We wish to appoint from April 2020 2 well-qualified, enthusiastic and committed Teachers of English. Both posts are part-time (0.6) and temporary to cover maternity leave. The positions would suit NQTs or experienced teachers. This is an excellent opportunity to join one of Oxfordshire’s largest and most successful schools judged ‘Outstanding by OFSTED in the latest inspection. Effective administrative systems support the two sites. Students are well-behaved and motivated, and there is a strong sense of community in Thame, with a committed parent support base.
We are exceptionally strong in terms of pastoral support for all students and have the highest expectations for individual achievement whatever the starting points. Outside the classroom there are wonderful extra-curricular activities for all. Students leave the school successful and well-rounded individuals. There is a ‘buzz’ about learning in the school and our students are fortunate to be supported in their learning by dedicated teachers and support staff. Staff training and professional development are always a developmental priority and many of our staff move on to promotions in other schools.
The school is the only school serving the market town of Thame and surrounding villages. It is a popular school and always oversubscribed. It is a split site school – Years 7-9 on our Lower School site and Years 10 -13 on our Upper School site. There are around 500 students in our Sixth Form and we attract many students from other schools, post-16. Teamwork is a key feature of school life and so is partnership with our feeder primary schools. There is a strong drive to establish powerful curriculum links cross phase with teachers collaborating on a range of projects.
The English Faculty
Key Stage 3
English at Key Stage 3 is taught in mixed ability tutor groups. Most classes are well-supported by teaching assistants. For Year 9, we run targeted learning days, where students are groups by attainment, which are focussed on preparing for upcoming assessments. We also have a series of ‘Masterclass’ lessons taught after school during the year where we work with our most able students on a variety of different topics.
Key Stage 3 is well resourced with schemes of work, a resource bank and course outlines for each year group. Lots of ICT resources are also available for each unit in each year group and we are continually updating and adding to these, particularly with the recent changes to the new Key Stage 4 curriculum. There is a strong tradition of sharing resources and collaborative planning at Key Stage 3.
Key Stage 4
Students are still taught in mixed ability groups in year 10, apart from two top sets and two intervention groups. All students at Key Stage 4 follow the AQA syllabus and all students are entered for both English Language and English Literature. We have remained with AQA for the new GCSEs being taught as of September 2015. Our Literature set texts are the Power and Conflict cluster of poems, Romeo and Juliet, Jekyll and Hyde and An Inspector Calls.
In year 11 we create two extra groups so that all classes have fewer students and therefore more access to the time and support they need. Our results are consistently above the county and national averages. Since the arrival of the new specification at GCSE, around 87% of our students have achieved a 4+ in either Literature or Language each year.
Key Stage 5
The English Faculty offers English Literature, English Language and Media Studies at Key Stage 5 and all are very popular subjects. Specifications are provided by Edexcel for Language and Literature and by WJEC for Media Studies.
In addition to the dedicated accommodation for students and staff on both sites, the Faculty is supported by extensive library facilities. There are three libraries, for Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form use respectively and they are managed by qualified staff throughout the school day.
Extra Curricular Activities
We run annual theatre trips when available and visits to lectures for Sixth Form and Key Stage 4 students. The Most Able students take part in a number of different activities and we are always seeking new companies to come into school to widen the variety of performances offered to students. In 2019 we took one hundred Year 11 students to the Globe theatre. We also took three hundred Year 9 students to Stratford and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust have recently run workshops in school.