Wrenn School, Wellingborough
Teacher of Science: Information for prospective applicants
Thank you for your interest in this post. I hope you will find everything you need to help you
decide whether you wish to apply for the position.
Please note that a copy of our school prospectus can be found on the school website, by clicking on
the ‘General Documents’ link on the Home Page. Our web address is:
The contents of this leaflet are as follows:
General Information Page 1
The Science Faculty Page 4
The Post Page 6
How to apply Page 7
Should you wish to know anything else about either the school or the post, please do not hesitate to
Wrenn School is a coeducational comprehensive school with 1480 pupils, including around 250 in
the Sixth Form. Its pupils are mostly drawn from the town of Wellingborough, but a number also
come from adjacent villages. The school has a genuinely multi-cultural and mixed-ability intake.
A popular school, Wrenn has been oversubscribed for much of the last 13 years.
Wrenn is a split-site school, reflecting the fact that, for around 45 years, it operated as two separate
schools. Wellingborough High School (for girls) was established at our ‘Broadway’ site on London
Road in 1911, while our Doddington Road site was originally Wellingborough Grammar School
(for boys), founded in 1930. The two schools amalgamated to form Wrenn comprehensive school
(named after Harry Wrenn, the last Headteacher of the Grammar School and part-time author of
crime fiction) in 1975. In 1993 the school was incorporated as a Grant Maintained School, and is
now a Foundation School. In 2004 the school was designated a Specialist Science College.
Few comprehensive schools can boast so grand and well-appointed a campus. First-time visitors
are invariably impressed as they drive up the London Road towards the Broadway site. The history
of the school seems almost to breathe out of its ivy-clad façade. The Doddington Road site, through
being less prominently situated, is often overlooked, but loses little in comparison.
The two sites are actually only 500 yards apart. Years 7, 8 and the Sixth Form are based at
Broadway with Years 9, 10 and 11 housed at Doddington Road.
The school’s popularity, and consequent expansion, have meant that a great deal of development
has taken place over the last 10 years. A new ICT Learning Hub and a suite of Art rooms have been
added at Doddington Road, and the Broadway site has seen the opening of a new Music block, a
sixth form Science laboratory and the expansion of our Sixth Form facilities.
The most recent Ofsted report described our students’ behaviour as “consistently good throughout
the school”. Visitors to our school frequently compliment them on the welcoming atmosphere they
help to create.
In academic terms, our intake represents a rich cross-section. There are a number of pupils with
learning difficulties: we have built up a strong reputation for our SEN provision, not least through
our highly capable team of Learning Support Assistants. Equally, though, there are a number of
very able pupils, and we have an extensive programme of support for those youngsters as well, both
within and beyond the formal curriculum.
Inevitably, as with many schools, there is a small minority of students who display challenging
behaviour, but the emphasis at Wrenn is on dealing with such behaviour effectively, and on
minimising such instances through a varied and interesting curriculum, compellingly delivered.
Importantly, the school has well-established support systems, certainly for staff (to enable them to
teach in a calm and purposeful atmosphere), but also for the youngsters and their families; we are
an educational establishment, and education in acceptable modes of behaviour is as important as
education for formal qualifications.
The vast majority of our students enjoy school, get on well with their teachers and respond very
well to good teaching.
We are lucky in having a group of staff who, at all levels, teaching and non-teaching, are not only
highly skilled, but are also friendly and supportive. There is an established induction programme
and mentoring scheme for new staff, and a full programme of support for newly-qualified teachers.
We aim to provide a learning environment in which each pupil can develop to his or her full
potential in a happy, ordered, challenging and satisfying atmosphere. Our pupils arrive at school
eager to learn and our priority is to maintain that excitement throughout their school career.
Our pastoral organisation is on a year-group basis with a Head of Year leading a team of form
tutors. Staff are expected to act as form tutors, guiding pupils and taking part in the PSHE teaching
At Key Stage 4 the school offers a range of options to satisfy the learning needs, interests and
abilities of all our pupils. Apart from the traditional classroom subjects, this includes a wide variety
of practical subjects, a large number of vocational courses (come in partnership with local FE
colleges), and even Philosophy and Latin for more-able students.
The popularity of our sixth form has enabled us to offer a wide range of subjects at Level 3. Results
at ‘AS’- and ‘A’-level have been good for a number of years, and this fact, along with the caring
and supportive working environment created by our sixth form team, was commented upon by
Ofsted in September 2009.
Wrenn has a rich tradition of extra-curricular activities and events. Sporting results and
participation are excellent, and contributions to this from outside the PE department are welcomed.
Likewise, the school has a particularly strong musical pedigree; supported by our talented
peripatetic team, a number of ensembles and soloists have achieved a justifiably superb local
reputation. The school has its own Art Gallery, used not only as a home for exhibitions from a
range of local and national artists, but also as a showcase for our own students’ work. The school’s
dramatic tradition, and reputation for dance, should not be overlooked either.
The town of Wellingborough is ten miles from Northampton and the M1 motorway. The rail link to
London (St Pancras) is excellent – less than an hour’s journey – and we are almost equidistant from
Cambridge, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon. The town has a new theatre and a wide range of
recreational facilities. The Borough Council and Sport England have located a £400,000 all-
weather playing surface and pavilion at the school; this is widely used by the local community as
well as by our own students.
The Future Development of the School
In our most recent Ofsted Inspection, in September 2009, the school was rated as Satisfactory, with
the Sixth Form graded Outstanding. Strengths noted by the team included the behaviour of pupils;
the high level of parental satisfaction; care, support and guidance; and effective partnership
arrangements with outside organisations. Criticisms centred mainly on attainment at Key Stage 4
and the need to make learning more exciting, challenging and engaging.
The three main priorities in our School Development Plan are, therefore:
● to raise attainment at KS4, so that at least 60% of the current Year 11 gain 5 or more grades
A*-C, including English and Mathematics;
● to raise attainment at KS3, so that pupils make two sub-levels of progress each year (and thus
two full levels over the key stage);
● to raise the standard of teaching so that at least 75% of lessons are Good/Outstanding.
We have made strong progress towards all of these objectives, but are particularly proud of our
progress on the first. In 2008, our GCSE figure stood at 32%, since when, in successive years, it
has risen to 40%, 45% and finally 52% in 2011. Our 2012 target of 60% is an attainable goal, and
we are currently working hard to try to secure it. We have made these improvements while
maintaining the integrity of the curriculum which, in some schools, has been sacrificed in the
interests of league table positions and perceived Ofsted pressure. My priority will always be that
the curriculum should serve the interests and ambitions of our students – in short, appropriate
courses for appropriate people.
The Science Faculty
The Faculty is led by Adam Drew, who started with us in September 2010. The make-up of the
remainder of the team is:
Mrs Vicky Hamnett Assistant Head of Faculty
Mr John Gilyead KS3 Coordinator, Head of Physics
Mr Steve Blackett KS4 Coordinator, Head of Chemistry
Mrs Penny Stewart Head of Biology
Mrs Ushma Chauhan Vocational Courses Coordinator
Mr Mike Jenns
Mr Andreas Petrou
Mr Simon Gregson
Mrs Melanie Moore
Miss Rebecca Kay
Mr Stephen Cox
Mrs Glenda Fuller
Mr Nathan Sims
Mrs Janet Ball Senior Lab Technician (Doddington Road)
Mrs Jane Smart Lab Technician (Doddington Road)
Mrs Gill Flaunty Senior Lab Technician (London Road)
Mrs Liz Wilson Lab Technician (London Road)
Mrs Sam Mallett Specialist Science Coordinator
At Key Stage 3 we follow an in-house course based around the QCA Scheme of Work. In Key
Stage 4 we currently follow the EdExcel GCSE course. We also offer the BTEC Extended
Certificate for some students at KS4, and additionally have a high uptake of the separate sciences.
Each unit at KS3 and KS4 has a unit manager who has responsibility for producing a ‘Wrenn-style’
teachers guide, including assessment material.
In the Sixth Form we offer ‘AS’ and ‘A’-levels in Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry and
The department has 11 laboratories and as part of the schools specialist capital grant project, two
laboratories have been completely refurbished. We also have a dedicated Sixth Form laboratory.
The department is committed to making increasing use of multimedia software in the presentation
of lessons. With this in mind, all our laboratories have been installed with multimedia projectors
and a dedicated P.C. It is also worth noting that all members of the department are issued with a
Development of the Department
The department’s overall aim is to develop an excitement and enthusiasm for Science by
encouraging and rewarding positive achievements so that as many pupils as possible can say not
only “I’m good at Science” but also “I enjoy Science”. This features at the head of our
development plan and permeates much of the work we do.
The targets in our current development plan include:
To re-write KS4 curriculum in line with the changes to the syllabus.
To continue to develop the BTEC Level 2 qualification.
To improve attainment at KS5
All students are given specific targets and progress monitored for each of the units they study.
Their performance is then tracked so that students are rewarded appropriately. Underperformance
is also picked up in this way.
The department now has an established separate sciences cohort. Numbers in the sixth form are
rising rapidly, resulting in an AS Human Biology group, 2 ‘AS’-level Biology and Chemistry
groups and 3 ‘AS’-level Physics groups
Recent Examination Results
The academic year of 2010/11 was another successful one in terms of the department’s
performance, with the A-level results being particularly impressive.
KS3 Level 5+ 87%
Level 6+ 63%
GCSE 67% of the year group obtained at least one grade A*-C in Science
56% gained at least two grades A*-C
‘A’-level Biology: 56% A-B 75% A-C
Human Biology 25% A-C
Chemistry 62.5% A-B 100% A-C
Physics 36.4% A-B 63.6% A-C
Organisation of teaching groups
In Year 7, classes are set according to ability (approximately 28 pupils per group) and this is
continued in Years 8 to 11. In Years 9 to 11, groups are approximately 26 pupils, and this smaller
group size enables us to develop better quality relationships as well as giving potential for first-class
Sc1 work. In Years 7, 8 and 9 classes are generally taught by one teacher, but in Years 10 and 11
each group is shared by two teachers and this enables teachers to broadly work within their
specialist subject. Those studying the separate sciences are taught by 3 teachers, each teaching
within their specialist subject.
The split-site nature of the school means that the whole department only get together at meetings
and social events. However, the team is friendly, very supportive and there are lots of opportunities
throughout the day to share successes, problems and information. The school, as a whole, has a
strong commitment to professional development for its entire staff and this is reflected in the
opportunities available in the Science department.
In June 2010 the school was successful in its bid to achieve re-designation of its Specialist School
Status in Science. This has given us the opportunity for accelerated development within the
department. Our vision is to have the best science facilities and courses in Northamptonshire. By
winning Specialist Science Status and securing the additional funding that comes from such
designation, we have continued to improve the quality and range of our already strong science
programme. We have also become a satellite centre for training course delivered by the East
Midlands Science Learning Centre.
The background for this vacancy is complicated! Suffice to say that our Head of Science, Adam
Drew, is leaving us to work in Thailand and, while we will try to recruit a replacement for January,
we need a Science teacher for the Autumn Term. Though this position is for one term only at the
moment, there is the possibility of an extension if we do not succeed in recruiting a new Head of
Science for January, or if an internal candidate secures the Head of Science position.
In passing, I shall express my gratitude to Adam for what he has done in his time with us, and wish
him and his family all the best for their future adventures.
Wrenn School is an exciting and supportive place in which to work, and we regard the effective
blend of people who make up the school as the key to this. The successful applicant will have the
chance to work with a skilled, committed and expertly-led team of teachers, and to use and develop
a wide range of teaching and learning skills. We are looking for someone who is:
Committed to teaching all abilities and ages in a multi-cultural school, with high expectations
of pupil/student achievement;
Open to new ideas;
Seeking challenges rather than waiting to be asked;
Likely to recognise that criticism and advice are part of the process of improvement for which
we are all looking;
Highly motivated and well-organised;
Keen to work as part of a team and to play a full part in the process of curriculum
Willing to teach across the ability range in Years 7 to 11.
The school has a well-established programme of support for staff joining the school, including an
Induction Day in the Summer Term and a successful mentoring programme to help new staff find
their feet. For newly-qualified teachers there is a further programme of support, advice and
There are many opportunities for staff to be able to contribute to the school’s development: first
and foremost, of course, through excellent teaching, but also through involvement with a number of
initiatives. Opportunities for professional development occur frequently, and several staff have
gone on to posts of responsibility, either within our school or further afield.
If you relish the challenge of joining a forward-thinking department which is committed to
improving standards and improving provision for young people, we look forward to receiving your
How to Apply
If what you have read has been of interest, we would welcome an application from you. The
application form should be returned to me, along with a covering letter of application, at the
A copy of the application form is available from the school website or, alternatively, from Sharon
Sharpe (01933 222039, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The deadline for receipt of applications is Tuesday 26th June.
In your letter of application, please let us know the following:
Any achievements of which you are particularly proud;
The experiences that have prepared you for the role;
Qualities you would bring to the role;
What matters to you in the teaching and learning of your subject.
It would be appreciated if your letter could be kept to a limit of 2 sides of A4 paper.
(In case you need it, the school’s fax number is (01933) 271585.)
Interviews will probably take place in the week beginning 2nd July. As part of the interview day,
candidates will be asked to teach a 60-minute lesson. Further details will be given when candidates
Thank you for having had the patience to read this far. I look forward hopefully to hearing from
you in the near future.
Teacher of Science
At Wrenn School, we see it as our mission to be demanding of our pupils, whatever their talents and
abilities. We seek to stretch our pupils academically; we have high expectations of their conduct
and attitudes towards others; and we encourage them to think well of themselves, to know that they
are capable of excellence, and to aim high.
1: Main responsibilities of the Post
A teacher of English to support the Head of Department in securing success at Key Stage 3, GCSE
To continue the development of the education for all students in each key stage leading to improved
standards of learning and achievement.
2: Line Manager
Reporting to the Curriculum Leader for English
3: Staff supervised:
Subject teachers do not have line management responsibility for other members of staff.
4: Duties and Responsibilities
● To help maintain and develop high expectations within the department.
● Contribute to the operation of the school by following school and department policies
and attending meetings as appropriate.
● Be supportive of the pastoral welfare of pupils.
● Display strong knowledge of the subject, including National Curriculum requirements.
● Contribute to departmental planning, assist in the development of departmental
Schemes of Work and take part in standardisation procedures.
● Take account of change within the subject and be entitled to relevant in-service training
that reflects this and other developments that have been identified through performance
● Prepare and present lessons in accordance with departmental policy, communicating
clearly and effectively with pupils through questioning, instructing, explaining and
● Encourage a positive working relationship with pupils, acknowledge the individual
differences that exist between pupils, and employ a range of teaching strategies and
resources appropriate to the age, ability and attainment of pupils.
● Create and maintain a consistently good, purposeful, supportive, orderly and safe
environment where pupils can learn.
● Ensure that all classroom procedures, including those to do with behaviour, are clear,
consistent and understood.
● Monitor, assess and feedback regularly the progress of individual pupils, using
departmental assessment and wholes school procedures.
● Provide information to parents and other relevant persons or agencies through the
preparation of reports and discussion at relevant meetings or when deemed appropriate.
● To support the extra-curricular life of the department and school wherever possible.
● To actively engage in developing ICT skills as they might apply in the teaching/
learning/administration of the subject
● To have an involvement in other associated duties as discussed and agreed with the
Qualifications and Experience
● Degree in Science or a related subject
● Qualified Teacher Status
● Enhanced CRB
Knowledge, skills and abilities
● Understanding of the characteristics of high quality teaching and effective learning
● Understanding of sound behaviour management techniques
● Ability to work effectively within a team
● Good written and verbal communication skills
● Ability to explain key subject concepts and ideas clearly to pupils of different ages and
● Ability to think on one’s feet
● Good ICT skills
● Willing and able to teach at all key stages, including the Sixth Form
● Committed to teaching all abilities and ages in a multi-cultural school
● Open to new ideas
● Receptive to constructive criticism
● Enthusiasm and the ability to impart this to students
● Drive and energy, appetite for hard work
● Ability to inspire and motivate students to achieve their potential
● Determination and an insistence on the highest standards
● A willingness to learn new skills and approaches and to share the experience with others
● High level of interpersonal skills with the ability to build and maintain positive working
relationships with pupils
● Good level of personal organisation
● A sense of humour