At the Pieter Groen School, the first year vmbo students (intermediate general secondary education) start the day with a tutorial class. Emma, a student at the school, says about the tutor: “It’s a person you can trust and if you have anything on your mind, you can get it off your chest, first thing in the morning. That always makes me feel better the rest of the day.”
Watch the video about personal guidance:
The tutorial class
During the first hour of every day (except on Fridays), all the first-year students have a tutorial class with their regular tutor. During these classes, the planning of the day and the rest of the week are discussed, and the students do assignments whereby they learn to self-reflect, set goals and think about what they are good at. This takes place in a classroom setting or in one-on-one talks with the tutor.
Because the tutor sees the students on a regular basis, it is easier to establish a trust relationship. With the tutor, students discuss their grades, how things are going at school and what is going on at home. Tutor Hanne Grobbe: “As a teacher, I have more time to engage in discussions with the students which means students get more attention.”
Besides coaching, the school is also developing individual learning routes with the aid of a study schedule for the three core courses, Dutch, English and mathematics. This allows students to work on the subject matter at their own level and pace. This has two objectives; talented students can step up their pace, and the teacher has more time for students who need more help.
The implementation of personal guidance required much preparation. Various schools were visited in order of finding a method of personal guidance that suits the Pieter Groen School. This made colleagues aware of the benefits of introducing tutorial classes and coaching. Subsequently, teachers were trained as coaches, parents were informed and the school schedule was adapted. Teacher Maikel Mesman: “It’s better to wait a year than to introduce it too soon. It’s important to take your time.”