Kate Sanderson UWS Blog

February 22, 2020
by Kathryn Sanderson

Final Serial Day

Another busy day for P3, their first task was to create a set of questions or a quiz for a friend to check their understanding of their own story book, using questioning openers. Then it was imaginative writing where they had to create a story with an interesting setting.  The teacher went over the importance of adjectives and what they are used for.  Their story had to be about being transported from the classroom to Ancient Egypt, and the pupils came up with descriptive, exciting journeys that involved mummies, crypts and pyramids!  Great imagination used here.

The maths input today was time related, and I assisted a small group of children learning their quarter and half past times.

As it was ‘Safer Internet Day’, an activity that led a discussion on what things the pupils like to do online ensued.  The pupils talked about the various fun aspects of being online, but also were reminded of the importance of not disclosing any personal information online, and they were given a task to create their own online ‘safe’ profile.

I’m looking forward now to my 3 week block placement.

February 15, 2020
by Kathryn Sanderson

Placement Day 4

Day 4 already! Today was a busy day for P3, as well as their usual Literacy and Mathematics and Numeracy classes, they had to take part in the ‘Big Bird Watch’ for the RSPB. This is part of the ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ strategy.  We all got wrapped up to go outside as there was snow lying on the ground, and the children had charts supplied by the RSPB that they had to identify the birds they saw from and mark how many down.  We talked about the different ways we could identify the birds: by sounds, colour, size, beaks, what they were eating.  We saw crows, blue tits, robins, magpies and seagulls. Although it was very cold the children really enjoyed this experience; this enhanced their social skills and taught them that they are making a valuable contribution to protecting wildlife in their area.

February 11, 2020
by Kathryn Sanderson

Situated Communication Workshops

Today in situated communication, we were learning more about how to use Glow and shown how to upload audio files and videos to our blogs. We also had a workshop in the performance studio where we got to practice our storytelling to group of peers, and they then gave us feedback.  It was nerve-wracking as I felt very conscious  of my body language and voice when I was standing up in front of my classmates but they were very supportive and I got really nice feedback along with potential opportunities to make the story better. I was so glad once I’d done it, and felt a real sense of achievement. I only have to emulate that in the actual assignment now!

Finally we took part in a role-play workshop where we had to act out certain scenarios given and reflect on how we would do them in the classroom if confronted with them.  This ended with a question and answer session on aspects of placement that have arisen that we wanted advice or feedback on, which was very valuable.

February 8, 2020
by Kathryn Sanderson

3rd Placement Day

I am thoroughly enjoying the placement serial days, I can’t believe it’s week 3 already.  As my class were undertaking Standardised Testing, I was able to spend some time in a P1 class this week.  In Literacy, they had chosen to talk about a time when they were happy, and had to write a sentence about this and why it made them happy.  The teacher made a word bank out of words the children suggested, and they had to do a black ink drawing to accompany it.  I was impressed by some of the sentences that were produced, and learnt how, at early level, to assist them with their spelling by letting them ‘have a go’ at spelling difficult words, then writing the correct spelling out underneath for them to copy.

When I returned to the P3 class, I was able to help a group with Maths.  The topic was money, and they had to work out how much change they would receive when given an item to buy and an amount of money to buy it with.  Resources we used were whiteboards, and plastic money.  It was interesting to see how different children engaged with the resources as some did a calculation on their white boards whilst for others it worked better to see the coins, and draw them out as the answer.  Then it was outdoors for muddy movers where they had to construct a bridge in groups and go over them. The children enjoyed this, and I saw great teamwork as they figured out the best strategies for using the equipment available.

January 26, 2020
by Kathryn Sanderson

First Placement Day

On my first day of placement, I was put into a P3 class with varying levels of ability.  The helpful class teacher and I reviewed the documentation I need to complete and established a plan to enable me to complete the tasks whilst observing, learning and taking part in lessons when appropriate.  In the numeracy lesson, it was good to see what we have been learning at University put into practice, and today it was word problem solving which was a coincidence as we only had a lecture on this this week.  It really helped me seeing what strategies she was using so that all the children understood using ‘our skills’.  The children were asked to create their own word problems for their peers to complete at the next lesson.  In Literacy, the lesson was on poetry writing and the teacher reinforced previous learning in terms of structure, theme of the poem and the features the children should use.  The class wrote some wonderful poems with great use of alliteration and similes and rhyming.  The class were taken outside for ‘muddy movers’ which involved construction of something they had to go over, go under and balance on with the crates and wooden planks available.  Great team building took place with a lot of chatter and exchanging of ideas, there were also lots of muddy knees and hands by the end too! I’m really looking forward to returning next week.

January 24, 2020
by Kathryn Sanderson

Situated Communication Independent Study/Reading Task

This is a post-session task given after an input on Communicating in Schools, where we were asked to write a post reviewing the chapter of a book we were asked to read entitled “Finding out about others: the skill of questioning” (Hargie, 2011)

The main aim of the chapter is to inform about the diverse range of questioning techniques that are available, and how the answers can vary greatly depending on the mode of questioning method used.  This can be used to influence an individual’s opinions and responses to questions.  The key themes of the chapter are: communicative behaviours, communication in questioning and goals associated with this, getting what information is required, or not required, from questioning.

An interesting claim made was that of, when you want someone to respond in a particular way (subtle leads), by using carefully chosen wording, the example given “How tall was the basketball player?” the respondent guessed 79 inches. When asked “How short was the basketball player?” respondent guessed 69m inches (Harris, 1973). This would qualify the statement that say that if you want someone to answer a question in order to confirm your own belief, ask it with the wording biased to your own belief.

The idea of the social psychology of questioning in communication skills and the need to elicit as much information on the way people think and behave is an argument presented; people may answer differently when asked questions in a variety of ways depending on what answer they may think is being looked for.

One part of the chapter I did not agree with was regarding leading questions on children in the Orkney Satanic Abuse inquiry.  The responses by the child contradicts what is being asserted about leading questions, although the social worker did undoubtedly do this, she did not achieve what she set out to do as the child refused to agree with her.

Some theories and concepts in the chapter included:

Social interaction: the skill of being able to behave a certain way in a certain context, behaving differently with one group than in another group.

Recovered memory: where an event has been buried in memory and has resurfaced, possibly through therapy.

False memory: recalling of events (normally from childhood) that did not occur.


Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.




January 22, 2020
by Kathryn Sanderson

Communication in Other Environments-Den building

After our outdoor den building session for Situated Communication, we were asked a number of questions in relation to the communication methods used in our group:

Group and Leadership

There was no chosen group leader, instead we discussed our plan as a team and allocated roles accordingly.  As everybody was concentrating on successful completion of the task and we all got along well nobody was excluded and there were no problems.  The only challenging aspect was that we did not manage to secure many of the materials supplied by the lecturer, as the other groups had taken most of it.


The group clearly explained how they went about their task and the roles that everyone undertook in simple terms. They gave us information on the construction of their den and pointed out particular features that made it unique to them.  Our group gave positive feedback and asked questions as to how they completed certain aspects of their task, and discussed these.   In terms of the 5 P’s, the ‘postmortem’ could have been carried out with our input as this would have been valuable.


Our group successfully started the task by having a group discussion and we identified our strengths in certain areas and allocated roles accordingly. Everybody had an opportunity to speak and no-one did not voice their opinions.  These opinions were respectfully listened to and taken on board by the rest of the team.  We encouraged one another by offering ideas that were discussed further by the group, and everyone felt secure and supported in offering their opinions in an attempt to share our group’s goal.  We had to raise our voices slightly in order to communicate what we were doing, as were were working apart from one another, but not to the point of shouting. As a group we were enjoying the task and there was a fun camaraderie atmosphere.  The outside environment was not too noisy as it was a still, dry day and there were not many members of the public walking by, which is unusual as it is a popular dog walk and this could be distracting.


The most challenging part was the negotiation aspect; one team member in particular had good very negotiating skills but we failed to achieve a defector from another group in exchange for something they wanted.


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