Why Work at Wallingford?
Whatever your job the environment you are in makes a massive difference to the quality of your life. Wallingford is a beautiful little town in South Oxfordshire. The buildings in the town centre are quaint and well preserved, many for hundreds of years. The Thames runs through the town and one of the many pleasant pubs is situated right on the banks with a riverside terrace. It is a pleasant place for a coffee or a meal. The surrounding countryside is beautiful, with many attractive villages dotted around the region. All this is very near to the stunning and lively city of Oxford, with Reading a short drive away as well. It is also handy to London.
It is difficult to imagine a more idyllic setting to work and live in. The journey to and from work in the months of daylight is an enjoyable experience.
We are equally lucky with the community we serve. Our catchment area contains the full spread of ability and social profile, although it comprises a higher than usual proportion of young people who are from aspirant, stable and supportive homes. This means we have the pleasure of teaching a population of positive and courteous children and the capacity to make a difference for the small number that struggle from time to time. This is a job for someone who loves the classroom and enjoys taking risks with learning. Students will respond by helping to make the lesson work and appreciate our efforts.
They are a joy to be with. If you walk from one side of the school to the other you will inevitably be smiling because of a couple of exchanges with the students.
Teaching and associate staff at Wallingford enjoy coming to work with each other. The staffroom has an independent study area, a meeting room, and a large and well equipped social space with a breakfast bar. We meet twice a week for briefings, which are fairly informal affairs. The atmosphere in the staffroom is very friendly indeed. People like working on the team and choose to spend time in each others' company either socially or through sports fixtures. It is truly welcoming and cheerful here, and the quality of relationships with colleagues is a very attractive feature of the school.
Teaching at Wallingford
Schools often fall over themselves trying to meet conflicting targets. The most obvious tension is between inclusion and discipline. All schools have a handful of young people who make learning difficult for others and they can affect the culture in lessons. We try very hard to help those young people who struggle to conform find a way to cope or a different curriculum. We do not allow them to stay in lessons if they cannot behave. Teachers send young people out of lessons for being inattentive, distracting or not showing respect. The basis of the relationship in lessons is an adult teaching children and adults should always be respected by children in a school.
Members of the Senior Leadership walk round most lessons. There is rarely a need to tackle indiscipline but teachers feel supported. Relationships in lessons are very pleasant because teachers can teach, students can learn and those who struggle are looked after elsewhere. This way the atmosphere is calm, purposeful, positive and cheerful, which as to be the best environment for the achievement of the high standards we are after.
A large part of our focus is the delivery of excellent results in public examinations. This requires well-ordered lessons and high quality teaching. We put an emphasis on teachers making lessons interesting and challenging. We do this by keeping teaching at learning at the centre of our training agenda. The centrepiece of the training calendar is a staff conference that takes place in a hotel over two school INSET days. It offers the opportunity to socialise (we stay overnight and organise a dinner and dance) but also guarantees us a quality of training and gives us the chance to deploy a common approach and share our expertise in teaching the young people from our community.
This approach means far fewer individuals taking days out of school to attend training, but they are of variable quality and it means missing lessons. The conference has a major impact on what happens in lessons and the setting helps us to develop the sense of ourselves as a special team of professionals.
Our other training days are designed to meet the agenda set for us by the governing body, or are taken by the pastoral and curriculum teams.
Individual teachers often have particular focuses for development, or have planned a career path for themselves that requires a little more support or resources. We are happy to promote teachers on the Fast Track scheme, leading from the Middle and NPQH if they feel that they might make their biggest difference through leadership. We are equally committed to supporting colleagues who feel it their role to become the best classroom teachers they can and want to join the AST or Excellent Teacher schemes. We recognise that it is common for people to want to stay for a few years at a school and move on to a new challenge. We hope to keep people a little longer because of the benefits of working here, but recognise that teachers deserve to have their professional development looked after so they are ready for a promoted post when the time comes. That way we will always attract a high calibre of teacher and be able to inspire them to make the biggest difference possible in their time with us.
Teaching is the most wonderful vocation there is. We want to be the best school possible and for that we need the best teachers at the top of their game. We aim to make the classroom the pleasant place to work we can, which we do through firm behaviour management. We also want top quality teaching so we invest heavily in training and development. Teachers at Wallingford work hard, but do so because they love the job and the young people we work with.
We recognise that teachers are people too and from time to need a little understanding to get through life in and out of school. The leadership at Wallingford prides itself on the support it gives people in such circumstances. We are keen to help people balance their professional lives with parenthood, bereavements, ill health and the other things that come along to knock us off our stride in life. If such a place exists, Wallingford is a good place to be when things do not go right. The care and affection offered by colleagues at all levels in the school to those who need it is remarkable. It is art of what makes us a special team.
Tiny Toes is a friendly, family run nursery. The owners currently operate at two other small locations, both of which are judged to be good by OFSTED. Providing all children in their care with a fun, safe and secure environment in which they can play and learn. Tiny Toes offers a wide range of exciting and educational activities to stimulate each child's individual imagination, sense of creativity and thirst for knowledge.
The nursery provides children with access to a large variety of resources to enhance all areas of their development.
Tiny Toes operates from 7.30am-6.30pm Monday-Friday (everyday excluding Bank Holidays). Offering excellent quality childcare at an affordable rate, fees include nappies, milk, 1st formula milk and all meals (breakfast, lunch and tea).
Vacancies are advertised in the TES.
Teacher of Design Technology (Resistant Materials) - Maternity Cover, full time, required for September 2017. Closing date: 9:30am, Tuesday 16th May 2017. Interviews Thursday 18th May 2017.
Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Church Primary School
Wallingford School Application Forms
Note: for Wallingford School and Brightwell School posts, please use the application forms below, except for the After School Club Assistant (use the application form linked in the job description).