Overall Purpose of the Role and Working Relationships
The Head of the Primary School is a member of the School Leadership Team and reports directly to the Head of School. The incumbent must understand fully and support enthusiastically and articulately the stated mission and purpose of Keystone Academy, both in talking and in writing. All senior administrators are expected to model behavior and attitudes that build community, courtesy, and compassion in Keystone’s boarding and day student society. Positive enjoyment of the job and a lively sense of humor will be highly valued.
The Head of Primary School is the administrative and organizational leader of the Primary School. Working closely with the overall Academic Leadership Team of Keystone, the Head of Primary School provides pedagogical leadership that envisions and inspires the learning program in the Primary School. Also working closely with the members of the Primary School Leadership Team, the Head of Primary School has responsibility for the operational and day-to-day quality of the Primary School’s educational programs and scheduling and the committed and creative practice of all its personnel.
Main responsibilities include but are not limited to the following. The Head of Primary School will:
Pedagogic, Academic and Curriculum Leading and Managing
Continue to develop the Primary School in line with Keystone Academy’s mission and values, the dual requirements of the Chinese National Curriculum and the International Primary Curriculum, and the requirements of the language immersion program.
Ensure that the academic programs meet the standards and requirements of the Chinese National Curriculum, the IPC, and relevant accreditation and school improvement processes.
Maintain the centrality of an effective bilingual program, ensuring the Primary School’s academic and experiential programs are aligned with the needs of language immersion and acquisition.
Assist in integrating Chinese National Curriculum standards and the IPC program, and aligning them with the Keystone standards, bilingual immersion, the Chinese Thread, and other Keystone characteristics.
Work with the Dean of Curriculum to integrate the Chinese Thread fully into the Primary School’s programs and in support of vertical articulation across the whole school.
Work with department heads and teachers to build and nurture an academic and experiential learning environment that is challenging, creative, and caring.
Ensure that there are appropriate policies, procedures, guidelines, and systems in place to support the Primary School’s programs and ambitions, working with colleagues with cross-school responsibilities when appropriate.
Assist with the design, implementation and review of the timetable and staffing requirements.
Assist with the design, implementation and review of school- wide initiatives, curriculum development, special projects, and strategic planning.
Assist in ensuring that the space and infrastructure allocated to the Primary School are used effectively and innovatively in pursuit of teaching and learning outcomes and Keystone’s mission and values.
Support the effective use of technology in the Primary School.
With the Dean of Curriculum and IPC Coordinator, keep current on and critically assess educational thinking relating to Primary School education and language immersion.
Work closely with the Head of School and Dean of Faculty to ensure a consistently high quality of faculty across the whole school.
Assist with the hiring of teaching and non-teaching staff where appropriate.
Oversee the assessment and evaluation of teachers in the Primary School.
Promote an atmosphere of continual personal and professional development and help to monitor needs and opportunities for professional growth and improvement in the Primary School.
Coordinate Primary School Faculty Meetings and other significant meetings.
Administrative Leading and Managing
Maintain a strong, reassuring and supportive presence within the Primary School community.
Represent the Primary School within the School Leadership Team and Academic Leadership Team, balancing the interests of the Primary School with the whole school and other divisional interests, and understanding the collective responsibility of the School Leadership Team.
Coordinate and lead the Primary School Leadership Team, and keep under review the Primary School’s leadership and organizational structure.
Facilitate and support the close collaboration of all colleagues across the pedagogical traditions represented in the Primary School, promoting effective communication and constructive relationships.
Ensure the efficient and effective day-to-day operations of the Primary School, through imaginative planning, and appropriate delegation to line managers.
Oversee, with the Chief Operating Officer, safety and security issues in the Primary School.
Produce and review, with the Marketing and Communications Department, all Primary School publications to make sure they are accurate and convey the Primary School’s key messages and priorities.
Establish mechanisms for parental engagement and communicate sensitively, punctually and clearly with parents on matters of interest and concern to them.
Financial Leading and Managing
With the Chief Financial Officer, help to construct the Primary School financial budget and oversee its implementation.
Assist with the budget for department resources, academic equipment and furniture, IPC expenses, professional development, library resources, and unexpected contingencies.
Liaise with the Admissions Department concerning student applications and admissions to the Primary School, coordinating the Primary School’s participation in the admissions process, and playing such roles within the admissions process as agreed with the Dean of Admissions.
Maintain consistent principles of classroom management that reflect the different pedagogical traditions represented in the Primary School.
Work closely with the Dean of Faculty and the Dean of Students to ensure a consistently high quality of student life and wellbeing across the whole school.
Monitor student performance with the Dean of Students and the IPC Coordinator.
Oversee student academic counseling and course selection.
Work where appropriate with the Dean of Curriculum and Head of the Middle School to support the smooth transition of students between the Primary and Middle Schools.
As a member of the School Leadership Team, take on residential responsibilities as required.
Other duties as assigned from time to time by the Head of School.
While one person is unlikely to be able to meet every element of the person specification, this specification is an indication of the strengths and qualities that Keystone Academy will be seeking in its Head of Primary School.
Experience and Qualifications
The successful candidate will be educated to university level and is likely to have graduate/postgraduate qualifications in a relevant field. In addition, he or she is likely to have:
At least five years’ senior leadership experience in a primary school.
Experience of leadership in a bilingual environment and with language immersion and acquisition programs.
Experience of having worked in an international environment, with experience in Asia an advantage.
Experience of working with more than one educational system, with experience of the IPC and some understanding of the IB an advantage.
A strong record of having participated in continuing professional development and training.
Values, Attributes, Skills and Personality
The successful candidate will be excited about Keystone’s mission and values and share the school’s commitment to bringing together the Chinese, American and international pedagogical traditions. Beyond this, the successful candidate is likely to be:
Deeply culturally sensitive and able to work seamlessly in two or more cultures at once, in particular to bring together colleagues from very different cultural traditions.
Bilingual in Mandarin Chinese and English.
Highly enthusiastic about language immersion, preferably because of experience as a practitioner.
An innovator and visionary, able to see ways of developing the Primary School in line with Keystone’s mission and values.
An effective and consistent manager, able to inspire colleagues but also able to say no when necessary.
An effective, articulate and reassuring communicator, in particular in communicating with Chinese and non-Chinese parents and faculty.
Able to understand the expectations of parents.
Able to give leadership to classroom management strategies that will work with teachers from different pedagogical traditions.
Adaptable and resilient, comfortable working in a fast- developing country where the physical, cultural, political, and regulatory frameworks are subject to rapid change.
A pragmatist, able to adjust position and to compromise when required.
A strong representative of the Primary School, but also a strong relationship builder whose default position is to work collaboratively.
Energetic and determined.
An effective delegator.
Open-minded, a good listener, and culturally curious.
A strong proponent of experiential education.
Committed to high standards and continued improvement.
Thoughtful, considerate and intelligent.
Able to thrive in the residential environment of a school.
The recruitment process for both positions is being managed by RSAcademics Ltd. on behalf of Keystone Academy. Unless stated otherwise, all communication about the role and the appointment will be conducted via RSAcademics.
Three members of the RSAcademics team are engaged on this process:
Head of International Leadership Appointments +44 (0)7584 564944 email@example.com
Interested candidates are invited to contact Jean Sullivan by email or telephone for an initial discussion or to arrange a confidential discussion with Aaron Ashton or Keith Clark.
How to Apply
The closing date for applications for both positions is 4 September 2018 at 10:00 (BST)/17:00 (China time).
You should submit:
A copy of your Curriculum Vitae/Resumé. Please include the details (name, address, email address and relationship to you) of at least two professional referees.
A covering letter addressed to the Keystone Academy Head of School, Malcolm McKenzie, outlining:
the position for which you are applying and your reasons for applying;
relevant professional experience that you feel is aligned to the needs of the role;
how you relate your personal educational philosophy to your understanding of the role.
Applications should be made electronically to RSAcademics. Please email your completed CV and covering letter (both as PDF files please) to Alice Matcham at applications@rsacademics. co.uk. Alice can also be reached by calling our Head Office on +44 (0)1858 467449.
The recruitment process will proceed as follows:
All applications will be acknowledged by email. If you have not received acknowledgement that your application has been received within two working days of sending it, please contact RSAcademics by telephone (+44 (0)1858 467449).
Selected candidates will be contacted by RSAcademics colleagues for a confidential preliminary discussion before 14 September.
First stage interviews with members of Keystone Academy will be held in the week commencing 8 October – these interviews will be conducted by Skype.
Final round interviews will take place at Keystone Academy Beijing in the weeks commencing 29 October and/or 5 November.
RSAcademics will collect full references for candidates invited to attend the final round of interviews. If you have a specific preference that we do not contact one or more of your referees, please notify us accordingly. No referees will be contacted until RSAcademics has received your express permission to do so.
Keystone Academy is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. The posts are subject to appropriate safeguarding checks and satisfactory references.
For more information about the school and the position, please refer to the JD in English and in Chinese.