Post:       Head of Chemistry


The post-holder will, in the first instance, report and be directly responsible to the Vice-principal (Curriculum) and Vice-principal (Pastoral) and ultimately to the Principal or her designated deputy. S/he will also report directly to, and work closely with the senior link teacher for Chemistry


St. Dominic’s Grammar School for Girls


Two responsibility points


The responsibilities below are subject to the general duties and responsibilities contained within the Teachers’ (Terms and Conditions of Employment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1987.  They are not necessarily comprehensive and may be amended by the Principal, in consultation with the post-holder, Vice-principal and Head of Year, to reflect the needs of the school.


The post-holder will:

·         Ensure that his/her professional practice and approaches are in accordance with the agreed standards set out in the school-developed Teaching and Learning policyand school Professional Standards;

·         Teach Chemistry  at GCSE and DA level;

·         Teach Chemistry  at AS and A2 level;

·         TeachScienceat Key Stage 3 level;

·         Act as a Class Tutor, as required, and carry out related duties in accordance with the responsibilities of a Form Class Tutor;

·         Contribute to the extra-curricular life of the school;

·         Contribute to the development and implementation of school policies and procedures;

·         Carry out supervisory duties as required in accordance with published rosters(Break, Lunch and Detention);

·         Undertake any reasonable duties requested by the Principal or her designated deputy.




ü  Principal

ü  VPs Curriculum and Pastoral

ü  SLT Link

ü  Literacy Co-ordinator

ü  Numeracy Co-ordinator

ü  ICT Director


ü  Heads of Science subjects (Biology and Physics) and Technology

ü  School Business Manager




Head ofChemistry

PURPOSE: The Head of Department is central to the success of the school. Each HoD plays a key role in delivering the school’s vision, implementing the strategic development plan, setting and reaching performance targets.  The HoD positively promotes the vision and ethos of St. Dominic’s ensuring that learning and teaching is at the heart of the department’s work enabling every girl and every member of the department to reach his/her potential. As a leader, the HoD creates a self-evaluative, creative, forward-looking team committed to promoting St. Dominic’s as a centre of innovation and academic excellence.

As Head of Chemistry, the HoD will work closely with the Heads of Science and of Careers and the Director of ICT to promote interest, engagement and enjoyment ofChemistry  and to develop a plan to promote STEM across the school.


·         Has high expectations and a vision for the department in line with the school’s vision.

·         Plans effectively to deliver the vision via effective development planning and target-setting (individual and whole-school).

·         Creates and plans effectively in liaison with other relevant HoDs a STEM plan.  

·         Plays a leading role in creating a positive climate in the department, building an effective, committed team of teachers.

·         Ensures that every member of the team contributes to the success of the team and is valued for their contribution.

·         Communicates effectively with the department, with other departments and the Senior Leadership Team.

·         Is committed to continuous improvement.

·         Seeks opportunities within the school and beyond the school to promote best and next practice.

·         Is accountable for the overall standards/performance of the department in respect of all aspects of itsworkincluding performance in external exams, learning and teaching and assessment.

LEARNING AND TEACHING - The HoD ensures that:

·         Effective learning and teaching is key to all departmental processes.

·         All members are aware of the pupils’ learning styles and promote the use of a range of learning styles.

·         Pupils understand how they learn and can engage effectively in a dialogue about their learning.

·          A range of teaching strategies including active strategies are used regularly and consistently across the department and across all key stages.

·         Ensures that there is a focus onpractical work at all key stages

·         Promotes thinking skills at all key stages

·         Promotes/leads the development of e-learning including the development and use of the school’s VLE and use of new and emerging technologies.

·         Promotes the integration of the Pupil Voice into learning and teaching processes.

·         Good practice is shared across the department and with other departments.

·         All strands of the Revised Curriculum are implemented including the development of cross-curricular projects.

·         Numeracy and literacy are central to all learning and teaching.

·         Pupils’ individual needs including those with SEN are met.

·         Classroom displays promote and support learning and are regularly updated.

·         Pupils’ work is displayed.

·         All departmental members contribute to the department’s extra-curricular/enrichment activities in line with the school’s ethos.

·         ICT is promoted in Chemistry.


·         Ensure that all departmental members contribute to the department’s extra-curricular/enrichment activities in line with the school’s ethos and current practices.

·         Involve pupils in relevant competitions to promote their interest and enjoyment in  Chemistry

·         Organise individual /group support for pupils in liaison with the SENCO as appropriate.

·         Involve senior pupils in mentoring programme including leading activities to support pupils who are struggling or who are Gifted and Talented.

·         Takes a lead in the organization of booster classes at GCSE/A Level


ASSESSMENT - The HoD ensures that:

·         Assessment is integral to all learning and teaching.

·         There is regular, effective and consistent assessment of pupils’ work using a range of assessment tools across the department at all key stages.

·         Pupils’ written work is regularly marked in line with the school’s marking and literacy policies.  

·         Assessment affirms pupils and enables them to understand how to improve.

·         A system of online recording of assessment results is implemented.

·         There is a consistent approach to assessment which is moderated at all key stages.

·         Leads departmental cross-moderation throughout the year.

·         Leads departmental collegialbook marking and discussion at all key stages

·         Leads all aspects of controlled assessment and AS + A2 coursework and ensures completion of all paper work to a high standard.

·         There is effective and efficient co-ordination of the cross-curricular skills of communication, using number and ICT.


·         Directs and manages the work of all members of the department including the work of the Chemistry technician.

·         Ensures that the department has up-to-date schemes of work, action plan and handbook in place.

·         Completes interim andend-of-year reports for the principal

·         Leads regular minuted meetings of the department with a clear agenda.

·         Provides copies of the agenda and minutes for the SLT link and the Principal within one week of the meeting.

·         Ensures that a Health and Safety Policy and Planarein place and are  implemented fully by all members of the department

·         Ensures that risk assessments arecompleted and reviewed annually

·         Completes the departmental stocktake and requisition in liaison with the Business Manager’s Office.

·         Manages the departmental budget

·         Sets targets in consultation with team members.

·         Provides an end-of year report for the Principal.

·         Provides a report on the department’s performance in external exams including forthe Chemistry component of DA for the principal

·         Provides a report for the Principal on the performance of pupils in external exams including benchmarking the department’s performance against NI averages (at KS3, GCSE and A level) and an analysis of pupils’ performance against baseline tests and taking cognisance of cumulative residual data.

·         Completes all requested reports (eg. 1st place in subjects for Awards Ceremonies).

·         Ensures that the work of the department is represented on the school website.

·         Completes short reports on pupils’ success for the school website.

·         Organises the departmental activities for Open Day.

·         AttendsA Level and GCSE Awards ceremonies



·         Manages all aspects of the departmental requisition.

·         Leads the department in ensuring that the physical learning environment promotes and supports learning and teaching.

·         Ensures that staff are effectively deployed.

·         Ensures that all departmental members complete and collate resources which are shared via the multimedia.

STAFF DEVELOPMENT - The HoD ensures that:

·         All new members of the department and student teachers  are inducted and receive opportunities for continuous professional development.

·         Departmental members are developed via equitable delegation of tasks including the completion of schemes, minutes etc.

·         Sharing ofbest practice in learning and teaching is promoted via the school’s Trusted Colleague Networking/Observation processes

·         Sharing of best practice in marking and assessment is promoted via collegial book marking and discussion

·         All members of the department are fully consulted re their development needs.

·         All members of the department receive relevant ICT training and promote use of same to enhance learning and teaching.

·         The department contributes to whole-school staff development/training.

·         All training is fully evaluated.



Monitoring, Evaluating and Review

·         All departmental processes (e.g. L&T, assessment, performance etc.) are regularly monitored, evaluated and reviewed.

·         The team’s performance is monitored and reviewed using benchmarks.

The post-holder may be required to carry out other duties appropriate to the post and to the level of responsibility as may reasonably be assigned by the Principal from time to time.

Person Specification

Application Form