Head of History, History of Art and Politics, Hillingdon

Closing date:

St Helen's SchoolHillingdon

Date posted:
Start date: September 2020
Contract type: Full Time
Salary: Undisclosed
Contract term: Permanent
Suitable for NQTs: No

St Helen's is a leading independent day school educating over 1150 girls aged 3-18.  

An excellent opportunity had arisen for a dynamic, innovative leader to head our thriving History, History of Art and Politics department.

The Person

The successful candidate is likely to have all or most of the following:

• A good honours degree in a relevant or associated subject 

• Experience of teaching History across the secondary age range and demonstrable passion for the subject

• Detailed understanding of current developments in the secondary curriculum and assessment

• A clear motivation to work with young people

• The ability to form and maintain appropriate relationships and boundaries with young people

• The ability to lead and motivate a team 

• Commitment to further professional development


• a teaching qualification such as a PGCE

The management responsibilities as the Head of History, History of Art and Politics include:

• to have a clear vision for the future of the Department

• to provide leadership and line management to the staff in the Department

• to monitor the work of staff in the Department via formal and informal lesson observations, work scrutiny, annual Professional Development Review meetings and other appropriate means, ensuring that learning and teaching within the Department is consistent with the Headmistress’  Vision for St Helen’s

• to provide support, coaching, mentoring, challenge and advice to all members of the Department to secure the highest standards of learning, teaching and professional development

• to develop and implement departmental policies in line with whole school policies

• to ensure the ongoing development, implementation, monitoring and review of departmental schemes of work, teaching strategies, homework, marking, assessment, recording and reporting

• to participate in Departmental Reviews, evaluate the work of the Department and report to the Senior Leadership Team

• to organise the distribution of teaching in the Department

• to ensure effective communication within the Department and to hold regular teaching and learning focused departmental meetings 

• to delegate clearly defined areas of responsibility to other members of the Department

• to assist in the assessment and selection of prospective pupils in consultation with the Deputy Head Academic

• to ensure that all members of the Department have access to professional development opportunities which are consistent with their own needs and those of the Department and School

• to be responsible for departmental resources

• to ensure a safe working environment for staff and pupils, both in the classroom and on educational visits

• to prepare and manage the annual departmental budget

• to teach an appropriate period allocation (normally 35 periods over a two week timetable)

Other Duties

• Carry out such duties that may be reasonably required by the Headmistress

• Contribute to the school’s programme of extra-curricular activities

• Maintain high professional standards of attendance, punctuality, appearance, conduct and positive, courteous relations with pupils, parents and colleagues

• Engage actively in the performance review process

• Undertake other reasonable duties related to the job purpose required from time to time

• Be an outstanding practitioner and role model for teaching and learning, displaying a deep understanding of how young people learn

• Follow responsibilities as defined in the Health & Safety Policy

• Promote and safeguard the welfare of children and young people with whom s/he comes into contact and adhere to and ensure compliance with the School’s Child Protection Policy

• Support and promote and School’s ethos, aims and objectives.

History, History of Art and Politics at St Helen’s School

History is taught throughout the school as a separate subject by seven members of staff. History of Art and Government & Politics are taught in the Sixth Form only. Teaching is allocated on the basis of expertise and time available, rather than according to any rigid structure.

The Department is an enthusiastic team, exchanging ideas and openly discussing policies and new developments.  A rigorous approach to the teaching of disciplinary concepts is particularly favoured.  A wide variety of teaching techniques are used, and the girls are encouraged to develop an interest in the past, whether or not they opt for History at exam level. We have a thriving History and Politics Forum which is led by Sixth Form students. This meets once a week to discuss topics of interest or listen to outside speakers.

KEY STAGE 3:  Schemes of work are regularly reviewed in order to meet the changing needs of the girls and to incorporate our focus on disciplinary concepts and ideas. The girls start in Year 7 with ‘Introduction in History’, which aims to develop source comprehension and explanation skills. We then follow a themed programme of study entitled ‘Living and Believing’. In Year 8, pupils learn about the nature of political power and its journey from monarch to parliament. In Year 9 we focus upon the ‘Age of Empire’ which includes a depth study of Britain and India. We like to organise as many educational visits as we can to support the curriculum. Trips organised include a Year 7 visit Butser Farm (a joint trip with the Classics Department), a Year 8 visit to the National Portrait gallery and a two-day Battlefields tour to Ypres, Belgium in Year 9. The Department organises a trip to Berlin every two years for IGCSE students.

IGCSE HISTORY: The course is consistently popular and there are approximately 65 girls taking History as an option in each of Years 10 and 11. Girls study the Edexcel History International GCSE. The depth studies chosen are: ‘Development of Dictatorship: Germany, 1918-1945’ and ‘A Divided Union: Civil Rights in the USA, 1945-1974’. The historical investigation is ‘Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905–24’ and the breadth study is ‘Changes in Medicine, c1848–c1948’.

A/AS LEVEL HISTORY. The Department offers the OCR History course to students who study ‘The Early Tudors,’ The Cold War in Europe’ and ‘Civil Rights in the USA.’ They are required to complete am independently-researched piece of coursework.  A package of either two or four modules has been constructed depending on the choice of AS or A Level. 

AS/A2 GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS is well established at St. Helen’s and girls currently study for the Edexcel Government and Politics award. 

AS/A2 HISTORY OF ART is well established at St. Helen’s and girls study for the Edexcel History of Art award. 

RESOURCES:  The History, History of Art and Politics Department is well-resourced with its own classrooms, all with projectors and access to interactivity. We have a vast collection of rich media content, linked clearly to the Schemes of Work. We make use of ICT extensively in our teaching and shared resources are managed through the school intranet. In Key Stages 3 and 4 every girl has at least one text book issued to her, for use at home and in class. In addition, there are many class sets of texts which provide a variety of resources to aid teaching.

More about St Helen's School
Type: Mainstream School
Phase: All-through with sixth form
Funding status: Independent
Gender: Girls
Age Range: 3 - 18 years
Address: Eastbury Road, Northwood, Middlesex, HA6 3AS, United Kingdom. View in Google Maps
Telephone: +44 1923 843210
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St Helen's is an independent school for girls aged 3-18. We pride ourselves on our outstanding academic record, with our students consistently achieving excellent GCSE and A Level results.

We aim to give every girl an excellent, well-balanced, academi...