Job description


  • Entry level
  • No Education
  • Salary to negotiate
  • Edinburgh


Job Description

Outdoor Education Professional

George Watson’s College wishes to appoint an Outdoor Educational Professional. The post will be

available from August 2019 for one year in the first instance and represents an excellent

opportunity for a practitioner with outstanding drive and ability to continue their career in a high

profile and supportive setting.


George Watson's College is one of the country's best co-educational independent day schools.

Founded in 1741 by a local merchant concerned for the education of young minds, it fulfils to this

day the role intended by its founder. Despite its size, everyone remarks that it has a small-school

‘feel’: the close-knit and friendly relationships amongst all its constituents are a hallmark of the

School. Its motto – ex corde caritas (Love from the Heart) – is central to its values as it seeks to

sustain what is described as ‘The Watson’s Family’.

This tangible sense of togetherness is significantly enhanced by everyone being on one

purpose-built site, which is located in the attractive residential district of Morningside, to the

South West of the centre of Edinburgh. Edinburgh itself is the second strongest city economy in the

UK, outside of London, with the highest percentage of graduates and professionally qualified

adults in the UK and over 25% of school age children attending fee-paying schools. Watson’s is

proud of its independent status and, whilst remaining true to its Scottish roots, seeks to sustain

and develop an international perspective. The curriculum is adapting to the innovations inherent

in Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence and the Scottish National Qualifications. Consideration

may also be given to pupils wishing to take the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme.

The School welcomes a wide range of academic ability, and has very high academic standards,

with 90% of pupils going on to Higher Education and a large proportion of pupils achieving

outstanding success. Watson’s also has excellent facilities, and offers a huge range of courses as

well as extra-curricular activities. In addition, it has particular strengths in Sport, Music, Drama,

Outdoor Education, Technology and in Support for Learning. The School is very well resourced

with a campus-wide IT network.


The leadership of the Senior School is delegated by the Principal to the Head of Senior School who

works with a team of four deputy headteachers . The leadership model enables Principal Teachers

to shape the character of their department within an overall ambition for the Senior School and

the College as a whole.

Approximately two-thirds of pupils in the Senior School have progressed there from the Junior

School. On arrival, they have a carefully worked out induction programme which includes a

residential experience together in the first term.

In First and Second Year, a diverse and stimulating timetable balances challenging academic

progression with a variety of learning experiences, including in two foreign languages. Pupils study

many of their subjects in their form classes but are set in English and Mathematics. This enables

them to progress at a pace that provides the appropriate level of challenge and provides them

with an opportunity to mix with the rest of their year group.

From Second Year, pupils discuss their personal targets and study options with teachers, through

to their key certificate examinations, and we ensure that they choose subjects and levels that

match their abilities and aspirations.

At Watson's we are proud of the exceptionally broad range of certificate courses we offer. Available

at various levels of certification within the national qualifications framework, our extensive

provision includes subjects across the spectrum of arts, sciences and social sciences, with a

notably wide selection of languages, including Mandarin Chinese.

It is important that we prepare pupils for the increased independence they will require after

school. A programme of study skills encourages independent thought and enquiry. Throughout

their time at Watson's, pupils make confident use of our outstanding IT facilities and our Library.

Outdoor learning and the Duke of Edinburgh Programme at George Watson’s College

Outdoor and adventurous learning is a significant element in the Watson’s experience. Trips and

activities away from the classroom enrich the school life and experiences of our pupils, they allow

pupils to develop and flourish in a different context and environment; crucially and often, in our

experience, pupils bring the positive aspects of these experiences back into the academic

classroom. It many respects the Outdoor Learning experiences offered to pupils have at their

heart the development of character - a key aspect of the enrichment programme at GWC.

The School’s position in central Edinburgh lends itself to exciting adventures and outdoor learning

opportunities, the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (Ratho) is nearby as are other climbing

walls. The Pentland hills and Hillend dry ski slope are close as are the Mountain bike Trail centres

at Glentress and Innerleithen. Further afield but within striking distance lie the Scottish Highlands

and Islands and the Lake District with all that they have to offer in terms of Adventure and Outdoor


George Watson’s College is an Independent Operating Authority of The Duke of Edinburgh’s

Award. Pupils are eligible to register for DofE at the end of S2 and can then start the Bronze Award

in S3. They may then decide whether they wish to continue with the Silver Award in S4 and the

Gold Award in S5 and S6. George Watson’s College has an enviable record in the uptake and

delivery of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme approximately 180 pupils take part in the

Bronze DofE award in S3.

The School organises an annual programme of hill walking and camping Expeditions, spread over

Scotland and the North of England. Individual Participants must organise their own Volunteering,

Skills and Physical activities. These must be approved in advance by their DofE Leader on eDofE

In addition to the extensive DofE programme, all senior school pupils in S3 take part in ‘Projects’ a

10-day residential experience in the Scottish Highlands during the month of May. The school also

has an expanding adventure education programme which includes sea kayaking, rock climbing,

and adventurous travel.


Line Management

The Outdoor Education Professional is accountable to the Senior School Deputy Headteacher

(Enrichment) and directly supports the Director of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. The

post holder will also support the work of the Principal Teacher for Outdoor Learning.

General Responsibilities

The person appointed will be responsible for leading aspects of the DofE programme (including

boys’ Bronze award) and supporting all elements of the programme using his/her skill, experience

and best endeavours. Working pattern will be agreed on an annual pattern so as to accommodate

the responsibilities of the post.

The post holder will help to develop and lead the Outdoor Education Programme and offer to

pupils in conjunction with the Head of Outdoor Learning and the Director of DofE.

They will abide by the Code of Conduct for Staff at George Watson’s College.

A contribution to the wider life of the School is an expectation of all staff.

Specific Responsibilities

The person appointed will :

Lead and manage the April and June, Bronze (Boys) expeditions, including parents’

information night, dealing with parental queries re Bronze expeditions by phone and email

and organising all pupils for each expedition.

Organise expeditions including: route planning and allocation of assessors, organising kit

issue and collection, sorting food money, assessor money, booking and driving minibus,

organising pupil transport. Booking accommodation well in advance (about 1 year) this

includes Youth Hostels, campsites. Contacting landowners where necessary.

Manage the budget for DofE Bronze Expeditions

Use eDofE to manage and support pupils through the DofE award

Use existing school systems for trips to ensure that expeditions and outdoor education

opportunities are safely and appropriately managed


The person appointed will have the following essential skills:

Have successful experience of working as an Outdoor Education professional in a

secondary school or Outdoor Centre.

Hold a national governing body (NGB) award(s) in land based mountaineering type

activities eg ML, SPA, WML , MIA, MIC or similar award(s). Holding water-based NGB award

(s) (i.e. BC Coach Award or BC Paddle sport instructor, etc would be an advantage.

Hold a Current First Aid certificate.

Full clean driving licence (preferably with D1 entitlement) D1 training and further NGB

training is available for the successful applicant.

Help to support and develop the inclusive ethos of the Duke of Edinburgh Award and

Outdoor Education at the School and the parity of esteem and opportunity for both girls

and boys.

Be flexible and imaginative in developing their practice and keep abreast of the latest

developments in Outdoor Education.

Have excellent interpersonal and communication skills and be able to work with parents,

volunteers and colleagues from different disciplines across both Junior and Senior


Have an understanding and knowledge of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and a

personal commitment to Outdoor Education

Be prepared to make a significant contribution to the extra-curricular life of the school.

They will abide by the Code of Conduct for Staff at George Watson’s College.


The salary for this position will be in the range B1 which currently stands at £25

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