JOB | Teacher of Classics, Harrow School


September 2018
The School seeks to appoint a full-time teacher of Classics from September 2018.


In founding Harrow School, John Lyon’s original intention was to provide 30 poor boys of the parish with a classical education. Today, about 820 boys aged between 13 and 18 attend the School, from across the UK and further afield. There are over 100 members of academic staff and more than 400 employees in other supporting roles.
Every member of staff works to a single, uniting purpose: to prepare boys with diverse backgrounds and abilities for a life of learning, leadership, service and personal fulfilment. Our statement of purpose has Harrow boys at its heart and is borne out through our various areas of activity: teaching that helps boys achieve their best academically, pastoral care that matures them both emotionally and spiritually, and an extra-curricular programme that develops their characters and interests.

The academic curriculum for the first year (Year 9), which we call the Shell, is a foundation course in which boys study a range of subjects, including a choice of two languages. In the second and third years, Remove (Year 10) and Fifth Form (Year 11), boys study ten subjects to (I)GCSE. All boys are expected to take at least four subjects in the Lower Sixth, plus an Elective in the autumn and spring terms. Electives are unexamined courses, which Masters choose to offer and which boys, in turn, choose to follow. In the Upper Sixth, boys carry on with three or four subjects to A level. All boys have the opportunity to undertake project-based work in the summer of the Lower Sixth. Lessons are taught in the mornings, Monday to Saturday, and in the afternoons of Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

We have 12 boarding Houses, each of which has a unique character and its own gardens and facilities. Each House accommodates approximately 70 boys. Pastoral care is delivered by the House Master, Assistant House Master and Matron (all resident), as well as the year-group tutors and Health Education tutors. The Chaplaincy, a full-time psychologist and the Pastoral Support Committee provide further layers of support.

Boys and academic staff gather in Speech Room once a week. This is an important time for reflection, keeping abreast of news and events, and celebrating success. Harrow has a Christian foundation and ethos, meaning that Chapel also plays a significant part in our daily life. We have three Chaplains (two Anglican and one Roman Catholic) and most boys attend services three times each week. Boys of all faiths are welcome at services, where together we worship and contemplate important issues.
Harrow has a breadth of sporting opportunities to suit each boy’s interests and ability. An extensive games programme includes approximately 35 sports and we hold afternoon games five times a week, sporting fixtures against other schools and regular inter-House competitions. Our elite sportsmen have an impressive record and some go on to enjoy professional sporting careers. Our provision for the lower teams, including expert coaching, is also excellent.

A number of parents send their sons to Harrow because of our strong Music Department. We aim to raise the best musicians to a very high level of skill, while involving every boy in enjoyable musical activity. Over half of our pupils learn an instrument and most of these boys are involved in ensemble work too, putting on more than 80 performances each year.
There are two major drama productions annually (one is usually a musical and the other a Shakespeare play), several full-length House plays, a Shell Drama festival, Theatre Studies productions, a Junior production, a Sixth Form play and several smaller-scale boy-directed events.

The Art Schools and Churchill Schools provide a rich education in art and design. We offer specific tuition in Painting, Sculpture, Photography and Art History, and our on-going Artist-in-Residence programme adds greatly to the School’s cultural fabric.

All boys are encouraged to join our many clubs and societies. Some are organised by academic departments or are related to games and sports; others are less easy to classify, such as the Debating Society, the Law Society and the Conservation group. Our close proximity to London means that we regularly attract excellent speakers. The Harrovian is the School magazine; edited by boys, it began life well over a century ago and appears every week during term time. Boys also help to run the School farm. The Harrow Rifle Corps is one of the largest combined cadet forces in a school in the country and it has a proud record of preparing boys for scholarships in the armed services. We offer the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme at all levels, with around 170 boys taking part annually. Every boy participates in charity work as part of Shaftesbury Enterprise, raising sponsorship money by running in the annual Long Ducker, providing companionship for local elderly people through Community Service, or organising their own fundraising events.
Culturally, Harrow’s way of life is steeped in tradition. From playing Harrow football and carving new boys’ names on boards in the boarding Houses, to singing Songs, wearing the straw hat and using our distinctive terminology, these customs have developed over centuries and they continue to pervade our community on the Hill.

Harrow School is part of a much larger family, which is made up of John Lyon’s Foundation, the four Harrow International Schools, and the Harrow Club (a centre for sport and education for young people in Notting Dale that the Foundation helped to establish). The Harrow Foundation is made up of a Charter Corporation comprising Harrow School, The John Lyon School and John Lyon’s Charity. The John Lyon School is a nearby day school for boys. John Lyon’s Charity is a grant-giving charity that gives over £5 million a year to schools and other organisations in the boroughs of northwest London.



We have a very friendly Masters Room. Many of the Masters are young and a growing proportion are women. Some joined Harrow straight from university, others after taking a PGCE. Some have taught in an independent school before, others have not. What Masters have in common is an enthusiasm for their subject and a willingness to be involved in the life of the School beyond normal hours.

Harrow on the Hill is an oasis in the middle of suburban north London. It has a rural feel because the streets resemble a village and the whole area is surrounded by woods and playing fields. It is a good place to bring up a young family – there are many other children and a number of excellent local schools.

Masters working at Harrow are required to live in a house or flat allocated by the School for the better performance of their duties. Masters need to be available beyond normal teaching hours to fulfil their responsibilities, which extend to the provision of support and pastoral care for the boys, both regular and irregular in its timings. The School is responsible for the supervision of the boys all day, every day during term time, and therefore provides and maintains these properties free of rent and charges for Masters. The School also pays for Masters’ water and council tax.

The School has its own salary scale with generous additional benefits including private medical insurance. Masters are eligible for an allowance towards the cost of educating their children, and can educate their sons at Harrow at a reduced rate. Bursaries are also available at The John Lyon School and other local schools.



During the current phase in Harrow School’s development, we are focusing on five key areas of strategy:
Scholarship – encouraging intellectual curiosity, independent thought and effective learning habits.
Opportunity – ensuring boys perform to their potential, thereby increasing their educational and career opportunities.
Character – developing and maturing the individual, enabling boys to uncover the talents, skills and values to be of good influence beyond Harrow.
People – admitting boys who will thrive and contribute at Harrow, and recruiting and nurturing staff who facilitate excellence.
Operations – providing environments, infrastructure and functions that set us apart.



The Classics Department is one of the most vibrant departments in the School with the deepest roots in Harrow’s tradition. Its work is greatly valued by the boys, the senior management and the Governors.

The department is a close-knit group of 7 full-time Masters who enjoy a wide range of interests in the Classics. The department encourages independent scholarly activity and several Masters have contributed to Classics books and textbooks in recent years. The department contributes significantly to the School’s Elective programme, with courses offered over the last two years on Alexander the Great and on Greek tragedy and comedy.

The department prepares boys for Latin, Classical Greek and Ancient History examinations both at GCSE and A level as set by OCR, achieving excellent results at all levels. The A*A rate in Latin at A level was 75% last year. At GCSE, the A* rates in Latin and Greek were 60% and 71% respectively. The department regularly sends boys to Oxford, Cambridge and other Russell Group universities to read Classics. Latin is a compulsory subject for all boys in the Shell (Year 9) and there is a strong cohort of over 20 boys who choose Classical Greek. Last year, approximately one third of the 160 boys in the Shell opted to continue to study Latin to GCSE and there are similarly strong trends in Greek and in Ancient History.

The Classics department is well-resourced and all members of the department teach in New Schools. The department has its own dedicated Classics library with an impressive collection. The Junior and Senior Classical Societies meet every week, not only providing lively forums for boys’ presentation but also welcoming numerous external speakers throughout the year from universities and other schools. There are typically two Classics trips abroad every year, within a wide range of other extra-curricular opportunities available to young Classicists.

The department’s form rooms are equipped with projectors and docking stations for Microsoft Surface Book computers, which are issued to all Masters for the teaching of the ‘Digital Humanities’ together with the use of more traditional teaching techniques.



We require a well-qualified Classicist who is able to teach Latin, Greek and Ancient History to A level and motivated to make an enthusiastic contribution to the department more broadly. Particular expertise in Greek History and Greek verse literature would be a desirable but not essential additional strength.

The successful applicant will demonstrate an unrivalled passion for Classics and have a desire to maintain and further to develop the high profile of the department among Harrovians.

Insight into how best to extend the boys’ learning beyond the confines of the curriculum would be beneficial, and the successful applicant would also benefit from considering how best to support the contribution that the department currently makes to the super-curriculum.

Applicants must also be keen to contribute to the wider life of the School in a full boarding environment.

Support and training to achieve Qualified Teacher Status can be offered if required. We occasionally appoint Masters with outstanding qualities and a good degree who do not have a formal teaching qualification.



The successful candidate will have:

  • strong subject knowledge;
  • enthusiasm for the subject;
  • high expectations of pupils;
  • strong inter-personal and communication skills;
  • a creative mind;
  • impressive academic qualifications, including a good degree;
  • resonance with Harrow School’s ethos;
  • an understanding of the full-boarding environment;
  • stamina and resilience;
  • tact and discretion;
  • integrity.



Application packs can be downloaded from the School’s website by going to and clicking on the vacancy. Please send a letter of application, together with a completed application form, to the Head Master, either via post (c/o Harrow School, 1 High Street, Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex HA1 3HT) or via email to his Executive PA, Mrs Christine Ryan (, by Monday 29 January.

Short-listing procedure
Only those best fulfilling the job and person specification will be shortlisted.

Interview procedure
In addition to teaching a lesson, you will be interviewed by the Head Master, the Deputy Head Master, and the Director of Studies. You will also meet more informally with the current Head of Classics, and with other members of both the Classics Department and the senior management team.

The selection process and interview questions will relate to the details given in this job description, in particular ‘The School’, ‘The Department’, ‘The Job’ and ‘The Person’.
You will be asked to explain any discrepancies or anomalies in the information you have provided either on the application form or in your covering letter, as well as any issues arising from references, which we will take up in advance of your interview.

Sample lesson
When we observe your teaching, we will be looking in particular for the first five aspects of ‘The Person’ specification above.


  • Do not try to cover too much in a sample lesson;
  • Do not lecture too much;
  • Do ask the pupils to do something other than just listen, for example to make notes, or to do an exercise or activity.



Harrow School is committed to safeguarding, protecting and promoting the welfare of children and you must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service. At interview, we will ask questions about child protection procedures and your suitability to work with children. All teachers at Harrow must comply with our Child Protection Policy Statement, which can be found on our website (

Harrow School is an equal opportunities employer.

J B Hawkins
Head Master
January 2018