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Information for PGCE primary interview candidates – University of Reading

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Information for PGCE primary interview candidates

PGCE Primary Interviews

London road ClockWe are thrilled to be inviting you to interview for the Primary PGCE course at the University of Reading. We are looking forward to meeting you and hope you enjoy your visit.

We want this to be a stress-free process to enable you to perform to your potential and hope, therefore, that the following information will be helpful to you.

Please read the information below carefully in order to prepare for your interview.

Please note: to cancel or reschedule your allotted interview time contact us asap at ioe@reading.ac.uk.

Prior to the A teacher asks questions of her classinterview

  • Begin to become familiar with the teaching standards 
  •  See goveducation
  • It may be beneficial to visit educational settings, particularly within the age ranges for which you have applied. Use the opportunity to meet teachers, watch them at work and get involved in helping children to learn. Reflect on what you have observed.
  • Be aware of the current issues facing teaching, particularly in the area for which you have applied.

Organisation of the Interview Day

The timetable for the sessions are noted below:

Morning session times  Activities
9.30 Arrival for interview session 
9.30-10.00 Campus tour and Director's presentation 
10.30 Collaborative book presentations
11.00-14.00

Individual interviews

Certificate and DBS paperwork checked

Written tasks completed 

Please arrive promptly and report to Reception on London Road Campus (L16).

The day will finish by 2.00pm at the latest, but depending on the number of applicants on each interview day there is potential for it to finish before 2.00pm. 

Collaborative presentation based around a children's book:

You will be grouped with other prospective trainees and given a book (you will have one copy each).

As a group you will be asked to plan a brief presentation based around the book, to include:

  • Why you think it is a suitable book for a particular age range
  • How you might use the book to further children's development and learning, linked to the NC or EY framework

The preparation and presentation will be observed and assessed by tutors, focussed on:

  • The interactions and contributions of each member of the group
  • The ability of each member of the group to articulate (in the discussions and/or the presentation) their understanding of how stimulating texts contribute to children's learning

Please do bring pen and paper to make notes - you do not need to prepare anything else prior to this activity.

The interview


This will last for approximately twenty minutes and will be a more formal conversation with University staff. It is important that you are able to demonstrate that you have:

  • Relevant, recent and adequate experience with children
  • An understanding of the role of primary/early years teachers
  • An understanding of the content of the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
  • Knowledge of and insight into current educational issues
  • The ability to reflect on and analyse your own experience in school in the context of your development as a trainee teacher
  • Awareness of the Teachers Standards and relevance to own development

There will be an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have at the end of this interview.

The written task

You will be asked to select and discuss a topic from a given list. The topics all reflect current educational issues. One side of A4 is sufficient for this activity and paper will be provided.

Applicants for the Primary mathematics specialism will  be asked to complete a written task as well, explaining how a given resource could be used to enhance children's mathematical understanding.

Maths audit

Maths subject knowledge is crucial and the earlier you start to develop this, the better. In addition to the above tasks, you will be asked to complete a series of questions taken from KS2 SATs papers.  Your performance in this activity does not influence the final decision, however if you are successful we may advise some work prior to the start of the programme.

Please remember

Refer to the 'Important Interview Checklist' under the 'Bring to Interview' Section on the left menu and print off any necessary documentation.

If you require any further information about the day or have any specific requirements in respect to special needs please contact pgceprimary@reading.ac.uk

London Road map

@PrimaryPGCE1

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