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Tips for PGCE Primary Interview

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by starlight189, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. Hiya,
    Congrats on the interview! My advice is to look through some of the questions on the internet, as this really helped me. Still, there'll always be some questions you can't predict - just don't be afraid to ask them to clarify what they mean if you don't understand.
    Be prepared to reflect on your past experiences, this will be important as they'll need to know that you can be evaluative and reflective. They'll probably also be looking for you to understand how intense the course is.
    Strengths/weaknesses in subjects...and also as a person. Try not to say that you work too hard as a weakness!
    What makes a good teacher? How do your experiences show that you have the potential to be one?
    As for current issues, the new curriculum is causing a bit of a stir even before it's come in. Also, cuts to funding? Academies? Have a look through the TES and see what jumps out at you, it will look better if it's something you're interested in :).

    Good luck!
  2. Hello,

    I had an interview at CCU back in January for Primary PGCE (the MFL applicants were interviewed along with straight PGCE-ers)...

    Firstly, it was really informal. So don't worry too much! Saying that, I think it's better to be smart dress wise- the website for the uni says you should treat it like any other interview. And some people were quite suprisingly casual.

    The literacy and numeracy tests were fine- I had revised far too much Maths in hindsight, but the test was fairly simple, and there were only about 12 questions.

    The presentation I had to do in a group was a bit testing. We were observed while we were coming up with ideas and a few of the others in my group kept going slightly off tangent and discussing other educational matters (I think to impress, or maybe just nerves), but we really needed to get on. So I would suggest just keeping the presentation in focus and appear as if you are happy to take some responsibility, without seeming bossy!

    Be as smiley as possible and act confident even if you don't feel it! I think they observe you throughout the day, so if you're smiley you'll seem like a nice approachable person. It also makes you feel better too - having a chat with other applicants helped with the tension.

    Probably the most important thing is to make sure you're up to date with news in education (being on here is a good sign!) Not so much because I personally got asked current affairs-type questions, but just having it as a background knowledge makes you seem more confident and enthusiatic. Don't be phased by the super confident candadites, they're just more likely to witter or say something silly - much better consider what it is you're going to say and only answer questions that you think you can do a decent job of! The questions my group got asked in our interview were not what I was expecting... they were odd! You'll see what I mean! For example, what would you do if a parent was unhappy with the way you'd treated their child? They were quite vague, and situational - lots of 'what would you do', 'imagine yourself in this position' - we all struggled to give good answers, I think it's just a case of giving a well balanced common sense- led response. My group interview was the last part of the day, and to be honest I felt a bit deflated afterwards, partly because I had no idea how it had gone, and I felt my answers had been a bit rubbishy (but then, due to the nature of them, other people's weren't much better). I think getting in as much about your own experience in the classroom is a must, refering the question you've been asked to a clearly similar example of your own).

    But I found out I got a place shortly after, so just don't panic!

    Good luck :)
  3. Thank you so much for your advice, I'm definitely feeling a bit more relaxed now! I'm glad it's not too formal, and it's good to know that the presentation is a group exercise because the thought of preparing a presentation on my own in a limited amount of time was a bit daunting! I have my interview outfit sorted, a smart grey knee length dress and a pretty necklace to brighten it up a bit :)
    I had a look at some sample questions online so if any of the standard ones come up I should be alright but I suppose if they're all a bit obscure I'll just have to do my best and keep a practical head on. I guess they're just testing our common sense and if we can handle situations logically and sensibly.
    Congratulations on getting a place, and thank you again. Hopefully see you around next year!
  4. Awesome, thanks so much for the pointers. I think I might write down some reflections on my school experiences, recently I've only had secondary school experience but I'm sure I can apply some of the things I learnt to primary school level as well.
    I hate that 'what is your weakness?' question though!! I'll have to try to come up with a decent answer for that one! And also, do you know any internet sites that I can get information on the new curriculum from?
    Thank you again for your reply,
    Best wishes

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