More House School
More House School, Frensham provides an exceptional, mainstream education for boys with Specific Learning Difficulties. Providing a transformative education recognised as ‘Outstanding’ in our March 2016 school Ofsted inspection, and in successive Ofsted inspections over more than a decade, we offer a specialised learning environment for 470 day and boarding boys from Year 4 to Year 13. Our pupils are taught to recognise their strengths and develop their self-belief so that they achieve independence and extraordinary results at GCSE, BTEC and A Level, above the national averages.
All boys who attend More House are individually timetabled, with many receiving support through the on-site Learning Development Centre. The very broad curriculum affords opportunity to discover their strengths, challenging them to fulfil their academic and extra-curricular potential. Judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in its last four school inspections, our most recent inspection (March 2016) graded More House School ‘Outstanding’ overall, and ‘Outstanding’ in each of the six sub-sections of the report. More House is CReSTeD approved, listed in their Specialist Schools category.
In addition to the core subjects, a wide academic curriculum allows boys to choose from 19 options for GCSE and a similar breadth in the Sixth Form, which includes A Levels, Level 2 BTEC and Level 3 BTEC qualifications. Results are astonishing, achieving grades at GCSE, BTEC and A Level well above the national averages. Class sizes are small and there is ample opportunity for boys to get involved in the school’s extensive extra-curricular programme.
The school is set on a wooded hillside in twenty-five acres on the Hampshire/Surrey border, and attractive modern facilities lie above the playing fields. In recent years the school has refurbished and extended its boarding facilities, refurbished its eight Science laboratories, built its School of Engineering and CAD facilities, and opened a new Humanities block and school Chapel. This summer will witness the completion of our brand new library and Media Studies centre, and growth in learning support facilities.
Teaching staff join the school from a variety of backgrounds. Many have worked at More House for many years, but the school has supported several teachers through their initial teacher training, and more through their NQT year. Those already qualified may have previous experience in the state-maintained or independent sectors, and may have previous experience supporting learners with specific learning and language difficulties, or may not. The school provides a high level of support and training for all teaching staff, affording the development of confidence and skill in helping pupils to overcome the potential barriers to achievement posed by their difficulties.
On average four weeks from advert to interview to offer
How we recruit
For teaching positions, we use TES, BSA, internal email, University job boards
For ancillary positions, we use local paper and internal email
For specialist roles such as Occupational Therapist and Speech and Language therapist we use sector specific publications, TES, and university job boards.
We never use agencies.
What we look for in a graduate
For anyone who joins our business, but in particular trainee teachers, it is fundamentally important they ‘get’ what we do here. That the journey each of our students’ undertakes with us is successful because of the input from the whole school, but in particular the teaching and support staff.
We are looking for graduates who are prepared to work hard, are adaptable to change, and are not deterred by the knowledge that they will be teaching as soon as they join us. It is learning on the job and the absolute highs and challenging lows that are all part of the journey to becoming a fully qualified teacher.
A ‘can do’ attitude – wanting to get involved and being interested in multiple aspects of school life, not just their own department.
Not afraid to ask questions and be inquisitive of the hows/whats/whys and wheres of our unique environment.
The training at More House School is an exceptional foundation with which to begin a career in teaching. – we are seeking graduates ready to test their mettle.
Typical career paths and progress
* Qualified teacher status
* This can lead to myriad opportunities within the school, with areas of responsibility suited to your strengths. We are the largest school of our kind in the UK, educating in the way that we do and seeing above average GCSE and A Level results from students who join us believing they will achieve nothing, due to their Special Educational Need (SEN)
University? University of Winchester
Degree? History and the Modern World
Position and main responsibilities? Teacher of History and Head of Year Eight (previous Captain of Cover).
Length of time at MHS? 4th Year
What made you apply for a role at MHS? And importantly, what made you undertake the teacher training scheme? I was inter-railing in Europe celebrating having finished university and continued to receive e-mails from the uni informing me of job opportunities. I had previously completed some initial teacher training in Gosport, at a primary school. I had decided that teaching was the profession that I wished to go into, but that primary teaching was possibly not my ideal choice. Having applied at More House I hadn’t expected a huge amount of feedback but had an interview and a trial lesson. I had created a cross-word as my starter activity, failing to realise that dyslexia is a key difficulty students have at More House. Despite it feeling like the hottest day of the year, it went reasonably well. Teacher training was always an aim for me to progress in the sector and create a career for myself. I had expected the teaching to be particularly complex due to the special educational needs aspect, however if anything this makes the job more enjoyable and rewarding.
The teacher training scheme is affiliated to the University of Buckingham – does knowing that you have ongoing support and observations by both the school and university strengthen the experience? It is daunting having observations but they are the most effective way of finding targets and objectives to improve delivery. We had weekly observations with a mentor in school which gave positive feedback, and then more formal observations by a Buckingham mentor from an alternate school. Both my mentor in school, and from Wellington College, were really supportive and helped me to achieve. It is also useful to observe other teachers to realise different approaches.
How hard is the PGCE year to complete alongside working throughout? Personally, I felt that my first year as an unqualified teacher was the steepest learning curve. This was really effective preparation for my PGCE year and made me realise where I needed to prioritise my time, whilst not feeling under too much pressure. Writing essays is never fun, but each area is achievable, particularly with the support of friends and colleagues. We were fortunate that we were not alone in completing our PGCE at More House so we knew, and now know, what other people were and are going through! I try to cram my working week into Monday-Friday. This means that I can more or less enjoy my weekends and come back to school on the Monday (slightly) refreshed, this wasn’t any different during the PGCE year.
What keeps you at MHS? Above anything else, the students. It is so cliche and contradicts my next statement in this interview, but every day is different and, even if it is at the expense of my shoes or attire, the boys will make me laugh every day. Having said that, I have been very fortunate with the majority of the staff I have worked with and have made some really good friends, that helps hugely!
What advice would you give a graduate thinking about entering the teaching profession?
Ignore all of the rubbish that teachers post on Facebook and Twitter moaning that they never have enough time to do anything. It will get easier. You do not have to spend your weekends working if you are willing to put the time in during the week.
MHS is a rural location, however, only 50 minutes from London by train. Is working for MHS a feasible option for a graduate looking to move to the area? I now live in Guildford but had previously moved from Sussex to work here. It was really straight forward finding a place to stay initially, but slightly more difficult to find a place to live. Surrey may seem unreachable but there are plenty of alternatives which will still allow you to live and work here. It is great having London on the doorstep. I have a number of friends who live there and it is really straight forward to meet them.
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