Garth Hill College
Bracknell Forest, United Kingdom
About Garth Hill College
About Garth Hill College
Thank you for taking the time to consider working with us. Garth Hill is a happy and vibrant place of learning. We are proud to be a genuinely comprehensive school and offer a wide and diverse range of excellent opportunities, inside and outside the classroom, that we believe enable our young people to develop exceptionally well both academically and personally.
We work in a great learning environment. Our new school building opened in September 2010 and we enjoy superb facilities (we also have our own TARDIS). A new Sixth Form Centre opened in September 2015, as well as a specialist SEND resource centre, Rise@GHC, for pupils with ASC.
I am fortunate to work with a well-qualified and extremely dedicated team of staff. We are passionate about our pupils’ learning, and the Garth Hill community. We seek the very best for our pupils’ education and their achievement and we are committed to providing excellent service and care to all of our pupils and their families. I hope that you will be very interested in joining us and becoming a member of the Garth Hill team.
Finally, we believe that anyone can achieve, and beyond expectation, with relentless dedication, commitment and purposeful hard work. If you possess the qualities listed, have the necessary skills and experience, believe that working with young people is a privilege and are ambitious for the future of Garth Hill College, we welcome your application.
The Local Area
Bracknell is located in the heart of Berkshire, 30 miles west of London and 10 miles to the east of Reading. Garth Hill is located just to the north of the town centre, a short walk from the railway station and a five minute drive from rural countryside. The town itself is a thriving commercial centre with headquarters of many national and international companies. Transport links are good and allow staff to live within a large geographical area. The M3 and M4 motorways are each within ten minutes of the College. There is a direct rail link to London Waterloo or via Reading (a fast train to London Paddington). London airports are within easy reach.
Bracknell centre has recently undergone a £240m regeneration named the Lexicon, including restaurants and a new 12 screen 4DX cinema. Travelling to The Oracle in Reading, The Meadows in Camberley or to other shopping centres at Guildford, Slough and Windsor is straightforward. The South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell comprises a theatre, cinema and galleries. Centrally there is a 10-screen cinema, bowling alley, night club and many restaurants and pubs. Sporting and leisure facilities include a Sports Centre with three swimming pools, indoor halls and an outdoor athletics track. The recently refurbished Coral Reef watersports ‘funpool’ and the Lookout, a local heritage centre, are on the edge of the town.
Support, Induction and Staff Development
We are committed to providing staff with access to highly effective professional development so that they can develop their craft as teachers. We expect staff to actively engage in their CPD and strive to become excellent practitioners, to deeply reflect and learn from all opportunities and experiences using observation (self and peer), coaching, mentoring and action research. Professional feedback and dialogue aims to be critically informative and insightful, qualitative and leave colleagues well placed to move practice forward. Colleagues should receive, accept, reflect and act upon this, and also make the most of the opportunities presented to help them develop. The College has an induction programme for all staff and newly qualified teachers, in particular the support we provide to newly qualified teachers is highly regarded. All colleagues take part in the appraisal reviews, where objectives are set and development and support needs are identified.
Support and Professional Development
A range of support and professional development opportunities are available at Garth Hill College. These include:
- A comprehensive Induction programme for NQTs and new staff.
- Allocation of a professional mentor (NQTs).
- Personal mentor/Learning Partner programme (all staff).
- A supportive and emotionally literate leadership and management and strong staff camaraderie.
- Regular staff meetings.
- An extensive in-house INSET Programme.
- External INSET opportunities.
- An active Staff Association.
Support in Re-locating
There are a number of estate agents in Bracknell, Reading and the surrounding areas with a good selection of property to buy or rent. Please also refer to these website for assistance: https://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/housing/looking-housing/buying-your-first-home or to the national site https://www.helptobuyagent3.org.uk/
Management and Organisation
The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) comprises the Principal, a Vice Principal and eight Assistant Principals. The College’s Senior Team comprises the SLT along with the Senior Teachers, Business, Administration and Site Managers.
The College is organised into six schools. Each school is led by an Assistant Principal (‘Head of School’).
On the main site, there are four ‘schools’ each home to a curriculum area and one of the College’s pastoral ‘houses’:
- School of Human, Creative and Physical Studies and Home of Haversham House
- School of Languages and Communications and Home of Lawrence House
- School of Mathematics and Information Studies and Home of Fielden House
- School of Science and Technology and Home of Brownlow House
Each curriculum area is led by a Curriculum Team Leader and there are also subject leaders for each of the subjects within the curriculum area. Each pastoral ‘house’ is led by a Head of House.
The fifth school is the Sixth Form. Again, this is led by an Assistant Principal who works closely with the Head of Sixth Form and the Assistant Head of Sixth Form.
The sixth school is the School of Supported Learning which is also led by an Assistant Principal. The school comprises all aspects of mainstream and specialist Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision including Rise@GHC.
A complete £40m re-build of the college was completed in Summer 2010. The new facilities are first class. Features include large classrooms, cabled and wireless ICT network access in all learning spaces, a theatre auditorium with bleacher seating, drama and dance studios, media centre, manufacturing centre, specialist vocational catering kitchen, music suite with recording studio, two well-equipped gymnasiums, a multi-purpose fitness room and a floodlit G3 artificial pitch. A new Sixth Form centre was opened in September 2015 and Rise@GHC, specialist provision for SEN learners with ASC, was also opened in 2015.
IT support is first rate and all staff and pupils have email and Internet access. All staff are supported by a ‘Print Room’ team who undertake photocopying and other services such as the preparation of teaching materials and laminating. There is a support team of finance and administration assistants, secretarial staff, site staff, technicians and learning support assistants.
The College Day
The College day is staggered slightly between key stages, but after morning registration (8.35am for KS3 and 8.45am for KS4), the teaching day for everyone commences at 8.55am. There is a morning break of 20 minutes and a staggered lunch break of 40 minutes. There are only four lessons in the day (75 minutes – perfect for practical subjects) and we operate a two-week timetable.
There are also weekly staff briefings. Colleagues with management responsibilities, such as Heads of House and Subject Leaders, have additional separate meetings. There are various working parties, such as the ICT Strategy Group and Learning Innovation Group. The members of which are drawn from a cross section of all staff.
A wide range of extra-curricular activities are available to pupils. As well as sporting and musical activities, many departments organise clubs where pupils can seek extra help, extend their knowledge and skills, help others or do alternative projects related to a subject area.
Teaching and Learning
Pupils in Years 7 and 8 study in preparation for commencing GCSE study in Year 9. Pupils are carefully allocated to tutor groups on the basis of information we receive from the feeder school, in order that tutor groups are well balanced. Early in Year 7, pupils are set by attainment in Mathematics, English, Science and some foundation subjects.
Those pupils on the Special Educational Needs register receive in-class support and guidance from Teaching Assistants, as well as support in the Learning Support Centre (LSC).
A varied choice of GCSE subjects are available to study from Year 9 and we offer some vocational GCSE and BTEC courses too. There is also a wide choice of A Level subjects on offer in the Sixth Form.
The School of Supported Learning (SEND and Learning Support)
The College has a strong team committed to supporting the learning of pupils, particularly those with SEND. The range of extra help is extensive and includes the teaching of pupils in smaller groups, in-class support and more specialist support and intervention. We can also call on the help and advice of other professionals, expert in hearing, sight, language, learning, physical and emotional difficulties.
Rise@GHC is specialist resource provision serving pupils aged 11-19 with high functioning autistic spectrum conditions living in Bracknell Forest and other local authorities. Rise@GHC operates in dedicated buildings within a ten minute walk and two minute drive of the main Garth Hill site.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting
All assessment is on-line. Tutors and Heads of House are responsible for monitoring the achievements of pupils, and Subject and Curriculum Team Leaders for ensuring the recording, reporting and evaluation of pupil performance in their own area. Each curriculum year group has an examination period during the academic year. Parents/carers receive reports on their child’s progress and are invited to a parents’ evening (currently held online).
Community and Industrial Links
The College has close links with other local schools, including our main feeder primary schools to ensure smooth transition for pupils, as well to promote staff development and the sharing of expertise, resources and facilities. We also have very well established partnerships with local business and community groups.
The Staff Association
There is a strong camaraderie amongst colleagues and the Staff Association exists to encourage it. Colleagues can join the Staff Association at a small cost. Members are invited to various social and leisure events.