Being a science teacher is a highly rewarding career, which gives you the chance to inspire your students and get pupils of all ages interested in this diverse and sometimes challenging subject. It is your job to share your passion for the subject and make it come alive for your students. Whether you are a newly qualified teacher looking for your first role or a seasoned science teacher planning your next career move there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your search is successful.
When to look for science teacher jobs.
Science teacher jobs will be advertised all year round, with a peak around Easter when schools are looking for permanent teachers to start in the following September. Senior science teacher jobs or head of department jobs might be advertised months or even a year in advance, so it always good to keep an eye out.
There is very high demand in the UK because of a shortage of qualified science teachers. With government recruitment targets falling short in biology, chemistry, and physics, and with more teachers leaving the classroom than joining, if you have the right qualifications and experience you could have the pick of the jobs.
Science teacher application process.
When you are applying for a science teacher job, you will normally have to supply your CV and cover letter. For many science teachers posts, you may have also to fill out an application form and write a personal statement. If you pass this first stage you will be asked for an interview. Depending on the seniority of the position, if you are successful you might have only one interview or you might be asked to come for a second interview.
- Research before you apply – try visiting the school before you fill out your application, it will help you tailor your application and personal statement as well as understand exactly what the school is looking for
- Check your application – read through it and ensure you understand all the instructions before you fill it out
- Spelling and grammar – Before you send your application check you haven’t made any spelling or grammar mistakes
- Use your personal statement to showcase your skills – the personal statement is your chance to show you have met all the school’s criteria. Check the criteria and make sure you answer each one in the statement, stating why you would be good for the role as well as what experience and skills you can bring with you
- Feedback – don’t get disheartened if you don’t land the job this time but do ask for feedback. It can give you great insights into where you can improve future applications.
What should I highlight on my CV and application?
For newly qualified teachers:
- Highlight your education and training. Include information about any placements you attended during your training and any voluntary work
- If you have any relevant charity or voluntary experience then mention that as well and how it could help you in your role as a science teacher
- As an NQT you might not have a huge amount of experience but think about the skills you have learned during training or during extracurricular activities and draw on those.
For experienced teachers:
- Highlight your most recent role, what experience you have and the skills you have gained and any achievements
- Talk about what you can bring to your new role
- Discuss any extracurricular activities you’re involved in at your current school
How to prepare for an interview?
Going for an interview regardless how experienced you are can be daunting but with a bit of preparation, you can ensure it runs smoothly.
For more interview help, check out our How to prepare for an interview video guide.
Before the interview:
- Make sure you are up to date with the national curriculum requirements for biology, chemistry, and physics or GCSE science depending on what you will be teaching
- Research latest developments within the sector both on a local and national level or any new trends in teaching
- Check out the school’s website, latest Ofsted report, any news stories and events the school has been involved in
- Consider what questions you might be asked and jot down some answers
- Choose an appropriate outfit to wear and make sure you know where you’re going so you don’t arrive late.
During the interview:
- Take your time answering questions, don’t let nerves make you rush your answers
- Try to answer as fully as possible. You won’t be expected to remember everything in your application but giving well thought-out answers and expanding on your experience and skills is good
- Smile, be polite and keep positive
- Think of some questions to ask at the end of the interview
As with any interview, preparation is the key to success. Knowing your CV or application form back to front and having prepared answers and examples for a range of questions and scenarios will ensure you’re able to perform in the interview with more confidence and let your experience and abilities shine through to the interviewer.