Ipswich School is one of the leading independent schools in the area. It has a long history dating back to at least 1399 and is known for its academic success, without being an educational ‘hot house’, its extensive sport, drama and music activities and its commitment to the local community.
Pupils at the school come from a really broad range of backgrounds, and this makes the school different to many others in the independent sector. The atmosphere is very positive and pupils really do get on well with each other and with teachers. Behaviour in lessons is first class and teachers are able to focus fully on their teaching and pupils’ learning without having to spend time and effort keeping everyone in order.
“Pupils routinely say ‘thank-you’ as they leave every lesson. You don’t often get manners like that these days?” Senior School teacher
Those applying for teaching posts in the Senior School will find that class sizes are generally smaller than in the maintained sector, with Lower School classes typically being around 20, Middle School can be a little larger or smaller depending on subjects – but are never larger than 24. A Level classes in the Sixth Form are typically have around 10 – 12 students, with 15 students being the upper limit.
“The staff benefits here are amazing; the lunches the best I have ever had at any work canteen.” Member of the support staff
Teachers are well supported by Heads of Department and there is a first-class CPD programme in place which not only provides the latest on class room practice, but also involves a range of optional social events. Additional training is also available for all teachers.
For those looking at Prep School posts they will find wonderful purpose-built classrooms in a state-of-the-art Prep School building, small class sizes – typically around 15 in the Lower Prep and between 18 and 25 in the Upper Prep. They will also find parents are very supportive and keen to develop the potential in their children.
“You can see what young children need and then shape your teaching accordingly. We are not tied to the National Curriculum which rather forces teachers to teach specific things. We are so lucky to have this flexibility.” Prep School teacher.
Those applying for support staff posts will feel themselves very much part of a community. There are no great boundaries between teachers and support staff. There is a well-refined CPD programme for members of the support staff, great opportunities for development and a fantastic range of benefits.
There are regular opportunities for all staff to get together socially. Recently staff events include drawing sessions, juggling instruction, gin and wine tasting, orienteering, a casino night and curry and carols at Christmas. Every other year the staff – support staff alongside teaching staff - put on a major end of year show for pupils to raise funds for charity, and these have included a pantomime, Staff do Strictly and – most recently - Staff Have the X Factor.
“Since starting here at Ipswich School three months ago I have found that the welcome as a member of the support Staff, but more importantly as a member of the Ipswich School Community, has been remarkable.” Member of the support staff
Facilities throughout the school are excellent with a brand new Music School, the extensive Ipswich School Sports Centre at nearby Rushmere, a specially-built Prep School and a recently-opened day nursery – The Lodge.
“I could not work with nicer or more thoughtful colleagues.” Senior School teacher
There is free car parking on site for teachers and support staff (though this can be a little tight at times in the Senior School) and a range of other benefits.
Supporting the community is one of the school’s core values. The school has a significant community programme with pupils visiting local care homes giving music and drama performances, pupils growing vegetables and giving them to a local charity, local primary schools taking part in our annual Festival of Music and a large pupil-led termly fundraising programme.
Some key facts about Ipswich School
- Around 780 senior school pupils
- Around 280 prep school pupils
- Senior school dates back to 1399
- Prep School founded in 1883
- Upper Prep building was opened in 2006
- Ipswich School Sports Centre opened in 2015
- New Music School opened in 2016
- Sixth Form Centre refurbished in 2017
- Lodge Day Nursery opened in 2018
- Over 75% of A Level exams graded A*-B and there was a 100% pass rate
- Over 22% of GCSE exams were awarded the very top new grade of 9 in 2018