Do you want to work at a progressive school in a teaching assistant style role to help children become the best they can be? Liberty Woodland School is looking for a Learning Associate to join our team at our stunning school site in Morden from September 2021. As we organically grow, our wonderful team need to grow with us! A minibus service is available from Twickenham, Chiswick and Fulham so for those of you who live in these areas, you’d have a free commute option to work!
As a Teaching Assistant at Liberty Woodland School, you’ll be tasked with providing a high standard of education and fostering the self-directed learning of children aged 4-16 years in our beautiful outdoor school. Together with the Senior Learning Associate, you will be responsible for a community of 18 children. You will create an enabling and positive environment for the children to feel empowered to take responsibility of their own learning. You’ll use your existing skills, experience and passion for play-based education to support and scaffold children’s learning through play, allowing them to experiment and learn in a creative and imaginative way.
You will assist the Senior Learning Associate to collaborate with the children to design a new scheme of cross-curricular work every term, under-pinned by your observations, and embedding social, emotional and life skills into every project just as much as academic skills.
You will use your own critical thinking to reflect on our projects, consider patterns developing within our emergent curriculum time and consider how you can guide and facilitate deeper diving into learning through our forest days. Once a week you will meet with the entire school team to reflect upon and discuss ways we can improve upon and enhance the experience of our children.
• ‘Our job is not to shape our children’s minds; it’s to let those minds explore all the possibilities that the world allows.’
• Interact with children to promote learning through play.
• Support and scaffold children to develop through their zone of proximal development.
• Become a learner, engaging alongside the children in encountering the world with curiosity, wonder and awe.
• Provoke occasions of discovery, helping children to discover their own questions and help them test hypotheses.
• Intentionally interact rather than interfere, facilitating the work of children.
• Assist in planning a curriculum through cross-curricular projects derived from children’s passions and interests.
• Observe children to provide a narrative and recognition of their achievements to then be used as research for future potential learning opportunities in addition to assessing their progress.
• Assist in planning and preparing purposeful schemes of work that align with the school’s curriculum and outdoor learning policies.
• Ensure the learning environment meet the needs and interests of the children, having an awareness of any physical or learning disabilities, family cultures and medical history.
• Provide a widening range of appropriate and interesting play materials and resources that children can change and interact with, and can be used for creative expression, symbolising and representation.
• Ensure there are a variety of opportunities for active and interactive learning, for children to have an effect and to change the environment, and for social interaction with adults and other children.
• Provide encouragement, warmth and acceptance to the children, along with challenges for creative and complex learning and thinking, helping them to extend their ideas and actions through sensitive, informed, well-judged interventions and support.
• Participate in regular observations and reflections of projects and children to ensure the children’s interest and development are incorporated into the schemes of work and projects.
• Assist in collaborating with the children in updating schemes of work after each inspiration week of each term, through sustained conversations, queries, and complex thinking.
• Develop and maintain strong partnerships and communication with parents/carers to facilitate day-to-day learning needs and encourage family involvement.
• Advocate to the greater public the value of exemplary early education and outdoor learning.
• Promoting and safeguarding the welfare of the students.
• Adhere to any relevant Policies about Keeping Children Safe, ongoing safeguarding, Equal Opportunities, Data Protection and Confidentiality
• Advise Head of School of any concerns, e.g. over children, parents, the safety of the environment, preserving confidentiality as necessary.
• Read, understand and adhere to all policies and procedures relevant to your role and the safe running of the school.
• Keep completely confidential any information regarding the children, their families or other staff that is acquired as part of the job.
• Ensure good standards of safety, hygiene and cleanliness are maintained at all times.
• Observe learner behaviour and ensure the safety and good conduct of the students.
Other Professional Duties
• Remain appropriately professional at all times.
• Promote the Liberty Woodland School and Outdoor Learning ethos and work alongside the head of school and staff team to ensure that the school’s philosophy is fulfilled.
• Help maintain equipment and resources.
• Support all staff and play a key part in keeping team morale high.
• Be aware of the high profile of the school and to uphold its standards at all times, both in work hours and outside.
• Carry out such duties, including cover for absent colleagues, as required by the Head of School, punctually and efficiently.
• Contribute imaginatively to the co-curricular, extra-curricular and sporting programmes of the School as required by the Head of School, and be prepared to run or assist with activities beyond lesson times and on Saturdays when required.
• Attend whole school meetings, staff meetings, parents’ evenings, open days, Inset days, training and similar important events both in and out of normal working hours.
• Take part in the school’s performance management scheme and appraisal on an annual/biannual basis.
• Be responsible for supervising the bus run each morning and afternoon from either the Barnes or Fulham area.
• Due to the outdoor element of the school there are physical demands of this role. The work is practical by definition and moderate levels of physical effort. It involves lifting and handling of training equipment, play equipment and other resources and to be involved in practical activities and physical care of learners and the environment. Activities are mainly out of doors and this will require walking and managing on uneven surfaces and in unpredictable weather conditions. You are required to be a role model for the staff and learners you work with, adhering to the Health & Safety procedures.
Qualification and Experience
• Paediatric First Aid desirable
• Food Safety and Hygiene desirable
• Forest School Level 2/3 desirable
• Experience of working with 4 to 16 year olds in a primary school setting
• Experience within an outdoor education environment desirable
Personal Attributes and Skills
• Flexibility and adaptability
• Positive attitude towards outdoor education
• Passion and creativity
• High-energy, active and resilient
• Excellent communication skills
• Team player
• Approachable and caring
• Reliable and respectful when interacting with parents, colleagues and the community
• A love of the outdoors
Liberty Woodland School
- Mainstream school with independent funding
- Primary School
- Students of mixed gender, age 4 - 11 years