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I would really appreciate any suggestions as to what I can do for an interview I have got next week. I have been asked to deliver a twenty minute, whole class session to a Reception class. I don't know the children and have been given no indication of their current interests etc, the letter just says it can be on any subject of my choosing and will then form part of the discussion at the interview.


Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated, Thank you.

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Hi Flora,

I once used Jasper's beanstalk in an interview lesson and it went down very well (and I got the job!) It's good because most children have some knowledge of Jack and the beanstalk so can relate to it in some way.


If you're nor familiar with the book, Jasper's a cat and he's trying to grow a beanstalk. He digs a hole, puts a bean in then he rakes it and sprays it and possibly hoes it. Then he waits (and waits and waits!) and nothing happens so he digs the bean up again (this time with his paws) and throws it away, saying that it will never grow. But then after a long time it does grow (there's a lovely page with pictures of the beanstalk as it gets bigger) and at the end of the book it says that jasper is looking for giants.


I read the book once to the class, doing actions to go with each part (digging a hole etc.). Then I told them I wanted them to join in and I read it again but this time encouraged the children to do the actions with me. The kids really enjoyed it, especially the page with the growing beanstalk where they start off on the floor as a bean and grow taller and taller until they're stretching on their tiptoes. Then they all put their hands above their eyes and looked up to see if they could see any giants and we had a laugh about what they could see (One child told me he could see the giant's dog woofing at us!).


You might need a bit of something else to make this last 20 minutes. I reckon it's probably more like 10-15 so it'd give you time to do a quick introduction game/song or something at the start.


In the interview you could tell them the things that you would do to follow on from this, e.g. growing beans, sequencing pictures of the beanstalk growing, making their own books of the story, reading jack and the beanstalk and discussing similarities and differences etc. -I made a display of all this in the classroom along with a pot on the floor next to it with nothing in it except a bean. I didn't mention it to the children but each day added a little bit of a tissue paper beanstalk, either a bit of stalk or a leaf. The beanstalk was halfway up the wall before one of them mentioned it! He said he'd noticed it last week but was waiting to see what would happen to it before he told me! I gave him a prize for being observant!


I hope this is helpful. It's made me smile thinking back to that because that was my first ever class. I wonder if they remember it!


Good luck xxx

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Hi Flora


I did a lesson for an interview based on The Rainbow Fish story. I read the book and we talked about what the rainbow fish could have done e.g. sharing scales. I then got the children to decorate their own scales (already cut out!) and share them with each other so everybody had a different one. You could then leave them with a Rainbow fish that has no scales and ask them to put their 'shared scales' onto it as a reminder that they are all good at sharing and know why it is important.


I have never done a whole class interview before, it has always been small groups which is alot easier!

Just reading a story with props is another idea, you only have 20 minutes and will be surprised how quickly it will go!


Have you had any ideas yourself?


Claire :o

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Hi Flora, good news tha you have an interview coming up.

A story is a good one for an interview, but to be honest I would choose a story you know well rather than one you don't. You wll be much more confident in your interview if you are familiar with the material.

Do you have a particular favourite?

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The Bear Hunt is a good one as most of the children will be familar with it and you can do the actions as you go. We recently changed the words to fit out theme, minibeasts, "we're going on a bug hunt" and the children suggested the verses which was amazing! Any story that you can fit actions or props will work well, maybe link a song to it as well. Good luck xx

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