Interview Process for Primary Education with QTS

What happened in the interview?

I went with my Mum, Dad and best friend to the interview. When we arrived, we went in for a ‘Welcome’ talk in the lecture theatre where they told us the itinerary for the day. We went for a campus tour first while my Dad stayed for a Q&A session in the lecture theatre. After that, I completed my English and Maths tasks. During this time, we were called up to do our group activity where the tutors give you random items and you have to discuss with other prospective students about how you could use these in the classroom and then I had a 1:1 talk with the tutor who asked me questions about teaching.

Tips for the English/Maths task

The English Writing task gave us a statement about resilience and why this is important in teaching (it is!) and we had to write about a time we have been resilient. They are basically just checking that you can write fluently and will give you targets based on grammar or handwriting etc. The Maths test was complied of very basic Maths questions to check you can work out, again, basic maths. They do get quite tricky at the end but nothing too hard to worry about just brush up on your times tables, multiplication and division methods etc. Don’t worry too much about this!

Group Activity

Don’t take too much control in the beginning, but if nobody else is talking definitely take the initiative. They did our group activities in groups of three and the girls I was with were lovely and we all had really nice ideas. The tip here would be to think outside the box, they are very random objects but don’t feel like anything is a stupid idea.

The 1:1 interview

This was not what I thought it would be. We were still in the room with the other tutors and prospective students so that was a lot more reassuring. The questions they asked me were along the lines of ‘Why do you want to be a teacher?’, ‘What is the most important thing about teaching’, ‘Why is it important to be professional?’ etc.

Any other questions about the process, feel free to comment below.

Amy

6 top tips for surviving placement

So, as my life is currently taken over by placement, here are 6 tips to keep in mind that will help your survive.

  1. Be willing to ask for advice.
    1. My behaviour management was one of my weakest areas last year on placement, partly because I refused to ask for advice. I walked into that placement, feeling confident that I knew what to do, but in all honesty, I didn’t have a clue. The worst part about it is that I thought asking for advice was a weakness. My mentor knew those kids better than I did! There was no shame in admitting I still had a lot left to learn.
  2. Be open to feedback.
    1. I have friends that hate receiving feedback from their mentors, but like I said before, we still have so much left to learn, and it really is in your best interests to listen to it – especially if they’re grading you!
  3. If there’s more than one EHU student on placement, support each other.
    1. A lot of trainees I know spend their first placement in particular, acting as if it’s a competition, but having that support and friendly face there can really combat your nerves and make you feel better when you’re having those bad days.
  4. Make sure you have at least one day off.
    1. Everyone needs some downtime and if you’re completely overwhelmed and stressed out, that means you’re not going to be efficient. Take some breaths, put on a movie, eat some ice cream or go for a walk and just chill.
  5. Talk to your friends / colleagues.
    1.  There are days when I really want to throw in the towel, because my lesson hasn’t gone as I’d planned, or someone was particularly disruptive, or I was just feeling generally overwhelmed. Firstly, I probably should’ve kept in mind that I was still training, and everyone makes mistakes when they’re training. However, without my course friends, I’d potentially continued to feel that way, but a gentle reminder that everyone has bad days can really ease the situation and help you to think with a clearer mind.
  6. Remember the biscuits for the staff room / your co-workers.

It’s worth it in the end

I won’t lie to you… second year has been incredibly tough for me, for a whole range of reasons. Now, it’s a Sunday evening and I’ve just finished my lesson planning for the following week; I’m busier on placement than I am in the entirety of the rest of my degree, yet it’s the best kind of busy. And being on placement reminds me why I’m here in the first place.

When a child asks you if you’ll be their class teacher forever; or you see another child, who doesn’t really respond much in lessons, get excited by a topic you’re teaching… the overwhelming sense of pride and love for this career is enough to put you through the stress of assignments ten times over. It’s enough that you don’t care that you’re up late planning, because if you get that one child to smile at something, to connect with something that you teach next week, it will have all been worth it.

My best kind of advice for all of you, is to find something that gives you a similar feeling. That may not be teaching; that may be seeing people respond positively to some media you’ve created, or at the very least to have felt like they related. It may be seeing kids get better and go home from hospital with their parents. It might be doing a particularly satisfying bit of maths or coming across a piece of research that will one day change the future.

In an entirely different context, Taylor Swift said, ‘If you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you’ll know it.’ Of course, this didn’t mean what I’m twisting it to mean when she originally said it, but I do think it can be applied here. If you love something so much, I 100% think you should study it, or make it your hobby, or whatever it is you decide to, because life is too short not to do things that YOU want to do.

And I know, as a result of my placement, that this is something I 100% love. Some of you may not know what it is you love, but that just means you get to spend more time trying new things to figure it out.

Teacher Training Opportunities: Bett 2017

I’m starting this post sat in a swanky room in a posh hotel in London. I’ve just spent a full day on my feet, lead taking for Promethean at Bett 2017 (British Educational Training and Technology Show) and getting to play with some really cool technology. Before the doors opened, the Digital Leaders got everyone involved in a dance to ‘Cheerleader’ on Go Noodle; right from the off, the buzz on stand was absolutely phenomenal from all and I feel so privileged to have been a part of it. Thanks Promethean!

I have learned so much this week! I was lucky enough to watch a demo lesson on ‘The Naughty Bus’ by Louise Long, the Headteacher at Ibstone School, in which I was able to observe how the ActivPanels and Classflow – the products that Promethean were promoting – could be used effectively to make lessons more engaging. Most importantly for me, as this is a target for my next professional practice, I was able to see how the software could be used to aid individual differentiation.

One of the most enjoyable parts about Bett was how friendly everyone was. I got to speak to a whole host of people from Promethean – people from marketing, the sales team, etc – as well as past and present teachers. And that was just the people advocating for the product! Speaking to a whole range of people coming onto the stand was an experience within itself. Although Wednesday was nerve-wracking, by the second day, I realised that I could whole-heartedly say I loved every single one of the products on the Promethean stand, and explain why! I wasn’t nervous anymore; on Thursday, I spoke to a gentleman who supplied technology for over 20,000 schools!

As well as lead taking for Promethean, we had the opportunity to walk around and see what else was on offer. Knowing that in a few weeks, I have to lesson plan for Phonics, one of my weakest subject areas, I spoke to the Jolly Phonics team, who were able to give me some resources, and guide me to an area of their website I will find more information.

Our motto for Bett is ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ and it really demonstrated to me how, in this profession, you have to make sure you take time off from all the hard work. Getting to know my colleagues was so much fun, and I really feel like we’re part of a team now.

I gained this opportunity by becoming involved. From the 350 people in my year group, only seven attended Bett. We were given that opportunity because we took advantage of the things that have been offered to us. I do a lot at university, and a lot of people wonder why. The course is so heavy as it is and I admit, I make a lot of extra work for myself by getting involved in so much – but as a reward, I get to experience great things such as this. My advice to you, as applicants, is to take every opportunity that is handed to you, because when you’re looking for a job – and this might seem really far in the future – they’ll remember the ones that got stuck in.

Teacher Training: The Interview Process

Happy holidays! So, I promised a blog on the interview process for teacher training – and voila!

Just a reminder, if you want information on auditions, check out Ellie’s post: here.

Edge Hill was my second interview of the lot, which was completely nerve-wracking, as it was my first choice of university! Surprisingly, it was the interview that I was least nervous about when I arrived on the day! I was put right at ease straight away with friendly chatter from the lady interviewing me; the whole thing was really more of a conversation than an interview!

Let’s start from the beginning. I arrived on the day, wearing a dress and posh shoes, feeling all fancy, armed with various certificates and references from head teachers I had volunteered with. I waved goodbye to my parents, and was brought into a massive lecture theatre in the Health and Social Building (below).

Fun fact: This is also the place you will graduate!

We ran through the day’s events: an optional campus tour, the skills tests and then finally, the interview. If you already know about the professional skills tests, you might be a little bit confused as to why we were doing some more! We were told that the tests weren’t a pass/fail, but rather to influence our targets for the upcoming September. A lot of what we do on the course is about setting ourselves targets, reviewing them, and making new targets, so in hindsight this makes a lot of sense! So these tests are separate to the general skills tests you’re required to take to become a teacher – sorry! If you are worried about those tests, there are practice papers online, which I found really useful.

By the time I had arrived at Edge Hill, I had passed my skills tests, so I wasn’t too concerned with how they were going to go. My big worry was the presentation I had to give, using a stimulus, about a lesson or activity I would teach. People came in with all different kinds of things – shapes, books, puppets! I chose The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr, and spoke about how I would teach a lesson on healthy eating. I also talked a little about differentiation, which basically means the ways in which I would include all learners, no matter their ability. I presented this in front of another applicant, a lady in the Education team and a local headteacher.

Written and illustrated by Judith Kerr; this was my stimulus for my 5 minute presentation

Then, when that was done and they had finished asking questions, I was whisked away for the ‘real’ interview, which was more of a conversation than anything else, about the experience I had and what I had learned from it. Edge Hill are really great, and within two weeks, they had emailed me feedback about how I had performed both in my interview and in the tests they had given, which then helped me set my targets for September.

For me, the most important thing for my interview was having done work experience. This is important for your personal statement, but it was during the interview that I was really able to show what I had learned from those experiences.

My advice: Be yourself!

Hello! Bonjour! Hola!

Hello! My name is Emma and I’m excited to have been picked to blog for Edge Hill, and share all of my wonderful insight with you guys!

Now, where shall I begin? I’m a second year, studying Primary Education, majoring in Foreign Languages with a minor in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This is what I really love about Edge Hill – I was given the option to really personalise my course to suit my end goal.

Within my course, each week I study 2 hours of the core subjects – Maths, Science, English and Computing – along with a 2-3 hour session of a different Foundation subject. As well as this, I have one other core module called Academic Professional Development (APD), which is when we learn all about behaviour management, teaching strategies and basic theory. In 1st and 3rd year, I undertake a minor module (SEND) and currently, in 2nd year, I am studying my major, Modern Foreign Languages.

As you might imagine, my course is very practical; I get to practice carrying out activities that I would use when teaching, which is really important to do, as it gives us a better understanding of how children learn! I’m really looking forward to my next professional practice, as I think that I learned the most whilst teaching. Being able to reflect upon your teaching is key on this course and the career I want to go into, and we’re given lots of opportunities to do so!

 

I’ll be sharing a post in the next week or two about the interview process that I went through to get on the course, so if you’re interested in teacher training, keep your eyes peeled for that! I know Ellie talked a little bit about auditions last week, so it might be worth popping back to that if you’re on the look out for something like that!

I lived in Graduates Court in my first year, but have moved into student housing in Ormskirk for my second and – if all goes well – third years. I live too far away that I had no choice but to live in halls, and I am so glad that I did, because it was one of the best experiences in my life! Halls are a really great way of making friends, which is something I was really nervous about when starting at uni, but living with such a great group of girls really did help me settle in quickly.

I spend a good few hours a week in sessions, but in my spare time I do some part time work, socialise with friends and am a Primary Education Digital Leader, which are all things I’m keen to share with you in the future! So that’s a little about me! I look forward to sharing my personal insight into life at Edge Hill with you guys.