Category Archives: 1 Prof. Values & Personal Commitment

Talking and Listening

Using the CforE experiences and outcomes for talking and listening, create a set of group rules for talking and listening.

Group Rules

  • I will listen with my whole body:

  • I will stick to the appropriate voice level:

  • I will give positive and constructive opinions when listening and talking about the work of others and will incorporate this into my own work(When I engage with others, I can respond in ways appropriate to my role, show that I value others’ contributions and use these to build on thinking LIT 2-02a)
  • I will share what I think through discussions (When listening and talking with others for different purposes, I can: share information, experiences, and opinions (LIT 2-09a)  


  • I will create and ask questions when sharing and listening to information (clarify points by asking questions or by asking others to say more (LIT 2-09a)  


  • I will self regulate how I communicate with others. I will aim to develop my confidence inside and outside my learning environment (I am developing confidence when engaging with others within and beyond my place of learning LIT 2-10a / LIT 3-10a)


  • Medwell et. al. (2017). Primary English: Teaching Theory and Practice. (8th Edn.) London: Sage Publications. – Chapter 4. (same chapter in earlier editions)
  • Myhill, D. (2007) Talking, listening, learning: effective talk in the primary classroom, Maidenhead: Open University Press. Chapter 1. In addition to a hard copy, an electronic copy of this book can be accessed through the University of Dundee catalogue

Intro to HWB

  • Can teach children about different types of sugar
  • Show an item that is high in sugar such as chocolate then one low in sugar. Get children to measure out amounts of sugar next to them and see what they think about
  • Sugar in both savory and sweet foods
  • amount of recommended sugar in one day
  • sugar in ‘healthy’ foods
  • History of sugar – Britain after WW2 to now. Reducing fat = increasing sugar – mathematical lessons can be possible.
  • Different sugar related diseases – sugar as dangerous. Also in less obvious ways.
  • ‘Sweet tooth’ – show effects on teeth
  • Relating sweet items to occasions or socialising – birthdays etc
  • Build a healthy meal – get play food
  • Sugar vs sweeteners?
  • Damien Gameau documentary – Calories are not equal.
  • Process of sugar digestion in body – show a picture of insides and get children to label parts such as liver.
  • Healthy sugars in fruit
  • Metabolically unhealthy in non-obese children
  • How can children reduce their sugar? – Small swaps
  • What does added sugar mean? – Juice drink vs real fruit
– Up to 2 years of age children shouldn’t have any added sugar or salt in their diet.
Growth, Development and Relationships 
Dr Suzanne Zeedyk shows that babies are born connected. Important for children to have secure and healthy relationships from birth. As primary practitioners we have the responsibility to provide support and take action.
I would encourage a lesson which is purely based on relationships. I would start with getting children to come up to the board and provide one person they have a relationship with. If the children think they have no-one to write about then I think this is a Gage of how much they know and understand about what relationships are. I would then go on to explain that relationships are not just with partner but do exist with the people in your life. I would provide a couple of examples I have such as professional relationships with other staff in the school. I would then do the same activity and see what answers the children write (if there was a lack of answers before). We could continue with a class discussion over what it means in a relationship, what values exist in a relationship, what makes a positive relationship and a negative one. I would bring it simply to the example of a pet and how this brings responsibility, trust and companionship to a relationship. Continuing, I would encourage children to pick one relationship they have which means a lot to them and to write a letter to the person it is. Not only does this encourage literacy and language development but supports children in understanding how they feel and how to express this to another being, hence showing the impact we have on each other through our relationships. I would encourage children to explore how they feel towards this person and if they have anything they would like to express to them – such as an apology or simply being thankful. When completed I would get the children to either post the letter (which support) or give it to the person and see what the response is and how it makes each other feel. 
This has also made me reflect on the relationships I currently have and has reinforced to me how important it is to treat others with kindness, being nonjudgmental and positive, which I have noticed can be easily lost in day to day life. Therefore, it is part of my professional responsibility to make a conscious effort to work around this. I also hope to make to build this into the foundation of my classroom so each child can feel welcome and happy

Reflecting on Semester 1

In semester 1 I found a critical reflection moment to be the peer reflection activity, gaining experience to meet the standard of working collaboratively to share their professional learning and development with colleagues 3.4.2. This is described as ‘engaging with reflective practice to develop and advance career-long professional learning and expertise’ (GTCS, 2012).

I was delighted to hear that my peers described me as always being positive, friendly and nonjudgmental. This has been installed in me from as long as I can remember and continues to be values which my parents discuss with me. As soon as I shared with my mum that I will aim to be a primary teacher she has placed much emphasis on how a teacher is more than I might think, it does bring elements of community work (which she does) and social work into a teacher’s practice.

This moment reminded me of an activity in secondary school where my English teacher got everyone to use on word to describe each other to be turned in to a Wordle. When I received positive words it made me reflect on how others see me and the effect I have on them (when at times it didn’t feel too significant). I hope to use this in a future class of mine to support self-esteem and peer reviews.  An example, based on a cancer patient:

Image result for word blog

Not only did it build my self-esteem but it made me want to continue in the same way and treat each other how I would like to be treated, as teachers always say. This activity at University was deemed in a more professional manner but had similar results. Now, I feel more confident in my manor in a group dynamic and to apply this in my career.

I found familiarising myself with ‘reflection in and on action’ (Schon, 1983) to be the most rememberable to my previous experience. I can picture how to use this as a tool, and theoretical reasoning behind, for my professional development such as in lesson planning.

GTCS (2012) ‘The Standards for Registration’ Available from: [online] Accessed: 21.1.19

Schon, D.A. (1983) The reflective practitioner. New York: Basic Books.


Understanding ourselves

This week in Values we discussed the history and current state of affairs mainly regarding racism and patriarchy.

I thoroughly enjoyed re-visiting African-American racism history in the USA, I would like to look into the history in the UK further. I have been brought up around traveling to different countries such as living with a family in the Gambia when I was young and being emerged and living in poverty. Consideration of different cultures is normal to me but I wonder how true I am to not making assumptions or identifying with stereotypes, and how this would affect my practice. I hope to reflect and engage on this further for my professional development.

I am now reflecting on how my role as a teacher involves gender equality. My passion for teaching girls that they are equal to boys and to never feel inferior. I believe if this was installed in me more when I was young I may have chosen different subjects at school that were boy dominated, would feel more confident in my skills and abilities, I may have looked to my male friends differently and have a different role in society.

Therefore, I hope to create a classroom that supports children in their individuality.

Skills and abilities

Activities for unit 1 Personal and Interpersonal Skills and Abilities

  1. Identifying Skills and Abilities

Activity 1

  1. Below are a list of skills and abilities. Complete an audit of where you are now. Record this in your learning journal/portfolio.

Rate yourself (1=Not very well developed; 3=very well developed)

Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
Self confidence                     X
Self-discipline X
Team Work                     X
Act as a Leader                     X
Listen to others                      X
Write for academic purposes                    X
Computing Skills                  X
Be Creative                     X
Problem solving                    X


Activity 2

  1. Complete the audit below, using the information from the table above.
Recognition Reflection Action
Skills already developed How I will use these How do I know (evidence)**
Self confidence Having self-confidence will support me in having a positive attitude towards my studies and practice. I have started to build confidence to allow me to provide lessons and presentations to the best of my ability. This should come with gained experience and knowledge.
Self-discipline I feel I have existing self-discipline through the work I have managed to complete in my recent college. During my time at University, I hope to develop this to aid my planning and organisation.
Team Work I have always felt this was a strength and enjoyment of mine. I feel confident in completing tasks in a group. However, I feel this will be worked on through being more confident in how to share opinions with other professionals such as Social Work and CLD.
Act as a Leader Acting as a leader is an important skill as a teacher to be in control of their classroom and have an identified person for the children to look to and be guided from.
Listen to others I have always felt this has been a strength of mine. This is a key skill in this profession for good communication which will convey important information.
Write for academic purposes I started working on this skill in my HNC, this will be worked on to raise it to a University academic level. This will help to effectively portray what I will learn throughout this degree.
Computing Skills This is an important skill in teaching, especially in this modern technology era. I will continue to develop this skill through online learning, planning, PowerPoints, spreadsheets etc.
Be Creative This is crucial in teaching to create engaging lessons where the children’s enjoyment overcasts the thought of learning and is exciting. This can consist of hands-on learning, imaginative learning, and artistic skills.
Problem solving Throughout my studies and continual learning and development I will meet areas of difficulty and problems. Developing the skill to accept issues and how to work around them will be key to improve my resilience.


Recognition Reflection Action
Skills to be developed How I will develop these How do I know (evidence) **
Act as a leader Over the past year I have made it a conscious effort of mine to improve this skill, with talking in front of a larger number of children and professionals. This year I will develop this skill through a similar means as I will take control of planning and delivering lessons. I will also take more of a leadership role over my professional studies.
Organise and plan I will continue to develop this skill over my studies and into my placements. Over my time in primary classes, I will organise and plan to suit children’s needs and prepare with appropriate resources.
Debate formally and informally I will debate with other students in others in my seminars, online class and in general conversation.
Build social networks I will build networks and connections with new professionals through my studies and placement. Social networks will also exist with other University students.
Think critically I will develop this by reviewing my essays, my planning, and my lessons. This will provide context for future learning and development.
Generate new ideas I will try to develop this skill by being creative and looking towards new and innovative practice by researching, discussing and brainstorming.

Being unequal

This week I took part in a seminar where we were separated into groups to create an item which would benefit 1st-year University students. We opened an envelope, provided to us, which revealed a few miscellaneous items. We were taken back by this but continued on to develop an idea. However, after describing this to our lecturer she was not thrilled at the idea. At this point, we looked around the room to discover other groups were given more materials and were being praised. We then presented a last-minute new idea to the class, which was rated lowly by the lecturer. I felt disheartened at this point that I didn’t connect well with my lecturer, that I wasn’t creative or smart enough with my idea and didn’t display the correct presentation skills.

It was then announced this was a lesson from the lecturer to reflect on how inequality can exist in the classroom. I have been in a lucky position in my education to have had lots of resources, activities, and support for my learning. However, in this seminar I thought ‘this isn’t fair’ ‘I can’t do as good as them without the same stuff’. This, in turn, brought structural inequalities to reality. I, therefore, have the responsibility to be ever-aware and respectful of the different levels of inequality I could be involved in teaching. As a teacher, I should create a classroom which is built on;

  • equality
  • communication
  • trust
  • integrity
  • social justice
  • inclusion

This should ensure that each and every child can attain well and meet their personal and general development targets, in line with Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC). This seminar made me reflect on how children should not be taught equally but with equity. Within this, a teacher must discover the needs and wants of each and every child and tailor the child’s learning to the best of their ability. Instead of how I was treated in the lesson of this seminar I would lesson plan to be level and individual appropriate, I would provide each group with a fair amount of resources, I would provide praise to each group with positive and constructive advice  and I would provide each group with a reasonable score on their work.



Why primary teaching?

From writing in my primary 7 leavers book that my dream job was to become a teacher I have made it a point of mine to pursue leads towards this. Whether this was childminding, volunteering, work experience, and placement I have always enjoyed the atmosphere and the creativity which comes with working with children, parents/carers and other professionals.

I am fascinated by the opinions and interests across the age range of children and am always keen to engage with them. This includes the questions children have, the topics they would like to learn about and how I can support and guide them. I feel I have had many positive experiences with children where I have made a difference or impact in their life from which I will never forget. It is these moments which I can clearly recall from years in the past which reinforce my desire and potential to be a teacher. However, teaching is a profession which has scared me in the past and still does, whether it is the responsibility, skills or abilities I must possess. It is this however which challenges me to continue learning and develop throughout my adult life for a rewarding cause.


Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your ePortfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

The ePortfolio in the form of this WordPress blog allows you to pull in material from other digital sources:

You can pull in a YouTube video:

You can pull in a Soundcloud audio track:

You can upload an image or pull one in from Flickr or any other image sharing site.

Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

You can just about pull in anything that you think will add substance and depth to your writing.