Founded in 1432, Sevenoaks enjoys a global reputation as a centre of academic excellence and a flagship school for the International Baccalaureate. A co-educational day and boarding school, it offers a stimulating, intellectually demanding and balanced education for pupils from the age of 11 to 18.
Inspiring facilities, together with expert, enthusiastic and imaginative teaching, provide rich opportunities for students participating in lessons, and a wide variety of sports and the performing arts.
The school’s international make-up and outlook promote the principles of tolerance and open-mindedness. About 350 pupils board in the seven boarding houses, and students originate from some 40 countries worldwide.
In 2013 the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) awarded Sevenoaks School the rare accolade of ‘Exceptional’ for its students’ achievement. Sevenoaks was also the highest performing fully co-educational school, and the one with the largest cohort, in the Sunday Times Parent Power’s top 50 fee-paying schools for the IB in 2015.
The school is situated in the Kent market town of Sevenoaks, and has a prime position at the top of the High Street. The 100-acre site, which includes a number of listed buildings, is beautifully landscaped and adjoins the medieval deer park of Knole. London is only a 30-minute train journey away. Gatwick International Airport is also only 30 minutes away, and there are good transport links to other London airports and the Channel Tunnel.
The school’s first-class resources and facilities include a superb sports centre (The Sennocke Centre) opened in 2005. A state-of-the-art performing arts centre (The Space), which provides four outstanding venues for music and drama, was opened in 2010. The next major projects currently underway are a Science & Technology Centre and a Sixth Form Global Study Centre, which the school plans to open in 2018, and new boarding accommodation which should be ready for occupation by 2019.
The Physics Department
The Physics department forms a key part of the Science and Technology faculty. There are seven full-time physicists in the department, who are well served by two very knowledgeable and helpful laboratory technicians. The department has six main laboratories, a staff resource area and a computer room all situated close to the preparation room on the ground floor of the Science and Computing block. All of the laboratories have been recently refurbished to a high standard. Each laboratory has its own interactive whiteboard, and other teaching aids. The department is well-equipped, with a large amount of laboratory apparatus and data-logging facilities, sufficient to carry out a range of practical investigations.
Sevenoaks is virtually unique in the UK in that all 1050 students study at least one science for the entirety of their secondary education – three to Year 11 and at least one in the Sixth Form. Physics is taught throughout the school and all Middle School pupils follow a separate IGCSE Physics course. In the Sixth Form, pupils can study Physics at either Higher or Standard Level.
Throughout the school, emphasis is placed on experimental aspects of Physics and on the development of each pupil’s conceptual understanding. The pupils undertake a variety of experimental work, in addition to computer simulations and demonstrations.
The IGCSE results have been excellent over the last few years, with the majority of pupils gaining A* and nearly all the others A grade. The results at IB are also very good with 80% gaining grade 6 or top grade 7 at Higher Level, and 75% at Standard Level achieving similar grades. Around 45 Year 11 pupils gain awards in the Physics Olympiad Challenge and the most able Higher Level students enjoy success at the Olympiad level. Typically 55 students study Higher Level Physics each year, of which around 35% go on to study Physics, Natural Sciences or Engineering at university.
Head of Physics
The successful candidate will be an enthusiastic, well-qualified graduate and a dynamic teacher and leader. Love of the subject and an ability to convey this to students is essential. In leading the work of the department, the Head of Physics will foster a strong team spirit, help to develop the skills of the teaching staff, and look to inspire the students. He or she will also be a good administrator, able to manage the day-to-day work of the department efficiently. The Head of Department is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate syllabuses are taught and that the necessary resources are available.