Teacher of Modern Languages – German

An able, well-qualified and inspiring teacher of German is required to join a successful department from September 2022.

Applicants should have a degree in German, or be a heritage speaker with a relevant degree, and have excellent grades at A Level, or equivalent. The successful candidate will be required to teach pupils throughout the school, from Year 7 to Year 13. The ability to teach a second modern language would be welcome although not essential.  This is an exciting opportunity for either an experienced classroom practitioner who enjoys the company of bright, ambitious and well-motivated pupils or someone wishing to gain experience of teaching in an academically selective secondary school.

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.

Teachers of German use high quality resources, many of which have been created in-house, to provide a unique experience for pupils, tailoring the challenge to the right level for each pupil in their class. From Year 9 onwards, pupils are encouraged to participate in a range of competitions such as the Oxford German Olympiad, the Stephen Spender poetry prize, and Ibstock Place debating. The rich co-curricular diet is supported by close ties to KCL’s German department, which includes regular talks from university lecturers and a visit to their annual play. In addition, all sixth form Germanists write a German-language essay for the annual KCL Königspost competition. In November 2021 one of our entries was awarded first prize and published in the latest edition of the Königspost magazine. Pupils in Year 10 and Year 12 can take part in an annual exchange with St Ursula Gymnasium in Hannover, and a successful applicant may be required to assist with a 5-night trip to Germany during the Easter holiday.

We follow the Edexcel IGCSE syllabus with components in speaking, listening, reading and writing. In the last three years all pupils in Year 11 have achieved one of the top two grades in German: 8 or 9, which is the equivalent of an A*. In the sixth form we currently follow the Cambridge Pre-U syllabus, although we shall transition to the Edexcel A Level board for first assessment in summer 2024. In the last four years all pupils in Year 13 have achieved a Distinction in German, which is the equivalent of an A / A*. On average two pupils every year go on to read German at a leading university. We have a strong record of successful Oxbridge applications, and pride ourselves on our programme of cultural enrichment which begins in Year 12.

The Department

The Modern Languages Department occupies classrooms at the centre of the School and facilities include computers linked to modern screens and high-speed wireless connections in each classroom. The department organises annual exchanges with schools in France, Germany and Spain and organises trips to Russia and China. The Modern Languages department offers co-curricular cultural opportunities such as debating competitions with other schools as well as film and theatre visits in London and Paris. The School’s modern language magazine, The Modern Languages Review, displays some of the best student writing and the most recent edition is available to view. Full-time members of the department are expected to contribute to the department’s exchange and co-curricular programmes; a key quality to Highgate is the willingness of its staff, both full and part-time, to contribute broadly to the co-curricular life of the school beyond departments.


Oxbridge places for ML in the last three years


trips, exchanges, and study visits offered annually

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 Wednesday 23 February 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 Justin Watts, the Head of Department are happy to answer any questions about this post.

Criteria for the post of Teacher of Modern Languages

1. Essential professional criteria


CriteriaHow will these be tested or verified?
A good honours degree in Modern Languages, 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 Modern Languages 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 Wednesday 23 February 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 Justin Watts, the 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.