Workshop 1: Dance

  • I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and
    being part of an audience for other people’s presentations/performances.
    EXA 0-01a / EXA 1-01a / EXA 2-01a
  • I enjoy creating short dance sequences, using travel, turn, jump, gesture, pause and fall, within safe practice. EXA 1-08a
  • Inspired by a range of stimuli, I can express my ideas, thoughts and feelings through creative work in dance. EXA 0-09a / EXA 1-09a / EXA 2-09a

Using the experiences and outcomes from the expressive arts segment of the curriculum for excellence, I personally can relate to the three I have chosen. The dance workshop I attended yesterday afternoon was daunting at first as I am not a sporty person, and the idea of dancing in front of others, never mind a class, was scary. Furthermore, realizing that none of my friends were in my class was even worse. However, with a positive mindset I put all my doubts and worries aside and ended up enjoying the class completely.

If I was asked in my placement to take a dance lesson, I think after this workshop I would know where to start and have a few ideas to generate up a class lesson. I enjoyed socializing with new people, that I maybe wouldn’t have before, and becoming familiar with more faces from our huge lectures. After partnering up and realizing that everyone was on the same boat, my confidence grew and I was able to relax and enjoy the workshop. I liked how simple it was to start of with, in finding just a few ways to travel across the room, then seeing what others came up with and then thinking “why didn’t we think of that?”. Building on this, it has shown me that I do need to think outside the box more and care less on what others may think of me. The second part of the workshop when grouped with another pair was effective as the routine and the idea of dance really came to light and would be fun as a lesson for children, especially if there was steam needed to be let off. The simple way of finding a way to travel and then building on it with others, really showed that creativity can come from anywhere, and the more ideas the better, as the first idea isn’t always the best. Working with four other brains helped broaden my horizons as it highlighted that not everyone thinks the same and having other people’s ideas and inputs helped create a routine that we could perform in front of the class successfully.

Moving forward to the prospect of teaching dance in placement the three core ideas I will take from this workshop and potentially use are:

  1. Having children pair up and think of a safe and fun way to travel across the room, and to then have them show the class. After this building on the travelling and have the children create a sequence that would then formate into a dance routine.
  2. Creating an idea of a performance and show for the children, giving them something to work towards and be proud of. This would develop their interpersonal skills and working together abilities. I feel those involved would be excited and like the idea of being able to perform in front of the class. I feel this would help children who may not feel included or feel confident, have the opportunity to work with peers and have an end goal, creating a sense of achievement and have a factor of risk taking, building on their social experiences.
  3. Another idea that this workshop generated for me, is to have the children involved critique each other and peer mark each other. It would help generate ideas, giving them feedback and areas to improve before their performance as such. Using ipads if allowed to film in their rehearsals and then watch it back in their group to see where improvements or new ideas could be added. I feel this would help the pupils understand that not everything is perfect first time and that work and effort needs to go in to get the outcome they would like. This would help those involved to share ideas on the positives and negatives of their routine, building on what they have and using it to go forward.

Rounding up, I feel as the workshop progressed, my confidence grew not only in the class, but also in the idea that I could develop a lesson plan on dance if I needed to during my placement. After looking through the PowerPoint and using the expressive arts outcomes I have an understanding what is expected of me as a teacher to help generate an effective lesson for the pupils in my care, building on their experiences and understanding on what they think of dance and how it can be used.
Lastly, I feel using a youtube video at the beginning of the day would indeed help children come in and get ready quickly, as they would be curious as to what is planned for the day, and how relevant videos can help them with their learning and what is planned for their school day. However, as a side note it would be useful to load the video so that no advertisements are viewed by the children, and ensuring content is appropriate for them to view.

Working Together- Peer feedback

Peer feedback sheet: Monday 19th November 2018

1- I like this about you as a person… reply: “You are very kind and helpful. If ever in doubt you are always there to help. Always smiling. One of the core members of the group.”

2- I like working with you because… reply: “You know what you are doing and have a good understanding to help people”

3- I listen to you because… reply: “You have good ideas and plans for our project”

4- I wish you would do this more in our group… reply: “You have really good leadership skills but sometimes others need to pull their weight and you take on a lot, chill yourself out gurl

5- I wish you would do this less in our group… reply: “I wish you would stress less as you are a great contributor and very caring x”

6- Your contribution is helpful when…  reply: “You take a leadership role! Was so helpful when you phoned the agency and arranged the taxis, and arranged our meetings!”

7- The group needs your skill in this aspect of our work… reply: “Your leadership role has shined in this group and you always keep people on track”

8- This is the nice thing I want to say to you… reply: “You are a very organised and professional person who always listens to others and if you like someones point you acknowledge it.”


I found this task effective as it gave me more confidence in my role within the group, it made me feel valued, respected and liked. Before this task I was unsure of what my role was in the group and if I was too bossy or too overbearing. This feedback gave me reassurance and has given me some points to work on such as taking a step back, and not putting so much stress on myself. I enjoyed working with a group of people who at the start I did not know, but have in turn through time developed a professional working relationship with them and friendships. This has built my confidence and has helped me realise that not everyone is against me.

Working Together Visit 29.10.18 (rough summary)

Baldragon Academy- Dundee

Welcomed by Yvonne and Elaine, very busy, a lot of staff absences, including a depute head teacher. Very busy school, everyone is mucking in and getting the job done. No matter of specific job titles or roles, if a job needs to be done, it gets sorted and done then and there. Both Yvonne and Elaine have been there for 14 & 15 years respectively. Lots of experience between them, no plans or wishes to be elsewhere in another job, both would miss it. Previously social work and CLD backgrounds, but fancied a change of job and different working hours. Mainly term time/school time. Gregor does all year round to help the children, examples being outdoor play, organising days out and general outdoor activities. He helps link up with communities.

Currently, have a student helping out, the student has built up her experience, alongside her responsibilities, often does outdoor education activities too.

Pupil support in ‘toast room’, deal with anything and everything. children can pop in and out. Some children not in mainstream education. Children who do well in class (children who may have struggled at the beginning of term paying attention, concentration difficulties or even holding a pencil) are recognised in their progress and can get rewards, e.g xbox, games, wii. Working hard gets rewarded, reward periods in school. Children are referred to by guidance teachers, a meeting is held, works in conjunction with the guidance team. For a child, they can receive support from 6 weeks up to a term. They can be referred for anything, little or small. They help meet the needs of the school, toast room is busy.  Taken a few years to get to the way it is, old barriers have been chipped down. Teachers are aware of the work they do, they are often invited down, new teachers are encouraged to see the work the pupil support team do, helps with stereotypes and stigma. Helps build use of Elaine, Yvonne and Gregor.

‘Toast Room’, as children get toast, due to the number of children in the school who were not having breakfast. Was a gradual build-up to the ‘toast room’. Ladies are often referred to as the ‘toast wifeys’, and have served over half a million slices of toast. They have a huge sense of pride in what they have helped achieve. Only have £500 budget for the whole year. Fundraising is fundamental in what they need to achieve to help the children. Sponsorship from Yvonne and Elaine’s dads, they play off each other and see it as if he’s doing it then I’m doing it for the term after. Every Friday they have no toast club, but instead cook bacon rolls to sell for £1.50 for all staff members, highly popular and successful. They have a positive working relationship with teachers. Seen improvements in concentration, rapour with teachers. There is no, them/us problem, the school is seen as one big team, all on the same page. It works well for everyone.

Partnerships work well, princes trust mentioned. A lot of effort and work has gone into it, has evolved through the years. Everyone can knock on each other’s doors. Parents lounge, can teach basic skills for parents such as cooking, reading, writing. in the past, Yvonne has taken children to the dentist or doctors, due to parents being unable or too scared to take the child involved. If she hadn’t done it, then nobody would have. Children’s needs are being met. Washed hair in the sink. Spare clothes and washing machine on hand. KeyCo has 32 vulnerable kids, if the school had that, they would struggle. It’s about building relationships and making yourself available. Very positive school support, great communication with kids, asking how they are, keeping up the conversation, being interested. The kids don’t care about your qualification, it’s about being you and not your job title, they want to speak to you. If they want to speak to you, they will. It is about being approachable.

You want what is best for the child, and what makes life easier for the child. Yvonne and Elaine are one of the only schools in Dundee to have their original pupil support workers. Done a presentation to a board of education members, and was such a success that all pupil support workers in schools were offered permanent jobs. Pupil support is open to every child in the school, they are approachable and well known in the school, well publicised and welcoming in the school building. All in one corridor.

Enhanced Transition: primary into secondary. helps flag up children that may need some TLC and encouragement and would benefit from their help. Takes the pressure off of guidance teachers. Gives children the opportunity to have a flavour of classes. Early Transition programme. Also on a seperate note, some children who are not in mainstream education have their own classes and teacher, after time they are gradually introduced into mainstream classes.

Challenges: depends on other partners, is the only way forward. Expectations. ‘not my job’ stigma. staff turnover and absences can affect children involved. Children matter, the child trumps everything. if you don’t get on with someone you just get on with it and focus on the child and the job involved. Different personalities. Looking at what Baldragon can provide. Technology- nothing works better than communicating face to face, the job gets done quicker. Always go with the solution. Parents phoned up due to not liking the name of the group, this was taken on board and name was changed. parents use social media nowadays and google things, sometimes get the wrong impression. Word gets around quickly.

GIRFEC- Child protection, buddies (support), working with children in different ways. No limits of age and stage have to be in the school to receive the support. Not means tested.

Monday – 1st years. Tuesday- 2nd Years… (toast) its there for everyone who needs it, even staff. Staff always popping in, the presence of not just pupil support using the area, like a community. No one is singled out. There are some expectations for the kids e.g- no swearing. Pupil support is like a layer in between, often have a voice for young people. Defusing situations. Looking at children’s circumstances, putting yourself in their shoes.


Derek says: Reflect

Thinking back on the lecture we just had, I feel it was honest and raw. I was engrossed the whole time and hanging on every word. It really took me back to Higher History, which I loved, but the lecture was so much more in depth and uncensored, looking at things in a sociological way, which really did capture my attention from the get go.

The different aspects of coffee really helped me understand the different layers and depths of what sociology can be, with it taking my own interpretation and looking at things in a different aspect. Four main points I learnt from the text (with the coffee reference) and with the lecture include:

  • Coffee is a key piece and often a necessity in peoples morning routines, and often lunchtimes too
  • It is a socially acceptable drug
  • Coffee can link the rich with the poor, as it is a valuable trade (connecting globally)
  • Over time, it has become branded and politicalised.

Even though the example given was coffee, I feel anything can really be substituted in, and after the lecture I was thinking more and more of social media and the way it has adapted and grown in our society. Could we really live without it now?

During the lecture, learning more of Emmet Till, I was engrossed as to why society back then thought the way they did, along with lynching. As I have always thought of everyone as equal, I am shocked to have been enlightened more as to how back in the day people were so horrible, and I can not think of what life would be like now if this to were happen. I would like to think there would be a fair trial and that times have indeed improved for the better for African Americans. I find it interesting the juxtaposition of how back then, African Americans were separated from white people, but the popularity of music from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald.

I feel, if I was alive during and after World War Two, that I myself, would be a suffragette. I find woman fighting to get the vote, and winning, is such an interesting and fascinating subject, as it was the women before us who done this. If there is a chance to vote nowadays, I make sure my the women around me use it, even if they do not know who to vote for, using the vote is better than not, as women in the past fought and died for it. The UK as a country has come such a long way from the sexualised, degrading advertising. The lecture this showed how far our country has come, as if this was publicised now, there would be an out cry. I found the lecture empowering because as time goes on women are becoming more equal to men, whether it be in sport or politics, we have more and more of a say. Society is changing as even though coffee shops may be on every corner, the women in our society are gradually becoming less known as ‘someones wife’.

I feel as a future teacher, it is important to encourage children to follow their own paths even if it isn’t the social norm. Everyone is unique and this should be celebrated. Children should be reminded that everyone is equal, no matter the colour of their skin, the background they come from, the clothes they wear, or who has the latest game and who doesn’t. I feel this should be important within the classroom as they are the future social societies.


four envelopes… one lesson.

Within our first values workshop, we were divided up into four equal groups. Each group was then handed out the same looking envelope, but what was unknown to us at the time was that each same looking envelope had different contents…… but why?

The task was to create something that would be handy for a new student to use when starting the university. In each group, each envelope had different usable materials in it. In my group, this consisted of: one single sheet of A4 paper, two post-it notes, two elastic bands, a pen, a pencil and four paper clips. In our group we thought what could we make that would be useful? Scratching our heads and brainstorming, we came up with the idea of an information leaflet, which consisted of folding the piece of paper in half. At this point our brainstorming session was over, as we were only given ten minutes to then present to the rest of the class our idea and pitch it. At this point, we realised that everyone has different materials, which indeed did confuse our group, as we had the smallest and plain amount. After listening, and taking on board other groups ideas, we revamped ours slightly but went ahead with our main idea, and with the next 10-15 minutes given, we did indeed create our lovely leaflet. At this point however, we were informed that our presentation and ideas, along with our final product, we would receive points and that there was potential to win a prize. This upped our game even more. We then with the time left, planned our presentation and finished our leaflet which included a map of campus, social media outlets, important emails and student information, along with a basic timetable.

When presenting, we were all confident and took pride in what we had achieved and made. Our group done well (I thought) with the resources that were given however, we were given a 2 out of 10. How soul destroying. We found that the better the groups resources were, even if their ideas weren’t the greatest, they were scoring better than us and were getting lots more praise and support from our main advisor. The group with the most resources won, as it was bright, attractive and colourful which really captured everyone’s attention.

What I personally took from the lesson is that, as a future primary teacher, I need to respect everyone no matter where they come from, what they might have or not have or what background they come from, everyone should be treated with the same respect and fairness. It is important to include everyone in a lesson and give praise when it is needed as it can help encourage children to keep going and to develop and succeed further. I think it is important to remember that everyone is their own individual with different circumstances, and that no matter where you come from in society that we should all be given an equal chance in life, but as this workshop proved, is that it is more likely that someone from a well off background is more likely to succeed and do well in life, unlike someone who is from a deprived background who may not have as much, which may lead to them not reaching their full potential and having the chance to reach for the dreams they wish to achieve. I hope that when I qualify as a teacher, I will inspire and help the children that I teach, no matter their background, to reach for the stars and follow their dreams.

Unit 1: Personal and Interpersonal Skills and Abilities

Activities for unit 1 Personal and Interpersonal Skills and Abilities

  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 I feel I will use self-confidence as I will be teaching in front of a class daily and have at least 25 pairs of eyes on me. I will need to have confidence in my lesson planning and have the confidence to carry out my lesson clearly as the children involved will be listening intently to instructions that I give them.
Self-discipline As I am 23, I feel I have good self-discipline. In the past I have had good time keeping skills; from attending college and placements on time and completing tasks and assessments on time too. I have had the same job since I was 17, and being a waitress, you need to turn up on time, be presentable and work hard, which is something valuable I feel I can transfer into my teaching.
Team Work I feel teamwork is important, as everyone will have their own ideas and opinions. I feel it is important to take each and everyone on board and work in a way which is effective. I feel it is important to listen to others in a group so that everyone has their own input and can work in a positive way with a successful outcome for all.
Act as a Leader Acting as a leader, I feel is an important skill as when teaching in the classroom it is important for the children to know who is in charge, and who to go to if any problems arise. I feel as a leader, rules should be set, and followed in the classroom as children are there to learn and succeed.
Listen to others Listening is a key skill for every walk of life. It is important to listen as often people carry information which can be used. People can also convey how they are feeling, indicating thought and how you may be able to help. Listening is a way of learning and developing.
Write for academic purposes I feel within my time at university I will be writing for academic purposes whether this be through assessments, essays and exams. I feel this gives me a chance to reflect on my learning and look at how far I have come since the start of the course. Using my eportfolio on glow will help my writing for academic purposes also.
Computing Skills I will use computing skills throughout my time teaching whether this be taking an IT lesson or using the computer as a smart board for the children in my class to learn from. I will be using my computing skills to plan my lessons and make worksheets and powerpoints.
Be Creative I feel I am a creative person, as I love colours and I feel I will have a bright and fun classroom in which children will like and learn from. I feel my lessons will also reflect this taking on board the different learning skills children have whether this be hands on learning, playing games, or textbook learning.
Problem solving I feel I slightly need to improve my problem solving skills slightly, as I sometimes get worried, however it is important to have a back-up plan, and if a lesson doesn’t go to plan I can look back and reflect on it and see where I could improve and what could have been better, not only for myself but for the pupils learning.


Recognition Reflection Action
Skills to be developed How I will develop these How do I know (evidence) **
Act as a leader I feel becoming more strict will help me act as a leader and not letting children be cheeky. I feel it is important for them to know that I am in control and that if they do break the rules there will be consequences such as time being taken off them for golden time.
Organise and plan I feel this will be a further skill to build by looking at planning my lesson and preparing for different scenarios. I will need to make sure I have the resources that I need and that they are on hand when the lesson is to be carried out. I feel that you can never be too organised as it depends what time your lesson is planned at, and what time of day it is for the children as their attention varies throughout the school day.
Debate formally and informally I will further develop this skill by conversations I may have with others in my university class, but also in discussions in seminars and online.
Build social networks I feel building social networks will be through my class friends at university, but also creating and building working relationships with teachers that I meet on placements.
Think critically I will think critically by making sure my lessons and activities when planning them, are age and stage appropriate for the children involved meeting their developmental needs.
Generate new ideas I feel I will generate new ideas from researching online and looking at lessons to see where I could add something or put my own twist on it. I feel brainstorming with other teachers will help generate new ideas.

** This section should be completed as you identify when/where/how you have used/developed these skills.


Oh! To be a Teacher…

Why would I like to be a teacher? I would love to become a teacher to change and inspire young lives, no matter the age and stage of development. When I was in Primary 5 and Primary 7 myself, I had a teacher who I looked up to, who I knew I could trust and was approachable whenever needed within the classroom. I remember being very shy, and I remember being brought out of my shell and having confidence shone into me. Thus, ever since, giving me the inspiration and drive to become a teacher myself.  With lots of questions, I asked my teacher endless amounts and at no point was she impatient or unwilling. She listened to me, and helped me develop my own knowledge and skills which I’m sure will help me still, when I become a teacher myself. She was one of the first people to tell me that no questions can be considered as ‘silly’, and that someone else in the classroom might well be thinking the same as me.

I feel with my teaching degree, I can also give children the confidence and guidance that they need to reach and become their full potential that was once given to me. I feel that everyday in the classroom would be different, and that each day would bring a new opportunity to encourage, and inspire children to be the best they can be. Children are young and vulnerable and I feel that when in a safe and positive environment, such as the classroom, they can strive to reach their goals with the support they need. I think it is important to remember that each child is their own individual who, in turn, has their on unique experiences and background, which means each child will have different needs. This in turn, makes me excited and looking forward to creating, developing and carrying out lessons to cater to the classrooms different needs. I feel that as a person, I am creative and I look forward to having my creative streak and love of colours inputed within my lessons and throughout my classroom, which I hope creates a fun learning environment for everyone.

Aged 23, I feel now is the right time to embark on this new adventure and journey (plus it being third time lucky getting on this course), with the goal of having my own classroom to enrich and inspire future generations to become the best they can be and that if they put their mind to something, have a goal, and work hard that they can achieve and become anything they would like in their wildest dreams. Whilst at college and on placements, I witnessed children grow and build their confidence, and when conquering a task the satisfaction and glee on their faces. No matter the age and stage of children, at each development stage they are at, they need a positive and enthusiastic teacher, and I do believe that I can be the one to guide, help and encourage them to become the most optimal person they can be. I am determined and driven to be the best teacher I can possibly be, to help motivate and fuel children’s desire to reach for the stars.




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.