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Describing my leadership role at school and gained experience - Chevening Scholarship

dkirb 1 / 1  
Oct 23, 2017   #1
Hi guys! Feeling pretty nervous about applying for Chevening! Could you please have a look at my essay? I would appreciate any comment or advice. Thank you!

Essay about my leadership and influence Chevening Scholarship

Since taking a leadership role at xxx School in 2015 some of my responsibilities included monitoring student achievement and continuous revision of the curriculum. At one of termly whole school meeting the discussion about overall low performance of ESL students was raised and I took the initiative to facilitate changes at school.

After analysing the ESL schedule and data collected from Key Stage leaders I noted that ESL lessons often took place during core subjects lessons which caused some issues in following the curriculum and poor performance of ESL students. At that point, I realised it was time to fight for the changes to foster equality and diversity of every student at school.

During meetings with the members of my department we reflected on current practices and defined main weaknesses, strengths and key factors to improve the situation. As a result, an action plan was created and presented to the line manager and then was approved by the Principal.

The proposed changes were significant - my team and I created a schedule which did not affect core subject lessons, moreover a strategy of grouping the students was changed and we assigned students to ESL lessons according to their levels and learning styles but not the age. The ESL students' results after a term using the new tactic showed its effectiveness as improvement of student achievement in Mathematics and Science as well as gaining English proficiency in shorter period was evident to the school community members.

The most important impact that my department made on school is that the other departments got inspired by our example and revised their strategies and explored the ways of grouping the students according to their needs.

Being a Council of International Schools (CIS) evaluator I have an opportunity to be a part of Visiting Team during the Accreditation Process and contribute to schools improvement around the world. Even though I have not been a team leader during the Accreditation Process, I have had a chance to use my leadership skills and influence the work process.

On my latest team visit, the team leader assigned every team member to chair a section in order to rate the school against CIS Standards. However, after a couple of days the team realised it was far to meet the deadline as some of the team members were not working effectively. I suggested the team leader to rearrange some team members in accordance with their abilities and interests. I believe it is important to be aware of skills and preferences of team members to create an adequate working environment. A meeting was called and I proposed team members who could speak local languages support the team with interview rather than wasting time on translating; another proposal was to divide the biggest section among all team members to save time and meet the deadline. The changes I proposed were followed by actions that enabled us to produce a rigorous report and meet the deadline.

khaledition - / 5 2  
Oct 24, 2017   #2
Daria, you need to write on your leadership and influence skills on a professional level since the school experience isn't Chevening target, the scholarship already requires minimum two years of experience so you should have something to say here. Perhaps a situation when you influenced your team to consider your suggestion/idea and it was of a benefit for everyone.
Holt [Contributor] - / 9,721 3059  
Oct 24, 2017   #3
Daria, what was your leadership role at the school? I assume that you were a full time teacher there which is why you were able to make these observations and suggestions within your essay? In actuality, the first half of the essay has the potential to be an excellent platform for your leadership and influencing skills. The last part is not necessary. Just build your 500 word essay on the role you had at the school since 2015. The leadership discussion and your traits as a leader are strong in the presentation. What is not so strong is your ability to influence people or the decision making process. There is too much collaborative effort represented and not enough of your individual participation that resulted in influencing the decision making process of either the team or the higher administrative officers. That is the part that you need to improve upon. Keep in mind that there is a maximum word requirement so you just might need to revise the whole presentation of the essay in order to properly represent your influencing skills.
OP dkirb 1 / 1  
Oct 24, 2017   #4
@Holt thank you ever so much! I will work on my essay and try to further develop the idea of leadership and share my vision on it.

I joined the school as a teaching assistant and I am now the head of the department of Foreign Languages in Primary School, do you think I should include it my essay as an example of striving for leadership?

I will try to highlight my individual participation and influencing skills in professional area. Thank you for your feedback, it is huge!
skhaor 5 / 8 2  
Nov 1, 2017   #5
I think what's missing in your essay is a conclusion. In the last paragraph, in my opinion, you need to summarize your leadership and influence points and how it will be benefit for the future (in this term, Chevening)
bellachyntia 3 / 15  
Nov 1, 2017   #6
Hey daria, you should delete your school experience because Chevening looks for professional candidate. May be you can write your apprenticeship experience if you have it

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