- Sixth Form
With a plethora of independent schools in the country and specifically in Somerset, we asked Assistant Head (Academic) Dr Adam Gutteridge five reasons why teachers should join Millfield.
Relationships forge learning
For hundreds of students, Millfield is their home. As teachers, we get to know them not just via their academic studies, but rather across the wide breadth of their interests outside of the classroom: sport, music, drama, or one of the multiplicities of other activities Millfield offers through the Millfield Activity Programme. Conversation, shared interests, talking about their lives within and beyond the classroom allows us to forge strong links with them. If you are a teacher who believes that education is a relational enterprise – that is, if you think that good education must at least begin with the solid relationship between people who share the goal of academic progress – then Millfield is a place in which you and your pedagogy will flourish.
The space to know each student
Millfield’s small class sizes (typically no more than fourteen at Year 9, and often far fewer going into the older age groups) mean that students are supported individually. Teachers can allow students the opportunity to master their subjects in a focused environment and adapt their teaching to ways in which the students in their lessons learn best. We are tremendously fortunate that Millfield’s founding aspiration was to facilitate small-group learning. That is something from which we have never swerved.
A force for good
Our unique mission statement and founding ethos mean that the school constantly looks beyond its perimeters, seeking to be engaged not just in our immediate community but also in the wider world. Our purpose is to break the mould as an activist educator, providing an education and an experience that honours the individual. Our original vision remains the same: to be the world leader for the development of children, discovering brilliance in every student by immersing them in limitless academic, artistic, and sporting opportunities. We aim to be the market leader in providing transformational bursaries, and in addition we constantly seek opportunities to share educational experiences with teachers and children in the state sector, at no cost to them, with the ultimate aim of increasing their academic aspiration for all. That is the right thing to do and it feels good.
Innovative approaches to teaching
Millfield has the drive and desire to reframe what is possible in education: our new Brilliance Curriculum encourages students to see across disciplinary boundaries and grapple intellectually with big themes from the moment they arrive in Year 9. For example, the teaching of the importance of water purification in Geography is followed by the teaching of different mechanisms for water purification in Chemistry, with teachers from each department explicitly referring to this cross curricular link. Teachers here are fantastically resourced, with equipment and facilities that are some of the best imaginable, but more than that, there is an institutional culture of encouraging innovative education and supporting teachers to do whatever they need to do in order to make young people flourish. Millfield has always been at the forefront of new directions in pedagogy: right from the first decades of its existence, when we pioneered educational work with dyslexic students, and later when we introduced mobile devices as part of innovative EdTech strategies, we have been unafraid of change and challenge.
Opportunities to Be Brilliant
Millfield is a large educational community and it has many aspects: academic, pastoral, sporting and co-curricular. There is a vast array of opportunities to learn something new, and as teachers who spend a lot of our time on the other end of that equation, that’s a valuable thing. Funding contributions are offered towards post-graduate qualifications, CPD is available for pretty much any aspect of our roles, and we want to ensure that teachers have the chance to be the best version of themselves that they can be.