Personal Statements; Advice, Hints & Tips

Personal statement

As I mentioned in the PGCE Application Checklist post, you are required to write a personal statement if you are applying through UCAS, and even for some providers when applying direct too. I have already covered a lot of what you should include in your statement, so this post is just to give you some extra tips and advice to make sure you get it spot on and stand out from the crowd in your application.

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1.Draft it: It’s a good idea to draft your personal statement in Microsoft Word (other word processors are available), and the copy and paste it into UCAS. This is due to UCAS having a 30 minute timer and you will be ‘timed out’ and loose any progress if this happens. Also doing this will check your spelling and grammar too so that’s always helpful!

2. Back statements with evidence: Make sure you don’t make any statements which you cannot back up with evidence. If you are claiming you have always been good with children – show it!

3. Show awareness of current issues: It would be useful to show that you are aware of how demanding teaching is, and that you are aware of some of the current developments and issues. So reading the news, TES magazine and other sources are beneficial.

4. Be positive and assertive: Try to keep a positive tone throughout your statement, try not to use ‘I feel, I think and I believe’

5. Be critical of yourself: Perhaps show criticism of yourself in your statement, show that you can be critical. So if you have experience, but think it wasn’t great or you could develop as a result – include it!

6. Show you’re committed: The admissions team will be looking to ensure candidates are committed and have a passion for teaching, so make sure that this shines through in your statement, and in the subsequent sections of your application also.

You may also want to view the following websites for guidance:

Get to know the curriculum you will be teaching; National CurriculumQualifications and Curriculum Authority

Keep up to date with current issues/new/developments;Times Education Supplement (On-line & in print; published every Friday), Guardian Educational Supplements (Published every Tuesday), Department for Education

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