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SEN Teaching Assistant Interview-Help needed

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by bluecherries, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Hi,

    I have an interview next week for a learning support assistant post for a class of secondary school SEN children. I have however very little practical experience, (only a few weeks work experience), but have a degree in psychology. I am concerned that I will not know how to answer the questions they ask. What sort of questions do you think they will ask? and are there any good books or websites I could look at to help me with this practical side? It is of great importance as part of my interview involves assisting in a lesson with SEN children, which is something I really have little experience of.

  2. Congrats on the interview! You may be asked about the following.
    1. 'Every Child Matters'..type it in to a search engine, should be lots of info.
    2. School SEN inclusion policy
    3. Confidentiality in the role. May give you a scenario about someone trying to extract confidential information about you.
    4. Managing behaviour...what would you do if...? May be useful to know school behaviour policy and what rewards and canctions they apply.
    5. If a church school may ask about the ethos.
    6. Child protection. Know about the procedure if a child tells you 'at risk' information.
    7. What barriers to learning may pupils experience? Can you give examples of how this barriers can be overcome?
    8. May ask you about individual education plans (IEPs), what statements are, etc...all the SEN jargon.
    9. How do see the role of the SEN TA...support pupil, support teacher, support school, support curriculum.
    10.May mention learning styles....visual, audio, kinasethetic. How would you deliver so and so activity taking into account learning styles.
    11. Will probably ask what skills can you bring to the job?
    12. Equal opportunites...what do you understand this to mean?

    Also if you have to do an activity contact the school and ask what level the pupils are working at, and what their special needs are. They can't expect you to do an activity without knowing that. Have a look on the National Curriculum Online website and that will tell you what the expected levels in subjects are.
    You could ensure that your activity has an objective, eg today we are learning about.......and keep referring to that if the pupils go off task.
    Hope this helps. Good luck.
  3. Wow JillyE that was a really good, thorough post.

    I had an SEN TA job interview (primary) this week and they asked me all of those questions. The only other thing I can think of is researching EAL; in my interview we discussed this a lot because it was relevant to the school where the children are 80% ethnic minority.

    Good luck bluecherries and let us know how it goes.
  4. Some questions I was asked in my interview (i'm was a new TA in september and work mainly with SEN children)

    *How would you prevent a child from becoming too dependant on you?
    *What would you do if a child swore at a teacher?
    *What would you do if you heard some other TA's talking about another member of staff in a derogatory way?
    *What are the qualities of a good TA?
    *What is the role of a TA?
    *What are your personal qualities?

    I wasn't expected to know about statements or things like that.
  5. Im in the same boat as you Bluecherries! Also done degree in Psychology, and just found out got an interview for an SEN post! This one is Primary though. It's fixed for 1 year so hoping to do that and then apply for PGCE starting sep 09.

    That is really helpful info JillyE. Have just downloaded all the SEN policies from my LEA! Luckily i do have experience working with children with dissabilities, just not in a school environment.

    Good luck Bluecherries!
  6. I had my interview for SEN Secondary LSA three weeks ago, and have been offered the position.

    They asked me the following:

    What would I do if a child was rude to me? Talk about following school behaviour policy, mention rewards and sanctions they apply, as Jilly said.

    Asked me how I would deal with a visually impaired student in my learning style.

    What qualities the students would want to see in an LSA?

    Equal opps, what it meant.

    I did talk about 'Every Child Matters' and how organisations should work together etc etc

    I had 2 NQT's attend the interview, as well as a TA attend interview on same day, so didn't think I would get the job.

    I strongly feel that because I actually interacted with the kids, introduced myself and asked their names, what they were working on etc, really helped me get the job.

    Now, I just have to organise childcare for my kids, so I can accept it!!! They want me to start at 8.30, but 9am would be better for me to get my kids to school. (The Sec school is next door to my kiddies one).

    I'm also planning to do a PGCE in MFL next year, who knows perhaps I'll stay on as LSA, as it's quite off putting when you see NQT's going for this job and not wanting to be teachers.
  7. Well I got the job, thanks for everyone's help. Good luck to everyone else. Now I've just got to wait to see what the pay is like!
  8. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Also, and i realise this does sound obvious, is to look at the school's website. Things such as the school ethos & philosophy is something that you need an awareness of; the curriculum; learning and behaviour styles or techniques and to read their policies on teaching and learning/behaviour/equality/inclusion.

    Carry a notebook with you when you go to your interview. If you are having a lesson observation they will be looking at your use of language and communication skills. Remember that for some of these children they may not be where they should be developmentally speaking. You may need to look at makaton, PECS, or AAC communication styles.

    Some children may respond to sensory stimuli especially those who are non verbal. It depends what SEN needs the school caters for.
  9. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Just noticed this thread originates from 2008.

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