The Mini Community structure at Herne Bay High School breaks down what might be felt as a large school, particularly by younger children, into five mini-schools of around 260 students, each of which has its own Head, Mini Community Support Officer and mentoring team.
The five Mini Communities are named after planets namely Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Venus; with each Mini Community having its own Head of Mini Community, Mentor Team, logo and coloured tie. Each Mini Community focuses their attentions on the people, landscape and cultures of one continent each year, in order for students to develop their understanding of what it means to be a ‘global citizen’, by the time students reach Year 11 they will have travelled around the world – well virtually at least!
Through the Mini Community approach students develop an enhanced sense of ownership and belonging to their 'mini-school' as well as their 'larger' school and as a result they feel that they can enjoy and achieve in a safe, supportive atmosphere through which they will be challenged to make a positive contribution to their mentor group, their Mini Community, the wider school and their local, national and global communities.
Each of the five Mini Communities consist of 12 vertical, or mixed age, mentor groups, resulting in approximately four or five students from each of years 7 to 11 being grouped together in each mentor group.
The vertical, mixed age, mentoring structure has proved extremely successful and popular and there is clear evidence that the students feel happier, safer and more supported in this set up and actually prefer it to the old year based approach, furthermore parents have also recounted their belief in this approach as a means of supporting their children more effectively.
The school sees the Mini Community approach as a springboard to even greater achievements and innovations in the future, all of which will continue to be focused on helping the school’s young people to achieve to their full potential in a challenging and supportive environment.
Mentors and Mini Community Support Officers
The student’s mentor and their Mini Community Support Officer play pivotal roles in liaising between school and home, monitoring progress and supporting individual student needs, and parents are actively encouraged to develop open and trusting relationships with these key people in order that each child’s experience of school is enriched.
The Mini Community Support Officers are highly experienced, non-teaching professionals whose role it is to support the young people within their Mini Community and be contactable by parents throughout the school day (see contact details below).
|Mini Community||Mini Community Support Officer||Telephone Number|
|Jupiter||Mrs G Verge||01227 289446|
|Mercury||Mrs L Sparks||01227 289420|
|Neptune||Mrs L Bailey||01227 289458|
|Saturn||Mrs T Shaw||01227 289457|
|Venus||Mrs S Church||01227 289421|