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Cambridge general primary PGCE- written task

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by AH1985, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Hi there,
    I too have an interview for General Primary at Cambridge. Like you I found the article very interesting but I have no idea what to expect from the written task. My only thought was that they might ask for your opinion on whether or not you think letting children chose their own curriculum is a good idea? I'm assuming they're more interested in your spelling, grammar and ability to communicate rather than your actual opinon about the article.
    Have you prepared your presentation? I'm convinced that I'll either ramble on or forget everything even though I've practised it so often it should be second nature! The instructions were fairly vague so I'm hoping I have interpeted them correctly!
    I'm sure this wasn't much help but at least you know you're not the only person who doesn't know what to expect!
  2. EcoLady

    EcoLady New commenter

    I have the same interview coming up & the same article.
    A good friend of mine is on the Cambridge Early Years course this year. They change the written 'test' every year, so she can't help us there. She did say that while all interviewees are doing the written task, they are taken out one by one for the individual interview ... so be prepared to be interrupted!
  3. Wow I think it's funny that they interrupt you to do your individual interview but I guess otherwise the whole thing would take too long! They must be looking more at spelling and grammar then because stopping someone in the middle would totally distract them and make it much harder to write some complicated analysis.
    I'm totally fishing for info now.... did your friend have to do a group activity?
  4. I'm from Northern Ireland so I'm flying in the night before. My interview is at 1pm though so at least I won't have such an early start!

  5. Hi guys, just thought i'de let you know about my written task at interview, although not at Cambridge. We were also called out to our individual interview during the written task and it wasn't too bad - seems many interviews are the same across Unis and quite relaxed. Anyway, our subject title was "What is the mist important thing a child should learn at school?" - not sure how it will work with the article you have had to read but may only have a small connection to it. Either way i think they are more interested in handwriting, spelling and grammar.

    Good luck!
  6. Thanks beelliezebub - I'm hoping the whole day feels as relaxed as people keep saying it will!
    I agree that they're probably more interested in spelling, grammar and the ability to communicate through written work.
  7. EcoLady

    EcoLady New commenter

    Had the interview ... and I have to say that it was actually rather good fun!
    We did a lot of talking and it was all very relaxed. It wouldn't be fair of me to give away what the written task is, but you are expected to have the paper with you, with whatever annotations or notes you have made.
    The individual interviews are definitely individual. Chatting afterwards it was clear that none of us had the same questions. There is no apparent formula... they want to know about you.
    Now to keep my fingers crossed and obessively check Track!
  8. Hi EcoLady,
    I had my interview on 6th Jan and found out late afternoon on the 14th so hopefully you won't have to wait too long! The offer is conditional but I'm waiting to receive my letter with the details and then keeping my fingers crossed while funding and place numbers are sorted out!
  9. EcoLady

    EcoLady New commenter

    Yay! I've got a Conditional offer too! Interview on 17th, offer on Track on 21st.
    Just the agonising wait now for the letter to tell me what the conditions are.
  10. Congrats EcoLady!

    The conditions on mine are:
    • health assessment - have to fill in form and get it signed by a doctor
    • Criminal records check - fill in form and send off some original documentation
    • GTC form - declaring suitability
    • 10 days classroom experience in a UK state primary + letter from headmaster.
    There's a lot of paperwork to go through and send to various places but once you get started it doesn't seem so bad. I'm assuming that the work experience I've already done (12 days in a primary) is fine and I just need a letter confirming it.
    They give you a pink sheet with "recommendations" which seems to have a million things! I have to brush up my KS1/2 English and Maths, read the educational supplements, read more children's literature, develop my knowledge of good academic writing and look at the literacy and numeracy tests we have to take during the PGCE! They have also suggested spending time in KS1/2 classroom which is a little awkward as I already had to take time off work to do that last term. I work in a secondary school at the minute as a science technician so it's hard to get time off during the school year! Maybe towards the summer when pupils are doing exams or something....
    Now you'll hardly need to read the letter lol!
  11. EcoLady

    EcoLady New commenter

    Thanks for that AH. It's any extra classroom time that'll be tricky for me. I've already booked all my available annual leave allowance for a family trip to New Zealand, so will be trying to negotiate taking unpaid leave just when I've told my employer that I'll be leaving. I've given the firm 17 years and won several awards for them, so now's my payback!

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