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Head of Literacy and Oracy

Stepping Stones SchoolSurrey

A progressive thinker, you will be restless for an opportunity to work in a setting where you will genuinely have the freedom and support to contribute to shaping a school around the way that you believe education really could be delivered.  Your passion for teaching and learning will be infectious, the proven quality of your ability to deliver outcomes outstanding and your professional standards, safeguarding practice, expectations and relationships with pupils, parents and colleagues exemplary.

We are looking for an exceptional secondary subject specialist teacher with the professional expertise and experience to both shape and fill their post.  You will have sufficient proven experience in curriculum design to spearhead and craft a bespoke new approach in your field and your creative approach to pedagogy will be underpinned by strategic insight and research.  You must be able to manage with confidence the challenge of balancing academic rigour and compliance with the freedoms of developing a liberal and flexible new framework and series of qualification pathways, working closely with the Director of Education.

We offer a different shape to the school day and week.  Monday to Thursday is comprised of just three extended lessons a day to allow for greater innovation and deeper learning.  We want every lesson to be the very best learning opportunity and experience which is truly tailored to the development and progress journey of each individual and our new model spans five faculty areas:


• Culture, Arts & Communication

• Nature, Health, Animals and the Outdoors

• Humanities, Community & the Wider World

• Employability & Life Skills

Every Friday will be a Discovery Day where the students might, for example, have a day off-site at a local college to take a qualification, work off-site on an extended specialist project, rehearse or  devise a production, project or exhibition in our new Arts & Technology Centre over the course of a term, take on a work experience placement, challenge themselves through an outdoor activities/DofE programme or develop independence and life skills in a community or entrepreneurship project.

At the same time, staff benefit from Discovery Days through having dedicated days for CPD, coaching, research projects, visiting other schools and partner organisations, undertaking outreach work and collaborative planning, moderation and reflection.

We are seeking someone who has the vision and experience to take on the resourcing and development of their field, including on the set up of the subject area from September and you will work closely with the Director of Business & Operations to manage the strategic and practical development and resourcing of your area over time.  This includes our new Arts & Technology Centre which will require significant development as it evolves first into a specialist teaching, performance, workshop and exhibition resource from September 2021 and over time into a local Community Arts venue run by our students.  The ability to be flexible, strategic and understand the potential for and pacing of school development projects as well as experience of managing budgets and ensuring the relevant areas of subject-related compliance will be a key consideration.

Classes are of around 8 students and each faculty has Subject Specialist Support Assistants to enhance students’ learning, as well as each class being empowered by an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant who supports their group in all lessons, reporting into the Director of Safeguarding (DSL), Welfare and Pastoral Care.

Collaboration is essential, and we seek a flexible and proactive practitioner who will be happy to share their specialism and team teach.  As well as cross-curricular delivery, overlap and projects, you will work with the SEND, Pastoral and Therapy teams to assimilate therapeutic support, a proactive approach to health and wellbeing, social skills, PSHE and protective behaviours into the curriculum and across school life.   All teachers are Form Tutors and we have regular multi-disciplinary meetings around students with specialist input, training and support from the Therapy team (Emotional Therapies, SaLT, OT and Physiotherapy).

There will be significant collective training in SEND for all of our staff and if this is not your background, a willingness and openness to developing understanding of this area will be essential.  We welcome applications from those with existing experience gained in an independent or maintained mainstream secondary schools, or in a SEND setting, and from those at different stages of their careers who are able to meet the skills and experience requirements as set out in the role profile.

This is an incredibly exciting new chapter for us as a school as we work to make our brand new offer and strategic vision for the future a reality from September 2021.  Above all, we are seeking an exceptional and innovative professional who is an inspirational and dedicated teacher, passionate about their subject and who wants to use their talents and vocation to genuinely make a difference to ensure the delivery of the best possible educational and life outcomes for each of our wonderful and talented students, championing diversity and promoting an aspirational vision for SEND education.

Please read the job description attached carefully.  Faculty leadership opportunities may also be available and all qualified teachers receive a SEN allowance.  We offer the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, additional benefits and parking is available on or close to the school sites.

We are a non-maintained independent specialist school with places funded by our Local Authorities.  Our school offers provision for children with mild to moderate learning difficulties and ASD (high functioning).  We provide an education for those who might not thrive in a mainstream setting but who equally would not be suited to attending a specialist SEN school - we offer an alternative which sits in the niche just between the two.

Our school currently has 95 students and is based at Undershaw, the former home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, with our aim being to ‘eliminate the impossible’ for each and every child and to become a Centre of Excellence and Influence for SEND education.

Please do visit our existing website but note that it is undergoing full re-development and will re-launch later in 2021 to reflect and capture our new vision.

Closing Date:  Friday  13th May 2021 5.00pm

Interview Date:  as soon as possible 

Start Date:  September 2021

Salary:  Competitive and commensurate with the experience of the right candidate

All applicants must complete a school application form to be considered for this post.  Completed application forms should be sent to Claire Weller, HR & Compliance Assistant

Any questions should be sent to the PA to the Headteacher

Stepping Stones School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff, volunteers and other third parties to share this commitment. Safer Recruitment practice and pre-employment background checks, including overseas checks, will be undertaken before any appointment is confirmed.

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