Reflecting on your experiences

Reflection will be an integral part of your Edinburgh Award experience, this section describes what that will look like and how to do it.

Reflection is an everyday process. We reflect on a whole host of experiences all the time - What went well? What didn’t work? Why? What could I have done differently? What have I gained/learned from this? Capturing these reflections gives you a chance to learn more from your experiences, and employers in particular are interested in the depth and maturity that this type of reflection can help you bring to your applications and interviews.

What will you be asked to do?

How to do it

Reflecting on three skills

Focus on the process of developing

The journey you have been on in terms of developing your skills is what we want to hear about in your reflections so don’t forget to include the detail of that process, don’t just jump to the end and describe the outcome or give examples of times when you have used a skill without including how you got there.

Avoid just giving examples of using a skill

It can be tempting to use the reflection as a way to describe that you are now proficient in a skill, to give examples of times when you have used the skill. This is certainly something you can include in your reflections but only once you have described the process of developing the skill. Much like the previous section - What was your approach? What kind of things did you try and did that work for you, if not why not? We are much more interested in hearing an honest account of your experiences. Even if none of your approaches worked as long as you describe how you tried to develop and reflect on what you have learnt from that experience then that’s ok! 

Reflecting on Impact

As well as reflecting on the three skills you have been developing and the progress you have made you will also be asked to reflect on the impact you have had on others. During your time on the Award you will need to be considering how you are having a positive impact on others and trying to increase that positive impact. 

This part of the Award is about increasing your awareness of the impact that you can have on other people and working to increase that positive impact. So, when reflecting on this for the Award, focus on you, on the impact you personally have had on other people. Avoid describing the impact that the experience has had on you or the impact you had as part of a group.

Structure can help

One possible way to help structure your reflections is to use the CARL framework (Context, Action, Result & Learning)

Useful resources

You may find it helpful to look at a couple of examples - both use the CARL framework given in the tips (Context, Action, Result & Learning).

Examples of reflections

The Reflection Toolkit is an online resource designed to support you to reflect on your experiences