What should I write as my special interests in my Standard Application Form?


I’m often asked by clients - what should I put in as my special interests in the special interests section in my Standard Application Form? I answer simply - whatever it is that you’re interested in. Some of my clients keep this area purely focused on areas that they are interested in within the curriculum e.g. Aistear, Inclusion, Special Educational Needs etc. Others include their hobbies - and that’s a lovely inclusion too - especially of they use those hobbies in school sometimes. My take on this - is that if you’re genuinely interested in it - then you can include it in this area.

Areas of Special Interest

Here are some prompts to think about:

  • Music – do you play an instrument/sing? Are you a member of a choir/ orchestra?

  • Baking - Do you love to bake as you wind down after school? Perhaps you see great value in using baking as a way to teach weight and measurement, life skills, or communication skills with your SEN children?

  • Sport – do you play for a local team/club? Do you coach a team outside of school? Have you set up an after school club? Would you be willing to set this up?

  • SEN – have you done a SEN course? Do you have experience of working with children with SEN? Do you have a sibling with special educational needs?

  • Games - perhaps you enjoy playing chess in your spare time… Do you teach fun games for your pupils during wet playtime, which keeps them entertained? Perhaps you have a bank of games that children love and you use them as rewards and part of your lessons?

  • DEIS - what experience do you have with pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds? How does this experience help inform your teaching?

  • Intercultural Education – what experience do you have with working with children with English as an additional language? Have you completed any relevant courses? Have you spent time working in Educate Together schools? What is it about them that you enjoy?

  • Infant education – are you Aistear trained? Are you trained in Numicon and hands-on Maths approaches? Trained in jolly phonics? etc.

When reviewing SAFs, all types of special interests are welcome. The key thing is to outline them in a genuine way and show how your special interests inform and help in your teaching.

That's it for today! I hope something above sparked a new thought for you to include to improve your application. I'm still reviewing job applications if you're looking for reassurance about your CV/SAF content, find out more and get in touch here.



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