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  2. Selection event for PGCE Secondary Mathematics (1yr)

Selection event for PGCE Secondary Mathematics (1yr)

What is a selection event?

It's a process to assess whether you're suitable for a place on the course. It's a chance to show us your knowledge about the subject and your enthusiasm for the career.

Being invited to a selection event doesn't mean you're guaranteed a place on the course - the point of the day is to help us come to a mutual decision. We need to decide whether to make you an offer and you need to decide whether you like the course and the university.

To find out what will happen on the day, see the subject-specific information below. The timings listed are approximate, so please keep your plans for travelling home flexible.

When and where is my selection event?

If you're invited to a selection event you'll receive an email telling you when it is and where to go.

It's important to be on time. You should arrive 15 minutes before the start time so you can register. If you're delayed on the way to the event call 0114 225 5555 and ask for Admissions

What happens on a selection event?

Selection event process

The selection event will include an individual interview. The focus of this will include your views on learning and teaching mathematics and on mathematics education. You will be asked to reflect on your experience of secondary schools and schooling in the UK context including your recent experience of observing or assisting in secondary mathematics classrooms. In preparation for your interview please read John Mason’s paper Effective Questioning and Responding in the Mathematics Classroom, and Carol Dweck on Mind Sets.

You will be asked questions on these and should bring any supporting notes you make which you can refer to during the selection event. You will also be asked to complete a literacy task and to work on some mathematical tasks.

The selection event will last approximately three and a half hours.

What else can I experience on the day?

Visiting the University

You can attend a tour of our campuses or accommodation every Wednesday. Alternatively, if you would like to visit our campuses in your own time, please view our self-guided tour booklet. Find out about our tours and book your place now.

Do I need to prepare anything in advance?

Selection event preparation

The selection event will include an individual interview. The focus of this will include your views on learning and teaching mathematics and on mathematics. You will be asked to reflect on your experience of secondary schools and schooling in the UK context including your recent experience of observing or assisting in secondary mathematics classrooms. In preparation for your interview please read John Mason’s paper Effective Questioning and Responding in the Mathematics Classroom, which can be found here.

You will be asked questions on this and should bring any supporting notes you make which you can refer to during the selection event. You will also be asked to complete a literacy task and to work on some mathematical tasks.

During the recruitment process we will be assessing your written communication skills. In order to prepare for this you should read the following article, Mind-sets and Equitable Education (Dweck 2010).

You do not need to bring a copy of the article with you to the selection event.

You will be asked to reflect further on the experience you have gained prior to completing your application. As such, we advise you to prepare your thoughts on this in preparation for the selection event.

Suitability Declarations

You will be sent a link to the online Suitability Declaration form with your Admissions letter, the form must be completed prior to the selection event. Your Suitability Declaration will be matched against your Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly CRB).

Please note that this declaration is not part of the interview process and will not be discussed at the interview. However, an offer will not be made until this has been received. Please also bring some form of photographic ID with you, either a passport or driving licence. You are also required to bring originals and photocopies of your GCSE Maths, English and Science or equivalent qualifications to the selection event. Failure to provide proof of these qualifications will prevent you from joining the course.

Pre entry QTS skills tests

All applicants to Initial Teacher Training need to pass literacy and numeracy skills tests before starting a course. Please visit the Department of Education website for more information including how to register and book onto the skills tests.

We encourage you to pass the tests before the selection event date if at all possible but, if not, we can make offers that are 'conditional' on successful completion of the tests. In this case, you'll be given a deadline by which the tests must be passed so we can confirm your offer.

Book your place on one of our free Skills Test Support Sessions to help you prepare. You can find this on our website here.

What do I need to bring with me?

For the interview you should bring the following.

1) Identification

You must bring photographic identification (photo ID). If possible please bring a passport or photo driving license. If you do not own either of these, other forms of photographic identification will be sufficient for the selection event but should you be offered a place on the course you will be required to present further official identification documentation to complete the professional requirements referred to above. Full details of the ID evidence you will require can be found here.

2) Qualifications

You must bring your original certificates plus photocopies of each of these documents to the event:

  • GCSE English Language, minimum grade C (or approved equivalent)
  • GCSE Mathematics, minimum grade C (or approved equivalent)
  • Degree award (if complete)

If you do not have the original certificates for your GCSEs at the time of interview you must obtain replacements from the awarding body as you will be required to present these at the enrolment session in September. Please note that you must allow sufficient time for these to be replaced.

You must show the original certificates for all your qualifications by enrolment in September to allow you to enrol on the course

If you do not have the original certificates, you must obtain copies from the awarding body as quickly as possible prior to enrolment. Please note that you must allow sufficient time for these to be replaced. If you have not achieved the qualifications specified above, you may be able to take an equivalency test prior to the course start date – please discuss this with the admissions tutor.

Professional body requirements for entry into initial teacher education

The course for which you have applied has a number of entry requirements from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). The University is required to ensure that you meet all requirements prior to enrolment on the course.

(1) Pre entry QTS skills tests

To ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has introduced two new pre-entry QTS skills tests. You will be required to prove that you have passed the QTS skills tests in numeracy and literacy before taking up an offer of a place on the course. Please visit our website for more information including how to register and book onto the skills tests.

(2) Suitability Declaration

A Suitability Declaration must be completed prior to attending your selection event.

It is imperative that you declare any convictions, bindings over, formal warning, cautions or reprimands recorded against you irrespective of how long ago they took place, since your Suitability Declaration will be matched against your Disclosure and Barring Service check (formally CRB). Failure to declare any offences could result in your offer of a place at Sheffield Hallam University being withdrawn and may be referred to the Teaching Agency for consideration. You must also report any investigations or disciplinary sanction.

The University will consider any positive declarations and you may be required to attend a selection event to consider your initial suitability for teacher training. The University cannot guarantee that placement providers will accept trainees with positive disclosures.

(3) Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS, formally CRB)

If you accept an offer of a place on the course you will be invited to attend the University to undertake a DBS check prior to enrolment.

You will not be allowed to enrol on the course unless you have undertaken a check and you will not be allowed to attend placement unless a DBS disclosure has been issued. Please ensure you keep your DBS disclosure safe throughout the duration of your course.

The University cannot guarantee that your DBS disclosure will be issued prior to commencement of your placement. This could result in the length of your course being extended or your place being deferred to the following academic year. This may also have funding implications. Therefore, you are strongly advised to attend a DBS check as early as possible.

If you are have lived overseas during the past five years you are required to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country you lived in. If you are unable to provide this, it may be possible to contact the local embassy in the UK to obtain one. If the country you lived in is not listed on the DBS website please contact David Kyffin on 0114 225 5530.

As well as a Certificate of Good Conduct, all overseas students are expected to provide references from their country of residence. You will also be required to undertake a DBS check once you have arrived in the UK and have a confirmed UK address. You will receive DBS instructions and advice once you have received an offer of a place on the course.

You are required to keep the University informed of any convictions, bindings over, formal warnings, cautions, reprimands recorded against you immediately. This information must be disclosed to your course administrator. Find out more.

(4) Declaration of Health

Should you be made an offer of a place you will be asked to complete an online health questionnaire at a later date. You are required to keep the University informed of any condition affecting your ability to undertake the course and practice in the profession during completion of the award. Occupational health screening can be arranged if issues of concern arise during your period of study with us.

(5) Identity check

You must bring some form of photographic ID with you to your selection event.

(6) References

You must provide a suitable academic reference. This can be from someone who can comment in detail on your academic ability and suitability for teaching. If you left university within the last 5 years an academic reference from a tutor is normally expected otherwise an employer or ex-employer for example would be possible. 

If you subsequently do not take up your offer of a place on the course, all documentation you have provided will be destroyed by the University.

What are we looking for?

At this stage we assess your

  • ability to communicate clearly, both orally and on paper
  • knowledge of the area of education you are interested in
  • interest in, and commitment to, a career in teaching
  • ability to work effectively with children in an educational setting (for primary education courses you will need to bring the reference from the educational setting you attended)

Who is on the selection event panel?

You will be assessed by a range of staff from across the Initial Teacher Education Partnership.

What should I wear?

Dress reasonably smartly, but you don't need to wear a suit. Smart but casual clothing will allow you to feel confident and at ease.

How do I find you?

Download a campus map. Please allow plenty of time for travelling as parking is limited on all campuses. Please read signs carefully when parking as there are restrictions in place. We strongly recommend that you use public transport where possible.

Disability support

If you have a disability (this includes sensory and physical disabilities, dyslexia, mental health conditions and medical conditions) and you feel that you will need some support during the selection event process (for example, a sign language interpreter, note taker, materials provided in different format or wheelchair access), we strongly recommend that you contact the Events team on 0114 225 6737 or a.mallon@shu.ac.uk within three days of confirming your selection event.

The selection team will then be able to make any reasonable adjustments so that you can fully participate in the selection event without any disadvantage.

Disability advice whilst studying at the University

You may or may not have indicated that you have a disability on your application form. In either case, the Disabled Student Support Team is keen to hear from you. If you would like to meet or talk to an advisor to discuss, in confidence, possible support whilst studying, please ring +44 (0)114 225 3813 or email disability-support@shu.ac.uk

Please note that any offer of a place is subject to acceptance by you of the University's terms and conditions. If you require a printed version, please contact Admissions on 0114 225 5555. You must read these terms and conditions before accepting any offer.

What happens after my selection event?

We cannot tell you our decision on the day of the selection event. After the selection event our decision will be communicated via UCAS track, so please check your account regularly.

You will receive one of the following decisions.

Conditional offer for the course that you have applied for – you must fulfil certain criteria (usually based on the qualifications you are currently taking) before you can be accepted on the course. If the requirements are met, the offer becomes unconditional.

Unconditional offer for the course that you have applied for – usually made when you have already completed your qualifications and met the academic requirements we are asking for.

Unsuccessful – unfortunately we are not able to offer you a place on the course. We do not feel that you have the necessary skills or experience to be successful on one of our courses. However, this does not prevent you from applying in the future, should you undertake further study to develop your skills and experience.

Important accommodation information for Initial Teacher Education students

As you have chosen to apply for an initial teacher education course with us, the start of your course will be earlier than the standard term dates. This means that some of the accommodation on offer by the University may not be suitable for you. You will need to refer to the accommodation services website when making your accommodation choices. Once you have accepted your offer of a place, you can submit your online application directly to accommodation services.

What can I choose?

To help you in choosing suitable accommodation, filter from the halls on the website those which are available for early arrivals. You must also specify that you need an early start date in the notes section of your application.

The first few weeks

We know that not all courses start at the same time and we also know which courses start early. This means that your halls won't be full when you first arrive, but we will try and make sure you're not on your own for long so that you don't get lonely and you feel safe.

Professional requirements

This course has a number of entry requirements from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). The University is required to ensure that you meet all requirements prior to enrolment on the course. For further details of other professional requirements that need to be met before enrolment on the course please see the 'What do I need to bring with me?' section.

1) Pre entry QTS Skills tests

All applicants to Initial Teacher Training need to pass literacy and numeracy skills tests before starting a course. Please visit the Department of Education website for more information including how to register and book onto the skills tests. We also have information on our website.

We encourage you to pass the tests before the selection event date if at all possible but, if not, we can make offers that are 'conditional' on successful completion of the tests. In this case, you'll be given a deadline by which the tests must be passed so we can confirm your offer.

Book your place on one of our free Skills Test Support Sessions to help you prepare. You can find this on our website here

2) Disclosure and Barring Service Check

If you accept an offer of a place on the course you will be invited to attend the University to undertake a DBS check, at a later date, prior to enrolment.

You will not be allowed to enrol on the course unless you have undertaken a check and you will not be allowed to attend placement unless a DBS disclosure has been issued. Please ensure you keep your DBS disclosure safe throughout the duration of your course.

The University cannot guarantee that your DBS disclosure will be issued prior to commencement of your placement. This could result in the length of your course being extended or your place being deferred to the following academic year. This may also have funding implications. Therefore, you are strongly advised to attend a DBS check as early as possible.

If you are have lived overseas during the past 5 years you are required to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country you lived in. If you are unable to provide this, it may be possible to contact the local Embassy in the UK to obtain one. If the country you lived in is not listed on the DBS website please contact the TED Student Services team at tedss@shu.ac.uk.

If you are an overseas student, please access the DBS site for more information.

You are required to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct and references from the country you live in. You will also be required to undertake a DBS check once you have arrived in the UK and have a confirmed UK address. You will receive DBS instructions and advice once you have received an offer of a place on the course.

You are required to keep the University informed of any convictions, bindings over, formal warnings, cautions, reprimands recorded against you immediately. This information must be disclosed to your Course Administrator.

3) Declaration of Health

Should you be made an offer of a place you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire at a later date. Sheffield Hallam wishes to make sure that all students have an equal and fair opportunity to achieve their potential and succeed in their studies. In order to do this we recognise that we may need to make adjustments or provide support to students.

You are required to keep the University informed of any condition affecting your ability to undertake the course and practice in the profession during completion of the award. Occupational Health screening can be arranged if issues of concern arise during your period of study with us.

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