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Dear Theo: Lack of KS2 experience - how to get around it?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by Vanadesse, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Vanadesse

    Vanadesse New commenter

    I'm applying for jobs at the moment as I'm coming towards the end of my PGCE. Though I had originally wanted to teach KS2 when I went into the course, I was given two KS1 placements and one KS2 placement, which I've been fine with, I've really enjoyed it and done well but now I find that I'm struggling in terms of jobs. I obviously can't limit myself to applying just for KS1 and I wouldn't want to, I'd happily teach any age group but I know that there will be people with more KS2 experience than me applying as I only have a total of about 7 or 8 weeks in KS2 through placements and volunteering. So here's my question - do I ignore that fact on my application and just state all my experience or do I talk about it in my statement? I'm wondering whether I should add something about knowing that there are others with more KS2 experience but that I'm confident in my ability to teach KS2, enjoy it, been praised on ability to act upon advice and feedback to improve and develop and so would do the same and do well in a KS2 class, what do you think?
  2. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    No, don't mention that there are others with more experience - you must give all your experience a very positive spin.
    Bear in mind that lots of people at the end of their PGCE will have a little more time teaching in one key stage or the other. You've had some KS2 experience, so can apply for jobs there just as well as jobs in KS1. Remember, a primary school teacher can be asked to teach anywhere by the HT.
    So just beef up ALL your experience and if you want a KS2 job then go for it.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Sillow has given sound advice here!
    Other points: don't forget to read all the advice that I give -advice that REALLY works - very many posters will tell you this. Here's a reminder:
    Dear Theo - form filling question from student teacher
    And the other thing to remember is that jobs advertised now for September can only be filled by people like you, as teachers currently in permanent posts have missed the resignation deadline.
    Best wishes.
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
  4. Vanadesse

    Vanadesse New commenter

    I keep being told that I'm not being shortlisted for KS2 jobs because there are others with more KS2 experience, which is why I felt like maybe it was something that I needed to address in my personal statement.

  5. Hi! I'm an FE teacher not primary but I have a similar issue with regards to applying for jobs which ask for applicants to teach other subjects in addition to my specialist one (Psychology). I got around this issue in 2 ways:
    1. When a job was recently advertised with the person spec stating that the college wanted someone with experience of teaching Psychology (my specialist subject) and Sociology (which I've never taught before or studied beyond A-Level), I phoned up the college, explained my situation and asked if I should still apply. The response was extremely encouraging! So, you could phone or e-mail the school (I think that a direct phone call to a specific person gets better results) and put it to them as I did. Say I'm very keen to apply but have had mainly KS1 experience. Is it still worth applying?
    2. In my supporting statement, I wrote that I was keen to use my experience of teaching Psychology and topics which cross over with sociology to teach this and other relevant subjects and mentioned that I have enrolled on some CPD programmes to increase my subject knowledge of Sociology. Again, the response was encouraging! I got shortlisted! :)
    So in answer to your query, no I would definitely not write something along the lines of..
    I should add something about knowing that there are others with more KS2 experience..
    because you would be putting yourself down and making an issue out of this when it is unecessary to do so. Instead, I suggest that you write something similar to what I did which is that as part of your placement or experience so far, you taught some KS2 classes and enjoyed the experience so much that you are keen to broaden this experience by teaching x pupils at the school you're applying to. Do you see the difference in emphasis here? :) Instead of putting yourself down before you've started, you are making it clear to the school that what you lack in experience (which is due to a lack of opportunity rather than ability), you more than make up for in enthusiam AND a flexible approach towards your professional practice, as you're showing that unlike some teachers, you are happy to work with different year groups in different key stages if asked to rotate (as I believe some schools do from time to time).
    Anyway, HTH and good luck!

  6. Vanadesse

    Vanadesse New commenter

    That's a great idea ajbfan, thank you. I knew I needed to address it somehow but wasn't sure how. That's definitely a way to do it that puts a positive spin on it, thanks again.
  7. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Ah, but is this because you have been pointing out that other people have more experience than you?
    Just forget about the other applicants and list your experience and why it's relevant to the job. I've just landed my first KS1 job after not having taught there since my first PGCE placement some years ago. It's about confidence!
  8. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    And isn't this what myselft and TheoGriff said before, about a positive spin? [​IMG]

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