Head of Classics, Portsmouth

Closing date:Expiring soon

The Portsmouth Grammar SchoolPortsmouth

Date posted:
Start date: 1 September 2019
Contract type: Full Time
Salary: Competitive
Contract term: Permanent
Suitable for NQTs: No

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 Classics Department from September 2019. The ability to teach Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation to 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 personal 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 Classics teaching and are keen to incorporate the particular interests of new members of staff into the overall curriculum scheme.

The department currently consists of four members of staff all of whom are specialist classicists. All pupils in Years 7 and 8 study Latin. In Year 7 they are initially given an introduction to the origins of written language (principally cuneiform, hieroglyphs, Linear B and Greek) before studying Book 1 of the Cambridge Latin Course (CLC). In Year 8 they follow a Latin course devised by the Head of Department which gives an outline of the history of Rome from its foundation to the fall of the Roman Empire, broadly following the grammatical input of the first half of Book 2 of CLC.

In Year 9 Latin becomes an option and the study of the Cambridge Latin Course is resumed from Stage 17 with supplementary pamphlets in Latin based on Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. Greek is introduced as on option to be studied alongside Latin in Year 9.  In Year 10 further option choices are made, with Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation all offered at GCSE. 

In the Sixth Form the department offers Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation at A Level and the IB. Results have always been strong and a number of our pupils have gone on to study Classics at Oxford and elsewhere. Last year four of our pupils went on to study Classical subjects at University and three the previous year.

The department currently follows OCR syllabuses for Latin and Greek and Classical Civilisation, apart from GCSE Latin (EDUQAS). The IB course has its own separate syllabuses for Latin and Greek.

The department organises a wide range of co-curricular activities. There is a lunchtime Classics club for younger pupils. Members of the department currently run the annual Southampton Classical Association Greek and Latin Reading Competition and pupils have had much success in this event over the years. We organise a Year 7 Classical event in association with the P.E. Department, looking at entertainments in the Ancient World and, in particular, trialling Ancient Olympic events and comparing them with modern versions. 

One important showcase for the profile of Classics within the school and the wider community is our annual Ides of March lecture in which distinguished academics and writers come to talk about aspects of the ancient world. Speakers have included Stephen Harrison, Mary Beard, Judith Mossman, Tom Holland and Edith Hall. 

There are annual visits to Fishbourne Roman Palace and the British Museum for a variety of year groups as well as a visit to a local archaeological site for hands-on experience. There are also occasional visits to lectures, plays and classical events. A popular biennial trip abroad to Greece or Italy has been running for many years. 

The department has one full-size room and another smaller designated rooms both with whiteboard facilities. The successful applicant would have their own designated working area, computer and storage space in the Classics office adjoining the main teaching room. 

Technology, and particularly the use of iPads and other tablets, is increasingly becoming 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 successful applicant will be expected to contribute fully to the pastoral and co-curricular life of the school. 



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More about The Portsmouth Grammar School
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Type: Mainstream School
Phase: All-through with sixth form
Funding status: Independent
Gender: Mixed
Age Range: 2 - 18 years
Address: High Street, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2LN, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 239 236 0036
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The Portsmouth Grammar School is a co-educational, selective independent school for students aged 2-18, situated in the city of Portsmouth, Hampshire.  Portsmouth Grammar is organised into a nursery, junior school and senior school. Despite bein...