The day itself is broken into 3 parts; a multiple-choice computer science subject knowledge test, an interview and presentation and a group activity. Below you’ll find some tips to help you prepare:
As part of the assessment process you’ll be required to deliver a presentation on how you’d go about teaching a specific topic relevant to Key Stage 3 or 4. Be aware that your interviewers are practising teachers and generally know when materials from other people are used. This is not to say that you should not reference sources, but you should also strive to develop your presentation so that your content is included.
You’ll be given the subject topic and target age well in advance- this will give you a chance to prepare your 10-minute presentation and any supporting materials. Please prepare and arrive with a presentation - you are scored on your presentation and you will also be asked questions on your presentation, coming without one will put you at a disadvantage and make it difficult for the assessors to ask suitable questions.
- Ensure you check the level and difficulty of the topic being presented. You may be asked further questions on the purpose and content following the presentation. Do not include content you do not understand
- Check that your presentation includes content that indicates what students would do to develop understanding. A lesson presentation that consists mainly of a lecture style is rarely received well
- Have you considered differentiation in your presentation? A typical Year 7 class will include students with a wide range of academic ability
- Make sure your presentation is professional; proof read it and practise delivering your presentation to ensure it flows well and doesn’t run over the 10-minute limit
- We will provide a template to help you get started, and if you have any questions or get stuck Sue and Abi are always available (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The interview lasts around 20 minutes and is with 2 computing teachers, this follows on from the presentation. This is a great opportunity to share your current experience of teaching and subject knowledge, as well as the awareness you have in teaching and Computer Science. Here are some questions to ask yourself when preparing for the assessment day.
- Know who BCS are and why we are running the scholarship programme
- Understand what the purpose of the scholarship is
- Know what Computing at School is and the relationship of this community to BCS and the wider scholar community
- Be aware of current school practises
- Understand the differences between Key Stage 3 and 4 - identify links and content relevant to the Key Stages
- Get to know a wide range of available resources and sources that teachers can call upon to develop lessons
- Assessors are given your initial application statement prior to interviewing you - so make it clear why you should get a scholarship and give reasons. You may be asked further questions on your experience demonstrated in the application so be prepared
- Have you planned your journey and steps to reaching your desired achievements? E.g. Do you want to become Head of Department? If so, how do you plan on doing this?
- Our assessors are all teachers and subject experts, use this opportunity to ask them questions too
- Be positive! Having a positive view of the profession and colleagues as well as a real passion for the subject and teaching is important for those looking to secure a scholarship and excel in teaching
What our assessors are looking for
Our assessors all mark to the same criteria and they are looking particularly at areas such as:
- Understanding of school educational environments and current teaching practices
- Familiarity with Computer Science resources available to teachers and their potential for engaging pupils
- Leadership and management potential in the school context
- Computer Science subject knowledge
To help you tick all the right boxes they have provided a checklist below, outlining what they are looking for…
- Evidence of preparation - have you prepared a professional presentation, undertaken research and brushed up on the curriculum?
- Be honest - don’t exaggerate or make claims about experiences, it’s important we know where you currently stand, this will also help support you if you are successful
- Provide relevant, on topic answers to questions- you only have a 20-minute interview so being clear and concise is important
- Be confident - you’re entering a workplace whereby presenting and engaging with larger groups of people and students is commonplace, confidence is an important trait and something our assessors are looking for
- If you don’t have a direct response to a question, don’t worry, let the assessors know rather than attempting to answer something you don’t know about - it’s not expected that you’ll know it all already, that’s what the Initial Teacher Training year is for!
- Focus on what benefits you will add to an educational environment. We’re looking for teachers who are eager to give back and bring something to the computer science table!
- Demonstrate any recent school experience and experience you’ve had working with groups of students or children e.g. after school clubs, code clubs, STEM ambassadors etc.
- Be aware of your own areas of strengths and weaknesses in terms of the curriculum
- Have you got leadership potential? Teaching is a great career to progress in, demonstrating your leadership skills is important
Good luck! All our assessors are really friendly and approachable. They’ve got a wealth of experience in teaching and computer science and are here to help, use the arrival, coffee and lunch breaks to ask questions and find out more about getting into teaching.