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House System

An Introduction to the House System and Vertical Tutoring

Pupils and staff at our school are organised into a House system. Each member of the school community belongs to a House: Ashton, Lowry or Naughton. Each House is named after a member of the Performing Arts community from the North West.


There are 11 forms in every House, and each form group contains pupils from all year groups. This mix of age groups means that each pupil has the opportunity to get to know all sorts of different pupils. Each form group meets daily for registration and, when together, the pupils support each other, working as a form unit. Each form tutor also words as a mentor: each pupil in their form will receive at least one formal mentoring session per term. In this session, the tutor/mentor will discuss any problems, celebrate success and agree on targets to help the specific pupil improve their work and enjoy school life.


Older pupils may mentor pupils from the years below. There may be support with homework or advice and guidance on key aspects of school life. Siblings are placed in the same form group in order to strengthen our relationships with families and to support communication with home.

Pupils on the House System and Vertical Tutoring

“When I first came to Smithills I didn’t really know anyone in my form. I very quickly got to make lots of new friends. Some were even from different year groups. I enjoyed raising money for our House charity by taking part in a sponsored swim.” Shafiqa Hajee, Lowry House 


"I have got involved in lots of different House activities. I sang in the X Factor competition and I am looking forward to taking part in the Young Musician of the Year. My older brother was in the same form as me so I already knew someone. I have made lots of new friends as well.” Sam Baxter, Lowry House


“At first, I wasn’t looking forward to vertical tutoring, as my friends would be all in different Houses and forms and I thought I would be left on my own. Turns out I was completely wrong! The vertical tutoring system is great for Smithills: there’s no arguing, no problems and best of all, I’ve made loads of new friends I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for the different kinds of people in my form.” Daniel Lowe, Lowry