Take a look at this secondary biology School Direct personal statement to find out how to match your skills, abilities and experience to what is required
- If you aren't already working there, visit the school, do your research on the local authority and school and tell them why you want to work there.
- Think about your teaching ethos and vision. Refer to issues such as learning and teaching strategies, government policies and back it up with great examples from your classroom experience.
- Give examples of your own classroom management such as behaviour management strategies.
- Explain when you have worked with parents, support staff and colleagues.
- Outline relevant content from your degree or training such as subject or age specialism. Tell them about your own learning, this could be seen in your dissertation topic and any classroom based modules.
- Specifically refer to your teacher training, and mention any specialisms such as forest schools or overseas experience.
- Talk about how you've broadened your knowledge for example any outside experience or subject specialisms.
- Explain about any added value you bring through your skills and interests. This is where you can mention youth work, summer camps, volunteering and other work with children.
Example School Direct personal statement
My experiences working as a tutor in a tuition centre and volunteering in your school have inspired and motivated me to pursue a teaching career. After graduating from the University of England with a first in biological sciences I taught GCSE and A-level science in a tuition centre for three fulfilling years. I soon learned to update and differentiate my lesson plans to help improve learning outcomes and adapt to changes made in the curriculum. It helped me to think on my feet if students didn't respond to what I had planned and I had to change the focus of the lesson. I worked with students who had poor relationships with their teachers so grades were dropping, teaching me how vital teacher communication is in determining levels of student learning and understanding.
Tutoring a range of students including SEN and EAL to top grades at GCSE and A-level, encouraging them to keep focused and interested, can be challenging. The tuition centre had very little technology so I drew on my problem solving and creative skills to communicate in an engaging way. My role included assisting with their preparation for exams by developing individual comprehensive learning programmes for each pupil and providing consistent practical and pastoral support throughout their educational progress. I find biology fascinating, reading and learning about the subject for my own interest, often thinking about how I can use it with students to give them a broader understanding and make biology more real and meaningful.
Recently I have been fortunate to participate in and observe lessons with you at St Thomas More and have been inspired by the ethos of the whole school. I aim to utilise my existing transferable skills, while developing new skills and partaking more fully in the students' education. It has been interesting to learn about classroom and behaviour management and reflect on how different teachers handle classroom situations combining a sympathetic and assertive approach. I am learning the effectiveness of non-verbal communication in behaviour management, combined with the power of setting a positive tone from the beginning of a lesson. It is encouraging to see this all coming together to create a productive and successful learning environment for the whole class. I have enjoyed gaining experience of teaching a class, working out which teaching style will be the most effective with each class at the time. I hope to observe more strategies to reflect on and try out in the future.
One of the most fulfilling experiences I have gained was volunteering this summer for a month in a small rural school in Benin, Africa. I was teaching English and encouraging them to explore learning through creativity, which we were told was unusual for them. Despite the language differences we were able to get to know, teach and hopefully inspire the children. This confirmed my desire to become a teacher.
At school I was inspired by my teachers, admiring the skill there is in encouraging a whole class to want to achieve their potential. I discovered a passion for teaching science, a subject I now see many children struggle to become interested in. I would enjoy the achievement of encouraging students to appreciate science as it affects us all in so many ways.