The Portsmouth Grammar School is a leading co-educational school located in the historic heart of Portsmouth. It values the development of the whole person, placing emphasis on both academic achievement and co-curricular involvement.
The school seeks to appoint a part time teacher of Geography from April or September 2020. The school seeks a subject specialist, who inspires young people with their passion for Geography and for teaching, and ensures all pupils reach their full potential. Applications are invited from all those who meet the above criteria, whether they are newly qualified, or more experienced teachers or have yet to commence teacher training.
In addition to teaching Geography throughout the Senior School, the ability to teach Geology at A Level would be an advantage. For candidates who do not have experience of teaching Geology but who would be willing to undertake further training to develop a specialism in this subject, relevant courses and ongoing CPD will be provided by the school as required.
Candidates should be able to offer a range from 0.4 to 0.8 FTE from September 2020 with some flexibility appreciated. Please indicate clearly in your application the .FTE you could offer. This is a part time vacancy but applications from exceptional candidates who can only offer a full-time role may also be considered.
The school offers excellent training and support to teachers at all stages of their career. PGS teachers convey passion for their subject and seek to maximise progress by knowing their pupils well and adapting their teaching accordingly.
PGS is an IB world school and has offered the IB since 2009, with consistently excellent results. Due to reduced levels of uptake among our pupils, 2020 will be the last year in which pupils may embark upon the IB Diploma at PGS. From September 2020, an exciting new A Level enrichment programme will be offered, which places emphasis on academic breadth and challenge, personal development, community workplace experience and leadership.
The post-holder will join a dynamic and well-resourced department, which currently consists of three full-time members and four part-time members of staff. The department has recently been awarded the “Secondary Geography Quality Mark” by the Geographical Association. This is a prestigious award that recognises quality and progress in geography leadership, curriculum development and learning and teaching in schools. Fieldwork is very much at the heart of Geography teaching at PGS, including a residential Year 12 study trip to the Lake District and overseas trips for GCSE and A Level pupils (Iceland in March 2018 and Tenerife in March 2019). The department has a wide range of facilities, including interactive SMART screens, a class set of iPads and a department drone. The ethos of the department is that pupils should study a balance of physical and human topics set in real place contexts, in order to be able to make carefully considered judgements and decisions about the world in which they live.
At all levels of the school Geography is taught as a separate subject and all pupils in Years 7 to 9 study Geography. Geology is taught at A level. In recent years, about 60 candidates opt to study GCSE Geography, which follows the OCR Specification B. The number taking Geography in the Sixth Form is also strong. Approximately 20 candidates study the OCR A level Geography specification in each year group. We also have between 6 and 10 puplis studying Geology at A level, very many of whom go on to study the subject at university. Results at both GCSE and A Level are strong with 50% of GCSE pupils scoring grades 8 or 9 and 80% scoring grades 9-6. 81% of our A level Geography pupils scored A*-B Grades at A Level in 2019. The department also offers A Level Geology following the OCR specification, 66% of whom scored A*-B grades this summer.
In Year 7 the Geography department contributes to the Portsmouth Curriculum, an innovative, cross-curricular course unique to the school. Geography also enjoys close links with many other departments and is taking the lead on the school’s drive towards a more sustainable future. The sixth form “Geography Society” has grown in strength and number over the last two years and offers a range of experiences; from outside speakers and lecturers to the mentoring of younger pupils in their Geography studies. The sixth form geographers also assisted with the department’s “Geography Discovery Days” last summer, where 3 local junior schools brought pupils to PGS to participate in using our iPads to collect and collate microclimate data, use our green screen and examine rates of lava flow. The “Geocaching Club” offers an active and fun map skills session at lunchtimes for younger pupils.
The department occupies a suite of four dedicated teaching rooms that are well equipped with IT and AV facilities. The department has pioneered the use of iPads and digital technology within the teaching programme over the last few years integrating relevant, engaging activities across all schemes of work. The use of GIS from Year 7 upwards has also been a key focus and pupils are proficient in the use of Survey123 and ArcGIS by the time they embark on their A level Geography coursework. As well as the department’s new set of iPads, there are five ICT suites which can be booked for whole class teaching and the department also has a drone for use on fieldwork where permissible. The Department enjoys strong links with the University of Portsmouth in the training of PGCE students and for lectures, library resources and the loan of equipment.
The successful applicant will be expected to contribute fully to the pastoral and co-curricular life of the school. The school provides excellent professional development opportunities and has an outstanding reputation for induction of newly qualified teachers.
PGS is committed to safeguarding children and the successful applicant will be subject to an Enhanced Disclosure DBS check.
The school is a strong supporter of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and its INSET programme provides staff with many personal development opportunities. Examples of school support include financial support for further education such as Masters Degrees.
Governors annually allow up to three staff to take a half term sabbatical on full-pay in the summer term, with most expenses of the sabbatical covered. The aim of sabbaticals is to develop further professional expertise and also to provide an opportunity for staff to reflect on other aspects of their teaching. Sabbaticals are normally based in the UK but may also be overseas.
Key financial benefits of employment at PGS include a generous salary structure supplemented by payment of an additional PGS Allowance. There are many opportunities to take on additional paid responsibilities to assist in the management and operation of the school. The school participates in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.
The school also has a generous fee concession for the children of teaching staff. The school supports the Cycle to Work scheme and all members of staff have free use of the school’s sports facilities which include a well-equipped Fitness Centre. A two course lunch is provided to all staff during term, with a full evening meal provided before all parents evenings.
For candidates who would relocate to take up this position, the school may be able to offer subsidised rental accommodation in Old Portsmouth on a temporary basis. Please state in your application if this is of interest to you.