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Kingston Interview Yesterday for Primary PGCE

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by CliveWallis, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Hello
    After all the useful advice I've picked up on these forums I thought I'd share how my interview went yesterday.
    The day was run by the head of edu for Kingston. She was very friendly and put us all at ease early on.

    She gives a quick intro to start with and then we had to introduce ourselves, say what we were doing currently, say why we had chosen Kingston and say what subject area we would like to choose for our Focus Subject if we are successful. Why they need to know that so long before the course begins, I have no idea! And she said that they only ask 'why Kingston' to gather marketing feedback, so it's not a test or anything!

    Then we did the maths and English tests. The maths starts off really really really easy and gets harder. There's 46 questions and you get 45 minutes, so it's very manageable. The English test is in two halves. Firstly you have to correct a page of text, looking for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. Secondly, you get to write on a topic for one side of A4. The topic was "What skills should a good teacher have?" They are not looking at content, but that you can structure a mini-essay (intro, middle, conclusion) and can spell and punctuate. You have less time than the maths for this, but it was no rush. Most of the room were finished in good time.

    Then came the group discussion / presentation. Four of five other department members joined us for this and they were observing as we worked. They split us into four groups. We had to write down our personal five key attributes that we thought would make a good teacher, then we had to discuss in our groups and end up with a shortlist of nine attributes that the whole group had agreed on. In true primary style, we had to cut these out and glue them to a sheet in a diamond pattern! Then we discussed our choices with the other groups, with the head of edu mediating and asking questions. It was quite short, probably 15 minutes from start to finish and the discussion / questions were very laid back. There was no standing up and presenting, just a chat about why we had chosen each attribute.

    Lastly, it was interview time! The six members of staff each interviewed about five candidates each, one on one. I was lucky in that I was first to go in, so no hanging around. The lady I had was very laid back. It was more of a chat than an interview. She got started by asking a question about me taken from my personal statement (the usual interview tactic of getting the candidate to talk about themselves to calm any nerves etc), then she was into the questions.

    Questions she asked were:

    Have you managed to spend two weeks in school observing?
    If you entered a classroom, what would you look for to indicate that it was a stimulating and positive environment?What skills do you have that would help you as a teacher?
    Are there any educational issues you've read about, and if so, what do you think about them?What do you think will be the most challenging thing about this course?
    What can you bring to the course?
    After all my swotting there was nothing about SEN, EAL, Equal Opps, or any of the major reviews or the NC in any depth. I was almost disappointed!

    I asked a few questions and tried to get her to say if I'd done enough to warrant a place which she took in good humour but did not answer.

    All in all, it was an enjoyable morning and a much easier ride than I had imagined. Nothing to do now but wait!
    Hope that helps and good luck to all!
    Clive
     
  2. Hello
    After all the useful advice I've picked up on these forums I thought I'd share how my interview went yesterday.
    The day was run by the head of edu for Kingston. She was very friendly and put us all at ease early on.

    She gives a quick intro to start with and then we had to introduce ourselves, say what we were doing currently, say why we had chosen Kingston and say what subject area we would like to choose for our Focus Subject if we are successful. Why they need to know that so long before the course begins, I have no idea! And she said that they only ask 'why Kingston' to gather marketing feedback, so it's not a test or anything!

    Then we did the maths and English tests. The maths starts off really really really easy and gets harder. There's 46 questions and you get 45 minutes, so it's very manageable. The English test is in two halves. Firstly you have to correct a page of text, looking for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. Secondly, you get to write on a topic for one side of A4. The topic was "What skills should a good teacher have?" They are not looking at content, but that you can structure a mini-essay (intro, middle, conclusion) and can spell and punctuate. You have less time than the maths for this, but it was no rush. Most of the room were finished in good time.

    Then came the group discussion / presentation. Four of five other department members joined us for this and they were observing as we worked. They split us into four groups. We had to write down our personal five key attributes that we thought would make a good teacher, then we had to discuss in our groups and end up with a shortlist of nine attributes that the whole group had agreed on. In true primary style, we had to cut these out and glue them to a sheet in a diamond pattern! Then we discussed our choices with the other groups, with the head of edu mediating and asking questions. It was quite short, probably 15 minutes from start to finish and the discussion / questions were very laid back. There was no standing up and presenting, just a chat about why we had chosen each attribute.

    Lastly, it was interview time! The six members of staff each interviewed about five candidates each, one on one. I was lucky in that I was first to go in, so no hanging around. The lady I had was very laid back. It was more of a chat than an interview. She got started by asking a question about me taken from my personal statement (the usual interview tactic of getting the candidate to talk about themselves to calm any nerves etc), then she was into the questions.

    Questions she asked were:

    Have you managed to spend two weeks in school observing?
    If you entered a classroom, what would you look for to indicate that it was a stimulating and positive environment?What skills do you have that would help you as a teacher?
    Are there any educational issues you've read about, and if so, what do you think about them?What do you think will be the most challenging thing about this course?
    What can you bring to the course?
    After all my swotting there was nothing about SEN, EAL, Equal Opps, or any of the major reviews or the NC in any depth. I was almost disappointed!

    I asked a few questions and tried to get her to say if I'd done enough to warrant a place which she took in good humour but did not answer.

    All in all, it was an enjoyable morning and a much easier ride than I had imagined. Nothing to do now but wait!
    Hope that helps and good luck to all!
    Clive
     
  3. Hi, that's nice that you've posted how your interview day went in such detail. Thanks for that. Hope you hear soon from them.
     
  4. Hi Clive - glad it went well yesterday and thank you very much for all the information you have posted about the day. Its definitely helping my nerves a little. Hope you all don't have too long to wait to hear back!!
     
  5. Hi Clive!

    Thanks for the info, very helpful! Fingers crossed for you!

    Claire

    ps: Alison, I will see you next Tuesday :)
     
  6. Hello,
    Has anyone heard anything after the interview on the 15th? I haven't yet and am a bit worried!
    Thanks
    C
     
  7. Hi
    I've not heard from 15th yet either.......
    Clive
     
  8. Hi Clive,
    I got an email from GTTR and it's updated but no letter from Kingston! Check yours and good luck! :)
    C
     
  9. Hi cjc0710
    Thanks for the tip-off. Nothing in my in-bo or on Track yet <bites nails>
    I take it yours was good news??

    Clive
     
  10. Has anyone else heard anything from Kingston?

    Clive
     
  11. Hi Clive,

    Thanks for all the info, I wish I'd checked it earlier as it's now nearly a week after mine and you've more or less nailed the content of the kingston interview! I also spent a looooong time swatting up on current educational issues like EAL, every child matters, the Cambridge Review and AFL and they didn't quiz me specifically on any of these topics. Having said that, if you have swatted up on these things then don't see it as a waste of time mentioning them in your one-on-one interview at the end. Although they don't ask you specifically, it won't hurt to mention a few key issues in the 'current affairs in education' question.
    GTTR got back to me last week and I've secured a place! All the best of luck to the rest of you, hopefully see you all soon!!!
     
  12. Hi Chipper!

    Were you at the interview on 23rd Nov? If so, I was too and found out on Thursday that I got a place :) So I will see you next year!

    Claire
     
  13. Well done Claire and Chipper!

    I was at the interview on the 15th and got an offer too so will be seeing you next September!
    Although I'm a little confused as the gttr offer letter (and online) says the offer is unconditional, but the letter from Kingston said conditional (with CRB checks etc) and said thay they will contact me in January with confirmation because they haven't heard from the TDA on how many places they can offer yet. I hope this means that because we were at the first sets of interviews we will be okay, as they said that they expect the same numbers to last year but if not they will fill places in order that they received applications?
    C
     
  14. Hi Claire,

    Yes I was there! Congrats.There were 3 of you weren't there? Same as me then, the gttr said unconditional but I haven't seen my Kingston letter yet. If that's the case, wasn't ours the second interview next to the one on the 15th? That's surely a good thing right?
     
  15. Well done all! I had my interview on 15th too and have (finally) heard today. I've got an unconditional offer online. Nothing in the post yet.
    I'd expect them all to be subject to the TDA finalising the place numbers. From what another provider told me it should be settled by Christmas. I think it'll be fine. I can't see that they would offer places unless they had a pretty good idea they could honour them.
    Clive
     
  16. Yep there were three of us! I was the one applying for Primary with German. I had a suitcase because I had to fly back home straight after my interview...

    I haven't got my Kingston letter either but I would imagine they know what they are doing. It would be unfair if they offered way too many and took half of them back!

    Well done Clive!
     
  17. Great, well done all and thanks for the reassurance re conditional/unconditional offers and the confirmation of places in January!
    Looking forward to meeting you all in September!
    C
     
  18. Aaaaah, after a rather long wait - I have a place!!!! See you all in September!
     
  19. I'm surprised you have all found out.

    At my interview at St. Mary's the lady said all London unis were in agreement not to offer any places until January when they know how many places they have, that way if you don't get a place it will be sent to the next training provider who may have places as they've just found out their numbers too.
    Hmmm. [​IMG]
     
  20. I agree, a countrywide policy on places might have been useful. At the end of day, I doubt it makes that much difference. I might have a place now, but I doubt very much that if they take it away in Jan/Feb, I'd stand a hope in hell of getting another one somewhere else... I suspect the cuts will be the same everywhere, rather than one uni having hardly any and another one keeping all its places. Unless there is a significant difference in quality, but I don't think Gove really cares about that.
     

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