A talented graduate classicist is required to teach Classics (including Latin, Greek, Ancient History and Classical Civilisation) throughout the Senior School in this academically selective, coeducational North London day school during a colleague’s leave of absence.
This is an exciting opportunity for either an experienced classroom practitioner who enjoys the company of bright, ambitious and well-motivated pupils or someone wishing to gain experience of teaching in an academically selective secondary school. Recent experience of teaching examination classes or of examining at this level would be a recommendation. There are opportunities to contribute to the pastoral and co-curricular life of the school, both aspects of which are valued 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.
The department is responsible for the teaching of Latin, Greek, Ancient History and Classical Civilisation in Years 7 to 13. All pupils study Latin in Years 7,8 and 9, following the Cambridge Latin Course. In Year 9 three or four sets take Greek as well as Latin (‘Gratin’) as a single combined and fast-paced option: thus we have around fifty pupils in Year 9 studying Greek. Latin, Greek, and Classical Civilisation are currently options for GCSE in Years 10 and 11.
Public exam results over recent years have been extremely strong. In 2019, 86% of pupils taking GCSE Latin gained a grade 9, with 96% gaining grade 8 or 9. Seven pupils took GCSE Greek, of which six gained a grade 9, whilst 50% of pupils achieved an A* or A grade in GCSE Classical Civilisation. At A Level 53% of pupils scored A* grades across all four classical subjects (Latin, Greek, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History).
There are nine members of the Department. The Department is proud of its academic record, especially of the numbers who successfully take Latin to GCSE and to A Level. In recent years, several pupils have gone on to study a wide range of classical degrees at university, including Classical Studies, Archaeology and Anthropology, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Classics and Oriental Studies, as well as more conventional Classics degrees.
The department aims to foster an enthusiasm for the ancient world, in all its facets, while placing particular emphasis on the analytical skills acquired through the study of Latin and Greek and the study of ancient literature in the original languages. We aim to make the experience of learning classical subjects exciting and challenging through a varied use of approaches, materials and a stimulating curriculum. Members of the department work cooperatively and closely as a team and share a common academic ethos and the atmosphere in the department is very positive, productive and supportive. Colleagues willingly share expertise and resources and volunteer for extra responsibilities as and when necessary.
The department regularly takes pupils to conferences and museums in London and further afield: a trip to either Greece or Italy takes place every year. In April 2018 we took 30 pupils to the Bay of Naples; a smaller contingent of Sixth Formers travelled to Sicily in October 2018; a further 23 pupils will travel to Athens and the Peloponnese this coming Easter. Smaller parties have regularly been to the British Museum, while multi-disciplinary residential trips for all of Year 8 have included expeditions to the Roman baths in Bath, and to Vindolanda on Hadrian’s Wall.
There is a Classics Society, organised and run by Year 13 pupils, which is extremely vibrant and meets on a regular basis. Recent pupil-led talks have focused on the importance of rhetoric to Roman thought and the value of Classics in modern education, while visiting speakers have ranged from Professor Hans van Wees of UCL on Thermopylae, to Daniel Morden, a professional storyteller giving stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The department is also involved in partnership work: Sixth Form pupils use the Minimus textbook to teach Latin to pupils in Years 5 and 6 from a local primary school on a weekly basis to boost their literacy.
We aim to emphasise the value of Classical subjects first and foremost for their own sake, but also for their relationship with the modern world and other academic disciplines. In 2018 a programme of events in a specially devoted ‘Classics Week’ aimed to highlight these links, and the biennial Classics play explored a reinterpretation of Sophocles’ Antigone, led by pupils in Year 12. Previous productions have included Oedipus Rex, Medea, and a performance of the Trojan Women that kept the refugee crisis very much in mind. The department is well equipped and resourced, it has its own office area and all classrooms have electronic whiteboards.
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. 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 fitness suite.