Teacher of Biology

An academically well-qualified and inspiring teacher of Biology is required to join this strong department in September 2022.  The successful candidate will be required to teach Biology to pupils throughout the Senior School, from Year 8 to Year 13, and general science to Year 7. The Biology Department currently comprises ten teachers who work in modern, well-resourced laboratories with specialist technical support.

Applicants must demonstrate a genuine, academically well-grounded enthusiasm for the subject. They will relish the opportunity to inspire pupils through their high standards of scholarship, their ability to relate to young people and the example they will set of innovative, clearly-focused and responsive teaching, which goes the extra mile, and encourages pupils to do the same. They will want to contribute to the pastoral and co-curricular life of the school, both aspects of which are valued at Highgate.

The Department

All pupils study Biology as a separate subject in Years 8 to Year 11, ultimately following the Edexcel IGCSE course. A general science course is taught in Year 7, to which all three science departments contribute and which all members of the Science Faculty can be expected to teach. The majority of pupils will take IGCSEs in all three sciences. High quality teaching materials produced within the department are used throughout, although individual teachers are encouraged to shape their lessons according to their own biological interests.  Over the last few years, 98% of pupils taking Biology at IGCSE achieved 9-7 grades, with the majority of these gaining a grade 9.  In the Sixth Form, the Cambridge International A Level course is followed, and Biology is a popular choice for pupils.  Standards of achievement are high: since 2019 over 50% of applicants have received an A*. Every year, several pupils apply to Oxford to read a life science or to Cambridge for Natural Sciences, and a significant number of pupils also go on to study Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine.

There are five modern Biology laboratories (some with dedicated experimental areas), a departmental office and separate prep room.  Two full-time technicians work in the Biology Department.  The department organises regular visits to public lectures and invites guest speakers to the school, and there are a number of thriving academic societies sponsored by the department that meet on a regular basis. The department places a significant emphasis on experimental work, and it is not unusual to find pupils working in the department after lessons on individual or group projects. All Sixth Form pupils take part in the annual Biology Olympiad Competition, where the overwhelming majority will gain a medal or commendation. Biology teachers supervise a significant number of extended projects with a life science focus.

In the classroom

10

teachers

2

Technicians

Working at Highgate

  • Teachers at Highgate enjoy a welcoming, comfortable and exceptionally well-resourced environment and are provided with significant assistance from a range of support staff.
  • Salaries are competitive. The School pays the employer’s contribution to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.
  • Terms are shorter than in the maintained sector.
  • Staff have free access to the School’s sports facilities, including a fitness suite and the newly refurbished swimming pool.
  • Highgate is strongly committed to inclusion and is an equal opportunities employer. We aim to create a welcoming, respectful and safe environment for all members of our community, from every ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability/disability, religion and background.

More details about working at Highgate can be found here:

Work with us    Aims + Ethos

Application procedure

Closing date: 8:00am on 26 January 2022 but applications will be considered as they are received.

Click here to complete the on-line application form

James Newton, Deputy Head (Academic) and James Lockhart, Head of Department, are happy to answer any questions about this post.

Criteria for the post of Teacher of Biology

1. Essential professional criteria

 

CriteriaHow will these be tested or verified?
A good honours degree in Biology, or a related subject
  • Original degree certificate(s)
  • Questions about subject specialisation (and course content for more recent graduates)
  • Opportunities at interview to discuss techniques for teaching set topics
Excellent communication skills
  • Two panel interviews
  • A taught lesson
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

2. Desirable professional criteria

 

CriteriaHow will these be tested
Experience of teaching academic lessons, 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 confidential reference request
  • Verification of a candidate’s employment history
A teaching qualification (eg PGCE, GTP)
  • Original certificate
Knowledge of, and experience of teaching Biology and at A Level
  • Opportunities at interview to recount
A willingness to be involved in the wider life of the department and school.
  • Opportunities at interview to recount experience of running or participating in such activities or to give ideas for these

3. Person Specification

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dynamism and enthusiasm to contribute broadly 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.
  • Awareness and understanding of matters relating to the personal, social, health and emotional development of pupils.
  • 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.

Application procedure

Closing date: 8:00am on 26 January 2022 but applications will be considered as they are received.

Click here to complete the on-line application form

James Newton, Deputy Head (Academic) and James Lockhart, Head of Department, are happy to answer any questions about this post.

Please read before you apply

 

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 any reasonable adjustments, please let us know when you submit your application whether you have any special requirements.

As this role will have regular unsupervised contact with children you must, if appointed, comply with Highgate’s Safeguarding & Welfare Policy. 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 Policy. A copy of this Policy will accompany all offers of employment. 

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. 

Donate