Student or Learner
I was wondering if any of you could help me. i have visited approximately 6 schools and wrote a letter of application and filled in forms and not even had an interview. Could you give me any guidance on my letters please? Here is an example letter;
Dear Ms Mallon
I am writing to apply for both the Key Stage 1 and the Key Stage 2 vacancies at X Primary School. I am applying for these vacancies after a visit to your school yesterday afternoon. During this visit I found the staff to be friendly, approachable and dedicated to the wellbeing of the children in the school. The learning environment that you have created for the children is fantastic and the behaviour of the pupils that I encountered on my visit was exemplary. It was evident to see how hard the staff and children have worked during the past year to make X Primary School a great place to be!
I am a Newly Qualified Teacher and I have just completed a PGCE at Liverpool Hope University in March 2010. During this time I achieved a summative grade 1 for my performance against the professional standards which is reflective of the commitment that I have to teaching. The course was a distant learning course which meant that I had to be self-motivated and have excellent organisational skills. During the course we had two extended placements in two different schools; a placement teaching in Key Stage 1 and a placement teaching in Key Stage 2. We also had the opportunity to visit, observe and assist in all year groups. This was very helpful as it gave me an insight to the different types of teaching styles that there are and this helped me to develop my own.
I have an excellent knowledge of the National Curriculum and I have taught subjects in all areas including Physical Education, Music and Religious Education. During this time I have tried to ensure that all of my lessons are engaging, creative and facilitated so that children can construct their own knowledge from practical experience. I have used the Primary National Strategy to assist me in planning and teaching Literacy and Numeracy lessons in both key stages. I have a clear understanding of the Key Stage 2 curriculum as I have taught both year 3 and year 4 in many different subjects. I also have a considerable understanding of the Key Stage 1 curriculum as I have taught both year 1 and year 2. I have also provided supply cover for the Early Years Foundation Stage in a Nursery class and I have substantial experience of teaching Letters and Sounds. I ensure that all of my lessons are differentiated to ensure that individual learners are set challenging but achieveable learning objectives.
I am aware of the importance of formative assessment and I have a wide range of assessment for learning techniques. An example of this is by creating mind-maps at the beginning of a topic to see what children know and what needs to be taught. Another example is in Mathematics where I have developed my own formal way of formatively assessing pupils using a feedback sheet where I will report pupils’ strengths and areas for improvement. I will use this information to evaluate both the children’s learning and my teaching and this will inform my planning for the following lesson.
I think that I would be a good candidate for this job because I have extensive experience of working in areas of social deprivation. I am aware that the well-being of children can be affected by social issues and that these children may need extra support in school. An example of how I have supported a child with social issues is with a female year 2 child with behavioural difficulties due to her personal circumstances at home. As the child found it hard to express her feelings, she would hit, bite and kick the other children. To help her to overcome this I created her a Feelings Chart that she could use with the other children. As a result of this, when she was not feeling in a sociable mood, she would show the other children using her Feelings Chart that she wanted to be left alone. As a result of this, her behaviour began to slowly improve.
I have had considerable experience of working with children with Special Educational Needs and Learning Difficulties such as autism and ADHD. I have had experience of working in classes with high numbers of Special Educational Needs children who were on intervention programmes such as Early Literacy Support and Additional Literacy Support. I have worked in conjunction with Educational Psychologists to create Independent Educational Plans and I have supported children so that they can achieve the targets that they have been set. From my experience of teaching children with Special Educational needs, I have recognised that many of these children respond well to routine and visual prompts such as behaviour charts. I have also recognised that many children with Special Educational Needs respond well to working constructively. As a result of this, I ensure that all of my lessons are as interactive as possible and cater for the different learning styles of children.
My experience of working in a variety of schools serving different social backgrounds has allowed me to develop a range of behaviour management strategies. I prefer to use positive behaviour management strategies rather than discipline. Examples of successful strategies that I have used in schools are reward charts, praise and brain-gym. I also think that it is essential to make children fully aware of the behaviour expected of them and to give them a warning of the consequence of what rewards that they will lose if they fail to comply.
I am aware of the importance of the community to children’s development. As a result of this, I work hard with parents and carers and make sure that they are fully informed of their children’s progress. I have written children’s reports, contributed to parents’ evenings and made myself approachable for parents who wanted to discuss their child’s development. As a result of this, I have built up strong relationships with parents and carers which has helped us to work together as a team to improve their children’s development.
In addition to this, I am also aware of the importance of all staff and volunteers in the school. Therefore, I always endeavour to work in a team and share best practise with my colleagues. Conversely, as I am new to the teaching profession and have a lot to learn, I always welcome feedback on my performance to help me to strive to improve
I am a proficient user of ICT and I look forward to it being implemented as a core subject from September 2011. I constantly use ICT to enhance learning through the use of cross-curricular teaching. Examples of these are when I have taught a class of year 1 children how to create pictograms and when I have taught a class of year 1 children to use the internet to find questions and answers about a creative curriculum theme of ‘Space.’ As you can see, it is my belief that children are never too young to use ICT! I am trained in school software programmes such as ‘Espresso’ and ‘Education City’ and I enjoy using the Smartboard to encourage interactivity with children in my lessons. During my last placement my school-based tutor advised that she believed that ICT was one of my teaching strengths and I would welcome the opportunity to develop ICT throughout the school.
During my visit to your school it was evident to see that the school offered the pupils many different extracurricular activities. I particularly enjoyed watching the drama club’s performance of ‘Macbeth.’ ’ If I was successful in my application I would be eager to contribute to the many different extracurricular activities of x Primary School. As I am a qualified Playworker I thoroughly enjoy working with children in an out of school context. During my last placement, I ran an art club for children so that they could express themselves through creativity. I have attended a four day residential with year 4 children. In addition to this, I have also accompanied children on a variety of school trips and ensured that all of these trips were adequately risk-assessed.
In my last placement, my school based tutor commented that I was a dedicated, enthusiastic and caring practitioner. I aim for all children in my care to feel safe and to enjoy learning. I hope to be a positive role model for children and I want to nurture and inspire each child’s individual strengths so that they can feel special. I am eager to learn and hoping to take on many responsibilities and challenges and I think that x Primary School would be a great place to help me to develop and prove my commitment to teaching. I hope that you will offer me an interview so that we can discuss my passion, dedication and commitment to inspiring children and their families.