French Language Teaching Assistant

  • Job title: French Language Teaching Assistant
  • Job Type: Full Time (35 hour/week) to include between 17-20 hours of tuition or classroom support
  • Salary: £21,746 - £23,539
  • Department: Modern Foreign Languages
  • Reporting to: Head of French
  • Location: Highgate, North London
  • Start: 1 September, 2023
  • Closing Date: 9 June 2023 at 5:00 pm
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Highgate School is currently seeking an enthusiastic, well-qualified French speaking assistant to join its large and successful Modern Languages department. Applicants should be excellent linguists with a first-rate command of French, whether because of a background in the language or skills acquired through advanced academic study.

Prospective candidates from French-speaking backgrounds with qualifications in any relevant academic discipline are warmly encouraged to apply, regardless of specialism. The successful applicant will share our vision for education and, importantly, enjoy working with young people.

Applicants should be passionate advocates for the study of French as well as excellent models of successful language learning generally. They will be able to articulate and convince pupils and parents of the value of learning their subject. They are likely to be lively, pacey, and imaginative teachers who work well under guidance, certainly, but equally enjoy a certain autonomy in designing and leading their own sessions and forming a vision for effective language learning. They will set an inspiring personal example of scholarship and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to learning.


The Department

The Highgate curriculum offers five modern languages (French, German, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish) in years 7 to 13, with French taken by all pupils in KS3 and certainly a popular language choice at KS4 and beyond. Numbers studying the subject at A-level are strong and pupils enjoy participating in and, importantly, contributing to, a rich and varied programme of talks, academic societies, clubs, trips, visits, and exchanges. Currently, we run study visits or exchanges to Rouen, Montpellier, Bordeaux, and Paris. We also take all year 8 pupils on a three-day visit to Lille.

The Modern Languages department is formed of some twenty specialist classroom teachers, ably supported by nine language teaching assistants, all occupying modern, well-resourced classrooms at the heart of the school. There is a strong culture of language learning at all key stages and each year the department sees an impressive number of year 13 pupils applying to highly selecting courses in the UK or abroad.

A significant proportion of the language assistant role involves working one-on-one with sixth form pupils, delivering tuition and support on a range of A-level topics, or else to small groups. Successful applicants should expect to be involved with pupils at all key stages, however, supporting classroom teachers in developing confident and accurate speaking and other language skills.

Job Description
  • The energy, dynamism, and stamina to contribute fully to the life of a busy co-educational independent day school.
  • Willingness to contribute to the extensive range of activities provided for pupils and to support them in their co-curricular pursuits.
  • Capacity for industry and initiative in both independent work and as part of teams of colleagues in academic work, pastoral care, sports, and co-curricular activities.
  • Profound and continuing interest in the academic subject / s to be taught.
  • The depth of knowledge and agility of mind to allow flexibility in lessons, adapting delivery as appropriate in the light of pupils’ responses.
  • Empathy with pupils across the age and ability spectrum at Highgate and the ability to implement a range of teaching strategies to cater for each individual pupil.
  • Awareness and understanding of matters relating to the personal, social, health, and emotional development of Highgate’s pupils.
  • General knowledge of Child Protection issues and good practice, particularly relating to professional obligations on safeguarding the welfare of each child and avoiding guarantees of confidentiality in any disclosure.
  • Capacity to deal sensitively with problems raised by pupils, in line with Highgate’s pastoral policies and sanctions system, working in partnership with Highgate’s designated staff i/c pastoral care.
  • Ability to create effective rapport and a sound relationship with pupils, earning their respect and trust but maintaining proper professional boundaries by not deliberately courting popularity or friendship.
  • Willingness and ability to liaise effectively and professionally between pupils, staff, and parents when required, making accurate records of these exchanges.
  • Patience and thoughtfulness to see any issues that may arise with pupils, parents, or colleagues from a variety of perspectives.
  • The ability to diffuse difficult situations using different strategies such as careful listening, sensitive use of humour, praise, and recognition – where due – utilising the School’s reward system.
  • Retention of a sense of perspective and, on occasion, the invaluable ability to laugh at oneself.

Benefits

Location | Highgate Village, adjacent to Hampstead Heath, with quaint shops and easy connections across London.

Pension | AVIVA workplace pension scheme offered – 21% employer contribution, with the ability to flex up to 11% of this as additional non-pensionable salary, employees contribute a minimum of 5%.

Personal development | Comprehensive induction support for new staff. Focus on continued professional development for all employees.

Leisure facilities | Free access, at stipulated times, to our sports facilities, including a fitness suite and swimming pool (recently refurbished).

Holidays | Generous holiday allowance of 33 days (including bank holidays) for full-time staff. Most holidays will be taken during school holiday periods.

Lunch | A complimentary lunch including hot meals, sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit and dessert.

Help with sustainable travel  | Access to the Cycle to Work Scheme and a Season Ticket Loan scheme for public transport.

Family-friendly policies | Highgate appreciates that employees sometimes have family commitments so we try to be as supportive as possible, for example with enhanced maternity pay (8 weeks’ full pay, then 10 weeks’ half pay) and paid dependant leave.


Working at Highgate

A culture of community, kindness and belonging

Highgate is a caring, open-minded community, where we promote kindness, empathy and friendship. Everyone who works and studies with us deserves to feel they are part of a welcoming environment that enables them to be themselves and to thrive as individuals.

Our community extends beyond the school, through partnerships, charity work and our commitment to equality, inclusion and sustainability. All members of our school community are encouraged to look outwards and play an active role.

In a recent ISI inspection (Dec 2021), it was noted that “Pupils show exceptional respect for, and appreciate diversity within the school and wider community, and their own and other cultures, demonstrating sensitivity and tolerance to those from different backgrounds and traditions.”

Staff wellbeing

Highgate is committed to staff wellbeing, which we promote by encouraging a strong work-life balance; trying our best to support flexible working requests; providing a nutritious complimentary lunch in the dining hall; and offering access to sporting facilities including our recently renovated swimming pool.

The Staff Wellbeing Committee, with representatives across the School, meets regularly to drive forward initiatives, and a selection of staff have been trained as Mental-Health First Aiders.

We encourage an open culture throughout our school, with regular staff surveys, action committees and opportunities to feedback. We strive for continual learning and improvement, and staff training and development is paramount. There are opportunities to participate in the wider life of our school, such as taking part in trips or societies and getting involved in partnership projects.

More details about working at Highgate can be found here:

Work with us    Aims + Ethos


Charitable work and sustainability

As an independent school, we want to use our position as a charity effectively: to make high-quality education accessible to as many children as possible – through our bursary programme at Highgate and through our work with local state schools. We have partnerships with over 60 state schools across 7 London boroughs, and we are the principal educational sponsor for London Academy of Excellence, Tottenham – an academically-selective state sixth form in a community where such opportunities are lacking.

Alongside this, our staff and pupils undertake charitable activities throughout the year. These range from staff giving up their time to neighbourhood schools and charitable organisations, focused fundraising campaigns, to pupils undertaking community work in the local area or further afield.

As a school, we have a central role to play in educating our pupils, staff and parents about the importance of environmental sustainability. We are taking positive action to adapt our operational performance to tackle the negative effects of climate change. We encourage all our staff to reflect upon their personal and professional practices, to support our environmental agenda and to make positive changes wherever possible.

Application procedure

  • Closing Date: 9th June 2023
  • Timing of interviews: w/c 12th June, 2023

Contact: Recruitment Team are happy to answer any questions about this post

Early Application: Applications will be considered ‘as and when’ received and we may close the vacancy if we appoint before the closing date.

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Inclusion

We know that more diverse teams are stronger teams, and that the more inclusive we are, the more our staff and pupils will feel a sense of belonging and will thrive. To enable us to make reasonable adjustments, please let us know of any disabilities (including neuro-divergence) when you submit your application.

Safeguarding

As this role will have regular unsupervised contact with children you must, if appointed, comply with Highgate’s Safeguarding Policy and Staff Code of Conduct. If in the course of carrying out the duties of the post the post holder becomes aware of any actual or potential risks to the safety and welfare of our pupils, these concerns must be reported immediately in accordance with the Safeguarding Policy.  If whilst in the post, Highgate becomes aware of any safeguarding concerns to staff, pupils or the community; these will need to be followed up in line with the safeguarding policy and code of conduct which is underpinned by KCSE and other legislation. These concerns may need to be shared with other agencies.  A copy of these policies will accompany all offers of employment. Training will also be provided to all staff to support Safeguarding practice.

Please read before you apply

Highgate is committed to the safeguarding and welfare of children and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to this post, including checks with past employers, the Disclosure and Barring Service and overseas police check if necessary. Candidates from overseas must provide information about their past conduct, for example, by providing documents issued by overseas teaching authorities.

Please note that this role is ‘exempt’ from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore, you are required to declare any convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings that are not ‘protected’ (i.e. filtered out) as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013). Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide details of all unspent convictions and those that would not be filtered, prior to the date of the interview.

In accordance with the latest guidance from KCSIE, we shall be conducting online searches on any candidates who are shortlisted.

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