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French Language Assistant

The Perse School

Fixed term contract

4th January to 6th July 2022

The Perse School is one of the country's leading independent day schools and a charitable company, educating 1,700 girls and boys aged 3-18. We are a very special school which is both traditional and innovative, ambitious and caring, understanding and structured, industrious and fun.

Located in Cambridge, we comprise of three schools, the Upper, Prep and Pelican. We also have two franchise Schools overseas in Singapore and Suzhou. Given the outstanding education offered, we are consistently over-subscribed and in strong financial health with an annual turnover of some £30 million. The School regularly achieves some of the best public examination results and university application outcomes in the UK.

In addition to the day to day curricular and co-curricular activities of the schools, The Perse provides public benefit to local and international communities. Over 70 pupils attend the School on means tested bursaries meaning they pay no or subsidised fees. This enables the Perse to be accessible to children irrespective of financial wealth. The Perse also works with 30 state schools in the UK and Christel House School overseas on projects to raise educational attainment.

The Role

The Perse School wishes to appoint an enthusiastic, well- organised and engaging French speaker to assist with inspiring pupils to develop their French language skills for a fixed period of 7 months during term time from 4th January 2022 to 6th July 2022 (the contract includes paid holiday).

The successful candidate will work to develop students' spoken French skills and appreciation of Francophone cultures, as well as playing a key role in their preparation for GCSE, A Level and DELF speaking exams. The person appointed will have a genuine enthusiasm for the subject, will strive to inspire and motivate each of our pupils, and will actively promote French as part of a thriving MFL department at The Perse School

The Modern Languages Department

All pupils at The Perse School study at least one modern foreign language to GCSE with French being a very popular option. At least six classes of pupils sit the AQA GCSE exam each year. Post-GCSE we also buck the national trend, with French an increasingly popular subject. In addition to offering the AQA A Level, many of our pupils make the most of the Diplome dretudes en Langue Franpaise (DELF) preparations we offer at B1 or B2 level. In recent years, we have had a number of pupils applying for French at university and we are now starting to see pupils apply to universities in Francophone countries.

We also aim to share our enjoyment of languages with our pupils through a wide variety of activities and events. As well as our popular French exchanges to Paris and Saint Jean-de-Luz, we have French societies for all ages and we regularly take part in French competitions. We have been very successful in regional and national debating competitions and essay competitions in recent years. All MFL staff are expected to help with these activities.

We benefit from excellent, state-of-the-art facilities and resources. In 2014 we moved into a new building, with dedicated classrooms, purpose-built rooms for language assistants and a large department office. This facilitates the collaborative approach and strong, supportive team culture that are highly prized by the department, which at present consists of ten talented and dedicated French teachers and a full-time language assistant. We also have access to the latest language learning software and a well-stocked library with an extensive collection of French language films, books and magazines, which pupils are encouraged to use.

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

Job Description


The French Language Assistant is ultimately accountable to the Head through the Senior Deputy Head, but day to day accountability will be to the Director of Modern Foreign Languages and to the Head of French for the programme of study.

Key responsibilities

  • Preparing and delivering activities to small groups of Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 pupils to help get them ready for the role play, photo card and conversation sections of the AQA GCSE speaking exam;
  • Preparing resources for and teaching speaking lessons to Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth pupils to get them ready for the card section of the AQA A level speaking exam;
  • Assisting Upper Sixth pupils with selecting, researching and preparing appropriate topics for their Independent Research projects;
  • Working with pairs or small groups of DELF B1 and B2 pupils to prepare them for their speaking exams;
  • Providing conversation practice with lower school students in small groups, where timetabling permits;
  • Co-teaching and, on occasion, leading lessons across the age range;
  • Helping all pupils to develop their speaking skills to ensure impressive levels of vocabulary, accurate grammar and correct pronunciation, leading to high levels of fluency, spontaneity and confidence;
  • Developing all pupils' understanding of and interest in Francophone cultures and current affairs;
  • Ensuring lessons are tailored to meet pupils' Special Educational Needs and individual ability levels;
  • Assessing and recording the work and progress of pupils and providing regular feedback on this to class teachers and the Head of French;
  • Contributing to the development of resources for speaking and listening;
  • Attending and contributing to departmental meetings;
  • Maintaining professional skills through INSET and our Professional Development Programme;
  • Producing displays to contribute to an attractive learning environment;
  • Promoting and contributing to the running of the French extra­curricular programme e.g, assisting with French clubs, debating, plays, trips etc.
  • Offering guidance for supplementary personal study in French both for extension and to support university applications;

Person Specifications

  • Degree level (or equivalent) education;
  • Native or near native French speaker;
  • High level of written and spoken English;
  • Awareness of the GCSE and A Level French speaking exam requirements
  • Extensive knowledge of and interest in Francophone cultures and current affairs;
  • Genuine passion for working with and teaching young people;
  • 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;
  • Attention to detail and ability to work independently and use initiative;
  • High order administrative skills, effectively manages commitments and deadlines;
  • ICT competence and willingness to learn and use new technologies;
  • Works collaboratively and supportively with colleagues;
  • 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

Job Specific Terms and Conditions

Working Hours

Your normal hours of work will be from registration in the morning (8.35am) until the end of all of the School's afternoon lessons, or the end of relevant extra-curricular activities, whichever is the later, on Mondays to Fridays (inclusive), during term time*. You are also expected to work some additional hours (including evening work where necessary) for which no overtime will be paid. Such additional hours will include, but not be limited to, participation in the recreational and enrichment programme and attendance at the School's parents' evenings and School Open events. Normal hours of work include a half hour, unpaid lunch break.

Lunch is provided free of charge to staff on Mondays to Fridays worked at School during term time, where their working hours allow for a meal break and encompass the times of School lunch. This post is term time only (35 weeks in an academic year). Term time is defined as the published school term dates, plus an additional day immediately preceding the published start date of the Lent term.


The Perse operates its own competitive salary structure, and the school is keen to recruit high quality staff. The salary will be £13,990 for the fixed term contract, 7 months during term time from 4th January 2022 to 6th July 2022 (the contract includes paid holiday).


Paid holiday entitlement is 3.6 weeks including Bank holidays per annum, pro rata for the actual weeks worked, which must be taken during the Easter holidays and the half terms.

Other support staff benefits are outlined on the website:

Application Process

Please click on How to Apply which links to the vacancies section of the website to register/sign-in and submit your application. Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to the HR Co-ordinator at

Applicants without formal teaching qualifications will be considered for this position but experience working with pupils learning languages and preparing them for examinations will be a considerable advantage.


Candidates will be invited to meet the Senior Deputy Head, the Director of Modern Foreign Languages and the Head of French. Interviews will be in person and candidates will be asked to teach part of a lesson as part of the selection process. The closing date is Monday 24th January at 9.00am. Interviews will be on Friday 28th January.

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). The role involves direct supervision of children and as a result the post holder will be engaged in regulated activity. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone's responsibility. The School is committed to acting in the best interests of the child so as to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. The School requires everyone who comes into contact with children and their families to share this commitment. 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. The Perse School actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

2019 ISI Inspection Report

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

Helpful Links

Daniel Cross
Senior Deputy Head
01223 403860

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £13,990
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 13th January 2022
Closes: 21st January 2022
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