Tuesday, 31 March 2015

What to read up on before your PGCE interview

What do you need to read up on before your interview?

I had a little research before my interviews on what the main topics surrounding education are and what I should really know about before embarking upon the dreaded interviews.  I didn't really come across much help on this topic so have put together my own post to help future applicants when it comes to their interviews.

There's so much information out there that it can be a little overwhelming to see what the important topics are and what you may get asked about.  Here are the ones I have found have been useful to know at least a little about, as they do come into a lot of the conversations I have had.

The National Curriculum - I don't really need to mention this as this should be an obvious one to all, but you really need to know a bit about the politics behind the decision, what some of the experts think of the new curriculum and how ours compares to others in the world.

We have quite a rigorous new curriculum which has set some targets a lot higher than they were previously (certainly in Numeracy) so read up on this.  Also it's good to form an informed opinion on the curriculum reform.  Think about how the teachers will cope with the new curriculum and how different teachers may find it more difficult than others.

Getting rid of levels - Up until now we have worked in levels in primary schools, the expected level at year 6 is level 4.  They have recently done away with these and have brought in new systems as well as allowed schools to use their own.

Types of schools - Academies, Free Schools, Academy Converters, Community Schools.  You need to know some of the advantages and disadvantages surrounding these

New Floor Standards - Have a little research around this.

Classroom Management - you'll have seen a lot of this during your experience but it's worth having a read up on other ways of managing your classroom which will help your lessons run smoothly.  You need to think about the layout, children's responsibilities, routines, how you will organise books, homework, etc.

Behaviour Management - This is such a monumental topic that you could easily be reading up on this for weeks!  However look at some of the main approaches (behaviourist, cognitive) behind behaviour management, as well as looking at some of the big names in this area (Paul Dix, Tom Bennett, Bill Rogers).  You should be able to use these to comment on what you saw during your school experience.

Any recent initiatives - Have a search to see what has recently, or will be coming into education in the future.

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