English: Head of Department (from August 2021)

This post offers the opportunity to join one of the largest and most successful English departments in Scotland at this prestigious 5 – 18 HMC school of 1200 pupils. Dollar Academy is set in a beautiful central location, about 40 minutes north of Edinburgh.

We are looking for a teacher with strong qualities of leadership and also the creative and intellectual abilities to run a department that is at the heart of the academic, co-curricular and wider cultural life of the school. The Department has a flourishing spirit and a strong vision regarding the importance of language, ideas and literature, especially at a time when the integrity of thinking can seem to be under attack; it has a tradition of reading and talking about reading; it is generous with its experiences and ideas and resources. The person appointed will hold a good degree in English Literature, will lead by example, and be confident about teaching the fullest possible range of texts from the canon in classes from Form I to Form VI. We are looking for an individual who demonstrates intellectual rigour alongside a genuine love of the subject, enthusiasm for teaching it and an imaginative and energetic approach to helping pupils share this enjoyment. The successful candidate will also require the organisational and communication skills that are essential to the smooth running and successful development of a large department.

The Department is housed in the main Playfair building where classrooms are attractive and well-resourced.  It is committed to academic achievement but also to supporting and stimulating a lifelong enjoyment of all aspects of written and spoken English in our pupils: both inside and outside the classroom we aim to develop pupils’ growing sense of themselves as readers, writers and thinkers. The Department benefits from the contribution made by many members of staff to education within the SQA framework as markers and has also been active on the SCIS English committee, helping to organise the national conferences for many years.

We currently prepare pupils for SQA National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher examinations. At all stages, while computers, interactive technology and web-based resources are an important aspect of the education we deliver, we attach the greatest importance to the centrality of words and literature as a means of understanding ourselves, other people and the world. In a typical year around 84% of pupils achieve grade A at National 5. Approximately 120 pupils sit Higher each year, with about 98% achieving grades A to C and, in recent years, 70% a grade A. We also present 30+ pupils each year for Advanced Higher English. Many pupils go on to read English at a broad range of universities.

The high profile of English in the school is maintained by the varied interests and enthusiasms of a committed, able staff of twelve; their skill, energy and engagement spill over from the classroom into a wide range of co-curricular and whole school activities involving very significant numbers of pupils from all year groups: drama, The Galley, FVI Yearbook, the two lunchtime Critical Seminar Groups, Harry Bell Travel Awards, Reading Groups at every level, trips to theatre and Livestream events, visiting speakers, National Poetry Day, writing competitions and Film Club. The Department also has strong co-curricular links with the Literary and Debating Society which organises the prestigious annual Burns Supper, as well as providing the liveliest of arenas for up to 70 pupils a year to take part in inhouse, junior and senior national debating competitions to the highest levels, including representation on the Scottish team.

The Academy has a rich co-curricular programme in which all members of staff are expected to participate.

The salary for the post will be in accordance with the SNCT scale with the Dollar enhancement of 10% in addition.

Candidates should either be registered with the GTC Scotland, or eligible for registration.

Letters of application, accompanied by a completed application form should be sent to The Human Resources Manager, Dollar Academy, Dollar FK14 7DU (or by e-mail to recruitment@dollaracademy.org.uk) by noon on Friday 29 January 2021.  Initial interviews will be held during week beginning 1 February 2021.

All appointments are subject to receipt of a satisfactory PVG Scheme Record or Scheme Record Update from Disclosure Scotland.

The Governors of Dollar Academy Trust is a charity registered in Scotland SC009888