sr1988
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Good Afternoon
I have an interview coming up in a few weeks. Part of the interview is to give a mini lesson which can last no longer than 10 minutes. The topic is describing the science behind an everyday object (biology Related).

I am really stuck on choosing a topic which is interesting and how much depth you have to go into. I have to choose either to give this to a KS3 level or KS4. I keep over complicating with the science, but i get a feeling they will be looking for good communication and interaction with a group

Any advise would be really appreciated
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SarcAndSpark
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Hey- I'm now a biology teacher, but I was in your place about 2 years ago!

My uni tutor told me (long after my interview), the main thing they are looking for in the teaching task is to be able to picture you standing up in front of a class, engaging them and keeping their attention. I would choose an object you can link to something you're passionate about- e.g. if ecology is your favourite part of biology, choose something gardening related or something you can link to the outdoors, whereas if you're a keen microbiologist, take in something like anti-bacterial soap!

I honestly think the topic isn't super important, although if you can link it to the KS4 curriculum, that will probably get you bonus points. However, I think these tasks are more about showing your existing presentation skills, and how you communicate, rather than the precise content of your presentation!

10 minutes is relatively long for these things, so maybe think about how you can engage your audience during the mini lesson as well.
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Angelholic
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(Original post by sr1988)
Good Afternoon
I have an interview coming up in a few weeks. Part of the interview is to give a mini lesson which can last no longer than 10 minutes. The topic is describing the science behind an everyday object (biology Related).

I am really stuck on choosing a topic which is interesting and how much depth you have to go into. I have to choose either to give this to a KS3 level or KS4. I keep over complicating with the science, but i get a feeling they will be looking for good communication and interaction with a group

Any advise would be really appreciated
Pick a topic you are interested in and can articulate to the students with minimal jargon.

Pictures always helps to allow the students to visualise any process you may be presenting.

If you find that you can link your presentation to the students, ask them questions. This way the audience
are not only listening but are actively engaging with you.
Tip here - will be to divide the room in half/quadrants to discuss an answer and write it on a board/ ask the what they think.
- Ask them to raise their hands if they think one answer is right or the other and then correct their understanding.
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sr1988
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Good Afternoon
Thank you for the reply. I have to give this mini lesson to the interviewer and candidates there on the day for the interview. I was going to pick photosynthesis as this is a topic i enjoy also i can link this into their previous studies aswell as make it relevant to the current curriculum.

I got the feeling they wanted to see if you can stand in front of a class full of peers and give a lesson rather than present a science lesson.

I have been stressing over this alot. Chatting infront of a group of strangers is not a problem when i am prepared.

What was your interview like when you did it?
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by sr1988)
Good Afternoon
Thank you for the reply. I have to give this mini lesson to the interviewer and candidates there on the day for the interview. I was going to pick photosynthesis as this is a topic i enjoy also i can link this into their previous studies aswell as make it relevant to the current curriculum.

I got the feeling they wanted to see if you can stand in front of a class full of peers and give a lesson rather than present a science lesson.

I have been stressing over this alot. Chatting infront of a group of strangers is not a problem when i am prepared.

What was your interview like when you did it?
Hey

I think photosynthesis is a great topic- although don't forget to fulfill the brief and link it to an every day object. A house plant, maybe?

I agree with your feeling on this- although I would say that you will get picked up on any subject knowledge mistakes, and you may be asked to be reflective in your individual interview. I talked about photosynthesis in one of my interviews, and was asked something like "How would you engage kids who don't care about plants?", so maybe prepare to be asked that?

Do prepare and practice whatever you're going to say, but they'll be a pretty sympathetic audience

When you say what were the interviews like, are you interested in the whole day, or just the presentation part?
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sr1988
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Once again thank you for the reply.

The day as a whole? What university was you PGCE completed at?

I get the feeling i am over thinking it but have always wanted to teach so this really means alot to me.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by sr1988)
Once again thank you for the reply.

The day as a whole? What university was you PGCE completed at?

I get the feeling i am over thinking it but have always wanted to teach so this really means alot to me.
All uni PGCE interviews have multiple parts- I went to 3. All had a presentation/mini teach task, all had a written task, and all had individual interviews. 2/3 also had a group discussion task.

For group discussions, generally I think unis want to see you not dominating the discussion and listening to others but also being able to put your point of view across.

The individual interviews varied a lot- but most asked "Why do you want to be a teacher/why do you want to teach biology", a safeguarding question, a question about current issues in teaching/the national curriculum, and some "tell me about a time when" type questions. Some also asked subject knowledge questions across all 3 sciences. 2/3 also asked me to reflect on my mini-teach.

Overall, they are looking for someone with the potential to teach, and who they hope will cope with the demands of the course. They want to see you have key attributes like resilience and you're able to be reflective about your own performance. They aren't looking for perfection yet, though.
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sr1988
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Thank you for the update.

I was surprised there was no mention of a written task for my interview. I was expecting some sort of subject related written task. I await to see how it all pans out.
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dd0111
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(Original post by Angelholic)
Pick a topic you are interested in and can articulate to the students with minimal jargon.

Pictures always helps to allow the students to visualise any process you may be presenting.

If you find that you can link your presentation to the students, ask them questions. This way the audience
are not only listening but are actively engaging with you.
Tip here - will be to divide the room in half/quadrants to discuss an answer and write it on a board/ ask the what they think.
- Ask them to raise their hands if they think one answer is right or the other and then correct their understanding.
Hello

I was hoping for some advice - I have applied for a SCITT position and have been invited to interview next week.
I have only had 8 weeks experience as a TA since I graduated in Zoology.
I have applied for biology in a secondary school. The email states ‘You will be presenting to a mixed ability group of approximately 8 pupils to review teaching and learning within the school context. Your task is to plan an activity, to last no more than 15 minutes, which is designed to engage students in a discussion about teaching and learning in a secondary school.

You may use any activity which you feel will help the pupils to increase their understanding and skills in this area. We will be pleased to see your imaginative interpretation of this brief and will be happy to provide any equipment you need’

I would greatly appreciate any advice on how to make this engaging and fun for the students, I’m not even sure how to start! I feel completely blinded having only been in a school for such a short period 🙏
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