Category Archives: 2 Prof. Knowledge & Understanding

An important moment for me in Semester 1

As part of my continual development and professional reflection, I have been asked to choose one particular moment of semester 1 that was important to me as a professional and what I learned from the experience.

I have chosen the experience of visiting a school in Dundee for the working together module. The module visits didn’t just involve schools, but I found the visit to an actual school very beneficial for my own personal development and it proved to be a very positive experience.

I learned all about the ways in which the school worked together in general,  and specifically ‘the toast room’ which was for children to come during lunch to relax and talk to the support workers if they had any issues to discuss, or if they just wanted company and a chat. I also began to experience how the school worked collaboratively with outside agencies as well as how they cooperate with social workers and CLD workers to provide children with the best help and support. This links perfectly with the ‘Getting it Right for Every Child’ or ‘GIRFEC’ approach which is at the centre of everything schools and teachers do and is vital in the development of children.

It was clear by the enjoyment and development of the children that the impact of the work being done was huge and, although it sounds cliché, it made me want to be a teacher even more.

I felt this experience has helped me broaden my understanding of the working together and cooperative aspect of the profession and it has improved my knowledge and developing my thinking further of just how important it is.


I have started to gauge how important and essential being an reflective practitioner is and how it can improve your chances of being a successful teacher.

It is crucial for teachers to be constantly reflecting on their practice to always be able to improve. There is always something to improve and if you can’t find anything to improve on then you’re probably in the wrong profession. It will not only improve your practice but it supports the development of the children in your class and the education profession in general. If every teacher shows professional commitment in order to reflect on the profession and their individual practice, it can only bring positive outcomes.

When I was at Baldragon Academy on my visit, we learned the importance of reflection as they looked at the ways they attempted to support children and realised some problems that may be affecting the support that they were offering. One area which was highlighted was that during ‘team around the child meetings’ there was too many adults associated with one child, which created fear and intimidation for the child so they reflected on this and now there is only a small group or even 1 or 2 adults who talk to children about issues they may have. This has improved the support available for children and is a positive example of reflection.

I believe that during my placements and thereafter in my career as a primary school teacher, being reflective constantly will aid my professional development and will help me grow as a person and a professional. I will be able to improve all the time, and will always be learning, in order to give myself and my children a better chance of being successful in school and during adulthood in the future.

We have to reflect on every experience, good or bad, to see what went well and why, and what needs improved upon and how we can do that.



This week, we had our first hands on tutorial on ICT and how it fits into the curriculum. It was very exciting to get our first taste of how to teach something in the classroom.

It was a very thought out and enthusiastic tutorial that kept us all interested. It allowed us to be creative and use many different types of animations, starting off simple and getting progressively more challenging. We started off with flip art paper, by drawing and making snowmen and people come to life by the simple flip of a paper. After these were completed we moved on to the computers and recreated our own version of frozen on a program called PIVOT. It allows us to use stickmen and other characters to make stories by taking frames of the movements of the characters one at a time. These tasks were shown to us as they can be used when we are on placement or indeed when we have our own class when we are teachers which I thought was very useful.

The lecturer showed us how to teach our children in schools, going through the task and explaining what to do. We would obviously have to give children more time to think and look over their work, but we only had an hour.  She explained what she was doing and why, which I feel really helped our learning and development and embedded the importance of using this when we teach our children.

One personal favourite moment was when one student touched the mouse when the lecturer was explaining something to the class, she would implement a behavioural technique such as everyone had to switch their monitors off. This is a well-known, common technique used widely in schools to keep children’s attention.

Finally, we used plasticine model characters and cameras to make an animation short film in pairs and groups. We made it professional by adding titles and credits. Our story was about a lonely fish who was searching for love, and couldn’t find it until one day he met the love of his life. I know, I know, we are expecting the Oscar nominations any day now. In all seriousness though, this was a very creative class which I believe would no doubt help children develop new skills and have a lot of fun doing it. ICT, and this activity links to other areas of the curriculum. Most predominantly to literacy and languages, involved in creating a story.

This tutorial allowed us to work independently and as a group, which are both beneficial to children. Working independently ensures children develop the skills that will no doubt help them in later life and allows them to be self-initiative and really lets their imagination bloom. On the other hand, working as a group, allowed team work skills to be developed and everyone’s different skills would prove to be very effective and allow more ideas to be thought of.

When reflecting on the tutorial, it was clear to see we weren’t placed in a very good area as we were unable to put a background up so we can see computers in the back of our film and background noise could be heard. Potentially, smaller groups could have been more beneficial when this lesson is taking place.

ICT and animation can be used very effectively in the classroom and will help children show their creative side as well as keeping them enthused and excited about learning. By looking through the experiences and outcomes of technologies in the curriculum, it was clear to see that animation can easily be a big part in this. With new technologies coming into play, it is vitally important to keep up to date and to continue to enhance children’s learning.

Dance in Primary Schools…

Today, we had our first dance input in our Primary Education course…

Now, this is something I had never been interested in or had tried before. I must say though, it was a lot of fun, possibly due to the enthusiasm of the teacher. Obviously due to my huge lack of experience of dance, I was apprehensive about teaching it to my future classes as a teacher.

I must admit, after today, I am far more confident in myself as I now realise you don’t need the experience in dance to teach children. One of the biggest aspects that will motivate children to learn and develop their skills is the enthusiasm of the teacher. If they see you having fun with the lesson, the children will be more inclined to. I believe the inputs we are learning in University will firmly put us in good stead to be successful when teaching dance in primary schools and that my lack of experience in this expressive art will not hinder my progress.



I haven’t always been the biggest believer in dance as a curricular subject but I do see the benefits it can bring to the children such as:

  •   Can really bring out their creativity!
  •    Helps children develop new skills!
  •   Enables them to work collaboratively and individually!
  •  Improves children’s health (social, physical and mental)


I do agree we should incorporate more dance into schools as after reading the ‘Get Scotland Dancing’ review from 2014, it was clear that other activities were participated in a lot more than dance. Some reasons for the lack of participation in dance are age, gender and simply because people ‘like’ dance and some people don’t.

Another factor to consider is that it was found that young people who are encouraged to take part in certain activities at a young age are more likely to participate in later life and indeed adulthood.

I believe that there may be some challenges incorporating dance into the curriculum. For example, my lack of experience, the pupils may just not be interested, the obvious gender issue and ‘I can’t touch boys/girl’s hands, ew!’ situation. Let’s look at them individually.

I believe I can overcome my fear of teaching dance by reading up on the teaching of dance and have fun, be creative and show my personality in lessons which will hopefully inspire children to get involved even, if like me, they had no interest in dance.

Going back to the gender issue, it has been found that boys are less likely to be interested in dance than girls and at the primary age, certain children may not want to participate as they believe ‘dancing is for girls’ and ‘dancing is stupid’ but I believe dance is for everyone and after today’s interesting start to the day, dancing at 9… I can  honestly say it’s a fun experience.

Lastly, the ‘ew boys/girls’ issue, I believe that the only real solution to this is to take part in lessons and try and build everyone’s confidence about dancing with everyone, no matter who they are.


I have gone ahead and set myself some professional development goals which are:

·        To overcome my fear of teaching dance in schools.

·        Improve my knowledge of dance by reading up on the curricular area.

·        To be creative, fun and show my personality in lessons.

·        To overcome my embarrassment of dancing in front of people.

I feel if I achieve these goals , I will be well on my way to being a successful teacher of dance when I am a primary school teacher.

The 2014 Review –

My first real insight to the teachings of Social Subjects…


I am a 1st year Education student at University and I am on my way to becoming a Primary Teacher. I have begun to look at the different areas of the curriculum and what kind of role they have and the links that can be made between each area. Today we had our first insight into social subjects (history geography and modern studies). I found that you must be able to stimulate the children and keep their attention and sometimes this has to be done more creatively by, for example, staying away from activities on paper and assessing them in different ways. It can be as simple as showing them photos from recent news topics to spark their brain into action. This will allow them to be able to ask questions and start to explore their world. You will be surprised by how interested they become and the questions they will be dying to know the answer to. Our role as a teacher is to make the connections for them.

Social subjects have a vast impact on our lives. For example, history has a role of giving us signs of what’s going to happen and it is our job to make changes to our lives based on these signs.  As teachers, we should be willing to commit to continually building our own knowledge of the world.  In history for example this can be by researching the city you are teaching in if you are unfamiliar with its history or by never switching off to your role as a teacher. You must always be willing to find resources  that will help your students develop.

To be truly able to get children engaged and involved with what you are teaching, you should have stances on issues in society and in your role be their to help children form their own opinions and help them express them.

But one vastly important thing that must be done by all teachers is to always ask why when children give answers to fully let them critically think about what they’re learning and to help them develop.

Finally, the teacher must live up to the 4 main roles that they should follow:

·        Active participant

·        Active learner

·        Modeller

·        Planner

I believe that today’s lecture truly helped and developed my understanding of this curricular area and the role it plays within the curriculum.


Professionalism Word Cloud!

As part of one of the activities on my online units for my course, I was asked to design a word cloud filled with words that related to professionalism. This is what I came up with:


I completed this task twice with slightly varying words. Unfortunately the proper document wasn’t allowed to be uploaded here, so I had to simply take pictures of both word cloud and upload them instead.

This has made me think about professionalism more and gave me a better starting point to develop my knowledge.

How important is learning languages in school? Sehr Wichtig!

For my latest blog post, I thought I would choose to write about something that I feel very passionate about. The importance of children learning languages in primary school from a very young age. It was actually the topic did a presentation on for my Dundee University Interview, more specifically the 1+2 approach which I believe is vital in young people’s learning. I myself have had a great experience learning languages throughout school. I achieved A grades at both National 5 and Higher level German and am currently studying Spanish as a year 1 elective on my Education course. The reason for my enjoyment for learning languages was that the teacher made it interesting and fun and allowed us to learn in many different ways.  I believe that positive environments and fun teaching methods are essential for our future generations and I would love to play a part in that. Learning languages has the power to change children’s lives and will give them skills that can help them be successful throughout school and in their futures. For example, my experience in languages was very effective to use while abroad in other countries.


I feel the most important thing is to aim to instil a love of learning into children. The world nowadays is hugely multilingual and in order for the children of today to fully prosper as citizens, they must learn the skills that learning languages offers them which will also lead to them having effective communication skills.

“In today’s global, multi-cultural world, it is more important than ever that young people have the opportunity to learn languages from an early age. The ability to speak different languages will equip Scotland’s young people with the skills and competencies needed in a 21st century global marketplace.” – Dr Alistair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages. (2015)

The delivery of an earlier start to language learning in primary school will be challenging for schools and teachers.  Although all pupils at the moment are entitled to learn a language from P6, there are concerns that some primary children do not have access to an additional language due to staffing, training or funding issues, or other perceived curricular priorities. There are also particular issues in very small primary schools, especially in rural areas, where there will only be a small number of teachers with responsibility for delivery of the whole curriculum. Without ongoing training, many primary teachers do not feel confident in teaching a modern language and some do not volunteer despite training. Nevertheless, there is evidence of staff in some primary schools working successfully with children on language learning from the beginning of primary or earlier. Other questions that will have to be answered are

  • Do existing teachers have the skills and teaching resources required for language tuition?
  • Are teachers equipped enough to help young people’s development? If not, how will the training occur?
  • The choice of which languages children learn. For example, which languages should kids be learning to benefit them in later life, their careers and help Scotland flourish economically.

However, there is no doubt about the many benefits that will come from language learning from an earlier age. It will undoubtedly help Scotland become a confident, multilingual country.  Some ways in which language learning can further benefit Scotland would be more effective use of technology and regular use of native/fluent speakers to engage the children and stimulate their interest in learning new languages and other cultures.

Practical uses of foreign languages in school that I have seen first hand are:

  • register taking
  • date and weather
  • lunch routines
  • staff greeting each other
  • PE ‘warm ups
  • distributing resources
  • classroom commands
  • praise
  • use in assemblies

Overall, All language learning is valuable, it stretches us intellectually, giving us insights into other cultures and customs, broadening our view of the world, opening up new trade and business opportunities and enabling us to communicate with others. It is my firm belief that language learning is vital in helping children achieve their potential and broaden their horizons no matter who they are.

Die Sprache kann die Welt verändern!