THE BRITISH SCHOOLS
Director of Learning: Early years and Infants
Post commencement February 2015
The British Schools (TBS) is a private, coeducational day school in Montevideo, Uruguay, the capital and largest city. The School is located in the Carrasco area, a quiet and pleasant residential neighbourhood. http://www.british.edu.uy/
The student population is currently over 1450. Approximately 85% of the student body is Uruguayan; pupils also come from the United Kingdom, United States, and a few other countries. Many TBS parents attended the School themselves when they were students, and other familial ties are quite common. Student and staff turnover is low. Admission to the School is competitive, although preference is given to British citizens and to children of former students and applicants who already have siblings enrolled in the School.
The mission of The British Schools’ community is to:
- Form self-confident, creative, inquiring, discerning, fully bilingual students who will strive to develop their talents to the best of their abilities.
- Strive for the highest standards, providing the educational environment and infrastructure to help students to achieve excellence according to their potential in academics, arts and sports, while recognising individual differences and needs.
- Instill the importance of all human values (including moral, aesthetic, spiritual and social) in all aspects of personal growth and physical development.
- Encourage and promote a sense of belonging, a deep rooted pride and affection for the School as an Institution, its traditions, School Spirit and institutional memory.
- Instill in students the finest aspects of Uruguayan and British values and culture, such as a sense of justice, self-discipline, tolerance and civility, while also offering them the best possible preparation for life in an intercultural setting within a global community.
- Develop in students a sense of profound empathy and an awareness of their responsibility to their community and the need to use their gifts and experience for the good of the world.
The School was founded in 1908 to provide a bilingual education combining the Uruguayan national curriculum with a strong English language programme. The School originally had separated boys and girls schools. Later, when the School became coeducational, it maintained geographically separated Junior and Senior campuses. The British Schools were unified at the Carrasco campus in 1965. The School is owned by The British Schools Society and governed by a five-member Board of Governors. The School is non-denominational and non-profit.
CURRICULUM AND STAFF
As the founders envisioned, the curriculum at The British Schools continues to be bilingual and is a mixture of the Uruguayan national curriculum and an English language programme. At the end of the Junior School years, students take the Uruguayan “Prueba de Egreso.” This is the entry requirement for Senior School. The School introduced the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma programme in 1971, making it one of the oldest IB schools in the world. All students take the IB Bilingual Diploma, and the pass rate in recent years has been consistently above 90%. In preparation for the IB, students sit for International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) exams. In addition to the IB Diploma programme, all students graduate from “Liceo,” the Uruguayan national curriculum. After graduation, most TBS students enroll in universities in Uruguay, though an increasing number are choosing to study abroad. The British Schools is fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS).
The Junior School consists of eight different year groups: Kinder, Preparatory, and forms 1-6. The curriculum draws on the best of international experience to provide a student and learning centred education. Kinder and Prep have a separate purpose built facility (Early Years Centre) within the campus, which was completed in 2011. In recent years the Junior School has been subject to considerable change and even disruption. In 2014, however, with the completion of several building projects and the loss of a year group from Junior, a more stable period is envisaged. With this in mind the school is beginning the installation and implementation of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate.
TBS employs 279 staff including approximately 169 classroom teachers. Over three-quarters of the teaching staff is Uruguayan; other teachers come from the UK (10%), Argentina (3%), Chile (3%), and a few other countries. Many Uruguayan teachers have been at the School for their entire professional careers, and many also attended the school when they were students.
The majority of the approximately 86 teachers in Junior are bilingual. Classroom teachers are, in the younger years, supported with “teaching assistants”. There are four “Directors of Learning” who oversee the development and implementation of the curriculum as well as teaching a partial timetable. Form Teachers are further supported by psychologists, a learning support and a pastoral team and specialist teachers of Art, Music, Drama, Spanish and Physical Education.
The British Schools follows a Southern Hemisphere school calendar. For many years the school has administered IB written examinations in May, however, from, 2014 this will change to the November session.
LOCATION AND FACILITIES
Located in the residential area of Carrasco, on a beautiful 21-acre (10 hectares) campus, The British Schools' site encompasses the Senior School (6600m2), the Junior School (4687m2) and the Early Years Centre (2050 m2), as well as a cafeteria, sports house and pavilion, outstanding playing fields (one hockey, two rugby, two football fields), a synthetic hockey pitch, outdoor tennis courts, a basketball court, a gymnasium (1654m2), an auditorium and an open air swimming pool.
Beyond the main buildings, students take full advantage of ample sports grounds, where they participate in Rugby, Handball, Basketball, Hockey, Football and Athletics throughout the year. The aim of TBS is to produce first class representative school teams whilst also emphasising participation and recreation for all. The gymnasium hosts a wide variety of sports and other activities as well as the curricular Physical Education lessons, which are obligatory up to 4th year (Senior School). A cafeteria is available for those students to buy a meal or they may bring their own packed lunches.
Director of Learning: Early years and Infants is responsible for the leadership and management of learning of almost 400 of the youngest students at The British Schools. In this role he or she will be assisted by the Co-ordinator of Kinder. He or she will report directly to the Head of Junior and will be further supported by the Principal of The British Schools. The Director of Learning: Early years and Infants will take a leadership role in all aspects of the life of Early years learners at TBS to ensure that it continues to provide an excellent and innovative education to its students; that it is well-managed, and that it maintains its excellent reputation within the community. A particular challenge will be the installation and implementation of the IB PYP programme.
Routine School Operations
- Maintaining, developing, communicating and effectively implementing appropriate operational procedures for the operation of the Early Years and Infant sections.
- Promoting the Mission Statement of the school and innovation and internationalism in education, whilst maintaining the reputation of The British Schools. Assisting, together with members of the Senior Leadership Team, in all tasks associated with ensuring that TBS maintains its CIS accreditation
- Assisting in the recruitment, appropriate assignment and professional development of a teaching faculty of high-calibre teachers who provide a high standard of education. This will include involvement in a programme of performance appraisal and reporting.
- Leading and acting as a strong role model for the family-oriented and community culture. Ensuring that the positive and happy atmosphere of the TBS is maintained whilst also ensuring standards of discipline and self-discipline.
- Promoting open, frequent and effective communications between all members of the Early Years and Infant Section.
- Maintaining an open and fluid channel of communications with the Head of Junior, Principal and with other members of the Senior Leadership Team.
- Ensuring that all students and staff are, at all times, working and living in a safe environment. This includes responsibility for emergency contingency planning in the Early Years and Infant Section.
- To be a presence at all curricular Junior School activities, leading assemblies, and when necessary, attending extra-curricular school events.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS & QUALITIES SOUGHT
The Board of Governors is proud of the school’s achievements so far, and seeks to appoint a well-qualified, dynamic and forward-looking leader who will build on the existing strengths of the Junior School and lead it forward into the next phase of its development.
Desirable qualities and attributes of the successful candidate include:
- Advanced degree in education or a related field.
- Prior leadership experience in Early Years Education preferred.
- Prior international experience required, experience in Latin America preferred.
- Proven leadership and administration skills gained in an educational environment.
- Ability to develop a clear vision for the future development of the Early Years and Infants section, motivating, inspiring and challenging both staff and students, together with the knowledge and skills to implement such a vision.
- Evidence of having taken part in a school development process.
- Experience in the PYP programme.
- Experience of Pre-School Education.
- Strong team leadership and exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to enhance collaboration and partnership between Senior Leadership Team, staff, parents and the wider community.
- An excellent command of English.
- A working knowledge of Spanish is desirable. A willingness to learn is essential.
- Sensitivity to working and living in a South American culture and to the needs and wants of students and fellow professionals.
- The ability to set standards of academic excellence and to drive the Early Years and Infant section towards these standards and to maintain them.
The Director of Learning: Early Years and Infants, is expected to:
- be a strong leader and serve as a highly visible role model within the school.
- be aware of trends and developments in international education through a strong commitment to personal professional development.
- be able to create very good productive and respectful relationships with all members of this educational community.
- be committed to interaction with parents, with a willingness to learn about, understand, and enter into the local cultural environment.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
The initial contract will be for a period of two years with an option to extend. The contract is renewable at the discretion of the Board of Governors. Salary and benefits for this post are highly competitive, and will be commensurate with the responsibilities of this important position.
- Published in Junior