Primary Teacher with Music (KS2&EYFS/KS1)

  • Job title: Primary Teacher with Music (KS2&EYFS/KS1)
  • Job Type: Full Time
  • Salary: Teacher Pay Scale £37,343-£62,975
  • Department: Junior School and Pre-Prep
  • Reporting to: Philippa Studd and Sally Hancock
  • Location: Highgate, North London
  • Start: September 2024 (with late August INSET)
  • Closing Date: 19 February 2024 at 8:00 am
Apply here

An inspiring, creative and versatile Primary teacher with Music as a specialism is required for this successful and thriving Junior and Pre-Prep School from September 2024. Based in the Junior School as a class teacher with responsibility for teaching core subjects, the role will also involve working within a team to deliver music lessons across the Junior School (KS2) and the Pre-Prep (EYFS/KS1). The split is based on a 0.7/0.3 timetable allocation across the two schools. We welcome applicants from both the independent and state sectors – candidates do not need to have had prior experience of teaching in the independent sector but an interest in teaching in an academically selective school setting.

Working closely with the Head of Junior School Music, candidates will need to be able to contribute to a challenging, broad curriculum and have a holistic approach to teaching music. We welcome candidates who enjoy teaching initial musical development imaginatively using pulse, rhythm and pitch to lay the musical foundations, and to lead the musical components of end-of-term presentations. They will need to have experience of teaching intelligent, lively pupils or an interest in doing so, and the flair, imagination, and people-skills to do so successfully.

Experience of teaching music and the ability to play piano are key requirements of the role, as is creatively choosing repertoire and preparing classes/year groups for end-of-term performances. In addition to teaching music, the person appointed should be both able and willing to teach across different curriculum areas. The role will involve being a form teacher within the Junior School. They should be enthusiastic about contributing their own ideas to promote thoughtful curriculum development and innovation, which are central to teaching at Highgate.

All staff are expected to contribute to the co-curricular life of the school.

The Junior School and Pre-Prep

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 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. 

Highgate Pre-Preparatory School is an academically selective, co-educational school with approximately 160 pupils. In 2021 we began the transition to a three-form entry and by the September 2023 intake, we will be a three-form entry school from Reception to Year 2 (180 pupils altogether). 

Teachers enjoy a collaborative approach to teaching and learning and all class teachers are expected to lead a subject across the Pre-Preparatory School. Teachers work collaboratively with the Senior Leadership Team to drive standards within their area and significant professional development opportunities are offered to Subject Leads. For teachers new to Highgate, regardless of experience, there is a strong and supportive framework of induction to the School. 

Music at Highgate

At Highgate, music is a vital part of both academic and extra-curricular life, with a strong and popular reputation. In the Junior School and Pre-Prep, all classes receive a weekly music lesson that focuses on musicianship, composition, performance, and listening skills. In the Junior School there are opportunities to contribute towards the extra-curricular musical life of the school such as running or accompanying a choir. In the Pre-Prep, each class participates in termly events including workshops, mini-shows, and a KS1 winter production. Music Teachers will also work closely with Drama Teachers on larger productions, and occasionally support the wider whole-school music department through staffing of events that involve Junior School/Pre-Prep students.

Person Specification

Highgate School seeks to appoint teachers who will have the following proven qualities, or the potential to develop them.  At interview, candidates will have the opportunity to demonstrate or give an account of these attributes.

  • The energy, dynamism, enthusiasm and stamina to contribute fully to the life of a busy co-educational independent day school
  • A passionate and positive approach
  • Calmness, kindness and consistency
  • Willingness to contribute to the extensive range of activities provided for pupils and to support them in their co-curricular pursuits
  • Excellent knowledge of the core curriculum subjects in Key Stage 2, and the ability and willingness to contribute intelligently to a challenging and stimulating curriculum
  • Particular expertise in Music teaching and trends in Music education, and the ability and willingness to teach across the Primary age range (EYFS/KS1/KS2)
  • The ability to play the piano
  • Capacity for industry and initiative
  • The ability to be reflective in approach, being open to challenge and growth
  • 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 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
  • Sympathy with and knowledge of fundamental British values
  • Capacity to deal sensitively with problems raised by pupils, in line with Highgate’s pastoral policies and sanctions systems, working in partnership with Highgate’s designated staff responsible for 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 defuse 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
Essential Professional Criteria
  • Criteria
  • How will these be tested or verified?
  • A good honours degree
    • Original degree certificate(s)
    • Opportunities at interview to discuss teaching
  • Excellent communication skills
    • Two panel interviews
    • A taught lesson
  • Specialism in Music teaching
    • A taught lesson with a lesson plan and resources
    • Opportunities at interview to recount
  • The ability to play the piano
    • Opportunities at interview to recount
  • Willingness to work across the Junior School and Pre-Prep
    • Opportunities at interview discuss
  • The ability to use ICT appropriately to support teaching, or a willingness to learn the skills
    • Lesson planning and resources
    • Opportunities to recount experience and expertise at interview
  • The ability to establish good relations with colleagues and pupils
    • Opportunities at interview to recount experiences where these skills have been demonstrated
    • Questions which referees will be asked as part of the confidential reference request
  • Sympathy with and knowledge of fundamental British values
    • Questions at interview to test this
  • Awareness and understanding of safeguarding and welfare of children
    • Questions at interview to test attitudes towards and knowledge of children’s safeguarding and welfare
    • Questions which referees will be asked as part of the confidential
    • Reference request
Desirable Professional Criteria
  • Criteria
  • How will these be tested or verified?
  • Experience of teaching able pupils, either as an employed teacher or during a teaching placement, and an understanding of effective assessment
    • A taught lesson with a lesson plan and resources
    • Questions at interview
  • A teaching qualification (eg PGCE, GTP)
    • Original certificate
  • Willingness and ability to teach in all year groups in the Junior School and Pre-Prep
    • Opportunities at interview to discuss
  • Knowledge of KS2, KS1 and EYFS curricula
    • Opportunities at interview to discuss
  • A willingness to be involved in the wider life of the school
  • Opportunities at interview to recount experience of running or participating in activities or clubs to give ideas for these

  • A knowledge of restorative approaches to behaviour management
    • Opportunities at interview to recount


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

Pension | The School pays the employer’s contribution to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

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

Support | A welcoming, comfortable and exceptionally well-resourced environment with significant assistance from a range of support staff.

Holidays | Terms are shorter than in the maintained sector.

Facilities | Free access, at stipulated times, to our sports facilities, including a fitness suite and new swimming pool. Staff can borrow from 1,700 books held in the Sir Martin Gilbert Library.

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. 

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: 19th February 2024
  • Timing of interviews: w/c 26th February

Contact: The 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.

Apply here


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.


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. DBS Privacy Policies

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.

Apply here