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Tricky interview question.....what would YOU have said?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by anon214, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. All was going well until I was asked
    <u>" What are your thoughs on the recent developments in the teaching of Phonics?" </u>
    Or it was something like that...you know how you listen to these questions but just don't HEAR them. [​IMG]
    Anyway I said something about there being many options...choosing what works well for you class....may need to be adapted depending on the class....taking elements which work well and appling them to your teaching.....blah blah blah.......
    Threw in something about the new governement.
    It was verging on waffle! Everything else went well and the observation went really good however, 3 experienced teachers were passed over for an NQT [​IMG]
    So, what SHOULD I have said?
    PS - This was for a temp Reception post.
  2. Very tricky question - and almost a trick question dependent upon the view of the people doing the interviewing.
    You were potentially in a no-win situation and it was almost a low-baller.
    I also think that people applying for infant jobs and being asked to model phonics lessons is a low-baller because what constitutes 'good practice' is, once again, dependent on the habits/practices of the school.
    Good luck![​IMG]
  3. Thanks for your reply.They were pretty mean with that one uh!
    I WISH I'd said,
    "Hmmmmm, its a very tricky question as the favourable answer is dependent on your own views and practice!"
    It was one of those total waste of time interviews....there all day.... four of us sat there.... one with a sign hovering over her head reading "I'm 6k cheaper!!"
    Ah well, back to the application I'm meant to be writing! [​IMG]

  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I would have given my thoughts. If they are in line with the school then I would get the post and be happy there. If they were totally at odds with the school then it would be better for me not to get the job.
  5. I thought I'd missed something that had been online or in the TES.
    When they said developments my first thought was "errr what developments?"

  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    then it is probably best you didn't get the post then! :)
  7. You've got a point - the 'developments' in phonics were happening when I was training 3 years ago, and Letters and Sounds was introduced in 2007 - so they are hardly recent develoments.
    That said - I think for a tricky question, your answer about doing what is best for your class and taking elements and adapting, was a good one.
  8. 'Developments' might include the government's announcement for matched funding of &pound;3,000 - so a total of &pound;6,000 to spend on key stage one systematic synthetic phonics programmes and/or supporting resources and training.
    Another development might be a clear message through the phonics tender process that catch-up teaching will be supported through the matched funding if it is in line with the mainstream systematic synthetic phonics teaching and not 'something different'.
    Another development is the government's promotion of the need for cumulative, decodable books/text to support beginners' reading and to ensure they have early success without the need to guess their way through their first reading books!
    Another development is a couple of recent Ofsted reports which specifically mention 'synthetic phonics' teaching by name - and one of which names actual programmes and reading books schemes which have raised levels in specific schools.
    I spent a number of years writing to Ofsted complaining that they judged every school as if it complied with the, then, National Literacy Strategy, whereas some of the schools were, then, doing systematic synthetic phonics which was different from the 'searchlights' reading model. Ofsted would not use the term 'synthetic' because it was considered that this was jargon.
    In one school where I worked, the Ofsted inspector said we used a 'commercial programme' to support literacy and this was not true - we dipped into many commercial resources to provide a synthetic phonics teaching and intervention regime and we were raising levels of literacy because of our approach. The report was inaccurate but virtually non-challengeable (although I did challenge it).
    Anyway, it is a huge development for Ofsted to name programmes as well as practices - and this is moving much closer to transparency and information which will help schools to know what works most effectively.
    Another development is the divide between Universities who are prepared to support the thrust for training teachers in systematic synthetic phonics and knowledge of the alphabetic code - and Universities where lecturers are not in support (the impression I sometimes get is that someo lecturer simply do not know what is meant by SSP).

  9. I think there is a difference between 'developments' and an endless trickle of drivel / initiatives / publications that nobody has time to even read!

    Thanks for your useful advice!
  10. However, Thank you Debbiehep for your time and efforts. You have made some really good suggetions and I shall be well armed in future! I'm just going to have a good read of what you've written so thanks. [​IMG]
  11. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    WOW!!! This would definitely NOT have been my interview answer! LOL
  12. Exactly Impulce, I too trained in 2007 when Letters and Sounds was introduced. I wouldn't regard that as recent hence my sitting down to Debbie's info up above.It would be nice to tell them something they don't know in an interview!
  13. Lol -
    You know, it's funny I did mention something that I'd picked up on from 'The Teacher' which was meant to be yet another 'way forward' and they'd never heard of it....the Head or the Deputy.
  14. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I think I might have asked what they meant by recent. My idea of recent is anything that happened in the last few weeks, but in reality because I am so ancient anything that happened in the last 30 years or so feels very recent. Who knows what their perspective was.
  15. Yes, get THEM to expand for a change! [​IMG]
  16. taj


    Yes in interview situations I find it is always good to ask questions as well as answering them - it takes the pressure off you for a bit (so you relax more) and makes it seem more like a two way process, rather than something you have to get through!

  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Erm! have you both missed the new governments plans to test the phonics knowledge of all children at the end of Y1 ?
    Did you miss
    Schools Minister Nick Gibb announced a matched funding scheme to
    help primary schools teach systematic synthetic phonics and drive up
    reading standards?
    Did you miss Gove: Synthetic phonics will drive up basic literacy standards?

    Did you miss The Government is keen to promote high quality teaching of systematic synthetic phonics in primary schools?

  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The government have made 5 or 6 announcements regarding phonics this year and three since April
  19. Freeze!

    Freeze! New commenter

    It can be hit and miss as to what you hear about. Part of the reason I come onto these boards is to pick up conversation pieces and information about recent developments. As a Y1 teacher I'm very up on my Phonics developments but there are other areas which I'm not so 'recent' on. Msz, are there any good websites/publications you can recommend in order to keep up to date with Government developments?
  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

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