- Entry level
- No Education
- Salary to negotiate
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 SENIOR SCHOOL
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
REMUNERATION/HOURS OF WORK
The salary for this position will be in the range B1 which currently stands at £25