I feel that from this placement further learning can be developed. Since my placement was in France and it involved speaking French and English I feel that my French can be further developed. This will be useful for teaching my future pupils.
I aim to address this learning by regularly testing and practising my French by myself and with the other girls who came on this placement with me.
This placement has been a huge eye opener for me. I have learned and experienced so much while being here in France.
From a professional perspective I have learned about other cultures/backgrounds in terms of ethnicity and nationality. There are a lot more ethnicities in French schools than there are visible in Scottish schools. Along with this they have their laïque principle. This principle made me see they French’s views on religious beliefs in schools. I was able to compare this to Scotland quite a lot when observing the school days.
I observed how the French teach their school curriculum. They teach A LOT of French and Mathematics, because of this they don’t teach as much of other school subjects.
This placement made me appreciate the value of learning another language. As I came to France with limited French language knowledge I quickly learnt how important it is to have a good second language in your knowledge. I had to quickly pick up the basics of the language to help me communicate within the school and around the city of Orleans. Once I got the hang of some French it was very helpful and I enjoyed speaking in the language.
In French schools they start teaching their children a second language right from age 3 (nursery age). This was a big contrast to when I was in primary school as I only started to learn a second language when I was age 10. That’s 7 less years of being taught a language compared to when the French start teaching a second language in 2018.
From my experience with learning French and teaching English to the children in France it made me feel really enthusiastic to teach a second language when I have my own class in Scotland. The reactions I got from teach English were very positive so this boosted this ambition even more. I also bought a few basic French books whilst I was here in Orleans, which I plan to use with my classes. I am really excited to share my knowledge of French with future pupils.
This placement made me think about how to teach a language right from the start where the child has no previous knowledge of this language. I took for granted learning a language and I came to realise how hard it really is to learn one. Through my teaching I discovered how to teach the basics of a language to the children. The French teach languages slightly different to how we teach in Scotland. They are focused on the listening and speaking aspect of learning a language, as they believe this is the best way to learn a language in the first instant. I came to learn that this technique is best way. Children learn through imitation so this technique is proven to work better than showing a child writing and text in the first instance. In Scotland I remember being taught a language with writing and reading as well as speaking and listening, which is too much for a child when first learning a language. One reason being is that the way to pronounce a word and be very different to how you spell it. This can be confusing for a child, therefore it is best to only get the children to speak and listen at first.
From a profession perspective I reflected on the behaviour management strategy similarities and differences between France and Scotland. I observed in France that they are a lot more hands on and in physical contact with the child when giving sanctions, which is a complete contrast to in Scotland. I was quite shocked by the hands on strategies they used, as this would not be allowed in Scotland. It made we reflect on how in Scotland we turn to other techniques from sanctions, for example the way we verbally sanction.
Personally, this placement made me become a more independent teacher, as it was sometimes hard to communicate with the teachers. I took charge of my own lessons and decided on my own what I would include in them, judging what I thought was appropriate and most beneficial for the pupils. I thought this put me in a good position and I enjoyed being responsible for my own teaching.
30th September 2017
RE: Placement Opportunities
Through my learning from life module at university, I write to enquire about the possibility of working in Orleans, France on a short placement.
I am very keen to work with and gain experience in your French school, as I am interested in how teaching English to a different mother tongue nationality would impact and improve my English knowledge and skills. I also want to experience how foreign students pick up a new language, in particular English.
As part of my university degree in Primary Education, I am sourcing a placement in a different school setting out of Scotland for 6 weeks in March to April 2018. I believe I can be a great addition to your school because of my extensive experience with working with children in schools in Scotland.
For my degree, I have undertaken a placement in the biggest primary school in Dundee. Due to my large class size I learned to importance of behaviour management and making sure each lesson was engaging and interactive for all pupils. I learnt how to organise group lessons for all capabilities to make sure all pupils were doing work that suited them but pushed them to achieve their full potential. I had a primary 4 class and we did a lot of our daily routines in French, so I got to see how a second language is first introduced to children. I taught 4 English lessons a week, which was great as I got to progress and build on language patterns and comprehension each week with the children. These experiences will be very useful for teaching English to a different nationality, as I have experienced how children are introduced to a new language and have lots of English language experience.
In addition, I spent my summer working in a nursery with children ranging from 6 months to 5 years old. This was a key experience as I taught the very basics in the early development of learning English. From understanding letters and the alphabet to reading books, working in a nursery showed me how toddlers start to learn English through reading, writing, listening and talking.
Therefore, my range of experiences equips me well for teaching English to pupils in Orleans, France and I hope you consider me for a position. I look forward to hearing back from you.
Miss Erynn Sangster
CV: Erynn Sangster
I am an enthusiastic individual who supports the idea that Primary School Pupils need an exciting classroom teacher to help them with their development of English.I am currently at Dundee University studying MA (Hons) Primary Education. I have passed and finished my first year and during it I experience 6 weeks of placement in a P4 classroom where I had full responsibility for lessons, safety and organisation. I have accumulated high teamwork, communication, patience, reliability and responsibility skills through my education, extra-curricular activities and work experience.
- Through my experience in being a dancer/choreographer I use this skill to instruct and work with other dancers effectively.
- My previous part-time jobs involved using this skill to deal with customers and to work along side other employees smoothly.
- I have great thinking skills to find solutions to problems, I used this a lot during my previous jobs if we would get customer complaints or questions.
- In my school placements and dancing I am able to come up with new ideas and to be creative to make the lessons more engaging.
- I built up my time management skills when doing lessons so I would not run over or under the allocated time. Also making sure I stick to deadlines set by the university.
- Making sure my lesson plans matched up and followed the experiences and outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence.
- I approach things in a positive way and I have enthusiasm for working with children.
- Promote positive behaviour in the classroom through praise and rewards and use sanctions for poor behaviour to encourage/remind the pupils of the rules and expectations.
Kemnay Academy August 2010 – June 2016
National 5: Business Management (A), German (A), Maths (B), English (A), Art & Design (A), Biology (B).
Higher: English (B), Art & Design (A), Biology (C), Business (A), Drama (C).
Advanced Higher: Art and Design (Expressive) (B)
University of Dundee September 2016 – 2020
MA (Hons) Education
Education modules have included, teaching across the curriculum, values, pedagogical, discovering mathematics, languages and educational studies.
Sales Floor Customer Assistant August 2014 – December 2014
Marks & Spencer
Customer Assistant February 2015 – September 2016
Communication and teamwork skills were used when working with customers.
Primary School Student Teacher March 2017 – May 2017
University Primary School Placement
During my 6 week period of working at the school I had a lot of responsibility over children to uphold while working alongside the classroom teacher. I had to plan lessons for each day and make sure I was organised with resources for each of them. I had the responsibility whilst planning lesson to make sure my l time management was correct and making sure each child was getting the help they needed, for the care and well-being of each child and supporting each individual with their needs.
Nursery Assistant June 2017 – August 2017
Wee Rascals Summers Nursery
I practised my discipline and praising skills along with experiencing very early development of reading, writing, talking and listening skills from the children. I worked alongside a couple other assistants in each room and worked with children ranging from 6 months to 5 years old.
Interests & Achievements
I do dance and lacrosse at university; these sport support teamwork and communication.
Costa Rica Outlook Expedition June 2015
A 3-week expedition to Costa Rica with a team from my school. Whilst there we were in charge of our food, travel/accommodation and money. It was up to us to get us through these 3 weeks. We had 3 phases, a turtles project, trekking and rest/relaxation. It really tested our teamwork skills and made us all more independent as individuals.
Prefect & House Captain August 2015
I was a prefect at Kemnay Academy. This involves setting examples to younger years and keeping the school grounds in order. Managing queues at lunch and break and presenting ones self as a responsible citizen. Being as House Captain made us work as a house team to earn points and be enthusiastic towards the younger years.
Dance Leadership Level 4 November 2015
Grade 5 Saxophone March 2014
Grade 5 Tap May 2016
Rock Challenge February 2015
- Teaching English to French pupils.
- Teaching English in all subjects – Mathematics, Art, Music, Physical education, Science etc.
- Learning about the French school system.
- Identifying the similarities and differences between the teaching in France and Scotland.
- Learning the French language and vocabulary through listening and observing pupils.
- Communicating with French pupils in both French and English.
- Going on school trips to the French theatres and cinemas.
- Learning how French schools deal with behaviour.
- Learning how the French structure their class lessons.
- Through experience, learn how French pupils’ pickup up English as a second language.
- Responsibility of different stages in the school.
- Learning about the culture and values of the school.
The placement that I am applying for is in a primary school Orléans, France. I will be an English language assistant in a French primary school, which will involve me teaching the French pupils how to speak English.
I chose this setting as I wanted to keep working with children in a school setting but was interested in teaching English to a totally different mother-tongue nationality and in a new cultural setting, together with the experience of the opposed classroom set up and routine.
The benefits of this placement I hope to gain are, being able to experience how to teach the very basics of English and also learn myself from it which will benefit working with young early years children back in Scotland. I hope to gain an understanding on how a different nationality picks up a new language, in particular English, as English is thought to have very difficult rule to remember and follow. I have only ever learnt in German in depth so I also hope to pick up a bit on French whilst living over there for 6 weeks, which will be a benefit when teaching in Scottish schools if I have to teach a bit of French. I will get to opportunity to be part of and experience a foreign schools way of working, including their routines, work patterns, outdoor learning and meal times. This will be an interesting comparison so what I am used to in Scotland and from that I will be able to see the advantages and disadvantages form both sides.
When I go over to Orléans I hope to bring my previous extensive experience in schools and nurseries over the past couple of years. My summer job in a nursery will be useful as I got to teach English from the very early stages of learning to write, read and talk in English. I got the opportunity to analyse how children pick up English and what activities aid them on their way. I was lucky in 1st year to get a primary 4 class, which is an advantage as they were still learning a lot of basic patterns of English; therefore I can bring my knowledge to the French school. I hope to bring my knowledge of behaviour management to the school, as I am unsure on how the behaviour in Orléans will compare to here in Scotland. I will be able to being my creative personality to the school as I think it will benefit my lessons to make them more interesting and engaging to aid the French pupils learning and memory.
- Improve French oral communication.
- Improve French written communication.
- Improve self-confidence teaching in front of a class.
- Improve interest in pupil’s lives. French pupils daily lives and hobbies.
- Improve responsibility for pupils. Schools trips.
- Improve organisational skills.
- Improve team-working skills with the teachers.
- Knowledge of the French school system.
- Knowledge in how to teach English as a second language.
- Knowledge on how to break down the English language.
- Knowledge on how to simplify sentences.
- Knowledge on the French language and vocabulary.
- Knowledge on how the French teach their subjects.
- Knowledge on how the French deal with behaviour.
- Knowledge on how much English is taught in the different stages of the school.
- Knowledge on the similarities and differences in teaching France and Scotland.
1st Year Placement – Primary 4
During this 6-week placement I got an insight into the Scottish Primary Education system. I taught group and whole class lessons covering every curricular area. I learnt the processes and stages of teaching a lesson effectively, using engaging and positive techniques. I was challenged with have a class that had three children with learning difficulties and this was a good experience for me as I learnt a lot form them. I learnt how to deal with different behaviours effectively to get the results I wanted and how to build trust between a teacher and pupil. By the end of the placement I felt I had learnt and accomplished so much. My knowledge had grown drastically and I was able to teach a class on my own and deal with all kinds of behaviour, from the start of the day right until the end. My feedback from my tutor and class teacher was all positive and they guided me in the right direction for improvements, alternative ways and next steps.
I was lucky to have a supportive school through my placement, which really helped me improve my teachings. I feel next time I teach I will have a much more vast knowledge on how teaching works and how to teach as this experience taught me so much for my first year of university.
My action plan for my next placement is to use all the knowledge i collected from this placement and build upon it to make my knowledge even deeper and greater.
During the summer after my first year of university had finished I become a nursery assistant for the summer. This was a great opportunity for me as it enabled me to carry on my knowledge from my first year placement into the nursery environment. I was responsible for children from the age of 2 to the age of 5. I got a sense of what it is like to work with the youngest children of the school system and learn what roles and duties it entails. These included; teaching, reading, preparing snack and lunch, doing creative activities, being responsible for outside play, toileting, cleaning and assessing children’s progress.
I had good experience in teaching the age 4/5 there alphabet and linking this to physical activities in the nursery room, e.g. find something beginning with E. I also had a good experience in teaching manners at meal times.
I decided form this experience that I prefer to work with older children had they have more prior understanding and knowledge which aids teaching. Whereas in the nursery it is a lot of play and less teaching. I feel I could have been more involved with the teaching aspect of the job as that is what I was studying at university. If I got this opportunity again I would ask to do more teaching along side the other assistants.