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PGCE Primary Full-time & Part-time

Interview Day

The York St John University PGCE interview process is designed to give academic staff and school partnership colleagues an opportunity to meet with prospective students to find out why they have applied for the course, and to discuss in more detail the information provided on their application form. It also gives applicants an opportunity to talk about themselves, and to demonstrate their practical and academic skills relevant to the programme through a variety of tasks.

Assessments are made during the day regarding the candidates:

  • Commitment to, experience and understanding of primary education
  • Personal and intellectual qualities
  • Ability to communicate effectively with adults and children in a school context

These assessments are made through group and individual interviews.  There is also an opportunity during the day to tour the campus.



Group Presentation

As part of your interview day, you will also be involved in a short teaching task. You will be placed in a small group (6 maximum), and will be allocated 8 minutes, in which you have to teach the other members of your group something new. It can be absolutely anything, and may be a skill or interest you already have.  It is up to you to decide about how and what to teach, but it should not be aimed at primary level teaching, as you will be teaching adults.  Examples of a teaching task might be how to make a serviette place setting, how to snorkel, a card game, how to survive an overnight hike, or learning a new song.

The short amount of time available to you will limit the nature of the task. You may bring any simple resources to help you, but these may not be necessary in many circumstances. There will be some floor space, tables and chairs if needed and the task will take place in a general teaching room.  The facility for PowerPoint presentations will not be available. During the task, an interviewer will assess a number of personal attributes, and the potential you demonstrate to succeed on the programme.

Interviewers will consider:

  • presence/personality/aptitude for teaching
  • creativity of ideas/approach
  • communication skills
  • effectiveness/ability to engage group
  • timing/structure



You will find a paper attached to your invitation, also available here. At the beginning of your individual interview you will be asked to reflect on the issues raised in this paper in a 5 minute presentation. In the presentation, we will consider your ability to discuss the topic in an analytical and critical way. You may wish to prepare by reading further about the topic to discuss different perspectives on the issue. The interviewer may ask questions to develop this further.

Again, the facility for PowerPoint presentations will not be available.


How you'll be assessed

Applicants will be assessed and scored consistently across the following 2 areas with each section scored separately.

  • Group Task 40%

Group Task Criteria

  • Individual Interview 40%

Individual Interview Criteria

  • Presentation 20%

Presentation Criteria 

Each applicant scores out of 100, this will then be used to determine the decision from the interview. In some instances this will mean scores will need to be compared against the following interview.

Please take the time to look at the criteria you will be assessed against on each of the sections to the interview.


More Information

For further information surrounding the PGCE Primary interviews please see: