Job Description Head of Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS)

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1 Job Description Head of Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS) George Watson s College wishes to appoint a Head of Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS) from January The post represents a rare opportunity for an outstanding practitioner to make a high profile contribution to the success of one of Scotland s leading schools. THE SCHOOL George Watson s College is renowned as a large, inclusive and vibrant co-educational school offering all-through education for children from Despite its size, everyone remarks that it has a smallschool feel : the close-knit and friendly relationships amongst all its constituents are a hallmark of the School. Its motto Ex Corde Caritas (Love from the Heart) is central to its values as it seeks to sustain what is described as The Watson s Family. This tangible sense of togetherness is significantly enhanced by everyone being on one purpose-built site, which is located in the attractive residential district of Morningside, to the South West of the centre of Edinburgh. Edinburgh itself is the second strongest city economy in the UK, outside of London, with the highest percentage of graduates and professionally qualified adults in the UK and over 25% of school age children attending fee-paying schools. Watson s is proud of its independent status and, whilst remaining true to its Scottish roots, seeks to sustain and develop an international perspective. The curriculum is adapting to the innovations inherent in Scotland s new Curriculum for Excellence and the new Scottish National Qualifications. In addition, the School offers its older pupils the opportunity to take the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme. Watson s is the only school to offer this alternative alongside Scottish qualifications. The School welcomes a wide range of academic ability, and has very high academic standards, with 90% of pupils going on to Higher Education and a large proportion of pupils achieving outstanding success. Watson s also has excellent facilities, and offers a huge range of courses as well as extracurricular activities. In addition, it has particular strengths in Sport, Music, Drama, Outdoor Education, Technology and in Support for Learning. The School has successfully adopted a Bring Your Own Device policy in the Senior School to deliver its E Learning strategy. The current Principal, Mr Melvyn Roffe took up his post in August He is a member of the Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference (HMC). The Senior School Approximately two-thirds of pupils in the Senior School have progressed there from the Junior School. On arrival, they have a carefully worked out induction programme which includes a residential experience together in the first term. In First and Second Year, a diverse and stimulating timetable balances challenging academic progression with a variety of learning experiences. Pupils study many of their subjects in their form 1

2 classes but are set in English and Mathematics. This enables them to progress at a pace that provides the appropriate level of challenge and provides them with an opportunity to mix with the rest of their year group. From Second Year, pupils discuss their personal targets and study options with teachers, through to their key certificate examinations, and we ensure that they choose subjects and levels that match their abilities and aspirations. At Watson's we are proud of the exceptionally broad range of certificate courses we offer. Available at various levels of certification within the national qualifications framework, our extensive provision includes subjects across the spectrum of arts, sciences and social sciences, with a notably wide selection of languages, including Mandarin Chinese. It is important that we prepare pupils for the increased independence they will require after school. A programme of study skills encourages independent thought and enquiry. Throughout their time at Watson's, pupils make confident use of our outstanding IT facilities and our Library. DEPARTMENT DETAILS Department Staffing and Resourcing Five members of staff teach Religion and Philosophy in the Senior School (four full time and one part time). It is an exceptionally well resourced department, with all classrooms being equipped with either interactive SMART boards or large integrated televisions that can be integrated with the portable devices of students and staff. Google Apps For Education are used extensively for the storage, delivery and sharing of resources for both exam level and core classes. The department has a reputation for delivering engaging and demanding lessons that encourage pupils to think critically about their lives and the worlds they live in. Curriculum The department delivers a core programme to all students in S1-S5. Each year focusses on improving a specific skill. These include communicating effectively, thinking about the things that matter most and interrogating the world in which we live. In addition to the core programme, the department offers senior pupils the option to take SQA Philosophy courses, at National 5 and Higher levels, as well as Religious, Moral & Philosophical Studies at Advanced Higher Level. Beyond this, the department has an exceptional record of presenting pupils for International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Philosophy at both Standard and Higher Levels, making it the only department in Scotland to offer both Scottish and IB qualifications. Adopting the IBDP has had a profound and positive affect on the approach taken by staff when delivering other exam and core level courses. Since the introduction of the IBDP, the department has delivered the Philosophy of Religion and Problems and Theories of Ethics optional units and taught Nietzsche s Genealogy of Morals for the set text examination paper. In order to help our students appreciate the historical philosophical importance of Edinburgh as a city, as well as to provide more of a context to their studies, pupils choosing philosophy are encouraged to take part in trips following in the footsteps of David Hume and Adam Smith. The department is committed to cross-curricular learning, a commitment best exemplified by lessons on sense perception hosted in the Physics and Chemistry Departments. 2

3 PERSON SPECIFICATION The person appointed will: be a trained and qualified graduate teacher of RMPS and/or Philosophy eligible for registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland 1 ; have significant and successful experience of teaching RMPS and/or Philosophy in secondary schools; be flexible and imaginative in developing new ideas and resources, as well as adapting to curriculum changes. have excellent leadership, interpersonal and communication skills and be able to work with colleagues from different disciplines and across both Junior and Senior Schools as well as partners from the wider community. have the strong organisational skills necessary to lead a successful department in a high profile school. JOB SPECIFICATION Line Management The Head of RMPS is accountable to the Principal through the Head of Senior School. One of the Depute Heads of Senior School acts as Quality Assurance Manager (QA) for each Department in the Senior School. General Responsibilities In addition to the general responsibilities of a teacher at George Watson s College, the Head of RMPS is responsible for the delivery of the RMPS curriculum through the School. The Head of RMPS will be expected to teach approximately 35 periods of an appropriate subject per ten day timetable cycle. The person appointed will be responsible for teaching classes in the School using his/her skill, experience and best endeavours. S/he will abide by the Code of Conduct for Staff at George Watson s College. A contribution to the wider life of the School is an expectation of all staff. Specific Responsibilities The person appointed will: Lead, develop and monitor the effectiveness of the RMPS curriculum in the Senior School, liaising with other Heads of Department as necessary to achieve common objectives; 1 Most teachers who are qualified to teach in other parts of the UK or other EU Member States and in many other parts of the world, are eligible for registration with GTCS. For information see 3

4 Act as Line Manager to other members of the RMPS department, promoting good practice and high standards and intervening where necessary to provide support to colleagues; Act as Line Manager to the support staff allocated to support the work of the RMPS Department; Ensure that all teaching and learning in RMPS is effective and that all pupils are being properly prepared for public examinations where appropriate; Contribute to professional discussions with senior staff and others to contribute to the development of the policies and practice of the school. Review the performance of the RMPS department on an annual basis, using performance data and other evidence as appropriate; Prepare an annual bid for curriculum and other funding and exercise proper control over the departmental budget as allocated; Liaise with the Librarian to ensure that the learning of pupils in RMPS is supported by the Library. Liaise with the Director of ICT Services and Director of E Learning to ensure that pupils and staff in the subject area have appropriate access to ICT and that the school can contribute to the School s E Learning Strategy. Contribute to extra-curricular provision of the College by developing and implementing opportunities for pupils both in lesson time and at other times. Additional Responsibilities: The Head of RMPS shall undertake such other responsibilities as the Principal may from time to time reasonably require. REMUNERATION Teaching staff at George Watson s College are paid at a level which is currently 8% higher than the Scottish Teachers Pay Scales. The salary is pensionable under the Scottish Teachers Superannuation Scheme. DISCLOSURE SCOTLAND PROTECTION OF VULNERABLE GROUPS SCHEME All staff must be prepared to undergo screening to confirm their suitability to work with children and young people. 4

5 CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT / PROFESSIONAL REVIEW All staff are required to participate in appropriate programmes of continuing professional development and undergo professional review as set out in the School s policy. APPLICATION PROCESS To apply, please send a letter of application of not more than 800 words giving us more information about you and why you would like the role, addressed to Mr Gordon Boyd, Head of Senior School. The letter, completed application form and diversity monitoring form must reach Jane Robinson, Head of Human Resources by no later than noon on Friday 20 October Candidates called for interview will be asked to teach a lesson as part of the selection process. Closing date: 20 October 2017 at noon. Interview date: 30 October

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