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Teacher of French (temporary one-year post)

Highgate SchoolHaringey

 A well-qualified, adaptable graduate teacher of French is required for this large and successful Modern Languages Department, which teaches pupils from Year 7 to Year 13, during a colleague’s leave of absence for one year from September 2021. There are eighteen specialist teachers supported by language assistants who work in modern, well-resourced classrooms. The Modern Languages department also teaches German, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish. The ability to teach one of these additional languages at some level would be welcome but is in no way essential.

Applicants should be excellent linguists with a first-rate command of French. They should be passionate enthusiasts for language learning, able to convince pupils and parents of the excitement and challenge inherent in learning and studying modern languages. They are likely to be pacey, lively teachers, and able to set an inspiring personal example of rigour and scholarship. Applicants will enjoy contributing to, and informing, a vision for learning modern languages, which goes beyond national or examination curricula; they are likely to be strong practitioners in all key stages. 

Modern Languages at Highgate

Highgate has a very strong tradition of language teaching. Pupils learn French (and Latin) in Year 7, and follow a general linguistic awareness course in German, Mandarin, Russian and Mandarin alongside. In the third term of Year 7, pupils chose to study one additional modern language from these four, which they take through to the end of Year 9 alongside French. A language is compulsory in Year 10, but many pupils take two modern languages. Class sizes are small (10–24 pupils). 

All members of the French department teach French to at least GCSE (Edexcel); this post-holder will have the opportunity to teach Pre-U as part of his/her teaching or could concentrate on Years 7 to 10. Pupils from year 9 are set according to ability. In 2019, the most recent year in which examinations were sat, 100% of the Pre-U French candidates were awarded Distinction, D1 – D3.  At IGCSE (CAIE in 2019), all French candidates passed with 84% achieving A* or A.

The Modern Languages Department occupies classrooms at the centre of the School and facilities include computers linked to interactive whiteboards and high-speed Internet 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. 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.

Working at Highgate

The School has in place DfE recognised arrangements for the Induction Year and the confirmation of NQT status and has considerable experience of and success in guiding entrants to the profession to qualified status. For all teachers new to Highgate, regardless of experience, there is a strong and supportive framework of induction to the School.

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 for a reason: teachers are the School’s most valuable resource.  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 swimming pool and a fitness suite.

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.  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.

Highgate is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau).

Applicants with a degree from a non-UK university are asked to give detail about the content of their degree and its relevance to teaching French at (I)GCSE and A level/Pre-U. Failure to do this will mean that their application may not be considered.

James Newton, the Deputy Head (Academic), (, or Justin Watts, the Head of Modern Languages, ( will be very happy to answer any questions.

Supporting documents

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