succeeding at observed interview lessonsCongratulations! Your CV has got you through the school’s front door. Now you need to demonstrate your skills, experience and personality. Here are some tips to help you to shine during your observed interview lesson.

How to succeed in an observed interview lesson

1.   Make yourself aware of latest Ofsted lesson criteria and use it

Know that Ofsted is keen for teachers to:

  • Conduct mini plenaries. Show students understand topics taught and demonstrate you are on top of how learning is progressing.
  • Incorporate group tasks into a lesson, as opposed to just teacher led tasks.

2.  Learn and use some of your students’ names

Show the school you are keen to get to know and build good relationships with your students.

3.  Make sure you can fit into your lesson all you have planned

Keep your lesson plan simple. At this point your school is looking to find out how you introduce topics, engage your class, teach the topics and assess your class’s understanding of what you have taught.

4.   Make sure you acknowledge student’s good behaviour

One of the most effective ways to promote the display of good behaviour by a class is to reward those who demonstrate it.

5.   Make sure you address low-level class disturbance

Your message needs to be simple, clear and non-negotiable.

6.   Make sure you follow your school’s behaviour for learning policy

Showing that you have done your homework and are keen to fit in from the start will earn you extra brownie points.

7.   Try to match differentiation and pacing to your class

Always have a plan up your sleeve in case students race through your lessons.

We hope you have found this post useful and welcome your comments.

Look out for the last part of our How to win your ideal supply teaching job series, when we provide you with advice for succeeding at interviews.

Until next time:

Rick Smallwood, Founder teachweb supply teaching agency
Rick Smallwood, founder, teachweb

 About the author: Rick Smallwood is a former chemistry teacher and founder of leading London and the South East supply teacher agency teachweb. He has a proven track record of matching the right teachers to the right vacancy.

Image taken from
Image taken from

Everyone knows research and preparation is key to walking out of that interview feeling good, like you have done all you can do. The pressure to do your best intensifies when you know the competition is high, which nowadays is commonplace for school jobs. Therefore we have compiled some practical points for supply tutors looking to secure teaching jobs in London:

  • If you have a solid record of experience behind you, don’t be humble but bring this to the fore. Ensure the employer sees the value of having you on board.  With AWR you’ll be cheaper to the school even employed through a teaching agency if you are less experienced. This is a big selling point.
  • Get as much information from you agent about the department and school as possible. Names , length of service, whether the supply teacher agency have sent someone there before will be a good start when gathering background knowledge.  Consider whether they know what the school will be wary of and if your agent knows of any prejudices ?
  • Get prepared to ask some questions. This will leave the employer knowing you are keen and have thought about the position thoroughly. Some great questions to ask might be: What is the exact format of the interview / meeting ? What are your resources? Will you get class lists? Can you have a copy of the school behaviour policy ? Who will be watching you teach? Does the agent know them?
  • In the agents experience what is the most common reason for candidates getting rejected from all schools ? From this school? Use this information to deduce how to underline your strengths so this is not a reason for rejection.
  • Get the supply teacher agency to discuss the pay rate with you before you go to interview. That way you can challenge the rate before giving away how keen you are on the role.
  • Get to know the school by reading the schools Ofsted report and looking at the schools website. Have they been mentioned in any recent news reports? Impress the senior management by showing a genuine interest in their school.
  • Find out which syllabus the school follows. Have you taught that before? Can you find out about it from friends or peers? At interview demonstrate you have put some research into this.
  • Always ask about the circumstances of the departing teacher – for your own sake! Has there been a string of supply teaching that timetable? Who is the longest serving member? This will give you an idea if the department is stable or not.
  • Do you know anyone else who works at the school or has worked there? If so, mention this connection if it is recent and could be seen to have informed you of the schools ethos and culture.

So when seeking school jobs from a supply teacher agency, following these points of advice can be a powerful reminder when prepping for an interview. Do you have any tips you think work well for the interview stage? Let us know!