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Interview lesson observation for AS/A-Level English

Discussion in 'English' started by f92, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. f92

    f92 New commenter


    As the title says I have got an upcoming interview where the school wants me to do lesson for an AS class, I haven't got the full details on what they want me to teach however my problem is that in training and teaching career thus far (in my third year teaching) I have had zero experience or exposure to the teaching of A-levels (years 12/13). As the schools I have worked at did not have sixth forms and during my PGCE training year they didn't let me observe/teach any A-level classes. The only thing I have to go on is my own experiences doing A-Level English literature which was exactly 10 years ago, which doubt will of much help to me now as I can hardly remember the lessons being planned to show off teaching standards.

    In terms of an observed lesson what are they expecting from an AS level lesson.
    Does any one have any advice for me?
  2. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Interesting. I imagine that they have clocked on your CV that you have no A Level experience and that's why they want to see you teach at that level in order to check your subject knowledge is in depth enough. So, I would work on incorporating theory/criticism in to your class, either using the theory/criticism to critically evaluate a text, or to critically evaluate the criticsm. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I suspect this isn't something you have done all that often at KS4?

    Find out what exam board they teach and really bone up on the assessment objectives.

    Good luck!
    englishtt06 likes this.
  3. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    In theory, the structure of an A Level lesson is the same as any other - it's the content that is more sophisticated. Obviously, there is lots more discussion and student-led ideas (although not guaranteed!) but I would apply the same principles as any interview lesson: active teaching strategies, demonstrable progress in the time window, differentiated resources etc. It really depends on the topic/focus. I'm assuming it's literature? If so, make sure you revise the text before you teach it. If you get free rein, go for a poem - much more do-able in an interview lesson. For AQA, assessment is in Bands/AOs which is very similar to the current GCSE structure - Bands are broken down into AOs - each level (Band) strata'd.
  4. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    And I meant to add - though I'm sure you're on this already - read up on the specifications that they offer at the school i.e. if it was AQA A Level (Spec B), which genre options are there? What text options? What are the coursework requirements? What do the exam papers/questions look like? If you can access them (and you want to impress) read the latest exam reports for the AS/A2 exams to get a feel for trends, strengths and weaknesses.
  5. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    Oh - and when it comes to differentiated resources - in an A Level lesson, some students can be working at undergraduate-level (so it's useful having some UG-level critical quotations on hand) whereas others can be very weak (think GCSE Grade 5-6 at A Level!) so will need framing/scaffolding prompts etc.
    tb9605 likes this.

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