Session 11 – 6/12/11

Todays lecture was focussed on using alternative approaches to art education. Specifically concentrating on Room 13 which is an art studio in a school where children are permitted to lead their own learning and let their imagination run free while creating their artwork with a teacher there only for assistance when needed. We were shown a video explaining what Room 13 is and hearing the pupils opinions on the initiative and how it had benefitted them. This was very insightful as it showed the positive impact that allowing children to be creative has on them.


In todays art class we were continuing to consider room 13. Again, we discussed the benefits this project has on children such as increased independence and confidence in their ability to produce art. We were shown various pieces of work that has came from room 13 and analysed them thinking about the inspiration behind them etc.

I think that the room 13 project is very beneficial and something I will continue to consider.



Today we were introduced to the use of figure notes. This is when sheet music with musical notes is replaced by colours and shapes representing a note. Using this resulted in it being far easier to play a musical piece as the barrier of being able to read the music notes was removed. This showed how music can be taught in a simpler form for those who would struggle reading sheet music and provides quicker results for them and increasing their confidence with their ability to play music.

We had the opportunity to use figure notes for ourselves by playing tunes such as jingle bells and twinkle twinkle on the keyboard, glockenspiel and guitar.

I think figure notes is very useful and I will definitely use it throughout my career.

Session 10 – 29/11/16

Today we had inputs of Music and Drama.


Today we were learning the basics of how to play the ukelele.


We learned the main 4 chords to play on a ukelele which was useful as this is what most songs are made up of which is highlighted by the song ‘4 Chords’ by the Axis of Awesome. This was a really fun lesson as we had the chance to practice the basic skills we had picked up by playing along to the song ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham. It was very useful as the ukelele is becoming a popular instrument within primary schools and something we will most likely encounter throughout our careers.



Today we continued with the other half of the class’s micro teaching of their particular children’s book.


This week it was my groups turn to deliver the lesson. The book we chose to use was ‘A squash and a squeeze’.


We read this story to the class and used the drama conventions role in the wall and thought tunnel. This was good to gain the experience of how to deliver a drama lesson and understand what would go well and what would require improvement. It was helpful in increasing my confidence in teaching drama.

Session 9 – 15/11/16

Today we had inputs on Art and Music.


In todays class we were introduced to the painting entitled ‘Windows in the West’ by Avril Paton. Considering this piece of artwork we were prompted to develop our analytical thinking into the story behind it. See below the video describing the painting in fuller detail:

We were given a copy of this painting and bits of polystyrene and told to choose a segment of the painting to draw ourselves. Once completing this we covered the polystyrene in green paint and printed it onto a piece of red paper. This was useful as it showed a different activity to do with children and one that will encourage them to remember famous pieces of art work by creating their own representation of the piece.



Today we were exploring the musical online resource ‘Charanga’ –

This is an amazing resource as it is full of fun ways to teach music. We were looking at all of the sites different features and trying out the various activities. This was very beneficial as it gave us inspiration on what we could use with our own classes in the future and something i will definitely use more of in the next few years.

Session 8 – 8/11/16

Today there was no lecture so we went straight to our inputs of drama and music.


Today half of the class, in groups, delivered a drama lesson. Each group had chosen a different children’s story to teach drama from. The groups would read the story or give a brief summary of it and then go on to getting us to participate in many different drama conventions such as thought tunnels or role in the wall


This was a useful task as it allowed us to reflect on what went well and what could be improved on each of the groups lessons. It was good to see the different approach each group took also. Being in the situation of the pupil being taught it allowed me to understand how the pupil would think and feel which was also very beneficial.


Today we were in the mac lab of the university using ‘Garage Band’. This software allowed us to create our own pieces adding in different instruments and beats. We could adjust the timing, pitch etc to create our own unique tracks. This is useful as it would allow children to express their creativity and find enjoyment through creating their own track and experiment by adding different sounds together and hearing how they can fit together, be in time and be altered.


This is a great tool to use as the use of technology is rapidly increasing and this gives way for it to be incorporated into the classroom. The children would find it relevant and would create a more effective learning experience for them. It is a great way to integrate ICT and music.

We then had a plenary focussing on the Sue Hallam article ‘The power of music’. We reflected on our thoughts and created mind maps which we then presented to the class.


Session 7 – 1/11/16

In todays lecture we were focussing on why music matters. Through this we were encouraged to consider our own musical experiences, how we can participate with music, how we discover music, our musical awareness and the power of music. All of these things have strong links in the curriculum relating to the experiences and outcomes. It was good to think about these things and reflect on how music is a powerful thing in each of our lives. This would be important for children to consider to realise why music matters and allow them to be more interested in it as a subject and become fully engaged.


Today we were fortunate to have children from the Greenmill Primary School string project visiting us. The children displayed their talent by playing us one of their musical pieces. They then went on to show us some of the musical games they often play. We then had the chance to sit with some of the pupils as they taught us about their musical instruments. The pupil i was with played the violin, she described to me what the different parts of the violin were called and what there purpose was, she showed me how to correctly hold the violin and gave me the opportunity to give it a go myself.

Being taught by the children was good as it gave us the opportunity to see how much they have learned and how passionate they are about music. It was amazing to see how being part of the orchestra had brought to many benefits to these children due to being part of a team they were all very polite, well behaved and friendly and truly did show the impact music can have.

It was insightful to see this type of thing happening in schools and show us what we could help to initiate in our own schools in the future.


Today we continued on with the story of the dragon focussing on hot seating and improvisation considering how these conventions would would in the classroom.

Our lecturer then read us the first part of the story entitled ‘The Tunnel’. From this we participated in one of the drama conventions ‘role on the wall’ whereby you draw a character from the story. On the inside of the character you write the feelings that they would have and on the outside, the feelings you would have. We then heard the rest of the story and reflected on our previous feelings which had completely changed.


We then split into groups and chose a scene from the story to portray through narration. This was useful as it showed the different ways to teach drama through the one book.

Session 6 – 25/10/16

Today our lecture was on how creative partnerships can work to improve the delivery of the arts in education. We were looking at different projects that have been ran in schools with other partnerships and how beneficial they can be, particularly a parkour project. This was good to see the type of projects which can occur and how to get involved with them in the future. Our inputs were Music and Dance.


In todays Dance class we continued to practice our dance routine and considered what we needed to do to make it look better and how to improve on it. It was quite difficult to remember the order of all the steps which I’m sure children would see as a challenge but still find enjoyable. We then videoed the final routine. From doing this we were able to watch the performance and evaluate it. This was very beneficial as when seeing how the routine actually looked we were then able to truly identify what could be done to allow us to properly improve. I think this would be useful to do with a class as the children would love to se themselves and how the finished routine looked.

I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and being part of an audience for other peoples presentations/performances. – EXA 0-01a / EXA 1-01a / EXA 2-01a

In order to effectively evaluate ourselves and our peers we were given an evaluation sheet highlighting various aspects to consider such as rhythm, timing, energy, memory etc. We gave ourselves and one of our peers 2 stars and 1 wish. This is good as it encourages children to give constructive criticism and also encourage their peers by highlighting what they do well.

I can analyse technical aspects of dance, make informed judgements and express personal opinions on my own and others work. EXA 4-11a

It was very satisfying going through the process of creating our own dance moves, putting them together in a routine and watching it back and i think it is definitely something children would enjoy.


We finished off the session by having some fun doing social dancing and being shown how to make it more relevant and enjoyable for children by dancing to current songs rather than the traditional Scottish style musical pieces.


This weeks music input was focussed on pulse and rhythm. We began to learn how to read sheet music and discussed the names of different music notes and what they mean. We participated in an activity whereby we used shapes to represent different musical notes therefore making it easier to understand. We used drum sticks / beaters to keep the rhythm, this was a useful activity as it allowed us to understand rhythm at a very basic level and begin to get the hang of it.

We then had the opportunity to transfer the basic skills we had learnt onto the instruments. Using xylophones we were to form a piece for 32 beats using the notes C, D, E, G and A to the backing track ‘hit the road jack’ which was played on the piano. We went round the class and individually played our own 32 beats. This was beneficial as it showed how easy it is to create your own piece of music when your musical ability is limited, this would be great to do with children as it would boost their self confidence with music.

“I can use my voice, musical instruments and music technology to discover and enjoy playing with sound, rhythm, pitch and dynamics.” EXA 1-17a

Session 5 – 18/10/16

In todays lecture we were lucky enough to have guest speaker Isobel Laird from South Lanarkshire council who spoke about teaching the primary art & design curriculum. Isobel discussed her own experiences with teaching Art in primary schools and showed us various pieces of art from pupils. Our inputs today were Art and Drama.


Our art input today was led by guest speaker Isobel Laird. She took us through various different stages of producing a piece of artwork. Firstly, we were given the task of drawing a washing line with pieces of clothing without lifting our pen from the paper. This activity is engaging from the outset as it straight away poses a challenge and as a student teacher I can clearly see how pupils would enjoy this.

We then used watercolour to give colour to the clothes we had drawn on the washing line before cutting it out.

On separate piece of paper we painted a brick wall and were given the freedom to create the bricks to look whatever way we wanted them too.


Lastly, we used watercolours again to paint a sunset for the background of our picture, once this had dried we ripped this piece of paper in strips in order to stick them back down in a different order to give a wave like effect and put our brick wall with our washing line on top. Each piece of work had originality which was great.


This was an extremely beneficial lesson as it filled me with ideas on how to make a lesson interesting. Instead of simply painting a picture straight onto one piece of paper there are various ways to make it more unique and enjoyable.


In todays drama input we were progressing from the prior session by looking more in depth at drama in the curriculum and the dramatic conventions.

We also covered improvisation coming up with our own drama skits continuing on from a story about a man who was returning to his hometown from jail. This showed how pupils can have the freedom to be imaginative and come up with their own ideas to continue a story.

Session 4 – 11/10/16

Today our lecture was focussing on using stimulus as inspiration for creation-child centred approach. We had Art and Dance inputs.



In todays art input we were painting with primary colours using unconventional paintbrushes. At first, I thought that painting using paintbrushes that weren’t the type I was used to would not turn out well. However, i could clearly see the benefit of doing this with a class of children as everyones brush was different which meant that it was understandable when each piece of work looked a different way. This would result in children not feeling under as much pressure to produce a piece of work that they felt was as good as their peers. It teaches children that they can paint with anything, if they do not have a traditional paintbrush they can make one out of materials they do have. It also made the lesson more unique and interesting which promoted enjoyment.

Using only the primary colours yellow, blue and red was also beneficial as it meant that you were forced to create your own colours by mixing them together which encourages creativity.


Our lecturer read us a story detailing a scene with various different attributes. We then interpreted this story into our own painting. This was a very good method as each painting was different by each individual imagining the scene differently. It means that each piece of work is on the same topic yet has its own individual creative touch.



Today in our dance input we were progressing from our work last week. Each group presented the dance moves they came up with relating to the different halloween themed pictures and they were then all put together to form a part of the dance routine. We also put together our group routines that were formed from the 10 skills of dance and added on new moves. These new moves were made up as we were given a list of dance terms which we had to guess the meaning of. This was good as we weren’t confined to doing the proper dance moves and were allowed to be create and make up our own versions of what we thought they were. All of this was put together into a class routine to the song ‘Ghostbusters’. This highlighted how the pupils can be the ones to come up with the routine instead of the teacher which would make the experience more enjoyable for them as they would feel more control and creativity.

“One of the most powerful experiences dance educators can offer is the opportunity to create a dance that reflects their ideas.” (Cone, 2009).

Session 3 – 4/10/16

In todays lecture we were learning about Interdisciplinary learning – dance in the context of topics. This was beneficial as it showed how dance can be integrated. We thought about what creative dance is, what the role of the teacher is in regards to create dance and why we should embrace it and most importantly what it should be for the children. We had inputs of dance and drama.


This week we expanded on ideas from the previous session. We started by doing warm up games, each group came up with their own games and taught it to the rest of the class to play, this was good as it gave an insight into what it would be like to teach the games and provided an opportunity to reflect on what went well and how to improve in the future.

Continuing on from the 10 skills of dance each skill was given a number, we were then given sums using these numbers with the answers representing a different skill/dance move which could be put together to create a routine. This showed how you can incorporate numeracy into dance.

Due to the time of year with it being halloween, each group was given a different picture in relation to this e.g. spiders, witches, zombies etc. We had to come up with a dance move to represent the picture. This showed how you can link dance sessions to relevant topics and would really engage children.


This week was our first input of drama, to begin we discussed what drama is and looked at the experiences and outcomes for it.

“Through drama, learners have rich opportunities to be creative and to experience inspiration and enjoyment.” (LTS, 2009).

At this point I would not feel comfortable teaching drama as I would not know how to. We were shown that there are many different drama conventions such as hot seating, teacher in role, thought tunnels, still images etc. It is important that drama is not all about script reading & simply only being taught by school plays, nativity’s etc as this limits pupils imagination and creativity.

“Drama is the act of crossing into world of story… storying provides students with a natural human process for finding essential meanings in the experiences of themselves and others.” (Booth, 1995).

Our lecturer explained and demonstrated the convention of teacher in role through a story about a dragon which gave us the opportunity to brainstorm and narrate the story. It showed how various themes can be addressed through drama, in particular this story of the dragon highlighted loneliness and isolation.

This is important as it can put these themes in a different context and address them alternatively. As a student teacher it was very useful to experience this convention in action to see how it would work. Again, it was enjoyable and beneficial to be on the pupils side of the situation and I already feel slightly more confidence with teaching drama.


LTS (2009) Expressive arts: Experiences and outcomes. Available at: (Accessed: 4th October 2016).

Session 2 – 27/9/16

Today was our second session of Integrated arts on Education where we had inputs of Art and Dance. In our lecture we were introduced to the 10 skills required to enable a successful dance session which I will expand on later in the blog.


In todays art class we were print making with black ink using our hands. We covered our hands in the ink and pressed onto blank paper to then try and create something out of what we could see from the ink, this activity was extremely engaging as it allowed us to stretch our imagination and each piece of work was unique. We expanded on this by printing using objects such as lego bricks etc.

Then, we studied the story of ‘The Dot’ by Peter H. Reynolds. This emphasised the point that many people will doubt their ability to produce art, but it teaches that any mark you make is artwork which you can then improve on. I think this is an important lesson to teach as it encourages self belief and the confidence to produce art.




Firstly, we were shown different ice breaker games to play to get to know the names of pupils in your class etc while incorporating dance, this was beneficial as a student teacher to learn ways on how to get to know your class. We were given lots of ideas of games to play linking to particular topics and giving the pupils the freedom to dance however they would like.

We also thought about different parts of the body and how to stretch properly as it is important to stretch before exercising, this showed how simple it is to encourage pupils to stretch fully.


We then looked further into what was introduced at our morning lecture – the 10 skills required to enable a successful dance session. These are kick, roll, jump, reach, hop, twist, balance, gesture, turn and slide. By putting these skills together it showed just how easy it can be to put a dance routine together. In groups we came up with our own moves for these skills and put them together to form a routine. By being in the pupils side of the situation this input was very insightful and enjoyable.
At the beginning of the input we were asked how we would feel teaching a dance session, I said I would be unsure of what to do and would not be confident with it, however after just this one input I already feel full of ideas and more at ease therefore I look forward to expanding on this over the next few weeks.

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