Located in Surbiton, with excellent travel connections to nearby Kingston-upon-Thames and Central London, the school has well-resourced teaching facilities for all subjects and offers great reward for any potential new employee.
The school employs over 80 members of staff, and with the increase in student numbers over the past few years there has been an influx of new staff: creating a positive blend of more experienced colleagues with youth. Both Ofsted and Investors in People remarked upon the happy working atmosphere which is both supportive and collaborative.
Read below what some of our staff members have to say...
With 14 years of teaching under her belt and a phenomenal passion for travel and seeing the world - visiting over 60 countries including 6 years teaching abroad - Claire was the perfect candidate for our Teacher of Geography and Head of Humanities post when she joined us in September 2022.
Having already banked a remarkable level of key pastoral experience, Claire loved the community feel of our school when she came in for interview and was drawn by the importance Southborough places on forging positive relationships between staff and students and its subsequent impact on student achievement and wellbeing. With a sound belief that learning outside of the classroom is as equally important as what goes on within it, Claire comments that “Despite being a relatively small school, Southborough places great value on delivering a wide range of extra-curricular activities".
"As Head of Humanities, not only have I been able to introduce even more curriculum-based trips and clubs, I also support a number of sports clubs which run throughout the year. I love to keep active and being able to contribute in this way is great fun!”.
Maria was born in Venezuela to Italian and Spanish parents and can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to become a teacher. She re-located to Italy to take a degree in English and Spanish Languages and Translation and then paid an extended visit to England during the summer of 2020 before returning to Italy to complete her degree.
The stay in England proved pivotal as Maria found that she had developed a love of English culture and of the country itself and so decided to take her PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.
Whilst she rather liked her first placement at a large girl’s school in Richmond, it wasn’t until she joined Southborough to complete her studies did she feel that ‘she belonged’.
“I immediately picked up on the supportive culture of the school, not just between staff and students but between staff themselves. Everyone seemed friendly and part of ‘Team Southborough’, whatever department they work for. The boys here are great –smiley, full of character and bursting with energy; they are fun to teach.”
When a vacancy for a Teacher of French and Spanish became available at the school, Maria didn’t hesitate to apply. She officially started the role in June and looks forward to her first full academic year at Southborough.
Having completed a PGCE in Art at The Institute of Education in 2016 at the age of 50 following a rich and varied career that included Youth Work, Rob joined Southborough to teach both Art and Design Technology at GCSE and A Level.
His own experience as a young student at secondary school back in the 1970s and 80s had not been a particularly happy one, so Rob was looking to work in a school where every child mattered and felt supported: he wasn’t disappointed.
"This school goes the extra mile for every student, whatever their ability, background and culture". Rob believes that Southborough is a values-led school and that this, in turn, not only has a positive impact on all the students but also on the way our teachers teach. He is not afraid of hard work and certainly puts in the hours, as do the rest of the faculty in which he works.
However, he comments “I’m in my seventh year at Southborough and can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoy my job and still look forward to coming in each morning”.
Petra may be relatively new to working at Southborough, having first been employed as a Teaching Assistant during lockdown in 2020. However, her close association to our school stretches back many years.
She previously worked in the Hospitality industry - Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts – for over 15 years, before deciding to take a career break to be a stay-at-home mum to her two young sons. When her first son left primary school and joined Southborough, Petra was keen to support the school in any way she could and became an active and very helpful member of our Parent and Teacher Association (PTA), helping to organise many fund-raising events. By the time her second son joined a few years later, every staff member thought highly of her, whether it was through her PTA work or simply by getting to know her at parents’ evenings.
German-born Petra was already tutoring a small number of students outside of school and knew that she enjoyed supporting pupils with their learning when she saw a vacancy for Teaching Assistant at Southborough during Lockdown. After a successful year of undertaking this role, the position of E.A.L Co-Ordinator then came up. It’s been a role that she has grown into and developed ever since.
“Like many other schools across the UK, the number of students joining secondary school from abroad with little or no English has been growing, particularly from countries that traditionally don’t teach English as an additional language. At Southborough, the key aim is to give these students the best possible experience of school by being kind, supportive and inclusive. Whilst students find E.A.L lessons invaluable, they also know that there is an open-door policy where they can come and share their worries and concerns with me and other members of the SEND team. These boys literally come from all over the world and I’m proud to be part of the caring network that is Southborough. My boys have grown up, been to university and are leading their own lives now. Working at Southborough continues to give me a purpose and I enjoy more than ever being part of the school community.”
Having successfully completed his A levels at Southborough Sixth Form, Sammy worked four days a week here as a Learning Facilitator and Sports Coach whilst he completed his Open University degree in Sport Fitness & Coaching.
Juggling the demands of studying for a degree and holding down a job in school wasn’t always easy but the hands-on experience he gained through working with our students convinced him that becoming a P.E teacher was definitely the job for him.
With the help of the school, Sammy was thrilled to be accepted onto the Teacher Apprenticeship Teacher programme last year and, in his own words, "Receiving such great support from my Mentor and other staff, I couldn’t have wished to be anywhere else".
When a vacancy for a P.E Teacher came up at the end of the year, Sammy had no hesitation about applying for the role. Now in the final weeks of his ECT (Early Careers Teacher) year, he couldn’t praise the school highly enough. “The weekly meetings, CPD, regular observations and continued support from both the P.E department and SLT have had such a positive impact on my professional development. I love working at Southborough and enjoy teaching a subject that I have a real passion for".
With six years of teaching English at a variety of secondary state schools already under her belt, Zahraa’s decision to make the next big step in her career wasn’t going to be made lightly. She was determined that the next school she worked for had to share her values, vision and drive and therefore, set about undertaking some thorough research on school vacancies.
An initial ‘deep dive’ into Southborough’s social media provided her with plenty of evidence that the school took reading and literacy seriously. She loved the online photos and commentary on events such as World Book Day and Poetry Day, was impressed with the number of curricular-related residential trips that took place and enjoyed reading some of the book reviews regularly featured in the weekly school newsletter, ‘The Griffin’.
This and other material helped Zahraa come to the conclusion that Southborough offered the perfect blend between community focus and academic rigour. Joining us in January 2023, she says “What finally convinced me that Southborough was the school for me was when I came in for interview. Everyone was so welcoming and the student panel that interviewed me was full of engaged students, clearly passionate about their learning. The boys in and around the building were polite and respectful.”
Zahraa finds the role of Head of English Faculty a particularly rewarding one as it also includes Media Studies and Drama. Working alongside more practical subjects has enabled her and her team to share best practise and new ideas for the benefit of the students.
Our staff and students are our strongest reasons to join us, and are very happy to confirm this to visitors and candidates – come and see for yourself!