Page last updated on Friday, 08 June 2012 at 08:01:01 GMT

TEACHING AT DOLLAR


Why teach at Dollar?

  • Children keen to learn - hard working, sharply observant, and amiable.
  • Magnificent setting at the heart of a small country town - but not far from main population centres.
  • Superbly equipped teaching environments.
  • Outstanding academic results (see Dollar website).
  • Huge range of co-curricular opportunities.
  • Positive and committed staff, who genuinely welcome incomers.
Heather Moore

At the end of the summer, I sat on a plane to Britain, dreaming of the sunny weeks spent climbing in California's Sierra Nevada range. Glancing around, despondent, my eye fell upon a family poring over Dollar literature. Suddenly, California forgotten, my only thought was to squeeze out of my seat to speak to them. Suddenly, I could not wait to get back to Dollar, to re-discover my pupils, to re-visit my classroom, to see again the green hills beyond the school, to return to my life. Suddenly, I realised that - American or not, all other exotic and alluring locations aside - Dollar was my chosen home. And now, I could not wait for the first day of term.
Heather Moore
Teacher of English
Appointed 2002
Appointed from graduate teacher programme after studying at Boston and Glasgow Universities

 

Who teaches at Dollar?

  • Professionals committed to working with young people in and out of the classroom.
  • Fully qualified, GTC registered teachers.
  • Teachers who have come through Enhanced Disclosure by Disclosure Scotland (Dollar Academy picks up the bill).
  • Secondary specialists who might wish to develop their subjects throughout a 5-18 curriculum.
  • Primary specialists who like to be involved in the continuing progress of children after they leave the Prep and Junior School.

Support for new teachers?

  • Newly qualified teachers are supported through to full registration.
  • Successful probationers generally continue in Dollar after completing registration.
  • Regular meetings held with all new staff - mixing new entrants to the profession and experienced teachers arriving in Dollar.

Alastair McConnell


My first impressions of Dollar Academy were of hard working, conscientious pupils who completely buy into the ethos of the school. The pupils actually want to do well and get as much out of school life as they can. The staff are welcoming and friendly, willing to answer any questions and offer encouragement to get involved. The beautiful rural setting of the school, with impressive buildings and a stunning surrounding landscape, provide a perfect backdrop for geography lessons. The invaluable booklets given to all staff at the beginning of each session cover all aspects of life in the school and there is a well-structured induction process for new staff. Overall, I cannot recommend Dollar highly enough as a place to come and work.

 

Alastair McConnell

Head of Geography
Appointed 2009

BSc Geology and Physical Geography - Edinburgh University
Two years teaching English in Japan
PGCE Strathclyde University
Previously taught at Larbert High School


 

How good are the resources?

  • Classrooms and labs are modern and well-equipped.
  • Annual departmental reviews lead to provision of new equipment.
  • Over 450 computers on the school and boarding house network.
  • Innovation is valued - in ICT as in all learning areas.

Opportunities for professional development?

  • All aspects of Dollar Academy are reviewed annually.
  • Governors allocate significant resources for courses.
  • Individual staff needs are identified and actioned.
  • All focus is on teaching and learning - and is relevant to the needs of pupils.
  • Co-curricular qualifications - mountain leadership, DofE, available.
  • Many staff are involved in SQA, LTS, HMC and SCIS environments. A number of external agencies are closely linked with Dollar's professional teaching staff.
  • Membership of professional associations is encouraged, and there is an internal association for Dollar's teachers in addition - DATA.

Monika Harewood

 

From the day I first arrived in Dollar Academy, for my job interview, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the school.  I enjoy watching the pupils progress academically and develop personally.  I find it stimulating to hear their stories as they experience the wide range of co-curricular activities.  The school environment provides me with opportunities to continue my professional development and to grow as a teacher.  The support and friendship of staff grows and deepens as the years unfold and we share common experiences.  Two years on, I still feel that initial excitement within me and look forward to the challenges which each day will inevitably bring.

 

Monika Harewood

Junior School Teacher

Appointed 2007

Previously taught at St. Catherine’s Primary School, London

 

 

Long-term prospects for those joining the staff?

  • There are many promoted posts in subject areas, in co-ordinator posts and in guidance.
  • Internal promotion is available where appropriate for members of teaching staff.
  • Eight members of staff have gone on to headships in the past fifteen years.
  • The views of all members of staff are welcomed and respected.

How are salaries calculated?

  • Dollar does not participate in the Chartered Teacher scheme - but all permanent members of the teaching staff receive a 10% enhancement on the standard Scottish salary scale (McCrone).
  • Staff children attending the Academy, from their admission, pay reduced fees - currently 25% of school fee for Junior School and Senior School children, and 75% of school fee for Prep School children.
  • Teachers are members of the Scottish Teachers' Superannuation Scheme which has easy transfer arrangements with other UK government pension schemes.
  • Governors have set up further insurance schemes for staff.

Where do Dollar's teachers come from?

  • Current staff are graduates of universities in Scotland, in England, in mainland Europe, in the USA and in Canada.
  • Teachers join from PGCE courses, from graduate teacher programmes, from independent and from state school experience.
  • Some teachers currently on the staff have backgrounds in finance, in professional sport, in music and in research (in university and in industry).

 

Liz Langley

 

Dollar Academy is a remarkable place in which to teach: a co-educational boarding and day school within a magical and uplifting setting.  What I love about teaching here is that it is, first and foremost, a place of learning.  The academic results speak for themselves but at Dollar the pupils are also given opportunities to expand their knowledge far beyond the classroom.  To teach here you need to be dedicated and enthusiastic and prepared for committed pupils who have a determination to succeed at the highest level.  Teamwork is the key:  pupils and staff; sports teams; the orchestra; the cast in a play or musical.  But within each team environment the individual is encouraged to express their individuality.  I recall the first time I walked through the bronze doors of the imposing, yet inspiring, Playfair Building and read the inscription above, ‘To those who enter here: Enter into the spirit of John McNabb’s school.  Apply yourself diligently to learning and strenuously to games so upholding and enhancing the honour of the school’. This philosophy is the heartbeat of Dollar, for pupils and staff alike, not just a spin doctor’s mission statement, but an ethos which dates back almost 200 years.  It is this that makes teaching at Dollar so inspiring.

 

 

Liz Langley
Teacher of English

Appointed 2008

Previously taught at George Watson's College

 

 

Housing in the area?

  • Fifteen years ago, over 80% of the teaching staff lived in the town of Dollar. Now, fewer than 30% live in Dollar itself.
  • Staff travel daily from Edinburgh, from Stirling, from Perth and from towns in Fife. Elaborate car pool arrangements operate.
  • Housing around Dollar is reasonably priced in comparison with city prices. There is rented accommodation generally available.
  • Dollar is easily accessed from all round - and it is easier to drive into Dollar than into a main city in central Scotland (see map on website).
  • Dollar is good for family life, with nursery facilities and a choice of primary schools. Partners have recently found employment in financial services in Edinburgh, in the widespread computer industry and at the BP plant at Grangemouth.
  • Edinburgh is 35 miles away, Perth 25, Stirling 12, and Dunfermline 16.

Dollar is an independent school. What does that mean?

  • An HMC school, Dollar is one of approximately 240 such schools in the UK, and one of 19 in Scotland - HMC is a "kite mark" of quality, academically and in all-round provision.
  • Dollar follows the Scottish curriculum - but is free to develop its own specialisms. Thus, the extraordinary strengths, for instance, in junior science and in biotechnology.
  • Dollar is keen to innovate and to develop, but is not obliged to leap at the latest educational craze.
  • The Governors of Dollar Academy Trust are responsible for the management of the school, and they bring immense knowledge and expertise from a range of fields to their task.
  • The needs and aspirations of our pupils are at the centre of what we do here, and we encourage our leavers to make their future world a better place for others.
  • Dollar remains a magnet with many former pupils of all ages visiting the Academy.
Julia Adamson

The great joy of working at Dollar derives from the school philosophy which challenges both the staff and the pupils to explore new skills. As a result, there is a real sense of shared adventure amongst the children and their teachers, much laughter, and genuine recognition of what has been achieved.
 
Julia Adamson
Assistant Head of Prep School
Appointed 1989
Previously taught in St Margaret's Primary School, Polmont
 

 

What type of teacher does Dollar look for?

  • Men and women who genuinely want to advance the powerful learning environment here.
  • Good academic qualifications, genuine interest in young people and a sense of humour are paramount.
  • Real enthusiasm for the personal development of individual children and young people.

How do Dollar teachers relax?

  • They use Edinburgh Airport (40 minutes away) to access the rest of the UK and Europe, and there are now direct flights to New York.
  • They find adventure in the open spaces to the north of Dollar. There are 20 Munroes (peaks over 3,000 feet) within a one hour drive, and numerous outdoor experts on the staff.
  • Edinburgh and Glasgow are exciting international cities.
  • Within an hour, there is top quality theatre in Edinburgh, in Glasgow, in Dundee, in Stirling, in Perth, in St Andrews and in Pitlochry.
  • There are 30 golf courses within 30 minutes of the school.
  • Gleneagles Hotel is 20 minutes away and it has world-class leisure facilities.
  • The Academy itself has excellent sporting facilities, including a swimming pool and state-of-the-art multi-gym, all of which are available for staff use.
  • T in the Park, Scotland's premier rock festival, happens each July at Balado, 10 miles away, while the SECC in Glasgow and the Playhouse in Edinburgh are top venues for visiting musicians.
  • There are dramatic locations for water sports - kayaking, windsurfing, diving and fishing, and it is easy to access the great island landscapes (Arran, Islay and Jura for example) from here in central Scotland.
  • St Andrews, the home of golf, is at the end of the main trunk road going through Dollar; Murrayfield rugby stadium is on this side of Edinburgh; all the main football grounds are within two hours.
  • Locally produced venison, wild salmon and the best of Scottish fare are readily available in the area. The local independent brewery, Harviestoun, is well-known for its celebrated 'Bitter and Twisted'.

 

Dollar teachers like to keep learning

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching at Dollar

Dollar Academy, Dollar, Clackmannanshire, FK14 7DU | Tel: 01259 742511
The Governors of Dollar Academy Trust is a charity registered in Scotland, No:SC0009888
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