Teacher of Learning Support
The school seeks to appoint a well-qualified teacher of Learning Support from April or September 2021. The role is offered as a full-time appointment.
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 aims to support every pupil in order that they might achieve their potential.
The school seeks to appoint a well-qualified teacher of Learning Support from April or September 2021. The role is offered as a full-time appointment. The ability to offer expertise as a qualified specialist assessor is desirable but not essential.
Learning Support is a well-established and integral part of the school, based in a newly refurbished and well appointed suite of offices and flexible teaching spaces. Teaching within the department aims to build upon all pupils’ neurodiverse strengths and to develop their independent learning skills. Pupils may be seen one-to-one or in small groups for variable lengths of time or numbers of sessions, and these are usually arranged on a half-termly rotational basis. The focus of the support for individual pupils is dependent on their needs but could encompass: literacy; numeracy; study skills; revision techniques; and curriculum support. Particular assistance is provided for those pupils with a specific additional educational need or difficulty (including, but not limited to, dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention difficulties and hearing or visual impairments in some form) but, beyond that, a range of support can be offered for any pupil in the school who is identified as benefitting from working with the department. Underpinning effective support is the early identification of pupils’ strengths and weaknesses through a comprehensive group screening procedure for all new entrants to the school, followed by further individual testing, where necessary.
PGS is an all-through school from ages 2½ to 18 and this role will involve opportunities for work and personal professional career development across all key stages and sectors of the school. The Learning Support Department is line managed by the Deputy Head (Teaching and Educational Development).
The school offers excellent training and support to teachers at all stages of their career. PGS teachers convey passion for their specialism 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 is the last year in which pupils may embark upon the IB Diploma at PGS. From September 2020, an exciting new A Level enrichment programme is being offered, which places emphasis on academic breadth and challenge, personal development, community workplace experience and leadership.
The Learning Support teacher should show commitment to supporting the values encompassed by the departmental objectives and by the school’s development plans and policies.
The Learning Support teacher may be required to offer occasional assistance with projects in addition to their main role, which will include:
• To teach pupils with a range of needs on an individual or small group basis
• To design multi-sensory work programmes for each pupil with individual strengths and weaknesses in mind
• To become familiar with, and contribute to the development of, teaching resources in the department
• To develop the use of ICT within support lessons
• To carry out in-class pupil observations to inform effective practice within the Learning Support Department and within that subject area
• To support the Head of Learning Support in developing the whole-school provision of the Learning Support Department and teach across all sectors of the school.
• To write reports on pupils’ progress and targets
• To work effectively as part of the Learning Support team
• To communicate effectively at all levels across the school
• To advise teachers on how best to help AEND pupils within the classroom
• To liaise with subject teachers to implement effective strategies which will provide additional support for specific pupils within their teaching groups
• As directed by the Head of Learning Support, to liaise with the Junior School/Senior School Co-ordinator and the Assistant Head (Upper School) and Assistant Head (Middle School and Partnerships)
• To advise parents about the progress of their child in relation to literacy, numeracy and other specific study skills, and the programme they are undertaking in support lessons
• To assist with the existing system for screening all pupils at entry to the Senior School
• To assist as required with the 11+ interview and entrance examination process
• To assess pupils at the start and end of a teaching programme to monitor and record pupil progress within the department
• To maintain effective pupil records both within the department and on the main school database, as directed by the Head of Learning Support
• To carry out other in-house assessment tests within the department in order to advise parents about a suitable referral to external specialists
• To monitor pupil progress through attendance at Junior Care List, Year Group Review and Pastoral meetings
• To attend Parents’ Evenings as requested by the Head of Department
• To read and interpret specialists' reports for teaching and pastoral staff as well as parents and to offer relevant advice
• To offer assistance in achieving the targets set out in the department’s annual development plan
• To assess pupils for access arrangements (where a suitable qualification exists)
• To update knowledge by regularly attending in-house CPD, conferences and training courses
• To develop an understanding of the application of theory to effective teaching techniques
• To work closely with other staff to disseminate knowledge and understanding of additional educational needs, neurodiversity and specific difficulities. This may well involve leading in-house training or professional development as appropriate.
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.
The Portsmouth Grammar School prides itself on being a caring employer and all staff are encouraged to discuss any aspects of their terms and conditions of employment initially with their line manager and, as necessary, with the Bursar who signs all contracts of employment on behalf of the Governing Body.
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 a small number of 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.
The school is always looking for innovative ways to improve the working conditions and remuneration of its employees and welcomes suggestions from all staff.
PGS is committed to safeguarding children and the successful applicant will be subject to an Enhanced Disclosure DBS check.
The closing date is noon Monday 18th January 2021 and early applications are encouraged. Interviews will be held on Monday 25th January 2021. Interviews may be held remotely via Microsoft Teams. Shortlisted candidates from the interview day may then be invited to teach an observed lesson in school.
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