PGCE Secondary Education

PGCE Secondary Education Interviews


The interview provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your potential for training and subsequent role as a teacher.  You will require a pen in order to undertake some basic literacy and numeracy activities as well as subject-specific ones.  You will be interviewed by staff who work within the Secondary Teacher Education Partnership, therefore from the Marjon team and teachers from our partner schools.  Questions will explore your communication skills, subject knowledge, awareness of teaching and learning and commitment to equal opportunities.  The interviewing tutors will also be keen to find out details of your prior experience of teaching, and any involvement with young people, particularly in the 11-18 age range.

Presentation Assessments

  1. Teaching episode - Candidates will be expected to plan and teach a 12 minutes teaching episode to 4-6 people, as if you were teaching year 9 pupils. You will need to bring with you a lesson plan outlining the progression of learning linked to one of the aims of the National Curriculum Key Stage 3/4 programme of study. You will be teaching in a classroom with ICT facilities.
  2. Subject Knowledge assessments – you will be involved in activities linked to your subject area. 

Literacy Assessment
During the day you will be given a task to assess your ability to read, understand and provide a response to a written article.  You will be expected to critically discuss the arguments presented within the article (click on the title to access), ‘Grammar School figures by Daniel Boffey’ (The Guardian, 15th October 2016).

  1. ‘In tray’ activity – ordering and organising teacher related activities. 

Numeracy Audit
Focuses on the type of mental arithmetic and ‘on-screen’ questions in the Skills Tests to support your preparation to take this test.

Criteria for Assessment
You will be selected based on the following criteria

  1. Knowledge, skills, academic background and prior experience
  2. Qualities, attitudes, ethics and values
  3. Aptitude for teaching
  4. Ability to communicate effectively

These criteria will be applied through all aspects of the day including the written activity, presentation activity, formal interview and how your present yourself on the day.

In addition judgements will be made on your health and physical capacity to teach as outlined by the National College of Teaching and Leadership ITT criteria 2013

Preparation for Interview
In order to prepare for the interview, all applicants for PGCE Secondary Education are asked to:

  1. Prepare for the activities stated above
  2. Access/read the National Curriculum for your subject available from
  3. Request verification of your classroom experience from the school using the School feedback form (sent with your interview invitation letter)
  4. Complete the Education audit (sent with your interview invitation letter)

The above-mentioned documents are to be scanned and emailed to at least 7 days before your interview date.

Professional Skills Tests
Entrants for Initial Teacher Education programmes need to be aware of Government regulations regarding mandatory skills tests in numeracy and literacy. The cut-off date for achieving these is 30th June. 

Applicants should register at the following link as soon as you have applied for an ITT programme,  . Prior to being able to take a place on at ITT course applicants must successfully pass both Literacy and Numeracy Skills tests.  We suggest that you take the time to familiarise yourself with the skills tests requirements, attempt practice tests and Register your tests at your local Test Centre.



Grammar Schools Article (adobe .pdf, 192 kbs)