PGCE Personal statement

PGCE Personal Statement Guide

sociable7_pgce personal statement

Here is a guide to help you complete your PGCE Personal Statement for both Primary and Secondary Education:

The Objective:

Describe briefly your reasons for wanting to teach giving the relevance of your previous education and details of any teaching experience, including visits to schools and other work with young people.

Tip: Ensure you have at least 2 weeks classroom experience before applying for a PGCE.

*Now answer each of these questions*


1. Why do you want to teach?

1. What has inspired you; who/what influenced you?

2. Why do you want to work with young people?

3. Why do you want to teach your subject? – For secondary: show how your subject knowledge is relevant to the curriculum.

4. What have you gained from working with young people?

2. What skills do you have that will make you an effective teacher?

1. Explain how you decided that teaching was the right career for you & provide evidence of the necessary skills you possess to become a satisfactory teacher. Skills such as the ability to relate to young people, good communication and interpersonal skills and ability to organise and manage people. When have you had to use your initiative?

2. What are your strengths? How are you better than other applicants? Do you also know your weaknesses? Have you had to overcome any obstacles or hardships in your life? how have they made you a better person?

3. Show that you have the necessary personal qualities, such as energy, enthusiasm, patience, resilience,tenacity, adaptability, responsibility, versatility, a creative mind and a good imagination, empathy with young people, etc.

4. Show how the knowledge acquired through your degree, work experience and any other qualifications is relevant to the primary school curriculum or the secondary school curriculum subject(s) that you want to teach.

You MUST give examples of where you demonstrated these
3. Why do you want to teach the age range and subject?

What interests and excites you about this subject or particular age range? For secondary in particular – show that you are passionate about your subject area and about transmitting that passion to young people.

4. Outline your experience in UK state schools

Include time spent teaching, helping out, observing in schools. You should not just list what you did, but what you learnt.

Examples of some observations:

Teachers’ roles and responsibilities including:-

  • Lesson-planning – short term and long term objectives
  • Classroom organisation – how different activities work, teaching styles
  • Classroom management – behaviour, groupings, resources, pastoral care
  • Inclusion/diversity issues – how are special educational needs dealt with and pupils with English as an additional language?

Also think about what you observed regarding:-

  • The role of ICT/whiteboards etc
  • The National Curriculum, current national strategies
  • How are parents included?
  • Improving Ofsted?
5. Do you have any other experience with young people of the relevant age?

Have you done any: coaching, tutoring, mentoring, other work with children’s groups? Emphasise on any leadership roles.

6. Provide details of hobbies, interests or other skills that may be useful in a school environment.

For example, you may speak Polish or Urdu, have a football coaching qualification or be a keen chess player. Make a list, then slip them in your statement to show you are not a one-trick pony.

  • Which transferable skills have you developed? 
    e.g. planning, time management, team work, problem solving etc.
  • What are your hobbies and interests? –
    Sentences such as “In my spare time I enjoy music, reading and socialising with friends” do not add to your application! Its the hobbies that are relevant to teaching. Show that you are a fun person with a personality so you can relate to children in some way.
7. What are your future ambitions in teaching?

What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in the future? Focus on exaggerating your passion to teach your chosen subject. If the admissions can’t sense passion, chances are slimmer. Then finish off ‘…and this is why I should be selected to do the PGCE’. End on a high note!

Once you have answered all these questions start compiling them in the above order then make sure the statement flows and is consistent and get it proof read.. twice!

The Work Experience Section

Here you have 20 lines to outline paid and unpaid work experience, particularly relevant experience for teaching.

This section should be written like a list in reverse chronological order.


June 14th – June 26th 2013, St Mary’s Primary School, Leeds, voluntary classroom assistant. Helped with reading in Key Stage 1.

Exact dates are not critical if you can’t remember them (e.g. 3 weeks, summer vacation 2008 will be ok)

Ill try to get you a PGCE personal statement example quite soon, if you’re still struggling, send me an email on Ill send you a copy of the perfect personal statement (sample).



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