Approaches to a good Science Lesson

Approaches to a good science lesson

  • Active learning and planned, purposeful play.
  • Development of problem-solving skills and analytical thinking skills.
  • Emphasis on children explaining their understanding of concepts, informed discussion and communication.
  • Development of scientific practical investigation and inquiry.
  • Use of relevant contexts, familiar to young people’s experiences.
  • Appropriate and effective use of technology, real materials and living things.
  • Building on the principles of Assessment is for Learning.
  • Collaborative learning and independent thinking.
  • Assessing risk and benefit of science applications.
  • Demonstrate progress through their skills in planning and carrying out practical investigations, inquiries and challenges, working individually and collaboratively, promote thinking skills, provide opportunities to consolidate and apply learning and describing and explaining their understanding of scientific ideas and concepts.
  • The key concepts have been clearly identified using five organisers:
    • o Planet Earth
    • o Forces, electricity and waves
    • o Biological systems
    • o Materials
    • o Topical science.
  • While every child and young person needs to develop a secure understanding of important scientific concepts, their experience of the sciences in school must develop a lifelong interest in science and its applications.
  • stimulate the interest and motivation of children
  • Use questioning very well to recall and consolidate learners’ knowledge through peer and self-assessment.
  • Move away from low level tasks such as copying notes, cutting out sections from handouts, pasting into jotters and colouring in.
  • Working independently as well as collaboratively giving opportunity to discuss
  • Learning out-of-doors, field trips, visits to science centres, local, national and sometimes international facilities.
  • Develop scientific literacy and investigative work
  • Scientific communication through slideshows, scientific information posters, photographs, film clips or role play and other types of performance.
  • Learning outcomes and success criteria are often shared with children and young people in order to focus their learning and to allow them to understand what learning will look like and allow them to evaluate their learning.
  • Good Practice Example 30 In a pre-school nature kindergarten, the children spend almost all of their time outdoors. This provides them with a rich natural environment which is used very effectively to promote early science skills and develop children’s interests in living things. Children are developing their powers of observation and investigation very well. They are well aware of change and its effects on them, for example, their own growth, changes in weather, trees, flowers and plants. Children enjoy observing living things, for example, they know where to find the ‘toad’ outdoors in the garden. They are learning about planting and growing and know that you need sunshine and rain to make some things grow for example, carrots, peas, onions, strawberries, tomatoes, planting trees. Through their daily walks into the wild wood, children explore their natural environment and fulfil their inquiry, creativity and problem-solving skills.

Health and Wellbeing Lessons

Ø  Lesson 1

o   Food and health: Nutrition: By investigating the range of foods available I can discuss how they contribute to a healthy diet. HWB 1-30a

o   Food and health: Nutrition: By applying my knowledge and understanding of current healthy eating advice I can contribute to a healthy eating plan.  HWB 2-30a


Ø  Lesson 2

o   Food and health: Safe and hygienic practices: I am becoming aware of how cleanliness, hygiene and safety can affect health and wellbeing and I apply this knowledge in my everyday routines such as taking care of my teeth. HWB 0-33a / HWB 1-33a

o   Food and health: Safe and hygienic practices: Having learned about cleanliness, hygiene and safety, I can apply these principles to my everyday routines, understanding their importance to health and wellbeing.  HWB 2-33a


Ø  Lesson 3

o   Food and health: Food and consumer: Through exploration and discussion, I can understand that food practices and preferences are influenced by factors such as food sources, finance, culture and religion.  HWB 2-34a


Ø  Lesson 1

o   Begin by getting into groups of 4. In front of you, you should have an a4 sheet of paper. Draw a line down the centre, label one side ‘healthy’ and the other ‘non-healthy’. You should have a pack of pictures in front of you with foods and drink printed onto them. Spread these across the table, and as a group, decide which food and drink should be placed in the ‘healthy’ section and ‘non-healthy’ section. At end of lesson explain that some foods are healthier than others, however, it is important to have a balanced diet. Introduce class to the ‘eat well guide’ (healthy eating plate).

Ø  Lesson 2

o   Explain to the children that we will be learning about safety and hygiene in the kitchen. To do this we will go along to the cafeteria to speak to the kitchen staff about how they keep safe and hygienic in the kitchen. Speak about why they wash their hands, wear an apron, tie their hair back/wear nets, clean surfaces, wear oven mitts when handling hot dishes in the kitchen. Spend 15-20 minutes speaking to the cafeteria staff and then return to class to explore what we learned.

  • P1 – P3 – We will get into pairs and find ourselves a table. Practice the hygiene and safety tips the dinner staff gave you by using the items I have brought in. In front of you, you have an apron, dishcloth and washcloth. Between: putting your apron on, washing your hands and wiping any surfaces, put into order which should come first. Create a sequence of what you would do in the kitchen when baking a cake to ensure safety and hygiene, in order. I will walk around the class and when I reach your group I want you to explain what you have chosen and why.
  • P4 – P7 – Will get into pairs and create a step-by-step plan to explain the procedures you would take to ensure hygiene and safety in the kitchen when preparing food (remembering what the kitchen staff said).

Ø  Lesson 3

o   Begin lesson by explaining to class the learning intentions and success criteria of what we are away to learn. Discuss/write down if there are any foods you are aware of that come from a different country. Using the leaflets on your table, with your partner, highlight the countries name and the traditional foods that originate from that country. Collect leaflets in a pile and put them at the front of the class. Now use the worksheets I have put on your table and using a pencil and ruler, join the foods listed to the country that it originated from. Discuss your answers with your group. Now put your worksheets away and collect a whiteboard, pen and rubber. I will name a country and I want you to write down a food that originates from the country that I say. Make sure you keep all of your worksheets together as next lesson we will be working in groups to create a poster.


Ø  Literacy will be used in all of these lessons.

The Portrayal of Mathematics

Mathematics is wrongly portrayed throughout people’s lives as a negative subject that only some people have the mind for, whereas, others will never be able to fully think mathematically.

I believe people judge the subject from their own experience with certain teachers and their success in the class. Personally, I had two contrasting mathematics teachers, one was very enthusiastic about the topic, however, was not supportive with those who did not understand the lesson first time. I experienced this and felt embarrassed to ask for help, the result being I did not pass the exam. I opted to sit again with a new teacher who was extremely supportive and was able to explain maths in a way I understood, which created a more positive learning environment, and allowed me to excel in her class and pass the exam. This comparison of teachers led me to discover that it is not always the subject that people don’t ‘click’ with, it could be that the learning strategies set by the teacher aren’t ones that certain pupils find easy to follow. This is important to bear in mind as not all children learn the same ways, and some may require extra help on certain subjects than others.

I will take this learning with me into my professional practice and be as enthusiastic about teaching mathematics as I can. It is not a subject that pupils should be dreading as maths is used in everyday lives and the language is very important to understand.

The Importance of Reflection

Reflection allows you to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses so that you can recognise where you can develop, learn and improve your skills. By identifying, through reflection, your skills, behaviour and development areas, you can continue to advance and grow.

Through reflection and analysis of my groupwork experience during my Working Together module in semester 1, I have realised how it has benefited my learning in many ways. I have identified that I need to have the confidence and communication skills to speak out when working with strongly opinionated characters, ensuring that all members of the group are listened to and their opinions respected. Lack of proper communication can lead to confusion, and members disrespecting one another’s opinions. My own future learning will benefit as I will be able to recognise the signs of my group not working collaboratively and step in to make sure we stay on task. My main strength is keeping calm and treating everyone equally, which I will continue.

This reflection has allowed me to think about how the Working Together module has taught me lessons that I can learn from in later life, such as dealing with group tension and personality clashes.

Drama Structure

Within the video we were instructed to watch, the lesson was structured through:

·       Agreement – a set of rules that are made by the teacher are discussed with the pupils.

·       Warm up – to prepare the mind and body.

·       Focus – to give the pupils something to focus their drama on, for example, a still image / photograph.

·       Development – allows the pupils to create the rest of the story based off of the still image.

·       Visualisation – allows the pupils to think about what they would hear, see, etc.

·       Soundscape – allows the pupils to use their vocals to create the sounds that they would hear in their drama setting.

·       Body-scaping – allows the pupils to create a visual image of the setting of their drama.

·       Performance – the pupils create 3 still images depicting the main issues in the drama.

·       Evaluation – evaluate the children so they know what they did right and what they have to improve on. Evaluation also allows the pupils to calm down after a physical and active session.

This structure allows for rules to be applied so the pupils understand how they are expected to behave. The structure also allows for the drama to be built up so the pupils can perform the full act by the end of the lesson.

The Importance of Relationships

Relationships are vital in a child’s development. In school, a happy, healthy relationship has long-lasting academic and social benefits for a person. This means it is the teachers’ responsibility to ensure all children are given opportunities to build relationships with their teachers and peers.

Dr Suzanne Zeedyk spoke about the importance of relationships to a child’s brain development. The living environment a child is raised in will develop their brain to adapt to these surroundings which they are familiar with for the rest of their lives. For example, if a child is raised in a bad living environment with bad relationships, such as a domestically abused home, their brain will be too worried and searching for the next sign of a threat rather than learning. The chemical, cortisol, is released when stressed, and children in bad relationship living situations have a much higher volume of cortisol in their system than other people who were brought up with healthy relationships. Relationships are key in every aspect of our lives because our brains develop due to the relationships that we have with others. Good relationships are critical in the teaching profession because those children who have better relationships with their teacher, classmates or family will feel safer, and more eager to learn in a friendlier and more welcoming environment.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan spoke about how adaptive babies are, and they will adapt to the environment they live in in order to survive. Relationships are important in the first 4 years of a baby’s life up to the age of 3. This is because “babies need consistency in their life”. However, not all children receive this at home, therefore, they need this support in nursery and primary. “One of the best ways to encourage brain development in a baby, is to smile at them”. As a primary educator, this speaks volumes to me as it shows that friendliness is the best way to encourage learning and good social relationships, which will better a child’s life.

In my professional practice, I will ensure I create a friendly, safe environment for my pupils to learn in and will take the time to create relationships with my pupils, as well as make time to allow them to create relationships with one another through play and groupwork.

The Importance of Dance

Last week, I took part in a dance workshop for my module ‘Teaching Across the Curriculum’. It gave me insight into how important dance is, how it can be used across different areas of the curriculum and how simple dance tasks can allow children to be imaginative.

Expressive Arts is part of the Curriculum for Excellence. Dance is important as it allows children to express themselves and be creative. Within our dance workshop we were instructed to find different ways to travel across the room, for example, side stepping and hopping. I will use this task when teaching as it would allow the children to have fun, as well as challenging themselves to think outside of the box and create original moves.

Dancing is not everyone’s strong point and some pupils may find it difficult or be embarrassed to perform in front of the class. Within our dance workshop, we were instructed to create our own travel movements, and then to find a partner and share with each other what we had created followed by finding another group of partners to show them what we had learned. In the end, we all had to collate our dance moves to create a short routine which each group presented to the rest of the class. This allowed for individual work, partnership work, groupwork and classwork. I will remember this when I am teaching a class, as allowing the pupils to work with their peers relieves any worry of embarrassment and ensures they have fun while learning.

Dance is used in primary school to promote physical fitness, however, can also be used to aid learning in other curricular areas such as mathematics. We were informed that dance allows opportunities for active cross-curricular learning. This means relating learning to more than one area of the curriculum, for example, the ability to count is required to be able to follow the beat of a dance. I will use this experience in my class lessons in the future and aim to use cross-curricular learning opportunities to allow the children to expand their learning experiences.

From the dance workshop, I have learned that the teaching of dance is important in primary schools as it allows the children to be creative, promotes fitness, increases social skills and can be used to expand their learning across different subjects.

Experiences and Outcomes for Language

I spent some time examining the Second Level Experiences and Outcomes for Language. Teachers have the responsibility of enforcing correct language and literacy across all areas of the Curriculum. Within this topic, there are three areas that need to be covered and passed through assessment and examination, these are: listening and talking, reading, and writing.

I recall from own personal experience, that the teacher would ask the class note any facts that the learned from the documentaries she would play for us. After the documentary ended, we would share our facts and collate them in groups, and then share these collated facts with the rest of the class. This allowed for individual thought, groupwork and classwork. It invites the opportunity to communicate by listening and talking to peers.

The most memorable reading experience for me at primary school was when the class was split into groups, each group was given a different book to read, discuss, analyse and summarise. My group was given ‘Greyfriars Bobby’ by Eleanor Atkinson. I remember not taking an interest in this book as I found the Scottish dialect too difficult to understand and I did not push myself to read it. I understand now that the teacher was trying to challenge the group, however, this text was too advanced for our age group. I will learn from this and ensure that pupils I work with are challenged but not so much that they lose interest and therefore learning time.

I was given many writing opportunities at school. Regularly we were instructed to write short stories, redraft them and share them with our peers. This was one of my favourite lessons as it allowed for creativeness as well as testing our writing abilities and literacy skills. I will allow time for this when I teach as I believe it is the best way to allow children to express themselves and build on their skills, as well as allowing the teacher to assess their abilities.

Listening and talking, reading, and writing skills are essential for development and success in a child’s future learning experiences. Therefore, it is crucial that I, as an educator, enforce correct literacy across all lessons within the classroom.

Week 3 – Lecture Reflection

Derek’s lectures are very enjoyable as he is very enthusiastic with his work and it is clear he loves teaching others what he has learned. Tuesday’s lecture was centred around racism, patriarchy, and discrimination towards women. Racism is a very serious worldwide issue. Derek’s lecture has enlightened me to how bad racism has been in the past. Each story that was presented to us during our class shocked me. Emmet Till, a young boy, beaten to death because of the colour of his skin. Moreover, the lack of justice for Emmet was diabolical, with his killers walking free. Next, a story that stood out to me was Rosa Parks Montgomery Bus Boycott. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus. At this time, this was unheard of as white people were seen as ‘superior’ to black people. For this reason, this story really stood out to me.

I have always been aware of discrimination towards women, however, images from the lecture slides this week really shocked me. In one image, a woman is getting her swimming costume measured by a man to make sure it is ‘long enough’ and deemed decent for the public eye. This seems ridiculous to me as, nowadays, when on holiday or going to the beach, most girls wear short bikinis or swimming costumes and it is perfectly acceptable. Therefore, the extent of discrimination towards women is certainly lower, however, it is not completely eradicated.