Primary Education BA (Hons)

Interview day

The interview for the Primary Education degree programme is to give us an overview of your academic potential for the degree and your potential to become an excellent teacher.

Applicants are asked to arrive at 9.00am. The latest you will be able to leave is 4.00pm.

Please note that parents, family and friends are welcome to attend the talks but must leave the candidates for their interviews and tasks.

York St John University welcome talk (25 minutes)

Group activity

Candidates will be asked to bring a resource to the interview day which they could use to support teaching and learning for an age within the age range of their chosen course. Candidates will be given 4 minutes to present to a tutor and a small group of other candidates.

This very brief presentation must cover:

  • The resource and why they chose it
  • The target age and area of learning
  • How they would use this to support learning and teaching
  • What learning they would expect to result from its use

Each candidate must also be prepared to ask a question of another candidate about their resource/presentation and be prepared to answer questions about their own presentation. The focus throughout is on teaching and above all, pupils’ learning that demonstrates their experience and understanding of primary education.

The resource can be of your choosing but must be:

  • Easily transportable
  • Used with no set up time
  • Engaging and have potential for supporting outstanding teaching to promote outstanding learning for pupils.
  • Used with no special requirements such as IT, electricity, water supply etc. as there will not be the facilities or time in the context of a group interview.

Group activity discussion

Working with same group as your presentation activity, you will be presented with a question relevant to current primary school classroom practice. You will be given guidance and ten minutes to prepare your thoughts on a proforma, before participating in a small group discussion around the given question.

Head of Programme talk (45 minutes)

We will outline the expectations and structure of the programme so that you have an overview of the different modules, assessments, school experiences etc. You will have the opportunity to ask questions after the session.

Individual interview (30 minutes)

In addition to the core questions there will be two elements of the individual interview that candidates can prepare in advance.

Teaching video

This short extract showing effective teaching will be shown in the morning allowing you some time over lunch to reflect on what you have seen before answering related questions about the teaching and learning observed in the individual interview after lunch. Please note that the video will only be shown in the morning and there will be no access to the video or information about it before the interview day.


If you have had experience in schools, you might like to bring a small portfolio reflecting aspects of your school experience. This could include:

  • A record of how much time you have spent in school(s) and the range of activities, year groups, context that you have experienced.
  • No more than three examples of effective lessons that you have been involved in – one piece of evidence per lesson. This evidence may be photos, children’s work, planning, written reflections. You may wish to include examples from different school and/or age groups.
  • You should aim to show how the teaching impacted the children’s learning.
  • A testimonial(s) from the school(s) that verify your experience and comment on your engagement and performance. Please note, we will follow up these testimonials with the schools.

Also, please be prepared to discuss and reflect on your experiences during the interview process.


Prior to your interview we will have read your UCAS form but this is all we know about you. It is up to you to make your personal statement come alive during your time with us.

During the interview process we are keen to see/hear:

  • Reference to recent and relevant experience in schools/early years settings
  • Reference to other experiences with children and relevant skills you may have learnt from part-time work, gap years, etc.
  • Your ability to reflect on these experiences and what you have learned from them
  • A lively and engaging personality
  • Smart appearance
  • Confident and articulate communication, using standard English

Take the time to prepare thoroughly by looking at both the criteria you will be assessed against on the day:

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