Monthly Archives: January 2019

The Importance of Relationships

The video that we were asked to watch on the importance of early years was eye-opening. It showed just how important a child’s environment is as it has an impact it on their development and relationships.

During the video, Suzanne Zeedyk talked about the importance of relationships in babies lives and how the type of responses they get are very impactful to their brains. She expressed how the environment that babies grow up in shapes their relationships and experiences and therefore their brain develops in relation to the environment they are in. She then went on to tell us how once key pathways have been established they don’t change and they stick with you into adulthood. 

So how does this link to me as a Primary practitioner? In the video, Suzanne Zeedyk gave the example of a child who has grown up in a home where domestic violence is prominent therefore facing high levels of stress. She explained how cortisol is released when someone is in a situation that causes stress. However, a child living in a home with domestic violence is going to be faced with more stress than the average child, to deal with this the brain realises even more cortisol. This means when the child arrives at school cortisol is continuing to be released and they find it physically impossible to sit still. This is because their mind is elsewhere as they are busy thinking about where the next danger is going to come from. Therefore in the classroom, they are not able to listen or concentrate on anything else that is going on around them, for example, their work.  The video re-enforced to me how important it is as a primary practitioner to make my classroom a safe, inclusive and nurturing environment to ensure that my relationship with every child has a positive impact on their lives. 

Even though this video was only 8 minutes long it managed to have an impact on my views and the new way that I will look at my relationship with children in my class. It has also made me want to take up further reading to find out more about it and what else I can do.

So much Drama

I believe the video about how to structure a drama lesson that we were informed to watch has been very beneficial to my understanding of how to take a drama lesson that is structured and stimulates learning. It provided a range of ideas and examples of activities that keep the children engaged.

The video discussed how you should try and start your lesson with a class agreement. This is a set of rules that are agreed upon by the teacher and pupils through a discussion. The set of rules helps to guide the work and behaviour of the pupils during the entirety of the lesson. I think this is a small but helpful task as straight away the children know what behaviour is expected of them. The video then discussed the three C’s which are the main reasons you might come across as to why a pupil may be disrupting the lesson. It could be down to either, communication, concentration or co-operation. This is important to keep in mind when planning any lesson as you may have to alter your teaching methods in order to keep all pupils engaged or to make sure that they all understand what you are asking them to do. The next thing that should be done is a warm-up. There was a variety of different kinds of warm-ups, for example, team warm-up or a vocal warm-up as long as the pupils are warming up parts of their bodies, however, it also mentioned the importance of the children’s understanding that this is not playtime and that there is learning involved within this task. Furthermore, you must establish a focus of lesson with the pupils. This is very important as because of the amount of physical activity involved the pupils with more than likely be very excitable. Therefore establishing with them the purpose of what they are about to do will mean that they are excited but also focused.

The next part of the lesson was the development stage which was described as when a small drama task is developed into something much bigger. In the workshop with Nikki, we experienced this. We were first asked to think of a still image that showed the moment that the clock struck midnight on new years eve. Then we had to do the same thing, however, one image had to be from 6 o’clock that same day and the other had to be from the next morning. We then had to do them in sequence whilst other groups watched with their eyes open and then they had to re-watch but within the transitions moments, they had to shut their eyes. After that Nikki then asked us to press play on our still image and bring it to life. This showed us how a small task such a creating one still image can turn into a mini performance. The video also gave tips on how to draw more ideas out of the children through the use of soundscape and bodyscape. This is when the children have to make the noises of the thing they are portraying or they have to use only their body to create an object within a picture. It showed the example of women acting as a gate and when she was acting to sound it out she made the noise of a gate squeaking open.

At the end of the lesson, they said to schedule in an evaluation to see if your learning intention was achieved and to see what the children have learnt. It is also a good time to see what they would want to do next time and see if they enjoyed it the lesson. This means that you have material for your next lesson and also helps you make changes to certain parts if they didn’t enjoy certain activities as much or didn’t really understand certain parts of it.

Overall the workshop with Nikki and the video gave me a clear indication of how to structure and run a drama class. I feel a lot more confident about teaching drama as I have a distinct idea in my mind of the basic way a lesson can be taught.


The Power of Dance.

I have had very minimal experiences with dance. Throughout school we never had classes devoted to dance specifically, it was more of an extra curricular that you signed up too, if you were interested in it. We obviously had the yearly Christmas cross country dancing, however this was never anyone’s favourite. Especially mine.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I found out we had a dance workshop. When I got there I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had. We were shown a variety of different videos that could aid us if we are asked to take a dance class. From this workshop I learned that you don’t have to be a professional dancer in order to take a class, in fact you didn’t have to have an experience with dance at all. All I needed was a positive attitude and a willingness to participate. I would have the same attitude if I was to teach a dance lesson to my class on my placement because I feel that if children see their teacher enthusiastic and willing to do something, they are more likely to act the same.

Before the workshop, I believed that dance was just another form of physical activity. Although it is, I can now see that it is also a lot more than that. It can be merged with all different aspects of the curriculum. For example Eilidh told us of a class that was studying Buddhism in R.M.E. So, for their dance lesson they looked at “Buddha with 1000 hands” and then used that template to create their own dance based on this. She expressed that they didn’t copy exactly what the dancers in that video did, instead they used their imagination to create there own modern interpretation of it. I would like to try and take this technique onto placement with me as not only can I use it to link dance to other subjects but also link a variety of subjects together e.g maths within p.e. I believe this is a very good and impactful teaching skill to have as it helps children understand all areas of the curriculum, in a number of different ways.

During the workshop Eilidh gave a us a number of techniques that not only helped the class get involved but also helped to keep them engaged, for example, when taking a warm-up you pass the power to one of the pupils and they take part of the warm up, then it continues round a number of pupils. This gives the children the opportunity to show everyone their ideas and also have loads of fun. It can also help with confidence and leadership. If a child sees everyone smiling when they are copying the moves that they made up it can really boost self-esteem and make them more willing to participate. I will try and take these ideas with me on my placement as I can really see how they would help my class lesson.

Overall I found the workshop to be very beneficial to my learning. Before the workshop I wouldn’t off known where to start if I had to take a dance class on my placement. Now I would feel confident if I am asked to take one as I know what is expected and what I can do to provide a lesson to a class that is not only fun but also benefits the children’s learning.