The Portsmouth Grammar School is a leading co-educational school located in the historic heart of Portsmouth. The school is an IB World School and offers the IB Diploma alongside A Level.
The school seeks a dynamic, well-qualified, and experienced teacher to lead its highly successful Biology Department from April 2019. The ability to teach Biology A Level and to the IB is essential although prior experience of the IB is not required.
We seek a Head of Department who is passionate and knowledgeable about their subject and able to communicate this with enthusiasm. To lead this busy and exciting department it is also important to demonstrate excellent interpersonal and organisational skills. The successful candidate would need to be open to promoting cross-curricular links with other department areas as appropriate.
The school offers excellent training and support to teachers at all stages of their career. PGS teachers convey passion for their subject and seek to maximise progress by knowing their pupils well and adapting their teaching accordingly. We are always looking to develop new ideas and approaches to science teaching and are keen to incorporate the particular interests of new members of staff into the overall curriculum scheme.
The school is renowned for its scientific tradition, and the department is located in a state of the art Science Centre, opened in September 2010. The Department consists of eight teachers and three technicians. Seven dedicated Biology laboratories, two dedicated preparation rooms, a greenhouse and galleried seating area help in providing a first-rate learning environment. All laboratories are furnished with excellent ICT facilities, plasma screens and digital microscopes; there is also a suite of wireless laptops and iPads available. The Department has a resource area for plant life and a pond on the school site.
At all levels of the school, Biology is taught by Biology specialists and as a separate subject within the Science Department. All Year 7 and 8 pupils study a balanced Science programme, consisting of a combined Physical Science (Physics and Chemistry) course and Biology. KS3 Biology largely follows the AQA National Curriculum Syllabus. All Year 9 pupils begin study of their Science GCSEs; in Years 10 and 11 pupils are separated into three ability bands leading to awards in either Combined Science or Triple Sciences. GCSE Science is currently taught to the AQA specification.
In the Sixth Form, between 50 and 80 pupils opt to take either A Level or IB (Higher or Standard Level) Biology each year. The Department offers the AQA specification at A Level. Results, both at GCSE and A Level, are very strong, even within the context of a first rate academic school. Half of pupils leaving PGS in Year 13 go on to study a Science-related course at university, and Medicine is one of the most popular university courses. A number of pupils go on to Oxbridge success in Medicine and Natural Sciences.
Practical work at all levels is encouraged. Teachers are expected to differentiate and assess appropriately, and use a variety of teaching and learning styles to maximise pupil progress. Technology, and particularly the use of iPads and other tablets, is embedded in day-to-day teaching; all Year 9-13 pupils bring an iPad to lessons, so candidates with knowledge of these technologies will be desirable.
The Biology Department is active in hosting innovative, whole school, cross-curricular activities and external speakers. There is a thriving Wildlife Club and opportunities to introduce significant stretch and challenge for all year groups. PGS has participated in the Biology Olympiad since its inception and pupils routinely receive medals in this national competition. All of Year 10 enter the Biology Challenge competition and, again, routinely achieve medals. In short, PGS is a leading Science school.
The successful applicant will be expected to contribute fully to the pastoral and co-curricular life of the school.
PGS is committed to safeguarding children and the successful applicant will be subject to an Enhanced Disclosure DBS check.