Initial Teacher Education

Tips for your Application and Personal Statement

Your application

What might tutors be looking for in an application?

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  • Writing which adopts an appropriate style
  • Writing which is grammatically correct and spell-checked


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  • The ability to choose and use examples from practice, analysing these in the light of what you have learned from the experience: go beyond description to show your developing insights
  • An awareness of how what you are observing is affecting your thinking


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  • Consideration of what you can offer the pupils in terms of skills and abilities
  • Demonstration of your personality
  • The ability to reflect on your own progress, on your views and your experiences


Your personal statement

This provides an all-important first impression of you as a prospective teacher and we will be looking for evidence of your commitment to teaching and learning in a number of ways:

  • What motivates you to join this profession? Ensure that you have explained why you want to teach (your age group/your subject), drawing on any important experiences or principles that underpin this.
  • Discuss your experiences of working with pupils of the age group for which you are applying. Go beyond merely describing what you did and saw. What did you learn from this process?
  • Consider what other experiences or personal qualities you have that might be relevant to the classroom. What can you offer that others might not?
  • Teachers need to be skilled communicators. Does your personal statement convey this about you, both in terms of the content selected and the clarity and accuracy of its presentation?

As stated above, teachers need to be skilled communicators and your personal statement provides an opportunity for you to articulate the skills and experiences you have that make you suitable for a place on our PGCE course which cannot be replicated by an AI tool. We understand that AI tools can be beneficial in terms of helping you to structure your statement, or to check for readability. However, generating all, or a large part of your personal statement, using an AI tool and presenting this as your own words could affect your chances of being offered an interview.

The DfE have issued guidance for candidates. We have been asked to contact the DfE if we suspect a candidate has used AI tools to write the whole of their personal statement.

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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