Learning Log: Energy

During the inputs on energy it was good to get a quick refresher on the different types of energy and the different areas within those types that you might focus […]

During the inputs on energy it was good to get a quick refresher on the different types of energy and the different areas within those types that you might focus on within a primary setting. Obviously renewable energy makes a fantastic topic in the primary environment not just because it comes with great opportunities for more hands on learning through school trips to places such as wind farms or as we saw today through getting pupils to create their own examples of wind turbines or anemometers.

From what we were shown in the lectures I can definitely see myself doing a debate with a class in the future on the advantages and disadvantages of a renewable energy source. In case of the workshop we looked into wind power and it worked really well as a way to encourage us to learn more in depth knowledge on wind energy through readings and to then come together with our peers to share our findings before final presenting our research int he form of a debate. This could be a very useful activity to do with pupils as it builds on their note taking skills as the write down key information, gets them to use their negotiation skills to decide who is doing what task and who should present before finally allowing them to use presenting skills and build on their debating skills in a debate at the end of the session. In a class room environment this is also a fantastic way to bring in lots of cross curricular learning as pupils could create posters to display their information create models that would help them demonstrate or understand facts or perhaps write up a report of how they felt the debate went and the pros and cons for each side.

Through the science workshop we were also able to see some very useful and interesting ways to use energy to bring some interesting experiments into the classroom from classic circuit activities to a rather interesting experiment involving an electromagnet.  I think pupils would engage very well with these task particularly the problem solving aspect of working with the circuits and while they would enjoy building the correct circuit to get the required result I think they would find equally interesting getting to experiment with the different components.

Final the more practical input on create and building items such as the anemometer was useful as it allowed me to see what problems pupils could encounter when engaging with those sort of task and see how disappointing it could be for them if they spent all that time building a kite and then it wasn’t windy or the straws weren’t strong enough so their creation would just fall apart in the wind. I also allowed me to see some really easy ways of using the topic of energy to bring some really creative and engaging activities into the class room and to allow pupils to have a more meaningful way of gaining measurement and team work skills.

Interdependence Learning Log

As part of the topic on interdependence we visited a farm and had a lecture from the Scottish soil association. During the farm visit  we were able to see the […]

As part of the topic on interdependence we visited a farm and had a lecture from the Scottish soil association. During the farm visit  we were able to see the benefits of getting to know your food and seeing the conditions in which the animals in which we depend on for our milk at breakfast are currently being reared in. Personally I was very impressed and surprised by how modern the farm was and by how happy all the cows seemed to be. Interdependence was shown through the cows need of grass, hay or other sources of food to survive but then our own need of the cows for milk and beef. Although at first keeping the cows permanently inside seemed slightly cruel however having had it explained that it kept the cows at an ideal temperature and allowed them to regulate their feed to ensure each animal was eating the correct amount it did make a lot of sense and in many ways it makes more sense that they would be happier inside as we have spent many years perfecting inside for ourselves as humans why wouldn’t other animals appreciate the same change. It is definitely the sort of trip I would consider doing with pupils in the future as it really would help them open their eyes to wear their food comes from, the effort that goes into farming it and allow them to get to ask a lot of questions they might have about the process first hand. I know this was certainly very useful for us as university students so I can only begin to imagine how questions pupils would have.

The talk from the soil association was fantastic from a teachers point of view it allowed me to see the variety of ways soil can be incorporated into learning from showing me how to identify different types of soil which could be used to get pupils used to reading charts and graphs and recording information. To the different studies and research task thats could be conducted into the large varieties of soil, how it is formed and the variety of life that it supports. It also helped build on them of interdependence as soil is in many ways one of the building blocks for all life being what allows plants the support and nutrients they need to grow it is many ways the start of the food chain as the the base for all primary organisms.  I feel pupils would also really engage with the hands on learning of getting to go and out and feel and mold different types of soil in order to be able to gage what its consistency and colour is and ergo find its type.

Moving into talking about the group study task on building an infographic this helped bring to light the significance of interdependence mainly via the fishing industry and how dependent a lot of countries are on fish to feed their people. I also felt I learned more about the political aspects and economic aspects of fishing and the amount of work that goes into mapping out fishing arrears to protect areas and different types of sea life. It also gave an excellent opportunity to work with peers and share our learning and findings as we created the infographic and allowed me to gain a wider overall knowledge on the subject.

Urban Environment

Within my local Urban area which is within the large town of Ayr there are a variety of physical characteristics blending both natural and man made features. Ayr is a […]

Within my local Urban area which is within the large town of Ayr there are a variety of physical characteristics blending both natural and man made features. Ayr is a coastal town which has shaped the types of development that
have taken place in the area. Such as larger numbers of homes being used as holiday lets or bed and breakfasts so that people can capitalise off the seaside location. There is also a larger number of fish and chip shops, ice cream venders and leisure facilities such as laser quest, bowling and arcades to encourage tourism to the area. The area also offers large areas of grassy land for outdoor activities. A good example of this is the well maintained wellington square which is an excellent place for tourists and locals alike to relax whilst still supporting nature by offering a greener area with more varieties of plant life.ayr-beach

Ayr is also showing signs of development through regeneration schemes. Major examples of this can be seen along the river Ayr. As part of the Ayr town centre strategy more unsightly buildings are being converted in to new flats and public buildings which brings new life in to the community and helps prevent the area from getting too run down whilst preserving the environment by regenerating existing buildings rather than taking over new land to build new buildings. Part of this is being done as part of the Ayr riverside framework project. This can be viewed in more detail via this pdf:  http://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/documents/ayr%20riverside%20framework.pdf . The areas of land by the river have also shown signs of development within recent times through the construction of the UWS campus and halls of residence. The main building itself cost 81 million pounds to construct and was opened in 2011. This development helped raising Ayr’s student population whilst expanding on the facilities within the area.

Ayr also has good public transport links through having a decent bus network and good access to other areas out with Ayr via its train station. This is also helped by Ayr having its own bus station which allows people the option to use public transport for their daily commute. There are also sections of one way streets in place to help with congestion and the road down Ayr high street is reserved with in specific times purely for public transport. However the area doesn’t offer any sort of tram system and lacks in a lot of places pedestrianised zones. However there is evidence of good use of land with the presence ayr-shopof a multi-storey carpark as a part of the kyle shopping centre near the high street reducing the need for on street parking within the area which in turn reduces congestion.

Ayr has multiple primary schools including Braehead primary school, Grammar primary school and Forehill primary school which means local children have a higher chance of living closer to their primary school minimising their commute. This also allows communities to have stronger bonds to their respective local school whilst have wider connections to the other schools within Ayr.

There are also contains a couple of options of community centres giving people somewhere to go to socialise and take part in activities to raise skills and create bonds within the community. These include Heathfield community centre and Lochside community centre. However as the John Pollock community centre is now closed it could be observed that more could be done to encourage people to become more involved with their community.

The area also includes a library, Carnegie Library, offering people an access to technology and information showing signs of good development within the area. The south Ayrshire council is also working to continue to expand the amount of allotments available in the area. This is a good benefit to urban environments as it helps create more green spaces and in many cases offers up activities for elderly members of the community. It also allows people to then give something back to the community once they have grown their produce on their allotment.

Ayr offers plenty of opportunity for work during the summer months being a seaside town it can attract plenty of tourism meaning there are plenty of opportunities within the area to capitalise on tourism such as plenty of fast food outlets and hotels such as The Mercure Ayr hotel which is just up the road from where I livedsc_0337. This encourages tourists to bring more money into the area meaning the area is given more of a chance to thrive. There is also a strong agricultural and farming presence in the area which is supported by having an SRUC campus in the area helping to inspire future works in agriculture. Ayrs high street is still suffering some regard like most high streets across Scotland however there is still a large variety of large retail industries within Ayr as well as large choice of super markets including Morrisons, Lidls, Tescos and Aldi. This means people can do their shopping within Ayr without feeling the need to commute to cities such as Glasgow or Edinburgh.

In terms of recreation Ayr notable has the Gaiety theatre which has just been renovated showing signs of development and improvement within the area. This is important as it is things like this that help create people image of Ayr and what helps them define what it means to be a part of Ayr’s culture and environment. The area also offers sporting opportunities through places like the Citadel Leisure centre. This helps people get involved in their local community and allows people to live a more active life style.

With in Ayr there are 92 people per square kilometre. This is far less than the major cities within Scotland such as Glasgow which is currently estimated at 3415 per square kilometre and even the other surrounding counties such as East Ayrshire which is currently sitting at 97 per square kilometre.  This suggests the area offers far more open spaces and that people in general have a lot more room. The air quality within my area considered low (2), shown 2016-09-20from the results taken from www.scottishairquality.co.uk which suggests that the area is far less industrial and is putting out far less pollutants that would affect the areas air quality. This is good as it means buildings like the UWS that are more environmentally friendly and the lack of certain industries within Ayr is helping to keep the air quality at a healthy level.