Working at St Faith’s

St Faith’s seeks to be a happy, inclusive and supportive community which welcomes families from all religious and cultural backgrounds. Underpinned by Christian values, we nurture every child as an infinitely valuable and uniquely gifted member of the St Faith’s family.  We aim to cultivate strength of character, distinguished inter-personal qualities, distinctive leadership ability and a keen sense of social responsibility. Our innovative and future-focused education builds on a strong academic heritage and promotes excellence in all areas. 

All St Faith’s roles are advertised through TES, our unique page can be found here.

Current roles:

Maths Teacher       st faith’s head    HEAD OF PRE PREP

Introduction

St Faith’s, UK Prep School of the Year 2019, educates over 500 boys and girls, aged 4 to 13, and employs over 100 staff.  Situated in the heart of Cambridge, on a spacious green site with outstanding facilities and easy access to the M11, St Faith’s benefits from an enviable location and has the feel of a ‘country’ prep school with all the advantages of Cambridge on its doorstep.  There is a tangible buzz of positivity in the School and new staff are often struck by the happy, productive and supportive atmosphere.

The School is renowned for its first-class all-round education with a strong academic core and excellent pastoral care. Results in senior school entrance examinations are outstanding (over 90% gain places at their first choice senior school) with leavers achieving an average of 30 scholarships each year.

The School’s commitment to academic excellence is matched by the value it places on the broader curriculum. St Faith’s provides a truly holistic education in which everyone is encouraged to discover their talents and then make the most of them. Pupils achieve a staggering array of success across the curriculum.  In recent years, pupils have won national creative writing competitions, reached the final of National Schools’ Maths Challenge, performed in regional and national music and theatre groups and been winners of various sports at national level. St Faith’s pupils are renowned for being great ‘all-rounders’ with strong inter-personal and leadership skills.  As the Good Schools’ Guide states, St Faith’s ‘turns out sparky children with high all-round expectations and the skills to meet them’.

Class size for all year groups is between 14 and 20 pupils. Teaching Assistants are employed for all classes up to Year 5 and for most practical subjects thereafter.

Reputation

In recent times, the School has received national and international recognition for its curriculum innovation.

In 2019 St Faith’s was awarded Pre Prep/Prep School of the Year 2019 by TES, having been shortlisted for the same category in 2018. TES also awarded St Faith’s ‘Strategic Initiative of the Year’ award (for the introduction of Engineering) in 2018 following its introduction to the curriculum for all pupils from Year 3 in 2015. This initiative also received significant local and national support from the University of Cambridge, leading Engineering companies and the James Dyson Foundation.

In 2013 The Royal Society awarded St Faith’s Associate Status for its excellence in the teaching of Science and Maths. Also in 2013, the government designated St Faith’s a Lead School for the teaching of Computing and for the past three years, our Head of Computing has provided support to over 25 schools in their quest to introduce the Computing curriculum.

In 2014, St Faith’s won the school’s category of the Ashden Awards, an international competition which recognises beacons of excellence in sustainability; in this respect the School is seen as a world leader and is currently supporting many schools in the UK to roll out sustainability education programmes.

We have also been recognised for Healthy Eating by Independent School Parent magazine, and in 2019 our catering team were awarded Independent School Caterer of the Year.

Working at St Faith's

St Faith’s is a busy and an active school.  Staff here are encouraged and expected to work to the highest professional standards, contributing to the very high regard in which the school and its staff are held by current and former pupils and their parents and ensuring that the children are given all the opportunities that should be available to them at a first-class independent school.

St Faith’s is in many ways a reflection of Cambridge. It has a long and distinguished history but has never stood still. The blend of traditional values and continuous desire to improve has enabled the School, like its neighbouring City, to develop successfully and earn its reputation for exceptional standards. When recruiting staff, we look for outstanding individuals who can help us to preserve our traditional values and at the same time, be open-minded, innovative and dynamic, so that the School can continue to develop and lead the way in prep school education.

School Structure and the Curriculum

Essentially school is divided into 3 sections:

The Pre Prep comprising three year groups – Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 – with three classes in each. The Pre Prep is located at the southern-most part of the site with its own classrooms, playgrounds and staff.  The children are taught by their Class Tutor with the exception of Computing, Spanish, Music and Sport which are taught by specialists – the latter three of these subjects are taught in whole-school specialist facilities.

Prep

Years 3 and 4 which comprises four classes in each year. The Class Tutor teaches the children for approximately three quarters of their timetable, with the remainder being taught by specialists in specialist facilities.

Years 5 to 8 which comprises four classes in each year. Each class has a Tutor for pastoral purposes and all subjects are taught by specialists using departmental facilities.

Class size for all year groups is between 14 and 20 pupils. Teaching Assistants are employed for all classes up to Year 5 and for most practical subjects thereafter.

The School curriculum far exceeds national requirements, covering all the National Curriculum subjects as well as Spanish (from age 4), Classics (from age 9), French (from age 10) and Engineering (from age 7). An emphasis is placed on excellence and innovation and in recent times the School has received national and international recognition for its curriculum development.

In 2020 we jointly published, with IAPS, the first ever schemes of work for Engineering for pupils aged 7-13. These schemes have been built on our experience of teaching the subject over the past five years with much insight from professional engineers including Cambridge University and the Institute of Engineering.

Facilities

St Faith’s boasts exceptional facilities, on a spacious green site just 20 minutes walk from the city centre.  Essentially the nine-acre site comprises four Georgian buildings complemented by spacious, purpose-built facilities.  Modern accommodations includes a large Sports Hall (opened in 2011), Ashburton (Art, Drama, Maths, Library and Assembly hall) opened in 1998 and Year 1 classrooms built to passiv-haus standards, which opened in 2012. In 2018 we opened our newest and most innovative building, The Hub, which provides a large multi-functional facility linking all STEM facilities including Computing, Engineering, Science and Maths. The Leys and St Faith’s Foundation also owns and uses twenty acres of sports fields, including two astroturf pitches, just two minutes walk from the main St Faith’s site.

Co-Curriculum Activities and Trips

Co-curricular activities are extremely important at St Faith’s as they broaden the minds of our pupils, allowing many to find talents and passions they never knew they had. They range from Music and Drama rehearsals, chess, reading, Art and model making to team sports, golf, gymnastics and dance. All full-time teachers are expected to run at least one after-school activity each week; many run more than this. Currently over 80 activities are on offer to the children each week.

Many visits to places of local interest are planned to extend and enrich the curriculum, taking advantage of the fascinating possibilities of Cambridge and its environs. The School also runs a planned programme of residential trips, including an annual ski holiday, an outdoor adventure holiday to the Ardèche gorge, a language learning course in Spain, a Music tour to Liverpool, a Classics trip to Rome and Pompeii and a Music and Sports tour to South Africa. These trips are popular, and staffing is carefully planned to allow as many teachers and support staff as possible to take part.

Entrants and Exits

 

Demand for places is high and the School is heavily oversubscribed. Most children enter the School at age 4; there is no formal assessment at this stage other than a visit by the Head of Pre Prep to the child’s nursery to ensure that he/she is ready for our school environment.  An additional class is recruited at age 7 (Year 3) and occasional places become available in other year groups when current parents relocate. From Year 2 entry onwards our intake is academically selective, in so far as we seek to ensure that a child will cope with the demands of our strong academic curriculum. The overall academic ability of each year is well above the national average.

Approximately half of our leavers move to The Leys and the remainder transfer to a wide variety of independent and maintained schools in Cambridge and further afield; in recent years the most common destinations have been Uppingham, The Perse, King’s Ely and St Mary’s.

History

St Faith’s was founded in 1884 to meet the needs of the children of the Fellows of Cambridge University. R. S. Goodchild, the founder, reputedly named the School after his daughter Faith. In 1938 St Faith’s became part of the same foundation as The Leys School, a prestigious senior independent school in Cambridge.  Each school operates autonomously each with own staff, Head, budget and individual identity, yet benefits from a close relationship.

In the 1990’s, the School moved from being a six-day a week boys’ day and boarding school to a coeducational five-day a week day school.

Over time, St Faith’s has thrived and grown in to one of the largest prep schools in the country, with outstanding facilities and a healthy financial position. Well known alumni include John Maynard Keynes (economist), Christopher Cockerell (inventor of the hovercraft) and Alex Goode (England rugby player).

Living and Working in Cambridge

Cambridge is a wonderful place to live and work. The wide open green meadows in the city centre together with the beautiful architecture of the colleges make the city a very pleasant place.  Cambridge is one of the fastest growing cities and exciting technology clusters in the world, with companies such as Microsoft, Apple and AstraZeneca  sitting alongside the many start-up technology companies. Cambridge is world-renowned as a seat of learning and boasts the highest concentration of Nobel laureates in the world. Addenbrooke’s and Royal Papworth hospitals sit at the centre of the growing Biomedical Campus, located just a few minutes away from St Faith’s. The expansion of Cambridge, the science parks and the Biomedical Campus in particular, has led to major housing developments in the area as Cambridge becomes an increasingly dynamic and cosmopolitan city.

Quality of life is high in this cosmopolitan city, which despite its world renown retains a small-town feel. From a number of theatres and museums to cinemas, concert halls, Michelin-starred restaurants and pop-up eateries, Cambridge has something for everyone. Green spaces include a number of parks and common lands upon which cows graze, the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, the river with all its amenities and Grantchester meadows.

Cambridge benefits from good transport links with around five trains per hour to London King’s Cross and Liverpool Street. Stansted Airport is less than a 30min drive or 15 min train ride from the centre of town and transport links within and across the city are being evolved constantly.

Staff Benefits

The School offers a generous remuneration package.

  • Teaching staff receive a significant reduction in fees for their children who are educated at the School.
  • Staff receive free late stay charging and St Faith’s holiday clubs for their children who attend the School.
  • The School encourages teachers to take part in the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme and support staff to take part in the Company Pension Scheme.
  • St Faith’s owns properties which are made available for staff accommodation. The School can also provide support with rental costs in the first two years of appointment.
  • Free membership of a private health scheme is offered to all teaching staff.
  • Free membership of Medicash (pro-rota for part time staff).
  • All staff have access to an Employee Assistance Programme.
  • Free membership of Cambridge University Botanic Gardens.
  • All staff benefit from free membership of The Leys sports facilities, including a gym, sports hall and swimming pool.
  • All staff are provided with free lunches in term time in our award-winning dining room. Breakfast is also available at a subsidised cost to staff, parents and children each morning.

  • A parking space is available on site on four days per week. On the fifth day, staff are expected to park off site. The School provides financial support for the purchase of a bicycle through the Cycle to Work scheme.
  • All new members of staff receive a detailed programme of induction and mentoring throughout their first year. The School places high importance on professional development and all staff are expected to be proactive in furthering their skills and knowledge. Regular in-house training is provided and there is a substantial budget for staff to attend external courses.
  • Class sizes are small, behaviour of pupils is very good and the School prides itself on having a happy, supportive and dynamic staff team. Teachers are allocated a very good proportion of non-contact time to prepare lessons and mark pupils’ work. New members of staff are made very welcome and great care and support is given to help them settle in and enjoy working as part of the community.