Psychology Personal Statement
On the day of my 15th birthday I realised I had a week in which to decide where I should go for work experience after a lot of thought I chose a placement at Queens Park Special Needs school.From here on I have remained captivated by the mystifying aspects of mental illness in childhood. The more I watched the elusive hand-flapping of autism or the endless energy of ADHD sufferers, the more I desired answers for all the children I met.
Since November 2005, I returned several times to my original placement and now I officially volunteer in the nursery class. Once a week I assist with the 8 children aged 2-7 who suffer with mild to profound special educational needs. These range from Autism spectrum disorders to Fragile X syndrome and to Language delay. I first shadowed fellow teaching aids, now with higher responsibilities I assist with the children's hygiene, setting up equipment, promoting self awareness, safety, communication, social skills, play, PE, swimming, walks and outings. Additionally, learning techniques and skills on the job including basic Makaton Sign language, manual handling and PECS (picture exchange communication system)
I really enjoy having the challenge of a busy and demanding life, balancing my studies against volunteer work and a weekend job. From this I have realized time management, diligence and responsibility. And the main lesson learnt form working with young people is patience, which I believe will be an invaluable tool in the people centred discipline of Psychology.
Keeping myself busy over the long summer holidays I added myself to the County Council support staffing database. This enabled me to work on a Holiday Playscheme with around 30 children, where I gave more intensive one-to-one help.
Playing an active role in my last two years of school, I was appointed Head of House and Prefect responsibilities, as well as giving generous amounts of time to the School Council. Taking part in a JSLA (leadership award) elevated my confidence in leading teams and teaching younger children new skills. I was chosen as an intelligent and sensible student to take part in the peer-mentor scheme. After a year of devoting several lunch times to teaching and befriending less able key stage three children, I was awarded a Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award for Service.
I trust that with a combination of my enthusiasm for the subject, skills I have learned through over 400 hours of work experience and determination to help others in need will make me a model entrant to study Psychology with Education, or Psychology focusing on the early years.
In terms of a career I aspire for one that I have a true passion in, whilst having an inspiring job that has the scope to help young people realise their potential.
My belief is that by deferring my entry until the 2009 intake, I can undergo several courses that will help me become more experienced while giving me the chance to explore my adventurous side through travel. My plans to make a worthwhile gap year start with an application through my College for a Travel Scholarship. I am asking for £1200 to visit a special home for Deprived and Autistic children in South Africa for a minimum of 4 weeks.
Along with a planning to take a First aid course and a Lifting and Handling course which will both help me when there are emergency situations when I'm working at my school.Also I am booked in with the National Autistic Society to take a 'Befriending' course, where I'll attend sessions learning more about autism and how to help suffering families. After completing the course I will be certified to work with youngsters and their families in their home.
Regular visits to Sydney and Brisbane have taught me the skills to live on my own, sort out finances and the general responsibilities of travel. I know I can further my knowledge and become a better student through a very constructive 12 months. My funding will be through local jobs, scholarships, a supportive family and fundraising with my local special schools to raise extra money I need to visit other areas of our country or even further a field.
This personal statement was written by cfield for application in 2009.
I have sent it off and only applied to 2 unis, so i hope its good enough.
This personal statement is unrated