Junior School Teaching Assistant

  • Job title: Junior School Teaching Assistant
  • Job Type: Part-time, term time + 4 days
  • Salary: FTE £19,500 (Actual £11,700 pa) 
  • Department: The Junior School
  • Reporting to: Director of Studies
  • Location: Highgate, North London
  • Start: 19 April 2023
  • Closing Date: 20 February 2023 at 12:00 pm
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Are you an enthusiastic and experienced Teaching Assistant? Highgate Junior School are looking for a TA with excellent interpersonal skills to support the learning and emotional and physical wellbeing of our children.

The role is essential to the smooth running of this busy, buzzy and successful Junior School. You will be a key part of the team working under the direction of the Director of Studies, Heads of Year, and the Learning Support Department.


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

Main Responsibilities

 

The role of Teaching Assistant is essential to the smooth running of the life of this busy and successful Junior School. Working as part of a team, under the direction of the Director of Studies, Heads of Year, and the Learning Support Department the Teaching Assistant will support the learning and emotional and physical wellbeing of children throughout the Junior School.

Teaching and Learning

  • Working alongside class teachers to support and enrich the learning of all individuals within a class
  • Working with individual children and small groups to support and enrich learning in all subjects, but particularly in Literacy and Numeracy
  • Working with individual children and small groups to support social development
  • Working closely with Learning Support Department to support children with additional needs
  • Working closely with teachers to provide a stimulating learning environment for the children
  • Organising class equipment, setting up activities, and clearing up after activities
  • Mounting and displaying children’s work
  • Assisting teachers with the preparation of classroom materials to include photocopying and laminating
  • Assisting teachers with the marking of Reading Responses
  • Taking registration if a form tutor is absent and supervising (although not teaching) a form for short periods of teacher absence
  • Joining in professional discussions and staff meetings during the school day and after school
  • Liaising with teachers, Heads of Year, the Learning Support Department and the Director of Studies regarding the progress of individual children
  • Keeping form tutors and any other relevant members of staff informed about any matters that affect the children
  • Accompanying and assisting on School visits and outings as well as in the running of workshops and events held at School

Pastoral Care

  • Taking care of children in the classroom and School buildings; comfort them when they are sick and distressed; assisting them with washing or cleaning when necessary (e.g. after being sick); give individual attention when it is required
  • Supervising children at break times as needed. Help children acquire strategies for coping with the playground environment; making sure that they are safe, obeying the playground rules and learning the arts of cooperation and fair play
  • Supervising children at lunchtime in the Dining Hall, encouraging healthy eating and good table manners
  • Administering basic first aid when the children are hurt
  • Accompanying children as required as they move from one building to another
  • Helping children prepare for sport, exercise and swimming lessons, supervising them changing where necessary

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

Person Specification
  • Criteria
  • How will these be tested or verified?
  • Qualifications and Experience
  • Essential
    • Minimum 5 GCSEs or equivalent including English and Maths
    • Previous experience of working with children of this age group, ideally within a Junior School setting
    Desirable
    • Graduate qualification or equivalent
    • First Aid Certificate/First Aid for Children Certificate
    • An appropriate childcare qualification
  • Ability / skills
  • Essential
    • ICT competence
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
    • Literate and numerate to a high level
    • Able to show initiative and work without supervision
    • Able to manage and prioritise workloads, commitments and deadlines
    • Ability to work as part of a team
    Desirable
    • Artistic flair to create displays and resources
  • Personal Attributes
  • Essential
    • Friendly, sympathetic and supportive
    • Empathy for pupils, staff and the community
    • Energetic, motivated and enthusiastic
    • Willing to make a full contribution to the life of the school
    • Reliability and punctuality
    • A healthy sense of humour
    • A ‘can do’ attitude and, most importantly, the flexibility needed to work successfully in the Junior School environment

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: 20th February 2023
  • Timing of interviews: 23 February 2023

Contact: Alison Lloyd, Director of Studies JS 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.

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Inclusion

We know that more diverse teams are stronger teams, and that the more inclusive we are, the more our staffand pupilswillfeel a sense of belonging and willthrive. 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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