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Luke Graham - Exeter Early Career Teacher

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Science and Maths PGCE community April 2023

Notes and recording from the meeting in April 2023.

Here are the slides from the meeting with the info to read offline, please have a read through.
summer term 2023 Lead Mentor Training Development and Consultation (1)[45] – Read-Only

Here is the prompt material, one as sent out and one with comments added
TDC April 2023 commented
TDC April 2023 LMs

Here is the recording of the discussion from the first session


Also we have a wonderful cross-curricular seminar day on the 12th of May for the trainees. Here is the playlist for your info so you can point trainees at suitable sessions:
SD4 May2023_CrossCirricular

Next Meeting will be:


ECT updates

Some early career teachers can also be eligible for Early-career payments and Levelling up premium payments – these payments are dependent on the subject you are teaching, the type of school you are teaching in and when you completed your training.  The government is also currently running a scheme where teachers of eligible subjects who are teaching in specific local authority areas can apply to claim back student loan repayments.

Planning an activity and the 5 key elements

I have the privilege of visiting dozens of classrooms across different schools every year, to see new teachers teach and training teachers in there placement schools.
Each is a different experience and I always take something from it to improve my own practice. I do find that the feedback is always different, but there are some key themes that I tend to come back to more often than not.

This is blog one on things I often give feedback on (see blogs on behaviour and boardwork later in the series)

Setting up an activity is crucial for teaching, it gives you valuable time in the lesson to prowl like a tiger and hear what the pupils are saying and gain valuable AfL.
If you want the pupils who are keen to get on with the task to get on with the task you need to be clear in your mind of  5 things, but often trainees only give pupils the first and not all of the others.

1 What is the task? What are you doing? – read this sheet and makes some notes, look at this graph of x and y, do these questions, calculate the rate,

2 How are you working, what is the mode? is it a pair talk activity, or in silence or as a debate, (or hands up, or cold call) or talk about it together and write it on your own..
3. What will it look like when it is done? – you will each have this table in your books which looks like this, or is on the handout, or there will be 3 sentences using these key words, etc each pair will have a table of results, ..
4. How long will you have to complete it? is this a deliberate ‘exaclty 3mins 35 seconds with a timer’ or have you got a more vague sense of time in mind and you will tell them when they are half way, and 2 minutes to go.
5. How does it link to the rest of the lesson / topic and help pupils think about the key ideas.

Research Involved Teachers

This is a page linking ECTs with research.

This is a research request posted in May 2022

My name is Ziggi and I am currently undertaking the final dissertation module of my MA in Education and Leadership. I am conducting research to establish the thoughts and experiences of teachers currently undertaking their Early Career Teachers training year but I am also keen to hear from anyone who completed their initial teacher training in 2021, even if you are not currently undertaking your ECT year.

I am trying to gather responses around ECT experiences and the impact this may have on keeping ECTs in the teaching profession long term. There is a link below to my research survey and all responses will remain anonymous. There are more details within the survey introduction about this research.

I would be very grateful for your time in completing this survey and keen to hear your thoughts and experiences with regards to the ECT program.

Questions at interview

What is your third favourite amphibian?

Ralph age 11

This is my favourite question this year, but they won’t ask you this sort of thing at interview!

If you are practicing your interview technique, set it up on zoom, and record it. Get someone to choose the number of questions in the titles (5-6 in all) it should take at least 20 minutes to answer these questions fully.

Try structuring your responses to interview questions using the STAR method

  • Situation – give context for your anecdote
  • Task – explain what you were asked to do
  • Activity – describe what you did
  • Result – explain how the situation played out.

About you, your experience and background

(Choose 2)

Why do you want to be a teacher?
Tell me about yourself
How will you manage challenges at work?
What experience do you have in schools?
How would you establish a good relationship with pupils in your class?
What qualities do you have which would make you an effective teacher?
If I walked into your classroom during an outstanding lesson, what would I see and hear?
Tell us about a behaviour management strategy you have used to help engage an individual learner or group OR What behaviour management strategies do you tend to employ in the classroom?
How would you handle [specific subject situation / misconception]?
What are your interests or hobbies outside of the classroom?
What strengths do you have that help your teaching career?
How would you organize this classroom?
How do you manage your teaching duties?

About Us

(Choose 1 if you have a particular school in mind)

Why do you want to work in our school?
Why do you want to teach at this particular level or this particular subject?

About Education

(Choose 1)

What are the core skills and qualities that pupils look for in teachers?
What makes a good lesson?
What are some of the current issues in education?
How do you ensure that you are accountable for pupils’ attainment, progress and outcomes?
Explain your experience with a particular teaching strategy or technology (especially online teaching based questions)

Wider roles and responsibilies

(Choose 1)

Safeguarding and equal opportunities. In any teaching interview there is a question about safeguarding, which could be…

What is a teacher’s responsibility in keeping children safe?
Tell us how you dealt with a safeguarding issue in school.
What would you do if a child disclosed a personal issue?
How do you like to communicate / build relationships with parents?
What do you want to be doing in five years?

Being Reflective

(Choose 1)

Give an example of when you have improved teaching and learning in the classroom and how you knew you had been successful.
Can you tell me about a time you’ve failed?
Tell me about a lesson that didn’t go well and what you did about it
Give me an example of a classroom situation where the children have been challenging – what did you do to overcome this
What are you learning right now?

Subject Association and Subject Support

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