Memorable School Project

When asked about what class project is the most memorable to me, i could not think of one that really stood out. However, after having a think about it, one year our whole school did a project together.

This was to become an eco friendly school. We were shown how other schools were becoming eco friendly and receiving their Green Flag to hang proudly above their school. I remember all primary classes, from p1-p7, sitting in assembly being shown the importance of recycling and how powerful it could be if everyone did their bit. This sparked such enthusiasm around the school, with each class having several bins for each different recycling method. Everyone really did get on board.

After the assembly and being shown just how big an impact recycling waste would have, it became important for us children to spread the message and get a message across. Therefore, each class in the school made their own song about being eco friendly and what people can do to reuse and recycle. I can still remember how excited I was, along with all my friends, when these songs were recorded and put altogether on our very own school CD., This was then sold to raise money for our school. And yes, in the end we did get our Green Flag. How inspiring!

Scientific Literacy

Scientific literacy, according to the National Science Education Standards (1996) is ‘the knowledge and understanding of concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity”. Scientific literacy gives people the opportunity to ask, find or determine answers to questions from curiosity. It means being able to read and understand articles about science and to engage in social interaction about the validity of the conclusions. Finally, it means that people have the skills to evaluate arguments bases on conclusions and to apply conclusions to the arguments. (NSES, 1996).

Shortages in scientific literacy has led to scientific experiments being so called ‘incompetently designed’. In previous years, Durham City Council’s Dave Ford designed an experiment to test the effects of fish oil tablets or more specifically Omega-3 would boost children’s performance in their GCSE results. Numerous academics however noticed and informed Dave Ford that the trial was designed for ‘no good reason’ and was incompetent. The response to the criticism was alleged to be blatant lies.

The scientific method of the experiment was seen to be designed to produce false positive results. During the experiment, however, saw 2,168 of the 3,000 test subjects back out. Furthermore, it was apparent that in response to the drop outs, Ford identified an equal number of pupils who hadn’t taken the supplement compared to those who had and compared the two. The results that were published from the experiment did not link with the number of test subjects. The experiment was detailed to have created falsified results and only discovered that pupils in school perform better if they work harder and follow school policies.

As previously stated, scientific literacy “is the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.” (Kirshenbaum, 2009). In other words, it means a person can ask and find answers to questions about every day’s experiences. I believe this is important in schools because a child should obviously be able to feel comfortable about asking any question they may be curious about. “A fair test refers to an experiment that is carefully controlled to ensure that the information gathered is reliable.” (n.a, 2017). For example, to teach about fair testing a relay race could be used. This would include two teams of different numbers and obstacles for different levels of ability. This would cause the children involved to think about why what they’re doing isn’t fair and how it can be fixed. This links to scientific literacy because both require full understanding of what is happening and why.


  • Goldacre, B. (2008). ‘Dave Ford from Durham Council performs incompetent experiments on children.’ Published in: Bad Science. Available at: Accessed: 27/01/17


One of the most important moments from semester 1, for me, was the preparation for our Working Together assignment. From the beginning of the semester we were split into groups that consisted of those studying Education, Social Work and CLD. Recalling on this, I didn’t understand why these three were put together at all. But this was a great opportunity for us all to begin to understand the importance of why these three professions needed to work collaboratively. And it all makes perfect sense now.

working-togetherOur assignment consisted of two parts – a group presentation and an academic poster of our learning. For our group presentation we had to go on a visit to a local agency – Aberlour Options. We had to find out about the agency, organise questions that would help us find out what they do, how they work together with other agencies and ultimately prepare us for our assignment.

At first, working together with new people while still trying to get to know each other was difficult. However, we soon overcame the awkwardness and worked hard to organise meet-ups. As a group, we decided early on that an important part of a successful group is ensuring that everyone feels included and so we organised ways in which everyone could stay up-to-date with what was being done for the visit and assignment. I believe this was a significant part of our group’s success as not everyone was based in Dundee – meaning that travel issues and other commitments could have impacted how well we were all going to do if this wasn’t spoken about.

I believe our visit to the agency went well – we gained the information we needed and the confidence from organising and interviewing someone we didn’t know at all. I felt very happy with how this went.

After our interview with the agency, we continued to organise regular meet-ups in order to ensure we were going to do our best in our upcoming assignment. I believe I was a good team worker in the group as I made sure to be available for meet-ups and contributed to the discussion at Aberlour and the group presentation.

However, now I look back I wish I had felt more confident in sharing my thoughts and ideas and this is something I hope to work on. According to Schon, “we reflect on action, thinking back on what we have done in order to discover how our knowing-in-action may have contributed to an unexpected outcome.” (Schon, 1983, p26). Although I am happy with how this assignment went, there are things that I would have liked to have done differently but I believe it is a positive to realise this and a reason to keep working harder.




Schon, D (1983). The Reflective Practitioner. London. Temple Smith

Values Module Workshop 1

Our very first values module workshop took me by surprise. Following our lecture on Bias that morning it never clicked with me that our workshop would be set up the way it was.

Upon entering the classroom our lecturer split us into groups which immediately brought us all out of our comfort zone, but this was important. We were given an envelope with different materials inside and were told that in our groups we were to brainstorm and come up with a resource that a new student at the university would find handy. Opening up the envelope we saw that we had been given loads of sheets of paper, paper clips, pens, a rubber, post-its and blu tac. Straight away, we were all a bit thrown – what could we make that a student would actually find useful out of this? Nevertheless we all began to give different thoughts and we soon came up with a “Student Handbook”. This idea came about as when we all first moved in, our rooms had loads of different sheets of paper: a welcome letter, dominoes vouchers, nightclub flyers etc. So we decided as a group that we would try to improve on what we were given. This included coming up with different things that we could add, a map of Dundee – which would point out key places such as Post Boxes – a bus timetable, a calendar of events, a daily checklist, a personalised timetable, and even information on how to get the best out of your Student Discount – very important, I know. We were all very enthusiastic about this task and our lecturer seemed pleased with our ideas.

I was thoroughly enjoying myself throughout this activity, so much so that I was completely oblivious to groups 3 and 4 and the dirty looks they were receiving from the lecturer. It all came to the light when we were to present the things we had made to the rest of the class. Group 1 went first and I noticed that they had slightly more materials than we had, although I never thought much of this. They had done really well and the lecturer was very impressed, scoring them 9/10. Our group came next and again he seemed happy with the effort we had made, scoring us 7/10. Then came group 3 – they had received very little materials but had still came up with a good idea. The lecturer seemed uninterested and asked “is that it?” and scored them 4/10. HARSH! Finally, it came to group 4. This is when everyone seemed to click about what was going on – an act. Group 4 had only been given a pencil, a post-it note and some paper clips.

Once we had all been scored our lecturer explained to us that this had all been an act and it really made us all think. Both groups 1 and 2 were favoured over 3 and 4. We had been given more materials which meant we could make something a lot better than the others could. It now seemed obvious that this was something to think about and an important lesson for us teachers in training.

Since this workshop I have read up on ‘The Standard for Provisional Registration’ – “Respecting the rights of all learners as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and their entitlement to be included in decisions regarding their learning experiences and have all aspects of their well-being developed and supported.” (MA Programme Handbook. It is important to ensure that every individual in the classes we teach in the future are all given the same equal opportunities. No matter what background they come from or how able they are, we have to ensure that we treat every child with the same warming and kind attitude.


Why teaching?

From a very young age I knew that I wanted to become a teacher. One of my own many inspirations to follow this through began with my own primary one teacher. I loved her enthusiasm for every lesson, her gentleness and kind approach to us anxious children and her unique style of teaching. As a child, this made me laugh but also made me look forward to the day ahead at school. As I look back now, I understand why she taught the way she did and I aspire to be as good as her.

As I continued through school knowing that teaching was my aspiration, this was confirmed during my different placements. These included one during my sixth year at my own primary and a completely new primary school in my year at college. As daunting as it was at first I really looked forward to going in every day to be faced with smiling children who seemed happy to see me. And even now, it is so lovely to see some of these same smiling faces approaching me outwith the school.