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Teacher of Biology

The Perse School - Upper School

September 2020

The Perse School is looking to appoint a high achieving professional to join an extremely successful, collaborative and enthusiastic team. This is an exciting opportunity to motivate and inspire talented pupils, working within a very supportive department. Pupils at The Perse School are ambitious, intelligent and industrious.

Public exam results regularly place The Perse in the top 20 schools nationally and in a typical year over 40 pupils will receive Oxbridge offers. The Perse is a very special school which is both traditional and innovative, academic and caring, flexible and structured, industrious and fun. All teachers and pupils are required to demonstrate ‘3D excellence’ and contribute to the academic, pastoral and extra-curricular life of the school. Our values shape what we do and how we do it. Alongside endeavour and scholarship we promote balance, wellbeing, perspective, and valuing one another and our environment.

Full details about the School, its locality, teacher benefits and current teaching staff profiles can be viewed and downloaded from the school website:


Biology is an energetic, supportive and collegiate department which is led by Dr Cheryl Buchanan. The successful candidate will have a genuine enthusiasm for Biology and be well placed to generate and sustain a high degree of motivation in all pupils, who are mainly of a high ability. The ability to teach a second science, to Key Stage 3 level or beyond, will be an advantage.

Biology is a core subject alongside Chemistry and Physics. All pupils currently take three separate sciences to GCSE having completed a preparatory Biology course in years 7 and 8. We follow the Edexcel GCSE course in year 9, and the CIE IGCSE in years 10 and 11. The Edexcel GCSE course will replace the CIE IGCSE course over the next two years. The examination results from the June 2019 session were superb and the department achieved outstanding IGCSE results with 80% of students achieving grades 8 and 9.

Biology is a popular A-level choice. In 2019 approximately 100 students chose to study Biology in the Lower and Upper Sixth with 86% achieving an A or an A* at A-level. Since September 2013 the department has been teaching the CIE International A-level course (9700), which is academically challenging and requires pupils to thoroughly develop their independent learning and questioning skills to achieve success. The course tests practical skills through a practical examination at AS and a practical skills paper at A2 and so practical work is an integral part of our teaching. Our laboratories are thus equipped to the highest standards.

Students studying Biology regularly succeed in gaining places to read Natural Sciences or Biological Sciences at Cambridge and Oxford University. Many students use their Biology in degrees such as Dentistry, Medicine and Veterinary Science. The Medical forum and Sixth form Biology Society provides extension material for students hoping to apply for these competitive degree courses. All Biology students from years 9 and 10 are entered into the annual national Biology Challenge competition. In 2019 Perse students achieved 34 Gold, 60 Silver, 70 Bronze, 60 Highly Commended and 38 Commended awards.

The Biology department also enters Sixth form students into the annual Biology Olympiad competition. In 2019 Perse students were awarded 12 Gold, 10 Silver, 22 Bronze awards.

Further information about the department’s curricular and extra-curricular activities (and public examination results) can be found on the School’s website:


The School operates to a ten-day timetable cycle, consisting of 80 periods. Most members of staff teach about 58 periods per cycle including games and enrichment sessions. Newly qualified teachers receive period remission in their first year for training and induction.


Full details about the School, its locality, salary, teacher benefits and staff profiles can be viewed at the school website:

Applicants without formal teaching qualifications or experience

Applicants without formal teaching qualifications or experience will be considered for this position. The Perse has a long record of training and developing teachers in situ, and many highly successful teachers started with no formal teaching qualifications. For applicants without a teaching qualification we are looking for: a high level of subject knowledge, enthusiasm, good communication skills, patience, an empathy with young people and a desire to get involved in the extra-curricular life of the school. The Perse supports unqualified teachers in achieving Qualified Teacher Status and the Post Graduate Certificate of Education qualification whilst working at the School.

Newly Qualified Teachers

The School is fully accredited to participate in the Independent Schools Teacher Induction Panel NQT Programme (IStip: NQTs are provided with a comprehensive induction and mentoring programme which supports them in achieving qualified teacher status (QTS)

2019 ISI Inspection Report

The Pelican, Prep and Upper were inspected during the spring of 2019. The inspection report can be viewed at


Applications are to be made using the School’s online application form, available from the School website

Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to the HR Co-ordinator at

Safer Recruitment

The Perse School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post including: references from previous employers, a Disclosure and Barring Service check at the enhanced level, as well as eligibility to work in the UK (in compliance with UK immigration regulations). Interviews will be conducted in person, and they will explore candidates’ suitability to work with children.

Recruitment Policy

The School’s Recruitment, Selection and Disclosure Policy and Procedure is available for your information on the School website.


Candidates will be invited to spend a day at the School and to meet the Head and Deputy Heads as well as the Head of Biology, Head of Science and the department. Candidates will be asked to teach a lesson as part of the selection process and further details will be available from the Head of Biology.

The closing date for applications is Monday 24th February at midday, but applications will be considered as they are received; The Perse School reserves the right to make an appointment before the closing date. Interviews will be scheduled for Wednesday 4th March.


The School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Accountability The Teacher of Biology is ultimately accountable to the Head through the Senior Deputy Head but day to day accountability will be to the Head of Department.

The following duties shall be deemed to be included in the professional duties which the Teacher may be required to perform:


  • Teaching throughout the school in a manner appropriate to students' ages and abilities;
  • Assessing and recording students' progress in accordance with departmental and school policies;
  • Preparing students for university applications in related subjects;
  • Promoting and teaching GCSE/Pre-U/A level;
  • Ability to teach and second scientific subject to Key Stage 3 or above would be advantageous;
  • Attending and contributing to departmental meetings;
  • Developing and sharing teaching and learning resources;
  • Monitoring the work and progress of pupils, including those with specific learning needs;
  • Maintaining professional skills through INSET and our Professional Development programme;
  • Being proactive in exploring innovative ways of delivering ICT through the curriculum;
  • Producing displays to create an attractive learning environment.

Extra-curricular and pastoral

All teachers at The Perse School are required to be available to be a form tutor and contribute to the extra-curricular programme, alongside their academic teaching. These elements of a teacher’s role are fundamental to working at the school and embedded in our core values:

  • extra-curricular life of the school;
  • form tutoring;
  • PSHEE or Emotional Wellbeing programme.


  • Promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children and young persons for whom you are responsible and with whom you come into contact.


  • The job specification will be reviewed biennially as part of the professional development cycle. Any changes may only be made by agreement with the Head of Department and Senior Deputy Head.



  • High Class Honours Degree in Biology or related subject.
  • PCGE desirable but by no means essential.

Personal competencies and qualities

An outstanding, reflective teacher with a genuine passion for the subject.

  • Demonstrates high standards of behaviour and is able to model the School values (intellectual curiosity and scholarship, endeavour, breadth and balance, and valuing one another and the environment).
  • Proven communication and interpersonal skills.
  • High level of literacy, attention to detail and ability to use initiative.
  • High order administrative skills, effectively managing commitments and deadlines.
  • Respects and values the different experiences, ideas and backgrounds others can bring to work and to teams.
  • Emotional resilience to cope with and learn from challenging situations.

Daniel Cross Senior Deputy Head 01223 403860

Closing date 24th Feb 2020, 12:00pm

Location: Cambridge
Salary: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 14th February 2020
Closes: 24th February 2020
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