Head of Science Furze Platt Senior School, Maidenhead, Berkshire

Job description

Head of Department: Job Description

The role of Heads of Department is crucial. They provide professional leadership and management of their subject areas to secure high quality teaching, effective use of resources and ongoing development of learning and achievement for all students. This job description is to be used in conjunction with the Professional Standards for Teachers and the Leadership Standards, along with the generic Furze Platt teacher job description. The postholder is subject to the conditions of employment for teachers contained in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD).


Strategic Direction and Development of the Subject

• Lead of curriculum vision, development and delivery
• Develop, publicise, implement and realise a vision for the subject in harmony with the school’s values and vision, and represent the school and department positively, including at Open Evenings and other publicity events.
• Establish, implement and evaluate departmental policies in harmony with whole school policies on areas such as teaching and learning, homework and marking and assessment
• Evaluate departmental performance
• Set and monitor priorities for improvement
• Communicate, co-operate and collaborate with other departments, including sharing good practice
• Take a proactive approach to own professional development, be aware of national changes and developments in the subject, and forge links with other practitioners

Teaching and Learning

• Develop an exciting and stimulating curriculum for all students, ensuring that statutory regulations, National Curriculum and Awarding Body requirements are met, and that students are motivated, stretched and challenged as they progress through our school
• Ensure a wide range of enrichment opportunities expand and extend the curriculum
• Maximise and take responsibility for the achievement of students within the department
• Maintain a positive learning environment across the department, using departmental and school behaviour management procedures as appropriate
• Act as a positive role model at all times and develop and maintain high standards for teaching and learning within the department
• Ensure that appropriate schemes of learning, in harmony with the Learning Policy, exist for all year groups and subjects and are kept under review
• Ensure that home learning is set and that work is marked, in accordance with the school and departmental homework, marking and assessment policies
• Ensure the efficient and consistent setting of internal tests, assessments and examinations
• Monitor and evaluate teaching and learning through examination results, internal data analysis, lesson observation, feedback from students and other appropriate methods
• Identify underachievement and implement appropriate teaching and intervention strategies
• Ensure appropriate grouping arrangements exist, enabling all students to feel academically and emotionally secure, and to be supported, stretched and challenged.
• Ensure the professional development of colleagues through induction, individual coaching, departmental training, whole school opportunities and external courses, with extra support for NQTs where appropriate

Leading and Managing

• Promote positively the school’s values and vision, and whole school policies and initiatives
• Maintain a positive atmosphere in the department which enables all staff to show enthusiasm towards the subject and confidence in teaching it
• Conduct and minute regular departmental meetings, focusing on the learning and achievement of students
• Work with the SLT link via line management meetings and other meetings, and inform the SLT link of any issues or concerns within the department
• Contribute to whole school discussions and decisions through middle leader meetings and other consultative forums
• Ensure that departmental staff report accurately and positively to parents via data, email, telephone and parents’ evening consultations
• Liaise with the Student Services Manager regarding examination entries and requirements
• Ensure that adequate cover work is set where staff are absent
• Oversee the line management performance management of teachers in the department
• Work with and supervise support staff, including performance management where appropriate
• Show support and concern for the welfare and wellbeing of staff in the department

Efficient and effective deployment of Resources

• Work with the Assistant Headteacher in creating the departmental timetable, ensuring the optimum deployment of staff and rooms
• Effectively manage the departmental budget and prepare capitation and other bids
• Ensure all schemes of learning are appropriately resourced and that resources are stored securely and are well looked after
• Ensure that rooms, furniture, equipment, wall displays etc are maintained to a high standard in order to create an effective and stimulating teaching and learning environment
• Keep an inventory of equipment and work with the Site Manager to ensure that all rooms and equipment are risk assessed and are compliant with Health and Safety regulations
• Manage the issue and return of student books and other resources
• Liaise with the Librarian over book orders and library requirements for the subject
• Work with the Headteacher on the appointment of new staff, including selection of candidates, devising of interview questions, marking exercises and other recruitment activities

No job description can be fully comprehensive and this is, therefore, subject to review and modification, as necessary

January 2020

Essential educational requirements

Undergraduate degree in relevant subject

Essential qualifications

Qualified Teacher Status
Right to work in UK essential

Essential skills and experience

Leadership experience desirable.

Employee benefits

Would you like to be part of a rapidly expanding school as well as enjoy the benefits of a new state-of-the-art three storey block and the prospect of using a new hall equipped for sports, theatre productions and much more?

We are looking for a well-qualified, inspiring Teacher to join our team of dedicated, reflective practitioners and teach Science. The ability to teach all three Sciences to KS3 is essential with a specialist Science subject for KS4.

Furze Platt is a highly successful mixed comprehensive school serving the children of Maidenhead. At Furze Platt, 1400 boys and girls of all abilities develop the skills and qualities to enable them to excel in the future. We are a highly ambitious, high-achieving and fully inclusive school in which our students are challenged and supported to achieve excellence. We are well placed for access, with good transport links to and from London and surrounding counties. You will be joining us at an exciting time as we enter the second year of access to phase one of an on-site expansion project, the building of a state-of-the-art three-storey teaching block incorporating science laboratories, classrooms, additional staff rooms and a meeting room. We will also be near to completion of the building of a new hall/theatre which will be used by the school and the local community.

We want our students to enjoy the time they spend with us by providing an education which is broad, stimulating and rewarding. We also believe passionately in music, drama, the arts and sport and have a Dance studio, two Drama studios, a recording studio and practice rooms and an all-weather astro-turf to support these. We are proud of the range of extra-curricular opportunities we provide for students outside of the classroom including Duke of Edinburgh, ski and theatre trips, visits overseas to enhance language skills and historical knowledge and many others.

We offer a friendly and harmonious campus atmosphere, with fantastic line support and a Senior Leadership Team who genuinely want to see you succeed and develop. NQTs are allocated a mentor, a reduced timetable and the opportunity to attend training sessions run by specialists from within the school. Career opportunities allowing you to grow professionally within Furze Platt include working parties and coaching for experienced teachers and leadership training for aspiring and existing middle and senior leaders.

There are excellent on-site facilities including use of a recently installed gym, your own laptop, student laptops and interactive whiteboards. As well as access to an employee advice service providing information, helpful resources and other services, there will be invitations to whole school social events such as our Christmas party, and other gatherings to celebrate success, and freshly brewed coffee is ready for you during break-time!

About Furze Platt Senior School

Furze Platt is an extremely rewarding school in which to work. We are a highly aspirational and high achieving school seeking to offer outstanding educational opportunities. We encourage each and every member of our community to achieve excellence. We have 170 caring, committed and good humoured teaching and support staff, together with a diverse student body of 1400 students, who come to school ready to learn and who are supportive of the school’s policies and procedures. This is a school where staff and students work together to achieve high standards and excellent outcomes. Our student body is taken from the town of Maidenhead, less than 30 miles west of London, and from other parts of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. Whilst overall the area is affluent, ours is a truly comprehensive school, with students from all social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. The school is popular, oversubscribed and well regarded in the local community. Parents and carers are supportive seeking to work with us to support their children. The achievement of most students is good or better and has been significantly above national averages for a number of years. We are also a very inclusive school, and our vertical tutor group system, with six tutor groups in each of eight houses, emphasises the sense of community. We have a specialist unit for students with autistic spectrum disorder, and provide excellent support for those with academic or emotional difficulties. Our curriculum is broad and balanced, and aims to meet the differing needs of students. Students follow the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 including learning two modern foreign languages. Towards the end of Key Stage 3 students are supported with the selection of their GCSE options and the school works hard to ensure every student is able to study the subjects they have chosen. Our Key Stage 4 curriculum provides an appropriate mix of academic GCSE subjects including English Language and English Literature, Maths, and both Single Sciences and Combined Science as well as Ebac subjects. Some students can opt for more vocational subjects such as Creative iMedia, Business and Child Development. Standards are very high; students make good progress and many departments have results significantly above the national average. The Sixth Form is an undoubted strength of Furze Platt with 170 students joining year 12 this year. The broad curriculum offer and high standard of teaching has led to excellent examination results. A large number of sixth formers progress to university, including Russell Group universities and Oxbridge. Sixth Form students are also expected to undertake community work in or out of school, including paired reading and maths schemes, and acting as subject prefects or mentors. They make a significant contribution to the school. The Sixth Form block has been upgraded and now boasts state of the art teaching rooms, study facilities and a common room. We have excellent ICT facilities, with all departments having either a separate ICT suite or large numbers of laptops for student use. Our VLE (‘FP Online’) is first class, and enables staff and students to collaborate simultaneously over the Google ‘cloud.’ We also believe passionately in music, drama, the arts and sport, and have some excellent facilities to support these including a Dance studio, two state of the art Drama studios, a professional recording studio, practice rooms and a recent addition of a gym and all-weather astro-turf. As would be expected, there are a large number of music and drama productions, and students are able to get the most out of their sports lessons even in bad weather. We have a strong team of teaching staff and are committed to developing our teaching still further, and thus to ensure that even more students reach their full potential. To this end, we invest heavily in teachers’ professional development. In addition to twilight staff development time and teaching and learning-focused INSET days, staff are encouraged to join working parties focusing on aspects of pedagogy and benefit from staff coaching. Where appropriate, staff attend external courses, and we encourage staff to visit other schools to see examples of best practice. Our most recent Ofsted report (September 2016) highlighted many strengths of our school and rated us 'Good' in all areas. Furze Platt is an exciting school to work in, and this is an exciting time to join us on our journey as we near completion of a new three-storey teaching block and begin phase two of our expansion which, when completed, will provide us with a new hall with state-of-the-art theatre equipment. I hope that the information in this pack inspires you to apply to work with us. Should you require any further information, then please visit our website (www.furzeplatt.com) or contact me via my P.A. at jacky.phillips@furzeplatt.net. With best wishes Dr Andrew J Morrison (BA Hons, PGCE, MA, PhD) Headteacher

Furze Platt Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 7NQ
Furze Platt Senior School website (opens in a new window)