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How do I make my inner city school experience relevant?!

Discussion in 'Independent' started by watson17, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. boxer20

    boxer20 New commenter

    I'm applying for a job at an independent school for the first time.

    I've spent the first four years of my career in a tough inner-city school that has languished at the bottom of league tables for a long time. I have learnt s great deal, and developed significantly
    ,but I'm having trouble writing my personal statement as the two contexts are so different.
    The results I've achieved have been decent for the context I've been in, but on paper they sound quite rubbish when compared to the percentages plastered over this school's website?!

    Even my pastoral experience seems wholly irrelevant. I have a background in SEN but I'm not sure if that's of much use in a private school.

    Am I kidding myself thinking I can make this drastic change?
    Or is there a way to make all that I have learned about safeguarding, childhood trauma, behaviour management, and EAL differentiation relevant to a semi-rural selective school?
  2. Boardingmaster

    Boardingmaster New commenter

    I moved from a tough brixton comp to boarding school many years ago, and to be honest just wrote about the classes I taught and the approaches I took, then added a bit about my keenness to get involved in extracurricular life even though I hadn’t had much chance to at my London school.

    As someone who has also interviewed candidates for teaching roles in independent school, I have always welcomed state school applicants, and it is often clear from applications that they have often thought a lot harder about their pedagogy than those who have spent their life in the independent sector. From my perspective in a selective boarding school, the only question marks for state school teachers would be whether they were able to teach Oxbridge sets (often tested with a carefully chosen interview lesson) and whether they really understood and were up for the all round commitment of boarding school life, in which instance enthusiasm was enough.

    So I would say go for it, I remember being nervous about making the move at the time, but it is the best decision I ever made career wise and I would personally never go back. Good luck!
  3. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Potentially really useful - many independents specialise in SEN and gain pupils because parents can't get / don't think they can get the support in the maintained sector. Overseas pupils can arrive with less English than you'd expect, and need support.
  4. boxer20

    boxer20 New commenter

    Thank you for this. I'm not sure about the Oxbridge sets as went to a Russel Group university but not one of the more prestigious ones. Will just have to wait and see!
  5. boxer20

    boxer20 New commenter

    The school I'm applying to has quite a high number of students from overseas so I will focus on that! Thank you

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