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Primary interview information – Bath Spa University

This page contains all the information you'll need for your PGCE Primary and Early Years interview.

Before your interview, please read the information below carefully, as it contains all of the details of the work you need to prepare and the format of the day. If you have any questions about this information or about your interview in general, please contact our Admissions team:

You'll be invited to attend:

  • a presentation which will inform you about Bath Spa University and our PGCE Primary courses
  • an interview with one of the Primary teaching team who may also be joined by an external interviewer.

The presentation will be held on the same week as your interview. All aspects will be held online. 

To prepare for a successful interview, we recommend that you gain some experience in a school/setting related to the age phase for which you're applying.

About the interview

The purpose of the interview is for you to demonstrate that you possess the appropriate qualities, attitudes and values expected of a Bath Spa Teacher, the name that we give to PGCE trainees.

In addition, it will allow us to assess your knowledge, skills, academic background and prior experience as well as your potential to meet the Teachers' Standards.

Practical arrangements

We interview candidates online via Microsoft Teams. On the day of your interview, you'll be sent an invitation to join the interview group in advance. We ask that you join a few minutes early so that you're ready for the 9.00am start.

If using a laptop, please ensure that you've tested your camera and microphone and that you have connectivity (we advise that you stay close to your wifi router). If you don't have a laptop, there's an option to use a mobile phone to join the group. 

This is a professional interview. Please dress appropriately and ensure you're in a quiet, private space for the one-to-one interview. 

Interview structure

You'll be interviewed by one of the Primary teaching team, who may also be joined by an external interviewer. 

The day begins with a presentation delivered virtually by a Programme Leader. It'll take place at 9.00am for approximately one hour. This presentation will provide more detailed information about the structure and nature of the PGCE with QTS programmes, and you'll get the chance to ask questions. 

After the presentation you'll be invited to take part in an individual interview via Microsoft Teams. You should allow up to an hour for the interview and your allocated time will be provided separately. 

Interview activities

We'll require you to undertake activities as part of the interview process in order to:

  • evaluate your knowledge, skills, academic background and prior experience;
  • judge whether you have the capability and potential to meet the Teachers’ Standards by the end of your training programme / the time planned for your training.

You'll participate in a one-to-one virtual interview with an academic member of the PGCE team, comprising the following elements:

Proof of Identity

We must check the identity of interviewees as part of our compliance for PGCE recruitment. Please ensure that you have one of the following forms of ID ready to present at the start of your interview: 

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Any other form of Government photographic ID (this can include non-UK documentation).

You don't need to email in your ID; a visual confirmation will be enough. If you don't own any of the above, please let the Admissions team know as soon as possible by email:  

Interview questions

You'll be asked a few questions at the start of the interview to help us explore why you want to become a teacher and some of the skills you'll bring to the profession.

This section will last around 10 minutes. 

Discussion of teaching and learning activities

Before the interview, you should watch two of the videos listed below which are examples of teaching and learning activities:

Take time to reflect on what you've observed and make some notes. This will then be used as a stimulus for discussion with your interviewer.

This section will last around 10 minutes. 

Discussion of attributes that make an effective teacher

Below is a list of attributes that are considered to make an effective teacher. Before your interview, please read the list and consider why the attributes are important.

During the interview, you'll be asked to discuss your views on the attributes. You're encouraged to draw on your own experience and knowledge of education to justify, illustrate and support your views. 

The list of attributes are:

  • Understands and is responsive to pupils from diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Is empathetic and a good listener
  • Uses a creative and innovative approach to engage learners
  • Upholds British values
  • Has strong subject and curriculum knowledge
  • Is able to analyse data and meet targets to ensure pupils make progress
  • Understands the importance of their role in developing pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills in a cross-curricular way
  • Monitors and takes responsibility for own professional development
  • Engages with current educational research and development.

This section will last around 10 minutes. 

Engagement with a piece of literature or research

Before the interview, you should identify and reflect on a piece of literature/research related to education, teaching or learning. This should be something that has challenged your thinking, fuelled your passion for teaching and learning or contributed to your understanding of learning in a particular subject or age phase.

You may wish to source your research or literature from established sources such as Google Scholar, the Chartered College of Teaching or the Times Educational Supplement. Similarly, if you're currently engaged in academic study related to education, you may like to draw on research that you're using for your dissertation, etc.

If you're applying to the 3-7 route (X110), please draw on a piece of research/literature that's relevant to the early years age phase.

You'll be asked to introduce and summarise the research, whilst also explaining the impact that it has had on your understanding of education, teaching or learning. Where possible, make links to any developments you're aware of related to the relevant age-phase, subject, curriculum area or the wider educational context in England.

This section will last around 5 minutes. 

Opportunity for questions

At the end of the interview there will be an opportunity to ask questions to clarify your understanding of the PGCE with QTS programmes. If you have further questions please email the programme leaders, Fiona Hunt or iamh McGrogan

After the interview

We ask that you kindly complete an anonymous evaluation form of your interview experience at the end of the session. We are very grateful for the feedback we receive - thank you.

Additional support

We want to improve support for students with additional needs and the University is committed to a programme of adaptations to enable full access to the learning environment. If you'd like to discuss any additional needs you have before the interview, please contact us:

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