Junior School Receptionist

  • Job title: Junior School Receptionist
  • Job Type: Full time, Term time only
  • Salary: £18,000 - £20,000 per annum
  • Department: Junior School
  • Reporting to: Principal of Junior School
  • Location: Junior School
  • Start: As soon as possible
  • Closing Date: 10 November 2023 at 5:00 pm
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Are you an energetic, friendly and efficient receptionist?

Highgate Junior School are looking for a receptionist who can create a welcoming environment and ensure all visitors, staff and pupils are dealt with courteously and to the highest standard. You will be a key part of the office team and work in a beautiful building at the heart of this buzzy, busy Junior school. The receptionists interact with pupils, staff and parents and have important safeguarding responsibilities to ensure that the safety of our children.


The Department

‘From the moment you step foot inside our bright and well-resourced building, you will feel the buzz of excitement from our pupils ringing through the corridors. At the heart of our school is a nurturing environment where pupils feel happy, safe and secure so that they can fulfil their potential academically, socially and emotionally and be their very best selves.’
– Philippa Studd, Principal

Highgate Junior School is one of the largest Key Stage 2 Independent Junior Schools in the country with 445 pupils from Years 3 to 6 in five classes per year group.

We pride ourselves on providing an innovative curriculum which challenges our pupils to be curious, creative and brave in their learning. Our timetable is designed to incorporate both an intellectually rigorous approach to studies alongside skills-based learning. We aim for our pupils to develop a genuine love of learning whilst acquiring a knowledge of how they learn, how to take responsibility for their learning and how to apply their skills and knowledge in a variety of different contexts.

We have a team of staff dedicated to nurturing our pupils’ wellbeing. To develop a sense of community and belonging from day one at Highgate, our pupils all belong to a form group and one of our four houses. There are over 60 clubs for pupils to choose from in the Junior School, and time is set aside for each pupil to take part in a co-curricular activity of their choice. 

We want to nurture in our pupils how to be a reflective and proactive member of the community with a sense of social responsibility and a deep understanding and appreciation of the wide range of heritages, cultures and backgrounds in our diverse society.

The Junior School is located on Bishopswood Road, Highgate, in an outstanding purpose-built teaching environment. The deliberate playfulness of the architecture and the openness to our sports fields is the physical expression of our belief in nurturing childhood playfulness and curiosity.

Job Description

The main purpose of this role is to provide an effective and friendly reception service to ensure that visitors, staff and pupils are dealt with courteously.
School receptionists have specific safeguarding responsibilities so the post-holder will need to take ownership of these alongside presenting a professional and welcoming image of the School.

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES

Reception service

  • To provide a polite and friendly initial point of contact for visitors to the School
  • Ensuring that any enquiries made at Reception, by phone or email by parents, visitors, staff or pupils are dealt with promptly and directed to the appropriate person
  • Ensure that the Reception area is neat, tidy and free from clutter and hazards
  • To receive post/deliveries, direct items to the appropriate place and dispatch items as requested
  • To ensure an effective hand-over to colleagues prior to any time away from the Reception desk

Safeguarding duties

  • Safeguard pupils by ensuring that all visitors sign in and out of the building, are issued with visitors badges and understand the need to be accompanied at all times if appropriate
  • Conducting ID checks of visitors if required
  • Accompanying visitors on site as required under Highgate Junior School’s standard procedures

Administration

  • To manage the Junior School room booking systems
  • To assist the Assistant Principal with the administration and management of clubs and activities
  • To assist the Principal’s PA with regular school communications
  • To support various school administrative processes in an efficient and accurate manner
  • Assist with bulk mailing of letters and other publications
  • Assist in maintaining various records, lists and databases as appropriate
  • To demonstrate a flexible and willing approach to ad-hoc tasks
  • Providing cover for other administrators across the school when required

These duties and responsibilities are intended as a guide. They are not exhaustive: the Receptionist will be expected to undertake any reasonable task or responsibility as required by the Principal of the Junior School or the PA to the Principal.

Person Specification
  • Criteria
  • How will these be tested or verified?
  • Qualifications and Experience
  • Essential
    • Minimum 5 GCSE’s or equivalent including Maths and English
    Desirable
    • Recent relevant experience of providing a professional reception service
    • Educated to A-Level or equivalent
    • First Aid
    • Previous experience working in a school environment
    • Experience of an administrative and/or customer support role
  • Ability and Skills
  • Essential
    • An excellent knowledge of Word, Excel and Outlook
    • A good level of spoken and written English
    • Flexibility and initiative to handle a variety of situations

     

    Desirable
    • Knowledge of databases in particular SIMS
  • Attitude and behaviours
  • Essential
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with a professional telephone manner
    • A calm and polite demeanour
    • Ability to maintain confidentiality both inside and outside the workplace.
    • Excellent timekeeping and reliability
    • Able to demonstrate the willingness, commitment and initiative to safeguard the welfare of our Junior School pupils

Benefits

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

Pension | AVIVA workplace pension scheme offered with a generous 21% employer contribution.

Fee remission | Available on application for qualifying employees.

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.

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 dependent 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: 10th November 2023
  • Timing of interviews: w/c 6th November, 2023

Contact: Recruitment, is 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.

Apply here

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 KCSIE 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. DBS Privacy Policy

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. DBS Code of Practice

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

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