviewing the curriculum we offer. Their feedback has resulted in some interesting changes being made to resources and style of delivery.
Pupil Subject Leaders
Some areas of the school train subject leaders notably Mathematics, English, Pe, History, Science & MFL. This provides another avenue via which our pupils can play a significant part in the learning ethos of our school. In English, our Reading Mentors listen to younger pupils read, in Pe the Sports Leaders will deliver training sessions and competitions at primary schools, in MFL & History they will lead masterclasses for Year 5 & 6 pupils and in Maths they the teach the key concepts of lesssons and/or play a vital role in the Maths mentoring programme. Science leaders run clubs and activities after school and also run the Potions classes for the Harry Potter evening. There are many opportunities for enthusiastic students to extend thier own learning and help the Toynbee and its pupils to flourish.
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 with the expertise to help our pupils when it matters the most; most typically, transition to secondary school, exam stress, relationship issues. Guidance Managers also monitor pupil attendance closely as well as code of conduct and uniform.
The Home School Communication page in the Parent section of the website will tell you which Guidance Manager is responsible for your child.
We have 4 houses at Toynbee, all named after local 'heroes' and famous 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 challneges which gives the pupils the opportunity to win points for thier house, The emphasis is on participation so the winners of the House Cup are not neccesarily the house with the most wins but the house which encourages the most pupils to particpate 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 as they have a more positive relationship with school. Educational research has clearly identified pupils' participation in school life as a key factor in exam success and future life chances.
A termly club list is posted to all tutor rooms. 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 Young Chef of Hampshire, Salters Chemistry Challenge, Bright Sparks & Blue Fusion with IBM & STEM Challenges as well. 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.
Prefects & Head Boy/Girl
Towards the end of Year 10 we invite applications from pupils to become 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 video campaign which is presented to the whole school to enable all pupils to vote for their favoured candidate and lastly a gruelling 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 & signing up to our Twitter feed, 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 oe where the visit is directly linked to the GCSE syllabus.
Achievement Points & Awards Evenings
We send home ‘Well Done’ postcards throughout the year and pupils can also earn Achievement Points. These are added up and awarded prizes and certificates. Parents are invited into school for special Awards evenings if their child has been selected to win a subject prize. These are special celebrations which involve performances of dance, drama music and art.