Lottiee97
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Hi! I have an interview in a couple of weeks at Canterbury Christ Church to do a PGCE, but I’m really nervous about the interview. Has anyone has this interview and can offer any advice as I really want to do well?
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SarcAndSpark
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Hey

I interviewed for biology last year- there's some general tips in this thread here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6193808

If you've got any more specific questions, please feel free to ask.
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Lottiee97
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Hey

I interviewed for biology last year- there's some general tips in this thread here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6193808

If you've got any more specific questions, please feel free to ask.
Thanks for your help! How would you go about the mini lesson? I’ve not worked as a teacher before so I’m not used to lesson planning or anything, how can I make a good impression?
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Lottiee97)
Thanks for your help! How would you go about the mini lesson? I’ve not worked as a teacher before so I’m not used to lesson planning or anything, how can I make a good impression?
Were you given any specific subject for the mini lesson? If not, I'd pick something in the national curriculum that interests/engages you- the more it interests you, the more engaging it'll be. If you have to do a task, anything that gets people up and moving/interacting is great!

From the mini teach, AFIAK, admissions tutors are trying to judge whether you'd cope with standing up in front of a class, rather than really judging the specific content of your presentation. The key is to show that you're confident speaking to others and can engage them!

I hope this helps!
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Lottiee97
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Were you given any specific subject for the mini lesson? If not, I'd pick something in the national curriculum that interests/engages you- the more it interests you, the more engaging it'll be. If you have to do a task, anything that gets people up and moving/interacting is great!

From the mini teach, AFIAK, admissions tutors are trying to judge whether you'd cope with standing up in front of a class, rather than really judging the specific content of your presentation. The key is to show that you're confident speaking to others and can engage them!

I hope this helps!
So they’ve given me a specific topic to present, and I’m fairly confident with it so that doesn’t bother me too much. My main concern is how to present it to them. I don’t get a presentation available, just a whiteboard which is fine but I’ve never done it before and so I don’t think I’ll be confident teaching it. I’m a confident speaker but I’m worried about how to get to GCSE depth and cover it in five minutes? I don’t want to just talk at them but how interactive can you be in five minutes?
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Lottiee97)
So they’ve given me a specific topic to present, and I’m fairly confident with it so that doesn’t bother me too much. My main concern is how to present it to them. I don’t get a presentation available, just a whiteboard which is fine but I’ve never done it before and so I don’t think I’ll be confident teaching it. I’m a confident speaker but I’m worried about how to get to GCSE depth and cover it in five minutes? I don’t want to just talk at them but how interactive can you be in five minutes?
Five minutes is short, and I agree, you can't be that interactive- maybe a few hands up if you think x, hands up if you think y type things and a few quick questions and answers shouldn't take long- ask closed questions and don't let the audience ramble on.

If you're not comfortable using the whiteboard, honestly I wouldn't bother- or only use it to write up quick ideas. If you try to write/draw anything too complicated, you'll end up turning your back on the audience, which isn't great. For five minutes you can just talk- maybe bring in a prop or a demo if the topic suits that and you're able to. E.g. if the topic was photosynthesis, I'd maybe bring in a plant.

Like I say, they aren't assessing the content that much, but if you've been asked to pretend the audience are GCSE students, then you can assume KS3 levels of knowledge- so don't start too basic. Again, if you were doing photosynthesis, you could assume they knew the parts of the plant, that plants "make food from sunlight" and that they had seen a diagram of a plant cell before (although maybe not remembered the parts).

But honestly, if you can stand up, present confidently and be relatively engaging in 5 minutes, then you'll probably have ticked all the boxes!
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Lottiee97
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Five minutes is short, and I agree, you can't be that interactive- maybe a few hands up if you think x, hands up if you think y type things and a few quick questions and answers shouldn't take long- ask closed questions and don't let the audience ramble on.

If you're not comfortable using the whiteboard, honestly I wouldn't bother- or only use it to write up quick ideas. If you try to write/draw anything too complicated, you'll end up turning your back on the audience, which isn't great. For five minutes you can just talk- maybe bring in a prop or a demo if the topic suits that and you're able to. E.g. if the topic was photosynthesis, I'd maybe bring in a plant.

Like I say, they aren't assessing the content that much, but if you've been asked to pretend the audience are GCSE students, then you can assume KS3 levels of knowledge- so don't start too basic. Again, if you were doing photosynthesis, you could assume they knew the parts of the plant, that plants "make food from sunlight" and that they had seen a diagram of a plant cell before (although maybe not remembered the parts).

But honestly, if you can stand up, present confidently and be relatively engaging in 5 minutes, then you'll probably have ticked all the boxes!
That’s so helpful, thank you! Yeah I think I’ll leave the whiteboard, maybe a couple of key words/ a simple diagram but nothing much. Hopefully they’ll be expecting us to be a little nervous so they might be a tiny bit forgiving!

Have you got any advice for the one on one/ group tasks? Obviously be confident, listen as well as speak, contribute well, come across professional etc, but any other things to remember? Sorry to keep asking questions, I’m just overthinking everything I think!
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Lottiee97)
That’s so helpful, thank you! Yeah I think I’ll leave the whiteboard, maybe a couple of key words/ a simple diagram but nothing much. Hopefully they’ll be expecting us to be a little nervous so they might be a tiny bit forgiving!

Have you got any advice for the one on one/ group tasks? Obviously be confident, listen as well as speak, contribute well, come across professional etc, but any other things to remember? Sorry to keep asking questions, I’m just overthinking everything I think!
For the group tasks, I think you've got it down. Depending on the topic, I'd try to keep to relatively mainstream opinions as well! Teachers have to work collaboratively with their departments, and this is kind of what they are assessing during the group task, as well as sometimes subject knowledge/your knowledge of current educational issues. Do you know what the discussion will be about?

In the one on one interview, I would say:

-Be prepared, know about the national curriculum and recent changes at GCSE.
-Use the STAR technique for "tell me about a time when questions".
-Be honest (within reason), if for some reason you aren't a good fit for that particular uni, it may be better to find out now than in October!
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Lottiee97
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
For the group tasks, I think you've got it down. Depending on the topic, I'd try to keep to relatively mainstream opinions as well! Teachers have to work collaboratively with their departments, and this is kind of what they are assessing during the group task, as well as sometimes subject knowledge/your knowledge of current educational issues. Do you know what the discussion will be about?

In the one on one interview, I would say:

-Be prepared, know about the national curriculum and recent changes at GCSE.
-Use the STAR technique for "tell me about a time when questions".
-Be honest (within reason), if for some reason you aren't a good fit for that particular uni, it may be better to find out now than in October!
I’ve no idea what it will be about specifically, it just says generic educational themes. I’ve done some reading so hopefully I’ll be okay on that front, just don’t let the nerves get to me!

Do they ask specific questions about subject knowledge in the interview? Or do they just want to know you have some aptitude about the national curriculum? Definitely! I want to get an offer because I deserve it, not because I lied to get it
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Lottiee97)
I’ve no idea what it will be about specifically, it just says generic educational themes. I’ve done some reading so hopefully I’ll be okay on that front, just don’t let the nerves get to me!

Do they ask specific questions about subject knowledge in the interview? Or do they just want to know you have some aptitude about the national curriculum? Definitely! I want to get an offer because I deserve it, not because I lied to get it
It depends on the uni, but 2/3 of my interviews asked me science questions during interview. In one, they were biology specific, in the other they were about all three sciences! It wasn't like a test, but more "how would you explain X concept?".
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Missjgyp
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
It depends on the uni, but 2/3 of my interviews asked me science questions during interview. In one, they were biology specific, in the other they were about all three sciences! It wasn't like a test, but more "how would you explain X concept?".
Thanks for all the tips! I have an interview tomorrow and I have to bring in a lesson plan and explain/discuss why I planned it this way. I think I'm more nervous with the individual interview though. What would they ask about the national curriculum? Do you think they would ask about the recent changes of GCSE grades etc?
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Missjgyp)
Thanks for all the tips! I have an interview tomorrow and I have to bring in a lesson plan and explain/discuss why I planned it this way. I think I'm more nervous with the individual interview though. What would they ask about the national curriculum? Do you think they would ask about the recent changes of GCSE grades etc?
Yeah, I do think the individual interview is one of the most important bits.

It's hard to tell you what you will be asked as each uni will have their own set of questions and each uni asked me very different things. But you should have a working knowledge of what's taught at each key stage and the type of depth you're expected to go into. You might be asked about GCSE grades explicitly, although this change is a couple of years old now, so slightly less of a hot topic.

It's against TSR rules and some uni rules to share actual interview questions as well, so I can't share exactly what I was asked.
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Lottiee97
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
It depends on the uni, but 2/3 of my interviews asked me science questions during interview. In one, they were biology specific, in the other they were about all three sciences! It wasn't like a test, but more "how would you explain X concept?".
Thank you for all your help! I had my interview a week or so ago and got an offer which I’ve accepted so I’m super excited! Thanks again 😃
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Andoc
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Hi Lottiee97, can you please share your interview experience and questions? Did they grill you on random biology questions much or stick to generic teaching questions? Congratulations again! They got back to you swiftly with a response.
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