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To ask for your advice on my primary PGCE interview

(32 Posts)
guccigirl666 Sat 08-Dec-12 18:31:27

Firstly, what to wear?! A friend of a friend had the same interview recently and said she felt over-dressed in a suit. So far I'm thinking a sleeveless blouse with birds on (it is smart- black/white nice material) which I was hoping would show some personality... With a black pencil skirt. I'm stuck regarding a jacket/cardie though.

Also, regarding current educational issues so far I have the MFL being brought into primary schools, curriculum focusing more on maths/english, free schools and the troops to teachers programme. Am I missing anything glaringly obvious?

Thank you!

RedHelenB Sat 08-Dec-12 18:35:12

Many moons ago I got asked about my specialism subject (History) & how I saw it being used in Early years. Wear what you are comfortable in.

CremeEggThief Sat 08-Dec-12 18:39:50

You're probably posting here for traffic, but there is also a staffroom forum now, which may be of help to you.

Have you got a blazer in black or a neutral colour for your outfit? Also, be prepared to talk about which age range you want to teach and why, and research any issues related to that.

Good luck!

MagicHouse Sat 08-Dec-12 18:40:37

What you plan to wear sounds fine. Don't be afraid to say you don't know something! Current issues include the huge drive on phonics/ grammar/ handwriting - they might ask your opinion. Think honestly about why you want to go into teaching, and how you feel about how children learn, and base your answers around that - I got my last job because I'm passionate about inspiring confidence in little individuals to be who they are/ make choices/ be the best they can be. I think if you are passionate about even an aspect of education, they will pick up on it, and you will stand out. You don't need to know everything! Good luck :-)

deleted203 Sat 08-Dec-12 18:42:10

Go and have a look on tes.co.uk which is the teaching website - there is lots and lots of advice on how to prepare for teaching/PGCE interviews. Good luck.

guccigirl666 Sat 08-Dec-12 18:48:49

Thank you for your replies, I did post here for traffic, when I last posted in staff room didn't get a single reply sad

I have spent a looong time putting together a massive portfolio of work talking about why I want to teach, my opinions on behaviour management, lesson structure, routine in the class room, the role of the teacher etc and included lots of work with children.

My specialism is MFL so the news around that is nicely linked, I'm not sure about this phonics drive where would I find this?

I literally cannot sleep for worrying, will be devastated if I don't get on!

MagicHouse Sat 08-Dec-12 18:58:48

You can look at the Dept for education website for info. There is a huge emphasis on the teaching of phonics, and a new test introduced last year for Year 1 children, in which they have to read a list of 40 words, using their knowledge of phonics. They are expected to know a big list of sounds (eg air/ ure/ a-e/ etc etc). Some words are nonsense words, such as "splair". Teachers are generally against the test, (though pro teaching phonics through actions/ sounds/ games etc - some lovely websites, such as phonicsplay - see the free resources bit) ) as using phonics is only a part of learning to read.

MFL is a great strength :-) Schools are generally working hard to ensure children are aware of Global issues, and making links with schools abroad is a great way to bring languages, and awareness of other cultures alive.

HeathRobinson Sat 08-Dec-12 20:04:20

The Student Room primary PGCE thread.

Interview tips from the Student Room. Quite an old thread, but I suppose some things don't change too much.

Wear what you feel comfortable and professional in.

CremeEggThief Sat 08-Dec-12 22:13:41

Jobseekers forum on the TES is worth a look. The most important thing I can say is don't panic and try to get some sleep. Let us know how you get on. Fingers crossed for you!

Bonbonchance Sat 08-Dec-12 22:21:09

Think a smart casual outfit would be fine, what you might wear to teach (I wore a striped smart blouse & black trousers, that was about 10 years ago, most people wore similar). Like you've made an effort & professional looking, neat & tidy.

I'm in Scotland so slightly different, but they're not looking for you to have in depth knowledge of curriculum as such, more enthusiasm, can talk about your experience & what you've learned from it, you have a general awareness of issues etc currently facing teachers. They talked to me about my experience based on what I'd put on my form, I remember they also asked what I thought some of the hardest things would be for a teacher generally in a classroom. Group discussion & written question were more theoretical/education in gerneral if I remember correctly, interview was more about you! Good luck!

guccigirl666 Sun 09-Dec-12 00:19:41

Thank you! Interview is on Wednesday, still up swotting away. If have put far too much pressure on myself to get onto this PGCE that if I don't, I don't know how I'll handle it! Arrrgh. Can't even remember what I put on my form now lol better go read over it again!

EcoLady Sun 09-Dec-12 00:45:25

The most important thing that you need right now is SLEEP! Keep the very late nights for once you're on the course or in your NQT year.

Every Uni's interviews are different. At mine we had group discussion sessions with other candidates. Some ask for presentations. Some make you write an essay or take their own maths & literacy tests.

I don't recall being asked any direct questions about current educational issues. I was asked a lot about why I wanted to teach and what I had learned from my prior experiences (very mature student).

Dress in what you are comfortable in, or think of the most smartly dressed teacher you have seen in school. There was only one suit in my interview group and she did not get through.

Just be yourself. Smile. Breathe. Relax. smile

GW297 Sun 09-Dec-12 00:48:57

Clothes you intend to wear sound ideal. Issues which spring to mind are also year 1 phonics test, free schools and academies and teaching assistants being used to cover ppa and teacher absence... Good luck!

blackcoffee Sun 09-Dec-12 00:56:21

educational issues - the new curriculum (EYFS this year, NC to follow)
Gove's 'reforms', the new Ofsted framework, yes, phonics ... when you explain your motivations link them to children's learning
clothes sound fine if a little chilly (brrr)
be yourself, I wore a suit without feeling overdressed, but as long as you are smart and professional, polished shoes etc it will be fine
good luck!

suze28 Sun 09-Dec-12 08:58:58

I'm currently on the PGCE and for my interview last yr wore a pair of smart trousers, top, cardi and scarf. Wear what you feel comfy in is good advice. Apart from what's already been advised I'd say have a look at the new draft curriculum too. Good luck.

legojunkie Sun 09-Dec-12 09:49:07

I'd have a brief idea about learning to read and children with special educational needs.

londonone Sun 09-Dec-12 11:02:21

So what are your opinions on behaviour management and lesson structure?

QueenMaeve Sun 09-Dec-12 11:19:45

Don't get too bogged down about the education side of things. You are applying for a course that is going to teach you all that. You want to show them that you as a person have the right personality and skills to be a teacher. Don't recite stuff anyone can read from a website, apply it to you, what you have done. Don't use words like I think, or I believe. Use phrases like I know I will be able to, I have been doing this.
Children learn in so many ways, you want to show you have various skills to teach in different ways. Above all, get across that everything you do will be child centered. That you are a caring person.My dh is a head teacher and he always looks for people who show they have a true love for children, not the high flyers who come in looking to show off how much they know.
Good luck!

giraffesCantFlyLikeReindeer Sun 09-Dec-12 11:24:35

Why do you want to be a teacher?

A really passionate honest answer to that will shine.

clam Sun 09-Dec-12 11:33:50

DH interviews for B.Eds and PGs. A common question would be along the lines of, "tell us about a lesson you have seen that impressed you. Why?"

SmallSchoolPrimaryTeacher Sun 09-Dec-12 12:47:22

I interviewed for this last year.
I was interested in why candidates wanted to become teachers, what experience they had had working with children, and whether they realised what the course would entail. I wanted to check that they had energy and enthusiasm, that they enjoyed learning and, above all, were reflective on what they did, so that, over time, they could take responsibility for improving their practice. All the educational theory and current affairs can be learned, but your personal attributes are a given. I asked about a time when they had worked with a child (in the broadest sense), how they had helped and what they had learned as a result. I enjoyed hearing about their personal enthusiasms and how they shared them with others.
Things I encountered that rather put me off were: chewing gum all the way through the interview with loud slurping noises, not having a reason for why they had applied, over-use of slang, and, my favourite, the reply when asked to talk about a book they had read recently "Oh, I don't like reading."

guccigirl666 Sun 09-Dec-12 16:16:05

Thank you for your replies. I'm a bit concerned my answer for why I want to teach is too long, I have about 5 reasons that I elaborate on. Also worried about the Maths and English tests! We have to give a 2 minute presentation - that's right 2 MINUTES on a chosen topic, no idea what to do with my hands (I know how stupid that sounds but every time I practice my hands are just clutched together. Also, would it be ok to wear a little christmasy thing in my hair? I have like little clips with holly on that I've been wearing recently and wondered should I take these out for interview or would this show a 'fun' side?

MagicHouse Sun 09-Dec-12 17:06:24

LOL! Relax! You sound very enthusiastic! Don't worry about being or showing that you're a bit nervous, they will expect that! Probably best to clutch your hands together than wave them around! What's the main reason for you wanting to teach?
A holly-clip in your hair is fine! Wrapping tinsel around your head and dangling full-size baubles from your ears probably not a good idea :-D

Bonbonchance Sun 09-Dec-12 17:17:30

The 2 minute thing maybe is to check you can be enthusiastic, have some sort of presence, can speak clearly, make eye contact, engage audience etc? Talk about something that interests you & others might find interesting & entertaining. Is there something in your experience with children you could talk about? A funny story? 2 minutes is nothing! I had to do an impromptu 2 minute talk about anything at all at a course once, the idea filled me with dread (teaching is different!) but it was fine and I could've kept going! People commented that I was enthusiastic & passionate (!)

Don't worry about being nervous I'm very sure they expect that! Lots of good advice here yes, don't get too hung up on studying, show that you as a person would be a great teacher! Mention all your experience, don't forget anything! I quite enjoyed my interview after all the fear, was like a nice chat with the interviewers!

SmallSchoolPrimaryTeacher Sun 09-Dec-12 17:58:48

When talking about why you want to be a teacher, try to use phrases such as "When I did .... I found out that....." rather than talking about want you want to do. It's always more impressive if you can give examples. Giving five reasons is probably too much - can you tell us what they are so we can help prune them for you? Is it for primary or secondary?
For the presentation, choose a passion of yours and communicate it to the panel. Can you teach the panel some Christmas phrases in another language? Can you draw some cartoons and show them how you do it? Demonstrate some origami? Teach them a short song?
Let us know how you do?

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