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How to create an eye catching application

Discussion in 'Primary' started by thelaughingdonkey, May 28, 2019.

  1. thelaughingdonkey

    thelaughingdonkey New commenter


    I would really like to be a primary teacher, having taught in secondary for 20 years. I have done primary supply and learned a lot about how not to be..but was lucky enough to get a TA role where i progressed to HLTA. I have learned a lot doing this.

    Since then I have worked as a HLTA and gained experience in KS1 and 2 in a challenging school.

    I have 3 problems:
    - I am not a primary teacher
    - i am in a rural area of UK where competition is fierce eg sometimes 60 applicants
    - it's PGCE competition time as students apply from PGCE courses in my area- and that leads me to
    -...I am in my 40s

    But ...
    -i am energetic, funny and go the extra mile
    -i have had middle management experience- eg written schemes of work, led areas, organised trips

    So, how best do I proceed? How do I get shortlisters to see past this (lack of) experience?
    - Do some job applications and wait and see. All the young teachers i work with tell me to apply as `you'd be great` etc....I know some of this is b/s.
    -Leave it for a bit longer.
    - address my previous experience or just stick to my experience in primary

    Any constructive comments would be really gratefully received
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Well as you presumably already have QTS from your Secondary experience that means you are a qualified teacher - for all ages / stages.

    Your experience as TA / HLTA shows your familiar with expectations at Primary level and are aware of having to teach across the full curriculum, so yes your colleagues are correct give it a try.

    Don't 'apologise' for your experience in Secondary, but make it enhance your application by showing an awareness of the expectations at Secondary to better prepare pupils.
    'Big up' all your Primary experience.

    As you write more applications you will get better at tailoring them 'fit ' the particular post by emphasising and some aspects and 'down-playing' others not so relevant to the particular post.
    sunshineneeded and bonxie like this.
  3. thelaughingdonkey

    thelaughingdonkey New commenter

    Thanks Lara. That's really helpful. You've cheered me up
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Can you swap from doing HLTA to doing supply teaching in primary schools? This gives you a way in to many schools and gets your face known. The wages are probably not much different either.

    I agree with the 'get on and apply' advice from your colleagues. If you don't make a fuss about being trained in secondary or being 40, then neither will the schools. Just get on and write your application, showing how you meet the criteria in the person spec.

    Best of luck. (Primary is far more fun than secondary!)
    sunshineneeded and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    When looking at applications, we use the job specification and person specification to award points to applications for every statement that they meet. The shortlist is made from the applications that get the most points. It's a lot easier to find points to award if the evidence for the statements made in the application are in the same order as the job/person specifications. If the schools you are applying to use the same process, ordering the points you make in your application in this way may help a little with getting on the shortlist for interviews.

    As Lara says, make the most of your secondary experience by pointing out how it would benefit your primary classes. You'll have a clear idea of where the pupils need to be to be ready to make a good start at secondary. You'll have good classroom control strategies and experience of teaching pupils not much older than the older primary pupils. Your HLTA in KS1 and KS2 will have given you the experience to be able to teach the primary age groups. Your middle management experience may have included experience with mentoring newly qualified teachers. Include all these positives in your application.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. thelaughingdonkey

    thelaughingdonkey New commenter

    thanks for your comments. You have really helped.

    2 things..... how do I try and address English and Maths? Say for example I wanted to apply for Year 5/6- wouldn't schools want to see someone who had CPD in this area?
    .........quite often found in job specs......`proven track record in raising results` or `need to have evidence of successful practice`. Again - should I just rely on secondary experience and apply to primary?
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Well, my advice for what it's worth would be to not apply for Years 2 or 6, as you wouldn't get past the starting post with no 'track record' in those key years. Unless your Sec experience is in either of those areas of course and you do have a track record, though a School may well still prefer a candidate with experience of the relevant Key Stage.

    Presumably as a HLTA you will have 'evidence of successful practice' though? Perhaps through lesson obs? Or comments from teachers when you've done cover?
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You have a few years of constant CPD in maths and English as an HLTA and supply teacher. Mention all the things you have learnt and there you go!
    Surely part of your job as an HLTA is to raise results? Therefore you do have a track record in doing so and can comment about how you'd do this, including how you would use a TA/HLTA.

    Use all your experiences in your application.
    When at hellhole high, I revamped the basketweaving curriculum to ensure all children were able to access the higher strands of reasoning about willow and cane.
    During my time at piddling primary, I have taught small booster groups in origami and all children from my groups have made at least five zillion points progress each half term, some even a billion points progress.
    etc etc
    sunshineneeded and Lara mfl 05 like this.

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