Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

School of Education

Information for PGCE Secondary Interviewees

The Selection Day

PGCE Secondary Selection Dates for 2014/15 entry:

Sessions will be from 9:00am-3:30pm.

Information for Candidates

Congratulations! You have successfully completed the first stage of the application process and are about to move to the next stage: the selection day. This section will provide you with detailed information about your selection day at Durham University.

Your performance on the selection day, as well as your application form and your referee statements provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate to us that you not only possess the potential to become an excellent secondary teacher, but also that you will benefit from the Durham University Secondary PGCE Partnership in particular.

We will be looking for:

  • The ability to communicate ideas clearly
  • Reliability and industry
  • Evidence of ability in and enthusiasm for the subject
  • Experience of and commitment to working with young people
  • Motivation and commitment to the programme, to the teaching of young people and to a teaching career
  • Intellectual curiosity and responsiveness
  • Critical analysis of personal educational experiences
  • Ability and willingness to be reflective about own strengths and needs
  • Awareness of current issues in education
  • Degree of open-mindedness, especially with regard to educational issues
  • A range of extra-curricular experiences.
These are all necessary qualities for entry to the PGCE Secondary Partnership at Durham University.
 
Please ensure that you view this PowerPoint presentation about our PGCE Secondary programme before you attend your selection day.

Programme of Events

The following information is for 2014/15 PGCE Secondary applicants who have been invited to a selection day.

Format of the Day

Applicants will undertake all parts of the selection process.

The selection process at Durham University consists of several parts: a timed written test, a group task, and the individual interview (which includes a five minute presentation).

Timings for the day will be as follows:

Activity

Time

Arrival & Registration including ID & Qualification Check

09:00 - 09:15

 Welcome Talk / Q&A

 09:15 - 09:30

 Written Task

 09.30 - 10:15

Group Interview

10:15 - 11:00

 Individual Interviews

Between 11:00 and 15:30

Registration

Upon arrival, interviewees will be registered and allocated a time for their individual interview and presentation, the timed written task and the group task. Interviewees will then undergo and ID and qualifications check.

An assessment will be made of applicants' professionalism and organisational skills. This assessment will be based on several factors, including providing the required documentation (listed below), punctuality and professional appearance. The results will be included in the decision making process.

Interviewees must bring the following to the selection day:

  • Three original forms of identification and photocopies. Please see the list of ID documents that are acceptable.
  • Your original GCSE certificates or equivalent qualifications, and photocopies. Provisional Statements of Results are not acceptable. Please note: if your equivalent qualifications were awarded by an overseas institution, you must also bring the original NARIC Certificates of Comparability for these and photocopies of all documents (Statements of Comparability are not acceptable).
  • Your original degree certificates (if awarded prior to interview) or equivalent qualifications, and photocopiesPlease note: if your equivalent qualifications were awarded by an overseas institution, you must also bring the original NARIC Certificates of Comparability for these and photocopies of all documents (Statements of Comparability are not acceptable).
  • A reference of working with children and a photocopy
  • Original QTS Skills Tests pass letters and photocopies, if you have passed the skills tests prior to interview.

 Please note:

  • MFL applicants: MUST be prepared to write and speak in your target language and second language to demonstrate competence
  • PE students: MUST bring his/her 400m Swim Certificate to the interview.

Preparing for the Day

Interview and Presentation

During the interview some of the following lines of enquiry might be pursued by your interviewers:

1. Assessing knowledge of and interest in your subject

  • The most interesting module undertaken on your degree course. How did this interest manifest itself?
  • The most inspirational book linked to your degree course?
  • The most difficult module and strategies used to cope with the challenge?
  • The dissertation or special study: origin of interest, organisation, challenges, coping with difficulties, self-knowledge gained. Making its key ideas and concepts relevant at KS3?
  • Areas of subject strength and relative weakness in relation to National Curriculum framework in your subject? Consequences for teaching of weak subject knowledge or undeveloped skills? Strategies for addressing these weaknesses?
  • The role of fieldwork, visits, exchanges etc. in your subject? Contribution to learning?
  • The contribution of your subject to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development and Citizenship?
  • The extent to which you have harnessed the power of ICT in your work at university. Strengths and weaknesses?
  • Awareness of current issues in your subject?

2. Awareness of and attitudes to teaching and learning

  • Teaching styles of best and worst teachers and personal qualities?
  • What makes a good teacher in your subject? Self-assessment in relation to these qualities?
  • Critical reflections on own schooling? Styles of lesson most/least effective for own learning?
  • Opinions on contemporary issues e.g. inclusion, post 16 provision, academic vs. vocational divide?
  • The contribution of your subject to vocational education?
  • The kind of teacher you want to be? The kind of school in which you wish to teach?
  • What images do you possess about teaching? How realistic are these images?
  • What do you hope to get out of the course?

3. Working with young people

  • What have you learned from working with young people?
  • Influences on decision to become a teacher?
  • About which aspects of teaching are you most/least apprehensive?
  • Awareness of ability range and importance of developing positive relationships?
  • How would you handle an unmotivated/aggressive pupil?

4. Personal qualities

  • Your contribution to the personal development of young people through extra-curricular activities?
  • The most challenging thing ever done, strategies to tackle it and self-knowledge gained from it?
  • What are you most enthusiastic about? What annoys you the most? How do you handle stress?

It is possible that the candidate may be asked to undertake a small-scale activity in the context of the interview relating to your subject.

For example:

  • Giving the candidate a common misconception to correct
  • Reading an extract from a common Key Stage 3 text and identifying its key ideas and concepts
  • Asking the candidate to explain a common concept in your subject using the board
  • Using an incident tray. Giving a candidate a common incident from teaching, inviting the candidate to describe and justify the response
  • Asking the candidate to describe two or three possible starter activities on a topic of their choosing
  • Writing 200 words on why young people should study your subject.

Presentation topics and notes

Please note: the individual presentations should be a maximum of 5 minutes.

Subject

Topic

Notes

English

Choose a favourite experience from your personal or professional experience of schooling; in broadly educational terms, what have you learned from reflecting on this?

Interviewees are welcome to use flash cards or notes to aid their presentation but will not have access to any other presentation tools or materials.

Geography

Identify five principles for engendering positive relationships between children and professional carers, and explain your choices.

Interviewees will have access to PowerPoint and may use flash cards or bring notes.

History

Choose an interesting History topic of your choice.

Interviewees are welcome to use flash cards or notes to aid their presentation but will not have access to any other presentation tools or materials.

Maths

Choose a favourite experience from your personal or professional experience of schooling - what have you learned from reflecting on this, both personally and educationally/professionally.

Interviewees will have access to PowerPoint and may use flash cards or bring notes.

MFL

We assume that teachers have a range of strategies to motivate learners but in fact these vary in their effectiveness. What motivated you to become a successful linguist and how could you create an environment which excited tutees and sustained interest in language learning?

Interviewees will have access to PowerPoint and may use flash cards or bring notes.

PE

Similarities and differences between teaching and coaching

Poster Presentation. Interviewees are welcome to use flash cards or notes to aid their presentation but will not have access to any other presentation tools or materials.

Science

My favourite bit of science

Interviewees will have access to PowerPoint and may use flash cards or bring notes.

Timed Written Test

The timed written test will be undertaken as part of the selection day and is designed to assess your standard of written English and your ability to undertake postgraduate-level study.

Group Task

The group task will be undertaken as part of the selection day and is used to assess how you work and collaborate as part of a team.

Information after Interview

The performance of interviewees will be carefully assessed across all aspects of the interview day by a team of diverse but highly qualified team of academics and teachers.

One of two decisions will be made about each interviewee: Offer or Reject.

Those receiving a decision of Offer or Reject will be notified as soon as possible via UCAS Teacher Training and by letter. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I only have a Provisional Statement of Results for my GCSEs. Is this acceptable?

A: No, only a certificate is acceptable. You should contact your old school or the exam board to request a copy. If you cannot provide at interview we will require the original before 1st September 2014.

Q: What do I need to bring with me?

A: You need to bring Originals and Photocopies of your GCSE and Degree Certificates (and NARIC Certificates of Comparability if appropriate), a reference of working with children and identification documents. Please see list above for subject-specific items.

Q: Can I bring notes with me for the presentation?

A: Yes, interviewees may use notes or flash cards to help them during their presentation.