1339 pupils enrolled
11 to 18
About Monk's Walk School
Monk’s Walk is a high performing, oversubscribed school seeking to appoint a Teacher of Mathematics to help raise standards even further.
We are a mixed school of about 1,350 11-18 year old students in Welwyn Garden City, a Hertfordshire new town on the outskirts of London.
Monk’s Walk is a genuinely comprehensive school, although the intake profile is changing – the prior attainment of students coming into the school is rising. The number of students with learning challenges is below the national average, with 11.6% supported at school action plus or with an Education and Healthcare Plan (EHCP). Our support for students with SEND is a real strength of the school.
We have a small number of blind or partially sighted students who receive specialist support. We also work very closely with Knightsfield School, a special school for deaf children on our campus. Knightsfield students are fully integrated into key stage 3 lessons in Art, Drama and PE. A small number join us for option subjects in key stage 4.
Parental confidence in the school is high; there were 690 applications for 236 places in Year 7 for September 2021, with 200 of those as first preference. Each year we hear appeals for students wishing to join the school.
The school has an extremely effective behaviour policy and in general behaviour is very good indeed. Our students want to learn and our parents are, on the whole, extremely supportive. Attendance is high.
There is a genuine ‘buzz’ around the school and we have a very strong reputation in the city. In February 2018, the school was judged once again by Ofsted to be ‘good’ - please read the inspection letter which can be found on our website (or on Ofsted’s) should you wish to apply. We were really pleased with the comments made by inspectors. They won’t be back until 2022, all being equal.
GCSE exam results in 2019 were strong. In the basics, 47% of students gained a strong pass in English and maths and 76% a standard pass. This puts us well above the national average. Our attainment 8 was 52.5 and progress 8 +0.11.
In terms of progress, disadvantaged and SEN students do better in the school than they do nationally. BME students attain very well and have good progress, as do each of the ability groups. Girls’ and boys’ attainment until 2019 had been exactly the same, in 2019 boys fell behind a bit so we are working on that. We pride ourselves on the fact that Monk’s Walk is an inclusive school.
The school has about 235 in the sixth form and this is the largest sixth form the school has ever had. We are also a member of a consortium with four other schools which provides a wide range of opportunities for students. Monk’s Walk has the largest sixth form of the five schools and currently guest students take 45 courses in Year 13 and 68 in Year 12. At Monk’s Walk we concentrate on providing A Level only, with decent numbers of students studying the facilitating subjects. Vocational programmes can be taken at Oaklands College or in other consortium schools. A Level Maths, Further Maths and Mathematical Studies are popular options.
Sixth form results are good and improving, but our ambition is for them to be even better. In 2019 our average point score per entry was 34.09, above national. We are very proud of the destinations of our sixth form students, with almost all students who applied making it to their first or second choice university, high quality apprenticeship or employment. Students access a range of universities, including two to Cambridge in 2020.
We do not pursue academic achievement at the expense of the wider development of the individual, however. Form tutors, heads of year and heads of house all have important roles in the social, personal and academic support of individuals. Our house system is strong, providing a range of all-ability competitions and activities for mixed-age groups. Recently we have become the first school in the country to have a recycling machine with the credit going as house points. All members of staff are allocated a house, except me who has to try to stay impartial, of course.
The school became an academy in September 2012. The decision to convert was purely pragmatic and trustees have no intention to make changes to teachers’ pay and conditions beyond those made as part of national agreements.
Induction, training and continuing professional development have a very high priority in the school. All new members of staff take part in a comprehensive induction programme on joining the school. We have a proven track record in training teachers and we have both School Direct and PGCE trainees. We take an active part in the Alban Teaching School Alliance.
This post is open to both NQTs and more experienced teachers. If you are a newly qualified teacher, however, you would be offered the opportunity to have 3 weeks’ induction in July for which you will be paid an honorarium. This gives the chance for a really comprehensive induction programme to make sure you have a flying start to your career in teaching. You will also find that we have an innovative support programme throughout the NQT year, organised with local schools. This provides training on key aspects of teaching such as assessment and behaviour for learning, as well as providing a local network of support with other NQTs in similar subject areas. There is also the opportunity to visit other schools to further your experience in the NQT year. The course builds on the support of a mentor and the extended support of a professional mentor in school.
All staff are supported by a broad programme of continuing training and development. Individual staff are supported on programmes of further study/professional qualifications. The school runs a well-developed performance management system. All staff are actively supported to achieve their individual targets.
The maths department is a large faculty with 12 teachers who currently teach in the subject. It is a department which has a range of experience, works well as a team and is supportive of each other. All members of the department have their own rooms and the classrooms have access to networked computers and data projectors.
In maths, students are set from Christmas in Year 7, however a holistic view of setting is taken and set changes are considered at key assessment points throughout the year. At GCSE we study the AQA syllabus. Traditionally we have entered a higher number of students through the higher tier. We want every student to achieve the highest grade possible in maths but with the new specifications we constantly look at the entry policy to ensure it provides our students with the greatest chance of success.
Due to improvements in our key stage 3 and 4 provision over the last few years, key stage 5 maths at Monk’s Walk is thriving. We currently have two maths sets each in Years 12 and 13 and a further maths set in each year group and all are taught the OCR specification. In 2017 we introduced Mathematical Studies, a level three certificate in maths, this has been successful, with a large uptake. We work with the Welwyn Hatfield consortium to provide further support and guidance across the curriculum and we also have students from other schools in the consortium who come and learn mathematics at A Level with us.
The department also organises a number of extra-curricular maths trips which enhances the students’ engagement with the subject. We welcome creative and innovative ideas and above all we are passionate about good education and good educators. We appreciate the variety of approaches that different people can use in becoming outstanding maths teachers and how this can contribute to the development of both our students and our department.
Arranging a visit to Monk's Walk School
If you would like an informal conversation about the post or would like to visit us in advance of applying, please contact Matt Grinyer, Deputy Head, at email@example.com.
Knightsfield, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL8 7NL