A VMG is a Vertical Mentor Group which includes students from Year 7 through to Year 11; students have a 15-minute session every day with their VMG Mentor. Each VMG is named after a country and together, all VMGs form 5 continents; Africa, Asia, Americas, Australasia and Europe. Once a week there is an assembly, which is attended by all continents. The focus of the assembly changes each week; some themes are:
Praising Stars feedback
Student Voice/Out There
Random Acts of Kindness
There are a variety of activities per week which look at topical issues, images and thoughts around the world. Outwood Grange Academy also use Votes for Schools during VMG time as a way to engage and educate students about current affairs. VMGs also give them a voice on national/community issues, evidencing British values and addressing the Prevent strategy, whilst encouraging debate beyond the school gates with parents & carers through votes being shared on Twitter and the school website.
Students take part in activities that improve literacy, numeracy and STEM skills through critical thinking and practical activities. There is also the opportunity to take part in interactive quizzes, linked to recent events that have taken place in the world, and to learn about their teachers through activities such as ‘guess the teacher’.
VMG Mentors sign planners weekly and it is expectation that someone from home is able to sign their child’s planner at least once a week too. This is to make sure that key messages, both from school and home, are passed on through the planner. Planners are always out during VMG time and there is a set day each week where staff discuss the praise, consequences and attendance of every child in their VMG.
Students are assigned to VMGs randomly, however, they will be mixed with students who they have been to primary school with. We do not match students with their friends as this does not support the ethos of everyone working together to buddy-up in VMGs. It also becomes tricky to meet everyone’s needs and therefore a random approach is taken. In VMGs students will be supported by older students who have had similar experiences and can be a mentor to help and support them.