Teacher of Classics (Maternity Cover)

Highgate is looking for an enthusiastic and inspiring teacher of Classics for a one-year post, starting at the beginning of the next academic year. The position would suit an experienced teacher or an ambitious and creative entrant to the profession.

Applicants will be expected to teach Latin (and, ideally, Greek) to A Level and should have a suitable undergraduate degree from a university with an excellent reputation for Classics. Applicants should demonstrate a profound and continuing academic interest in their subject and an enthusiasm for sharing this passion with pupils and colleagues. The successful candidate will have a strong commitment to professional development, an enthusiasm for learning and a willingness to experiment, as well as the ability to reflect deeply on their practice. A genuine interest in the School’s academic extension programme will be an added recommendation.

The School has considerable experience and success in guiding unqualified entrants to the profession through induction and into established teaching and leadership positions at the school. For all teachers new to Highgate, regardless of experience, there is a strong and supportive framework of induction. The role includes opportunities to contribute to the pastoral and co-curricular life of the school, both of which are valued highly at Highgate. We encourage applications from candidates who experience barriers and inequity due to their ethnicity, gender identity, physical or mental health, sexuality, and/or socio-economic background.

The Department

The Classics Department’s ten colleagues teach Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation from Year 7 to Year 13 and Ancient History in the Sixth Form. The Department is proud of its academic record, especially of the numbers who successfully take Latin to GCSE and to A Level. In recent years, several pupils have gone on to study a wide range of classical degrees at university, including Classical Studies, Archaeology and Anthropology, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Classics and Oriental Studies, as well as more conventional Classics degrees. Pupils regularly take up places at Oxbridge.


The department aims to foster an enthusiasm for the ancient world, in all its facets, while placing particular emphasis on the analytical skills acquired through the study of Latin and Greek and the study of ancient literature in the original languages. We aim to make the experience of learning classical subjects exciting and challenging through a varied use of approaches, materials and a stimulating curriculum. We aim to emphasise the value of Classical subjects first and foremost for their own sake, but also for their relationship with the modern world and other academic disciplines. Members of the department work cooperatively, sharing expertise and resources as well as volunteering for extra responsibilities as and when necessary. The department is well equipped and resourced; it has its own office area and a frequently-used set of class iPads.


In Lent 2022 a programme of events in our annual ‘Classics Week’ will aim to explore the ancients’ relationship with the natural world, and the biennial Classics play will be an abridged production of Aristophanes’ Frogs, led by a director in Year 13. Previous productions have included Oedipus Rex, Medea, and a performance of the Trojan Women. The department is also involved in partnership work: Sixth Form pupils use the Minimus textbook to teach Latin to pupils in Years 5 and 6 from a local primary school on a weekly basis to boost their literacy.


The department regularly takes pupils to conferences and museums in London and further afield: recent trips have included the British Museum, the Roman baths in Bath, and to Vindolanda on Hadrian’s Wall. Historically, a trip to either Greece or Italy has taken place every year. There is a Classics Society, organised and run by Year 13 pupils, which is extremely vibrant and meets on a regular basis. Recent pupil-led talks have focused on Aristophanes’ value to the historian, the story of Cupid and Psyche in Apuleius’ Golden Ass, and Roman attitudes to race and ethnicity; visiting speakers have ranged from Professor Hans van Wees of UCL on Thermopylae, to Daniel Morden, a professional storyteller giving stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.


In the classroom


classical subjects offered


pupils studying classical subjects in Y12

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 27 January 2022 but applications will be considered as they are received.

Click here to complete the on-line application form

Henry Shepherd, the Head of Classics, or James Newton, Deputy Head (Academic) are happy to answer any questions about this post.

Criteria for the post of Teacher of Classics

1. Essential professional criteria


CriteriaHow will these be tested or verified?
A good honours degree in Classics, 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 Classics 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 27 January 2022 but applications will be considered as they are received.

Click here to complete the on-line application form

Henry Shepherd, the Head of Classics, or James Newton, Deputy Head (Academic) 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.