Welcome, and thank you for your interest in our Headteacher opportunity
Thank you for taking the time to find out more about the role of Headteacher at Thirsk Community Primary School. At Thirsk, we recognise the significance of the role of the Headteacher in shaping the future of our school. We understand the impact that the Headteacher has on the quality of teaching, the achievements of the pupils and the role of the school in our community. The outgoing Headteacher and the team around him have created a purposeful and fun learning environment where everyone is valued, expectations are high, and the children are provided with quality teaching within a broad and engaging curriculum.
The school has made tremendous progress towards our vision of excellence over the years, and we are seeking the right person to continue that journey. Our vision is that Thirsk Community Primary school develops confident young people who enjoy learning and strive to achieve the best. To provide each pupil with a safe and caring school community that promotes fairness, tolerance and respect.
Our school is a special place full of learning, laughter and friendship where everyone is happy, valued and feels safe. We aspire to equip our children with the skills, curiosity and resilience needed to continue learning throughout their lives. We are extremely proud of our community school. Here, children work hard and try their best, learn and are prepared for their future lives.
We are looking for someone who will recognise the skills of the staff and will build on their achievements and those of our pupils to ensure they continue to improve. We want someone who is passionate about education and who will champion the needs of our young people and their families.
We want a leader who is dedicated to making a difference, who will continue enhancing our teaching and learning, enriching the personal development of our young people, and ensuring everyone - staff, governors, and students - promotes and enables the vision for our school. It is important to all at Thirsk Primary School that our new Headteacher has a friendly, outgoing personality with a positive outlook, has respect for difference and is passionate and committed to enabling learners to aim high.
Our school is extremely well supported by our Governing Board and fantastic Friends of Thirsk CP School (FOTCPS) who are passionate about the development of our school and the aspirations of our school and children. The Governing Board has a wide range of skills and knowledge and will both support and challenge the new Head in driving forward our vision. This really is a tremendous opportunity for whoever is successful in becoming our new Headteacher.
For an informal, confidential conversation about the role please call Julie Crichton on 07816251317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Julie has been engaged to support us with recruitment to this key role.
To arrange a school visit by appointment please see the advert for more details of who to contact, we would also encourage applicants to have a look at the school website to get a feel for our school.
On behalf of the governing body, thank you again for your interest in Thirsk Community Primary School and we look forward to receiving your application.
Chair of Governors
Here is some additional information about the role of our new Headteacher:
The skills and abilities the new Head will need to address the school’s key priorities:
- Ability to provide strong leadership and support for vulnerable learners, especially pupils where there is a SEMH need or learning need and generally for pupils from a disadvantaged background.
- Ability to gain the trust and respect of all school staff, pupils, families and the wider community.
- Ability to responsibly prioritise resources, including financial resources, to achieve outcomes
- Ability to expand the schools support network, looking at how the school can work more closely with other schools and groups
The type of leader are we looking for:
Ofsted Recognised – “Leaders ensure every effort is made to secure the best possible provision and support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Leaders are determined that no one will miss out. All pupils have access to the full curriculum, adapted to meet their need.” – Ofsted 2021
Thirsk Community Primary School is located on the East side of Thirsk. Thirsk is a thriving market town within touching distance of the North York Moors National Park. In recent years, Thirsk has provided a backdrop to several television programs including the Yorkshire Vet and All creatures Great and Small. Thirsk has many local amenities including a leisure centre and swimming pool, local shops and an independent cinema. It has recently been named in the Sunday Times Newspaper as one of the best places to live 2023.
Thirsk Community Primary school is easily accessible from the A19, providing good links to York and Leeds to the south and to Teesside to the North. Thirsk is also on the East Coast mainline, and as such, is in commuting distance from further afar. Thirsk has seen significant expansion over the last eight years with a significant housing development being built nearby. Building work continues, as the towns popularity continues to grow.
The school serves the East Thirsk area and surrounding villages. Most pupils live locally to the school, however, several pupils commute to school from the local villages. The school is found in the heart of the Hambleton housing estate which is made up of a mixture of private and rented properties. This means that children that attend the school come from a wide range of socio-economic back grounds. The most recent IDACI data reinforces this, but also highlights the number of families that face more challenging circumstances. Many families have had a multi-generational connection to school and as such, the school has a real community feel. Parents and carers are proud of the school and are very keen to support their children’s learning.
The school was originally opened in 1979, since then the school has expanded, to include, most recently in 2014, the development of a specialist SEND provision. Currently this is a Nurture provision, known as the sunshine room; this offers additional support to a small group of pupils. The school has a designated ICT suite and a recently redeveloped library. The library is well stocked and is used by all pupils each week. The school building has been recently repainted with each classroom having a large interactive screen.
Special Features and benefits of the school:
Wrap around care has already been set up for the school with pupils able to come to breakfast club from 7.45am and remain at school until 5.15pm at after school provision. The school has extensive grounds, part of the school grounds are currently being developed in to a forest school/ wildlife area: This has included planting over 200 trees. As part of the curriculum offer, the school has introduced curriculum enrichment weeks, these have provided a large amount of wider opportunities for pupils –including visits to different places of worships, learning about different cultures as well as local history and geography.
Sport plays an important part of school life with many different sporting clubs. The school has recently achieved the school games platinum award.
The school is currently looking at building a community multi-use games arena on one of the two large playing fields. This is a project that has already secured funding from various organisations. The governing body would be keen that the new Headteacher would be keen to complete this project.
Pupils are friendly and welcoming. They are keen to do their best and achieve. Pupils respond well to strong confident teaching. There are an increasing number of families from more complex home situations which means that there needs to be strong leadership of safeguarding and attendance. The Headteacher needs to be able to support pupils and families in more challenging circumstances.
Pupils enjoy coming to school because they have good relationships with staff. They gain healthy confidence as they know they will be well cared for at our school. Pupils behave well in class and are respectful of each other. If there are any issues, children know to speak to an adult and resolutions are quickly found. Children know the school values and uphold these each day.
Children are keen to be active citizens of the school, suggesting changes for improvement and initiating support for others through charity work.
Ofsted Recognised – “Pupils have many opportunities to broaden and deepen their personal development. Leaders make learning interesting and memorable” - Ofsted 2021
Ofsted Recognised – “The school is a compassionate place where everyone has a friend.’ Inspectors agree. Pupils trust adults to listen to them and resolve issues to help to keep them safe. Pupils can explain how to keep themselves safe and manage the risks they might face outside school or online” - Ofsted 2021
The emotional well-being of the children at the school has always been a high priority and children are encouraged to talk in class and to their peers about their mental health. Mental health has continued to be of key importance as we come out of the Covid pandemic and activities, such as mindfulness, have been shared with the children. Online safety is also a key factor and regular information is shared with children and parents on how to stay safe on the internet.
Ofsted Recognised – “The school’s culture of vigilance starts from the moment pupils are met by staff at the gate. The well-being of pupils is a fundamental priority for staff. The pastoral team meets fortnightly to review all concerns” – Ofsted 2021
Our staff are our greatest resource and are incredibly committed, talented, loyal, positive and hardworking. They always have the best interests of the pupils at heart and are determined to find something at which every child can shine. All our staff get to know the children in our school very well and use this information to personalise opportunities for learning and socialisation. There is strength and depth in relationships with everyone in the school, working together to achieve the best outcomes and work as a team and without fail support one another.
Ofsted Recognised – “Leaders have created a school ethos in which all are valued and respected. A strong and well-informed governing body is very much part of the school team. Staff look out for each other. They care about each other’s welfare and well-being. All report being proud to work in the school” – Ofsted 2021
Leadership structure of the school is:
- Deputy Headteacher, who has the responsibility for Vulnerable learners (SENDCo & Disadvantaged pupils) and attendance - to fulfil this role they are non-classed based each afternoon.
- 2 senior teachers; an EYFS and Key Stage 1 leader (who has responsibility for English) and a Key Stage 2 Leader (who has responsibility for Maths).
Staff and Classes:
- The school is mostly single form; however, the current Year 1 class is small with 15 pupils.
- Currently they are taught as a Year 1 class in the morning and then in the afternoon are split between Reception and Year 2.
- 9 teachers including the Headteacher and part-time teachers, organised over 7 classes.
- 2 ECT’s who teach in Year 3 and in Year 4.
- The school has a Governor-led Nursery.
- With the exception of the ECTs, all staff have curriculum subject-area responsibilities, with many staff having more than one subject, that they are responsible for.
- Currently support staff are organised to support pupils where there are additional barriers to learning –primarily pupil with SEND needs.
- Outside of the classroom there is a School Business Manager and two school administrators all who work part time to cover the office opening hours.
- 3 wrap around care staff and 3 Mid-day supervisors.
Read more about the team here.
The Governing Body’s Role and Support
The Governing body are very committed to the whole school community. Governors meet monthly to monitor progress and provide strategic leadership. Each Governor has designated areas of responsibility. There are regular governor visits to the school with governors working with staff to ensure that they have a clear understanding of developments in their subject areas.
Read more about our Governing Body here.
Ofsted Recognised – “A strong and well-informed governing body is very much part of the school team” – Ofsted 2021
|'To develop confident young people who enjoy learning and strive to achieve the best. Together we will provide each pupil with a safe and caring school community that promotes fairness, tolerance and respect'|
- Pupils will enjoy coming to our school
- Children will experience a curriculum which has opportunities to enrich and to make learning fascinating
- We will celebrate our successes both in school and in our wider lives
- We approach the future with a positive outlook
- Tries their best
- Sees failure as a learning opportunity and works at becoming resilient
- Is keen to further the school values and keep the school's Golden Rules
- Is willing to care for and support others, particularly the vulnerable
- Appreciates that learning must happen outside and after school as well as in it
- Values and cares for all members both of the community and as people
- Displays good manners at all times and treats everybody with courtesy
- Tolerates difference while being keen and able to critically engage with difference
- Shows respect for the school buildings, facilities and excellent resources - and the broader environment
- Has a willingness to help others
- Is thoughtful to each other's feelings
- Seeks to understand and not judge
- Shows kindness and consideration
- Has high expectations of themselves
- Is proud of achievements
- Sets high standards and personal goals for improvement
- Makes best use of talents, time and resources
- Celebrates and shares in achievements of others
Ofsted 2021 – GOOD
Current areas identified for improvement:
From Ofsted 2021: Some subjects in the curriculum are not as well planned and sequenced as others. In these subjects, key ideas are less clear. This means pupils find it more difficult to remember important ideas and connect new learning to what they know. Leaders need to ensure that the quality of the curriculum is equally strong in all areas.
- Writing –especially for boys and vulnerable learners
- Attendance –reduction in the amount of persistent absence of pupils.
Current school strengths:
Reading –reading has been a significant focus of school development. This has included working with Yorkshire Endeavour English Hub (YEAT). The teaching of reading throughout the school is a now a strength, with the school now offering support to other schools with reading.
The Nurture provision for pupils working in the Sunshine room is strong. Staff have an excellent understanding of supporting pupils within this setting.
Main areas of development within the current school improvement plan are:
- To raise the level of attainment in writing for all groups of pupils including the most able throughout the school.
- To ensure that vulnerable learners achieve their highest possible outcomes in terms of learning, attendance and welfare
- To narrow the gap between girls and boys in Mathematics
- To continue to redevelop the curriculum for pupils in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
Current levels of pupil achievement, attainment and progress:
Outcomes at the end of 2022 showed significant improvement in Phonics and at the end of Key Stage 2 and outcomes for Reading and Mathematics are comparable with National outcomes. Outcomes in Key Stage 1 were equally good at the Expected standard but were significantly lower at greater depth.
Writing at the end of Key Stage 2 was lower that National values at both the expected standard and at greater depth. This remains a challenge throughout the school. It is still disadvantaged pupils that do not make as much progress as non-disadvantaged pupils.
Please click HERE to review the schools financial bench marking
Ofsted Recognised – “Relationships with parents are strong and improving. Teachers’ greater cooperation and communication with families over the pandemic have enhanced the school’s standing and reputation in the community” – Ofsted 2021
Relationships with parents and carers are good. We all work hard to maintain good partnership with parents and carers for the benefit of each child. Many parents/carers and local residents continue to be very engaged and support our school which has positive implications for the children. Most families attend parents’ evenings and school events.
The school has a PTA, this is well supported and leads several whole school events throughout the year. These include: Christmas and Summer Fayres, termly discos and other events including Colour Runs and film nights. The PTA has made significant contributions to the school and enhances relations with the local community.
Local Authority and School Improvement
The school has a positive relationship with the Local Authority. The Local Authority currently are the main providers of support and accountability for the school. The school currently has 5 days of LA support. During this time Safeguarding and Attendance are monitored along with support for current school improvement priorities.
Staff are also made aware of training opportunities through the LA and our leaders and designated safeguarding lead attend LA organised meetings/training/networking sessions.
The school takes part in cluster organised sports competitions.
Support that will be available to the new Headteacher
- A thorough handover plan will be in place involving the current Headteacher
- Chairs of Governors will be available to support the new Headteacher
- The LA adviser will be available to support
Thirsk is a traditional North Yorkshire Market town superbly positioned midway between the stunning North York Moors and the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. It is near to the medieval city of York, Harrogate, Ripon and our county town Northallerton. Situated on the A19, and close to the main north-south A1 road, it offers easy connectivity to major bordering cities.
Thirsk has a charm of its own and centres around a bustling cobbled market square, dominated by the town clock, with its Monday & Saturday markets and independent shopping. Visitors can enjoy a number of short walks through the town and along the river or may prefer to travel a little further afield to explore the pretty villages. More strenuous walking can be found on the Hambleton Hills and the moorland tracks such as The Drove Road. The Swale Way long distance path passes through Thirsk connecting Boroughbridge and Kirby Stephen
Lying in the centre of a large rural area, Northallerton was established as a market town in 1200 by Royal Charter, and there is still a market in the town today. Northallerton is a thriving town with good facilities, especially for sports and cultural activities and is the major retail centre for the local area, with close proximity to the Yorkshire Dale and coastal resorts. It is an ideal base to explore the nearby moors, historical cities and picturesque villages. Northallerton benefits from easy connectivity to the A1M, M62, A19, A64 providing convenient connectivity to vibrant cities such as Durham, Teesside, Darlington, Newcastle, York, Leeds, and a little over two hours commute on the main train line to London.
York is England’s most visited city outside London and is situated in the northeast of the country, in the stunning county of Yorkshire, by the River Ouse.
With its many tourist attractions, impressive architecture, museums, riverside walks, cafes and restaurants, York is an ideal place to study. The city has the good fortune to be situated approximately two hours by train from London and Edinburgh with frequent direct train services. Once the capital city of England, York is a much-loved destination, particularly by students, offering a mix of a modern, cosmopolitan city in an ancient setting.
The history of York is said to be the history of England. It is an ancient city with Roman walls and Viking remains, and the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe towers over the medieval streets. Museums illustrate this history. A major tourist destination, York hosts events and festivals all year round, showcasing different types of music, theatre, culture, food and drink.
You can find out more here:
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, the Pennines 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 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 surf sport 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. 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.
Our Headteacher Opportunity
Thirsk Community Primary School, North Yorkshire
Number on Roll: 156 and 23 nursery pupils
Commencing: January 2024
Salary: L11 £56,796 – L16 £64,225
Contract Term: Permanent
Thirsk is a friendly, welcoming, child-centred community primary school in the beautiful market town of Thirsk in North Yorkshire. We provide a safe and purposeful environment, within which each pupil is valued and motivated to strive for excellence. At Thirsk we see the diversity in our community as a strength of the school and we aim to ensure that every pupil is challenged and supported to achieve.
Thirsk Community Primary school is easily accessible from the A19, providing good links to York and Leeds to the south and to Teesside to the North. Thirsk is also on the East Coast mainline, and as such, is in commuting distance from further afar. Thirsk has seen significant expansion of the last eight years with a significant housing development being built nearby. Building work continues, as the towns popularity continues to grow.
As Headteacher at Thirsk you will be leading a team of motivated, enthusiastic and skilled staff, fully committed to moving the school forward on the next stage of our journey towards excellence.
It is an exciting opportunity for the new Headteacher who, as a dynamic, innovative, and experienced professional, will lead the school to develop and implement effective strategies to maintain and raise standards and continually improve pupil attainment and progress. With a meticulous eye for detail, you must be able to support the diverse needs of pupils and the provision for each individual child, whilst maintaining the ability to balance budgetary constraints.
Your remit will be to raise standards by developing the school, with an ability to effect change at pace and to work collaboratively with colleagues, in the school, across the school, and with the wider community.
To be successful, you must be able to demonstrate success in raising standards or leading a significant whole-school development, you must also have recent school senior leadership experience and be committed to providing the children with a high-quality education. You will be someone who will actively model and promote the school’s values and Thirsk’s collective determination that no child should be ‘left behind’.
In particular, we are looking for an Headteacher who will;
- Be a committed leader with excellent interpersonal skills who can motivate and manage all stakeholders, effectively shaping and delivering the strategic plan.
- Be an inspirational and dynamic leader who actively encourages and respects the views of others
- Have a continuing drive to reflect, learn and strive for positive development, for themselves, their staff team, the children and our school as a whole.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the needs of young people, social, physical and emotional alongside educational needs, and ensure that the school provides a rounded provision to nurture them.
- Have a strong understanding of removing the barriers for disadvantaged learners; the skill of ensuring that the more vulnerable children make strong progress in their learning.
- Be collaborative and outward looking, developing partnerships for the benefit of the school and the wider educational community.
- Demonstrate superb leadership skills with the ability to challenge robustly and constructively.
- Be someone who recognises the importance of maintaining the school’s existing values while instilling their own leadership and identity.
- Be an outstanding teaching practitioner able to set and achieve ambitious goals and continually seek to raise standards and promote our vision, values and aims in a way that is relevant and inspiring to all.
- Consider and shape how we can adapt our practices innovatively to promote and enhance the wellbeing of our staff team.
- Be someone who is capable of and confident in making difficult decisions and asking challenging questions in order to seek the best possible outcome for our school as a whole.
- Be a strategic thinker able to plan long, medium and short term.
- Be able to review our financial resources and look at how we invest in our school.
We can offer you:
- A happy, caring and supportive school, with dedicated staff, supportive families, enthusiastic and motivated pupils and support from the local authority.
- A school that is committed to continuous improvement through its ethos to maintain its high academic performance.
- An excellent opportunity to provide strategic leadership and direction, working collaboratively and constructively with the governing body to achieve this.
- A thriving PTA who actively support the school, and parents who engage with the school and their children’s learning.
- A governing body that are committed to providing support on all matters including more sensitive or difficult issues - this includes the wellbeing of all staff members – and who are experienced, committed and passionate about our school and ensuring all children reach their potential.
If you feel ready to be our next Headteacher and you can bring your experience, enthusiasm, drive, commitment, and energy to deliver our vision for our wonderful children and motivated staff, we would love to hear from you.
For an informal, confidential conversation about the role please call Julie Crichton on 07816251317 or email Julie.email@example.com. Julie has been engaged to support us with recruitment to this key role.
School Visits: School visits are invited, to arrange a visit by appointment only please contact us on 01845 524349 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Application closing date: Midnight, Wednesday 28th June
Shortlisting: Tuesday 11th July
Interviews: Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th July
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 (see campaign site). This 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 referees.
We are committed to meeting the needs of our diverse community and aim to have a workforce reflecting this diversity. We are also committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults. We expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
This post is subject to satisfactory references and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service criminal records check for work with children. An online search may be undertaken as part of the recruitment process on information available in the public domain. Candidates should disclose anything that may be relevant in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education.
North Yorkshire Council (NYC) advertise vacancies on behalf of schools and external organisations (third parties) in North Yorkshire. NYC are not responsible for the recruitment/employment practices of third parties and accept no liability in relation to the vacancy and any subsequent recruitment/employment processes.