If you’ve applied to study either age phase Primary Education degree, you’ll be invited to attend an Interview Day before we can make you an offer.
Our Interview Days are designed to provide you with a safe, friendly and relaxed environment for you to share your passion for teaching, and you’re more than welcome to bring a parent or guest along with you when you attend – we’ve included sessions for them for while you’re in your interview.
Your Interview Day will consist of two tasks – a group discussion and a ‘show and tell’ – both of which will give you an opportunity to share not only why you want to be a teacher, but why you think you’d be a great teacher.
‘Show and tell' preparation
At the start of your interview, you’ll be invited to do a ‘show-and-tell’ with an object that you’ve brought in. You should use it to help explain your passion for becoming a teacher and the qualities you think you possess that would help you to become a great teacher.
An example would be an elastic band. It's flexible and adjusts to different contexts, as a teacher must. It helps keep things tidy and organised, which is an essential skill of the teacher.
Elastic bands come in all colours and sizes like children, which a teacher must understand to meet the needs of different children.
This example is to illustrate the task and to help you prepare, but we strongly encourage you to bring in your own object. This section of the interview is very personal, so you need to think carefully about the object and how you wish to represent yourself. Not everyone is an elastic band!
When you’re preparing for this, think about the attributes and skills that primary teachers possess, such as creativity, imagination and enthusiasm. You’ll only need to speak for about a minute and a half and it will be very informal – we’re not looking for a presentation, but just a creative opportunity for you to share your passion.
We won’t be judging you on what object you bring or what ideas you share, so don’t worry about this. The main thing we’re looking for is that you demonstrate your passion for teaching.
Group discussion preparation
Teaching is very interactive, so after your ‘show and tell’ you’ll take part in a group discussion that gives you the chance to present your ideas as an individual, while also dealing with group dynamics. Your discussion will be based on the following topics:
- What do you think is the most important issue facing Primary Education today, and why?
- Should all children be included in mainstream schools?
We’re looking for good communication skills and passion, as well as your ability to respond to the topics with your own thoughts and ideas. We’re not testing you on your ability to memorise your ideas off by heart – we encourage you to bring any notes or materials that will support your discussions.
Your ideas may be similar to other applicants, but that’s okay – we’re more interested in your individual contributions, the passion you display and the questions you ask.
We’ll also be looking at how well you involve yourself in the discussion – good teachers know how to listen and respond. Teachers need to use non-verbal communication techniques as well, so make sure you demonstrate to us that you are interested in what others might say, that you show that you are listening to others and that you speak clearly.
There will be a Leeds Trinity University staff member and a teacher from one of our partner schools with you during the session, whose role is to facilitate the discussion and observe.
Top tips from our Primary Education team
The interview is not designed to trick you or catch you out; instead, it’s a safe, friendly and relaxed environment for you to share your passion for teaching with a small group of other like-minded applicants and lecturers. We can’t wait to meet you, so try and relax, smile and enjoy the day!
We’ve recapped the key information you need for the day in this guide but read everything we’ve sent you very carefully – including your interview invitation and confirmation email. These are designed to give you everything you need to prepare, so check that you understand what will happen and what’s being asked of you.
Great teachers are passionate. They’re passionate about learning and about inspiring others to love learning. They’re passionate about making a difference to the lives of young children and shaping the next generation. Your interview is your chance to showcase the passion you have for a career in teaching and everything that involves.
Think about the qualities of good teachers and how you can demonstrate these. Make sure you dress smartly (avoid trainers, tracksuits and jeans) and think about how well you articulate yourself when speaking to others. And it goes without saying, but make sure you’re on time!
Showing that you have an opinion on the discussion topics is great, but make sure that you can back this up with your own experience or research. Doing your research is really important – you can use various sources to find out more about each discussion topic. The Times Educational Supplement, BBC Education and Guardian Education are all good online sources to start with.
Be interested and engaged
Make sure you contribute to the group – ask questions, add your own thoughts and don’t be afraid to disagree if you can back it up. Engaging in discussion is the best way to showcase your knowledge and understanding.
When you arrive, go to our Main Reception where you’ll be greeted by our student ambassadors – they will direct you to the registration area where you’re be allocated a group for the day. Please allow plenty of time.
If you have any problems before or on the day, then please get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to help.