Monthly Archives: January 2019

Semester 1 Reflection

During my brief time at university, I feel that I have already grown immensely as a person and as a practitioner.  I have developed new skills and started to build essential professional relationships with my peers.  I thoroughly enjoyed the content of semester 1, and adapting to my new learning environment. While definitely a challenge at times, I feel that university is effectively preparing me for my career as a primary teacher.

Many areas of the semester were interesting but, I found the values module key to my professional development.  The values module definitely had a strong impact on my way of thinking and personal values.  While it was often difficult to talk about subjects such as racism, patriarchy and poverty, I was able to gain perspective and knowledge about these topics, and question why society has created these issues.  This module was highly relevant because it educated me about societal issues and how these could influence my practice.  I think that giving all the teacher education students the opportunity to build a solid professional foundation was very sensible, because it is much more difficult to learn the content of the curriculum without having an understanding of the values which hold the profession together.  For example, as a practitioner I must commit “to the principles of democracy and social justice through fair, transparent, inclusive and sustainable policies and practices in relation to: age, disability, gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion and belief and sexual orientation.” (General Teaching Council for Scotland, 2012, p.5.). Without having learned what social justice actually is, it would have been difficult to understand this responsibility.  I have found the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) ‘Standards for Professional Registration’, document to be a good start point to understand the expectations and responsibilities of primary teachers.

I have also started to develop my critical thinking skills, learning to unpick literature and find the most relevant information.  I have also started to create my professional identity, however I believe I will establish this further while on my first placement, and as I progress throughout the course.

I will continue to get the most I can out of lectures, workshops and tutorials, in order to further enhance my knowledge, along with engaging with literature and policy documents to ensure I am ready to teach.



The General Teaching Council for Scotland, (2012), ‘The Standards for Registration: mandatory requirements for Registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland’,Available at:, (Accessed 22.01.19).

Drama Input 1 Reflection

Drama is a subject I rarely experienced at primary school.  This presumably was because my teachers were not particularly confident or interested in drama.  I believe it is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that children are given the opportunity to explore all areas of the curriculum, even if it is not a teacher’s strength.

Nikki’s input today was great fun and really got me thinking about how drama can be used as a tool to express emotions, and is applicable to many different areas of the curriculum.  I now feel equipped with a range of ideas that I could use on placement.

The ‘Structure of a Drama Lesson’ (KS 1/2 Drama – Teaching Drama: A Structured Approach, 2006) video was very useful, because it clearly showed the steps you could take to create a successful drama lesson for pupils.  I like the idea of starting a lesson with an agreement of expectations between the teacher and pupils, because the teacher is then more easily able to guide the work and behaviour of the pupils.  Ending the lesson with an evaluation is also important because it would allow pupils to reflect on what they learned and what they would like to achieve next time.  An evaluation would also calm pupils down before returning to the classroom and give the pupils a chance to feed back to the teacher to adapt future lessons to suit the class.  In addition, the children are more likely to engage with the lesson if they know the structure, and can see what they will be able to achieve at the end.  From a behaviour management angle, having a structure also helps keep the children engaged and so less likely to misbehave.  Drama is a practical, hands on subject and so could be difficult to manage without a well-thought-out structure.  A consistent drama structure would also give safety to anxious children who would know what to expect and be more able to focus on the content of the lesson, rather than worrying about the unknown.  The lesson structure would also be effective because it has clear, natural developments which allow everyone to get involved, even if they lack confidence in performing.

The work created during a drama lesson can be built on and developed further by using a variety of drama conventions.  These include simpler techniques, such as freeze-frame, and more complicated conventions, such as thought tracking, which allow pupils to explore their characters in more depth.  Drama conventions relate to the Drama Experience and Outcome EXA 2-12a “I can create, adapt and sustain different roles, experimenting with movement, expression and voice and using theatre arts technology.” (Education Scotland, No date, p.7.)

I think drama is a very useful tool which can be used to effectively unlock different curricular areas and bring subjects to life.  For example, Brian Woolland states that “Drama deals with fundamental questions of language, interpretation and meaning.”( 1993, p.6.).  This shows how drama can be used to enrich all learning and deal with all kinds of topics.  Drama is something I definitely look forward to teaching on placement.



Education Scotland, (no date), ‘curriculum for excellence: expressive arts experiences and outcomes’, Available at:, (Accessed 19.01.19).

KS 1/2 Drama – Teaching Drama: A Structured Approach, (2006), Available at:  , (Accessed 19.01.19).

Woolland, B. (1993), ‘The Teaching of Drama in the Primary School’, Essex, Pearson Education Limited.

Health and Wellbeing – The Importance of Relationships

Relationships are a huge part of everyone’s lives, shaping our thinking and the people we are today.  Each relationship has a different set of expectations, however, the key to all relationships is support and consistency.

After watching Dr Suzanne Zeedyk’s Education Scotland video on ‘Brain Development’ and John Canarchan’s video about the ‘Importance of Early Years’, I was fascinated by the impact relationships have on the development of babies and children’s brains.  I had not previously considered the correlation between initial relationships and future learning.

However, it is clear that the development of healthy, consistent relationships are vital to the success of children’s lives.  Teachers have a role to play in supporting this development.  It is crucial that children have consistency in school and feel safe in their learning environment.  This is because children may not have a stable home life in which they are able to just be children, and may be spending a lot of time “monitoring for threat” (Education Scotland, 2016), trying to survive in less than ideal circumstances.  Teachers have to develop strong relationships with their pupils in order for children to trust them, and model good relationships so that children experience healthy relationships.  Doing even the simplest things as a teacher can have the biggest positive impact on children, such as taking time with pupils, caring about their welfare, showing appropriate emotions, and being consistent.

John Carnochan suggests that poor quality relationships in early life may lead to criminal behaviour in adulthood.  It is easier to simply blame people for their actions, rather than consider why there are issues.  Carnochan argues that young people’s biggest “sin is ignorance”, (Education Scotland, 2016) as they do not have the knowledge to know any better.  This is a very powerful statement which suggests that ignorance is due to a lack of education and understanding about healthy relationships.  It is the responsibility of practitioners to teach children essential life skills, such as resilience, as early as possible, so that children are able to judge risks and make informed decisions about a range of situations.  These skills have the potential to stop children getting involved in violence later in life, because of an understanding of the consequences.



Education Scotland, ‘Pre-Birth to Three: Doctor Suzanne Zeedyk – Brain Development’, (2016), Available at, (Accessed 18.01.19).

Education Scotland, ‘Pre-Birth to Three: Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan – Importance of the early years’, (2016), Available at:, (Accessed 18.01.19).

Dance Workshop Reflection

Before today’s workshop I was nervous at the thought of having to teach dance to a class, as I was unsure where to begin or how to work in a manageable way.  I was also apprehensive about the dance input, and concerned I might be asked to create some complicated choreography and perform in front of everyone.  However, I had a great time working in my  group to come up with different ways to travel and spin around the room, eventually creating our own mini routine.  I thoroughly enjoyed the input and now feel much more confident about dance.  We were given lots of helpful ideas and tips for class dance lessons which would allow all pupils to get involved, regardless of their ability or confidence.

Dance is a very important part of the curriculum as it allows pupils to be active, show their creativity and develop self-confidence.  Therefore, it is essential that I can deliver lessons which engage and encourage pupils to get involved.  The ‘Expressive Arts Principles and Practice’ document, states that the expressive arts allow children to be “creative and imaginative, to experience inspiration and enjoyment”.  (Education Scotland, no date, p.2.)  I believe children should be exposed to different cultures and experiences and dance is a perfect way to achieve this.

During the workshop we were shown ways to make dance relevant to pupils.  I thought that using videos of different dance styles as a stimulus was a good idea because it would give pupils a starting point, which they could then adapt and make their own.  The video clips could also be linked to another subject area the class had been working on, for example a Buddhist dance to accompany RME work.  Also, working in pairs would allow less confident or less creative pupils to get involved and benefit from developing skills, as they would have someone to help them.  We were reminded that when pupils present their work to a class audience, it is important to discuss expectations of the audience first, for example not talking during the performances and clapping at the end.  I found it useful to be given practical solutions.  Overall, I have definitely been inspired by the dance workshop and hope to similarly inspire pupils in the future.  I may not be able to teach complicated, technical dancing, but I would love to make dance accessible and exciting.



Education Scotland, (no date), ‘curriculum for excellence: expressive arts principles and practice’, Available at:, (accessed 12.01.19).