Looking for class acts
Kellett School is on the hunt for top-notch teaching staff as it grows student numbers
International education is rarely out of the news in Hong Kong. As a city that has always attracted expatriates from all over the world – especially as economic woes continue across the West – it sees constant demand for quality international education from expats, as well as locals keen to set their children on a more global career path.
Kellett, an international school founded in 1976 to provide a high-quality, British-style education, added to its longstanding base in Pok Fu Lam last year by opening a new campus in Kowloon Bay offering both primary and secondary classes. With a current headcount across both campuses of 1,030 students in its primary and secondary sections, and 105 teachers, it has further plans to expand – an additional 150 students will be enrolled in the next academic year and it will be aiming to fill a number of teaching positions and non-academic vacancies.
“In the next three to five years, we expect to grow to our full capacity of 1,500 students across our campuses in Pok Fu Lam and Kowloon Bay,” says Simon Giddings, head of senior school. “Our recruitment follows this planned expansion in student numbers.”
Kellett is recruiting 16 teachers for its primary and secondary sections, as well as for 14 positions for teaching assistants and non-academic staff. This includes science technicians, design and technology technicians, language assistants, and administrative positions in HR, admissions and general administration. Teaching positions include maths, English, humanities and the arts. Relevant experience, qualifications and a passion for teaching are among the prerequisites for applicants.
“For teaching staff, we look for up-to-date experience in British schools, and for teachers in the senior school, recent A-level experience,” Giddings says. “A proven passion for teaching as a vocation, with good experience in outstanding schools and an excellent track record of achieving strong exam results, are absolute necessities. We also seek staff ambitious for career progression. A relevant teaching qualification and degree in the subject being offered is also required.”
Beyond that, successful candidates will be committed to a common vision. “All staff must be aligned with the school’s aim of engendering a love of learning and confidence for life in each of our students as Kellett strives to be the best British international school in Asia,” Giddings says. “In terms of soft skills, we look for candidates who are determined to excel in all endeavours and have a willingness to take on leadership and make decisions. It is also important that they be good listeners and articulate.”
While Kellett’s initial intake of students back in 1976 consisted of mainly British expatriate children, it now counts around 30 different nationalities in its student body. The teaching staff comprises a majority of British nationals, along with others from Australia, New Zealand, mainland China, France and Hong Kong.
Over the years, the school has grown from a kindergarten and primary school to provide a full secondary education up to A-levels, which are offered in Year 13 when most students are 18 years old. The school teaches a localised British curriculum and offers GCSE, IGCSE and A-level qualifications.
The school aims to turn out confident, articulate children equipped with a wide range of transferable skills. It places emphasis on academic excellence, competitive sports and creative arts, while ensuring students absorb a love of learning.
Giddings explains that Kellett has an unusual set-up among the territory’s English-speaking schools. “One of its strengths is that it’s a parent-run school,” he says. “All of our governors are parents who have children in the school. Consequently, it’s focused on having the best interests of the students at heart and that’s very much a top priority. [This] really does keep us sharply focused on our school’s aims. That’s very exciting for teachers and other staff members when they’re thinking about working at Kellett.”
Staff will enjoy a professional environment and contribute to a progressive British international school where they are well looked after. “It’s a very collaborative place, with a lot of strong teams who work across the school either on the academic side or on the admin side,” Giddings says. “We’re very much driven by focusing on a love of learning and confidence for life for our students, and that really does permeate through everything that we do every day.”
Teaching at Kellett is good preparation for future careers, Giddings adds, though given the school’s relatively small size, career opportunities are likely to be at other Hong Kong schools or elsewhere. “We encourage staff to look for promotional opportunities outside Kellett, as we will not be able to meet the career demands of all of them,” he says.
In a part of the world where international education opportunities abound, Giddings says the future is bright for teaching professionals. “The future of international education in Hong Kong is vibrant and exciting,” he says. “Staff who have left Kellett School have always gone on to excellent schools, often in promoted positions either internationally or in Britain.”
TOOLING UP FOR 21ST-CENTURY TEACHING
Simon Giddings explains what is needed to be a successful modern teacher.
Passion for the job “We focus on engendering a love of learning and lifelong confidence in each student. Our teachers need to be passionate about teaching to achieve that.”
World vision “The world is a small place … [Our teachers] are preparing our students to be able to move to any city in the world and be successful professionally and personally.”
Ambition to succeed “You must show a willingness to go the extra mile.”
Ability to listen “A teacher should be able to listen to students and parents in order to help individuals learn and grow.”
Strength of mind “You must be determined to excel in all endeavours.”