Headteacher - Nun Monkton Primary School
Dear Headteacher Applicant
Thank you very much for taking an interest in our Headteacher position. I hope that you find the information provided useful and that you will take the opportunity to apply for the post.
Nun Monkton School is a unique, small and secure place, which inspires a love of learning through the environment and a passion to aim high. Through inspirational teaching and working, we strive to provide an education that develops resilient and creative learners who flourish and feel special. We prepare our children for life, helping them become confident and grounded members of society rather than simply equipping them with the skills they will need for work.
Our Governors are seeking to appoint a leader who will build on the school’s many strengths. The children, staff, parents, governors and our community are proud of our school where children are happy, well behaved and enjoy learning.
We wish to appoint a Headteacher who will continue to take our school forward. In the changing educational environment there will be many exciting challenges ahead.
The school has the benefit of a highly committed, experienced and loyal team of staff, supportive parents and Governing Body.
This is a unique opportunity for you to lead our school, developing its potential and building on our strengths, successes and achievements.
If you are a leader ready to meet these challenges, I look forward to receiving your application.
Chair of Governors
Nun Monkton School is a unique, small and secure place, which inspires a love of learning through the environment and a passion to aim high. Through inspirational teaching and working as a close knit team, we develop confident, resilient and creative learners who flourish and feel special in this vibrant and happy environment.
One of many small village schools in rural North Yorkshire that has less than 50 on roll, the majority of our children come from the local catchment area. Almost all children are White British and most speak English as their first language.
The school (built circa 1905) faces out onto the village green and is owned by the Dorothy Wilson Trust, a small educational charity, though the fabric is maintained by North Yorkshire County Council. There are classrooms on two floors, a school office and two small group rooms. Many adaptations to the building and outside play area have been undertaken to ensure the school meets the highest educational standards. The school currently hosts the hub for the local community’s broadband access.
Our catchment area is defined by the boundaries of the parish of Nun Monkton including outlying farms, the community of Widdington and the Skipbridge and Gowlands complexes. Currently out of the 37 children on roll, only six are from outside this catchment area.
The proportion of children attending Nun Monkton School who have special educational needs or disability is above the national average though those supported by the pupil premium are below average.
All children, from 5 onwards, are actively encouraged to give everything a try; from sporting activities and theatrical productions in front of a range of audiences, to undertaking a reading in church. Because we have such small, mixed classes, we place great emphasis on developing good communication skills. The teaching staff promote kindness and collaborative behaviours across the school community e.g. older children assist the younger children at breaks and take ownership of being part of a small caring sharing unit. Our children are confident, respectful and polite. The children play across the age ranges, making allowances for their younger colleagues when playing games like football, and in turn, the younger children learn by example. Children report that they love coming to school, and we receive regular positive feedback from village residents (e.g. when helping at an “open gardens” event a visitor took time to write to the school, highlighting the outstanding helpfulness and friendliness of the Nun Monkton children).
Whilst behaviour is excellent, we do have some children with challenging and complex needs. Two children carry a statement of special educational needs and one child spends two days a week with us and the other three at a special school. Regardless of this, our aim is that all children leave us as mature, well-rounded and articulate young people.
We have a very attractive teacher/pupil ratio of one teacher to 12 children, which enhances our ability to value each child as an individual and provide the opportunities for them to develop to their full potential within a caring and secure environment. We encourage a wide variety of experiences, opportunities and skills outside of the National Curriculum and value and recognise non-academic achievements in our assemblies and our world of learning passports.
We are a Forest School, using a section of woodland 150m from the school and provided gratis by a local landowner. The woodland has been adapted for use throughout the school year. Currently, we have one teacher fully trained while another will commence training in April. We make full use of our local environment and the whole school has unlimited access to the village green, which uniquely has open grazing for cows, duck ponds, a maypole, an abundance of flora and fauna and a communal parish football pitch. Being directly outside the school gate, it is used at play and lunch times on a regular basis. This compensates for our rather small playground at the rear of the school, which incorporates a covered area for outside play and provides for continuous access for the EYFS children to pursue a learning through play-based curriculum.
We have responded to the need for wrap around care by providing a daily breakfast club and three after school clubs running until 6:00 pm. Activities are diverse and include a film club, baking and crafts. We participate extensively within the community at events including Feast Day, open gardens, art projects, allotments, conservation projects and surveys of the flora on the village green etc.
We maximise the use of educational visits (linked to topics) to enhance work in school but also value visits purely for enrichment and reward. We have an upper school residential and children regularly take part in inter-school sports events and attend swimming lessons during one term per year.
From Autumn 2017 to the end of the Summer term 2019 we formed an informal partnership with a neighbouring small village school, Great Ouseburn Primary School, and had a shared head (50/50). This framework was put in place after the resignation of our own (full time) Headteacher, when the Governing Body decided that partnership or federation with another small school was something we wanted to explore further, initially on an informal basis.
By summer 2019, our partner school wished to revert to having their Headteacher full time. Their school numbers had increased, their school budget had improved, and they therefore did not wish to pursue partnership or federation. At that point, our Governing Body, also accounting for rising school numbers, an improved budgetary position, and a review of the community/village school framework, decided that a full time Headteacher should be appointed with a part time teaching commitment.
Our school is a unique, small and secure place, which inspires a love of learning through the environment, and a passion to aim high. Through inspirational teaching, we develop confident, resilient and creative learners who flourish and feel special, in this vibrant and happy environment.
‘Small is beautiful’
Our values are Courage, Commitment, Confidence, Caring and Compassion.
Courage - Feeling able to attempt things like tests and showing no fear
Commitment – Being committed to always try our best
Confidence – Giving everything a try, such as competing against other schools and taking part in competitions
Caring – Valuing and supporting one another at all times
Compassion – Respecting and ensuring all our opinions are listened to and valued.
The Headteacher will have a 0.5 teaching commitment. Currently, the Headteacher teaches mornings, carrying out Headteacher responsibilities in the afternoon.
- In the morning the children are taught in 3 classes: nursery to year 1, years 2 and 3, and years 4, 5, & 6. The Headteacher currently teaches the middle class and carries out Headteacher duties during the afternoon when the children are taught in 2 classes – early years and key stage 1, and key stage 2
- Two general TAs provide 1to1 special educational needs support
- One HLTA supports years 4, 5, & 6 as well as key stage 1 planning and preparation time
- One general TA provides support in KS1 and early years
- One of our Teachers is Forest School trained and another is due to commence training in April.
- We are a very closely-knit team and operate as a whole school and as such all staff work collaboratively
- We have subject leaders in the following areas: numeracy, literacy, and the wider curriculum
- Number on Roll: 37 (Nursery to Year 6)
- All classes are mixed years
- EYFS available from 3rd birthday
The current budget is in line with current and future year’s projections, and a rising school roll means that there is now a projected surplus in 21/22 and 22/23. The Governors and Headteacher openly discuss ways to maximise effective spending. Reviews of similar small school spending patterns indicate that Nun Monkton is broadly in line.
Detailed data is not published because of the size of the school however:
- 100% of KS2 achieved expected levels or above
- 100% of KS1 achieved expected levels or above
- 100% achieved expected levels or above in the phonic screening
- The number achieving at a greater depth is continually improving
School Improvement Plan
- To ensure that the curriculum delivers outstanding progress and attainment by focusing on greater depth and a consistency in the teaching of numeracy across all age ranges.
- To ensure that children are independent and resilient learners who take responsibility for their progress.
- To ensure our children’s personal development is enriched through curriculum opportunities which allow them to engage with wider society.
- To develop the leadership capacity of the teaching staff and to further engage and develop governors, ensuring they provide support and challenge.
- To create an Early Years curriculum and learning environment that meets the needs of all learners through continuous provision.
Parents and Carers
We work in partnership with parents and carers and enjoy excellent relationships. We hold the philosophy that education is not a process that solely happens in school and that children learn enormously outside the school environment. This is a philosophy shared across our community and we all work in partnership to provide the best opportunities and experiences to allow our children to flourish and grow in all aspects of their development.
There is a very active PTFA, which organises a number of community-based events throughout the year. The school and PTFA communicate and inform the wider community via “village email” and WhatsApp group updates. The PTFA also routinely arrange, or part fund, outings to places of educational interest, as well as more social events e.g. pantomime and bonfire night celebrations for the children.
Governors and staff send out communications to update the wider community about progress and notable events affecting school. The school provides a weekly newsletter to parents and carers, and runs a smaller WhatsApp group to communicate more urgent or school specific information.
Children living and attending school in the village are valued by the community, and supportive parents as well as residents undertake lots of community fund raising and social initiatives, sometimes jointly with the local church. This close engagement with the wider local population has a historical strength and has continued under Covid 19 restrictions (e.g. in 2020 organising a village cookery book, a photo memory book for 2020 (Covid), a socially distanced Halloween activity and an Advent trail. The school maintains close links with local care homes and has regularly visited to perform musical and theatrical productions as well as encouraging children to interact with residents.
Nun Monkton has a thriving Public House, which includes a busy restaurant and 12 letting bedrooms for overnight guests. The owner of the licensed premises maintains close links with the school, and the children have engaged in vegetable growing on a patch of ground provided by the landowner. They have also produced artwork for public display within the hotel rooms, and a display of “memory stones” marking 2020 - Covid 19.
Similarly, the village church of St Mary’s has close links with the school and the vicar supports termly events (Easter, Christmas etc.) as well as attending the school on a weekly basis. We work with St Mary’s to hold regular events open to parents and the wider community e.g. Leaver’s Service, End of term – Easter Service, Nativity and carol services.
We have been working with a school in Ethiopia as a means of widening our children’s exposure to different cultures, though Covid 19 has seen the demise of this relationship due to serious problems in our host school. However, we are about to commence a relationship with a school in South Africa and look forward to developing this.
Nun Monkton is the only Foundation school in North Yorkshire, which means that the funding protocols vary, and the Governing Body is the official employer of all staff. Whilst the school works closely with NYCC, uses their model policies, bursar services, professional advisory services, cleaning and dinner provision, Nun Monkton uses a separate HR and pay provider as they currently offer more beneficial terms.
Over the past 2 years, the whole Governing Body has undertaken extensive training and now provide the right balance of challenge and support to the Headteacher. Governors have a good understanding of the school’s performance data and what needs to be done to improve further. They give a great deal of time to ensuring that they have detailed knowledge of the school and can be purposeful in their support. Governors are vigilant in ensuring that staff and new Governors receive appropriate training and support, enabling them to be fully effective in their roles.
Support is available through the Local Authority, and the Boroughbridge and Rural Cluster. We are also a member of the North Star Teaching Alliance, which provides us with student teacher placements, NQT, and RQT training, general training, moderation opportunities, networking and collaboration opportunities, the sharing of guest speakers and Headteacher breakfast networking meetings. We are also fortunate to have an enthusiastic and dedicated staff team.
Nun Monkton Primary School is located centrally between York and Harrogate, with easy access to the A1. The village is approached from the A59 along a 2 mile no through road and lies at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Nidd. The resident population comprises a traditional mix of households and the housing is all privately owned or rented and includes farms, a vineyard, a horse race track, a thriving pub, church and a number of small-scale industrial businesses located in buildings around the village.
As a conservation village there has been very little permitted development of residential housing in recent years, although eight new houses are currently being built within the village boundary. Within four miles the neighbouring villages of Green Hammerton and Kirk Hammerton are projected to expand dramatically over the next few years, although both have their own village schools. There is an outline planning application for a further 3000 houses in the local area, which does not directly affect the village and surrounds of Nun Monkton but is likely to increase the demand for school places in the village.
Living and Working in North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is England's largest county and one of the most rural. The area comprises the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a stunning coastline around Scarborough and Whitby. There are ruined castles and abbeys, serene gardens, unique breweries, thrilling rides and industrial heritage. The area hosted the phenomenal Tour de France ‘Grand Depart’ in 2014 and has since created the Tour de Yorkshire, an annual event with global recognition. Our success in supporting these events led to Harrogate hosting the UCI Cycling World Championships in 2019.
North Yorkshire has plenty to offer the outdoor enthusiast. From the hard gritstone of Almscliff and Brimham rocks to the limestone of Malham, Gordale and Kilnsey climbing venues are in abundance. The Yorkshire Dales is the premier area for caving and for mountain biking; there are the bridleways of the Dales and North York Moors as well as the renowned trail centre at Dalby Forest. There are a small number of sailing clubs on reservoirs around the county and fantastic surfsport venues and sea kayaking on the east coast.
While the county is rightly known for its wide open spaces, it also incorporates attractive market towns including Pickering and Helmsley, traditional seaside towns, the Spa town of Harrogate and the ancient city of York - the most visited city outside of London. There are a wide range of shopping, leisure and cultural facilities as well as excellent schools, universities, road and rail links, there really is everything to offer you and your family as a place to work, live and enjoy!
Travelling further afield we have convenient connectivity, with close proximity to metropolitan cities of Leeds and Newcastle, with little over two hours commute on the main train line to London. We border the Lake District, Lancashire, County Durham, and Yorkshire & Humber regions with all they have to offer.
Nun Monkton Primary School, The Green, Nun Monkton, York, YO26 8ER
Start date: September 2021
Contract type: Full Time
Contract term: Permanent
Teaching Commitment: 0.5 fte
Rated as Good by Ofsted, we are a successful, friendly, rural school located centrally within a conservation village between York and Harrogate, with easy access to the A1. The village is approached from the A59 along a 2 mile no through road and lies at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Nidd.
We believe our school is a unique, small and secure place, which inspires a love of learning through the environment, and a passion to aim high. Through inspirational teaching, we develop confident, resilient and creative learners who flourish and feel special. Known in our community for being well behaved, respectful and polite, all our KS1 and KS2 children achieve expected levels or above.
Though small, we have excellent facilities including a Forest School on our doorstep, unlimited access to the village green, a small playground with covered area for outdoor play and wrap around care.
We are seeking to appoint a committed and experienced professional to further shape our improvement plan. The successful candidate will continue to raise standards whilst ensuring our vibrant and happy environment is maintained.
Able to effectively motivate inspire and influence children, staff and stakeholders, you will assume responsibility for all aspects of school life. This will include directing the school’s strategic planning, leading the development of the curriculum and delivering an outstanding provision which meets the needs of all our children. You will also have a 0.5 teaching commitment.
To succeed, you must be a proven leader and manager with outstanding teaching skills and the ability to develop our small, dedicated team while maximising achievement. An excellent communicator, you must also possess the skills needed to maintain and develop our positive relationships with parents while building ever stronger ties with the wider school community. You’ll also need a good understanding of the needs and requirements of a small, rural school.
In return, you will be supported by a strong Governing Body, dedicated staff, the Local Authority, the Boroughbridge and Rural Cluster and North Star Teaching Alliance, which provides us with student teacher placements, NQT, and RQT training, general training, moderation opportunities, networking and collaboration opportunities, the sharing of guest speakers and head teacher breakfast networking meetings.
If you would like to arrange a visit our school (outside of normal hours) or would like an informal, confidential conversation about the role, please contact Steve Cooper from NYCC Resourcing Solutions, on 07976 653898. As you will understand, given the current situation with Covid–19, it may not be possible to visit our school in advance of your application and it is highly likely that the assessment event will take place remotely.
Closing date for applications: Sunday 7 March 2021
Shortlisting: Thursday 11 March 2021
Interviews: Tuesday 23 & Wednesday 24 March 2021
When applying please take into account the following:
The supporting information section of your application should clearly evidence your ability to meet the requirements we have outlined in the person specification. The information in Supporting Information will be used to shortlist applicants for this role and therefore it is imperative that you provide evidence as requested.
When completing your application, please provide two employment references.