Monthly Archives: February 2019

Science Input 2 TDT – What Makes a Good Science Lesson?

Science is an integral part of the curriculum and gives children the opportunity to learn valuable and transferable life skills.  Science lessons have the ability to blow minds, but also the ability to go horribly wrong.  It is important that we consider what does make a good a science lesson, in order for us to to ensure that we deliver high quality science which help pupils “develop their interest in, and understanding of, the living, material and physical world.” (Education Scotland, no date, p.1).  We use our knowledge of science daily, to make predictions, analyse and evaluate.  It is important for children to actively recognise when they are applying their science skills in real life situations, in order to build science capital. 

Key features of a good science lesson: 

  • Teachers being well prepared, enthusiastic and having a positive attitude towards science. 
  • Having the pupils actively engaging in the lesson. 
  • Teaching pupils relevant skills, as well as knowledge.  
  • Having them in groups to discuss with their peers what they understand and what they don’t understand, so that they can explain to one another (constant formative assessment). 
  • Learning in different ways: outdoors, trips to science centres etc… by learning in a real-life setting, they’re able to see the relevance of that subject in everyday life. 
  • Developing science literacy to understand the basics, so that they can apply knowledge across a variety of areas. 
  • Carrying out investigations so that there is a practical essence to their work. 
  • Inclusion: providing good examples of science happening locally and of equal gender representation in science.  
  • Building on individual’s science capital so that they develop a passion for science and continue it into the senior phase. 
  • Working in groups to develop co-operation and communication.  
  • Make pupils aware of the Learning Intentions and Success Criteria, so that children know the aim of the lesson and how to achieve it.
  • Use real world examples of science to make it relevant to pupils – how it relates to health and wellbeing, society and the environment.  
  • Make science accessible to everyone, regardless of their gender, background or ability.  
  • Children understand the impact that they can have on the world with the use of science  
  • Demonstrate different aspects of science so children are aware of different careers they could pursue; biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, engineering, etc. 
  • The science lesson should be like a ‘story’ – children should not be taught isolated facts but comprehend how science is all linked together to form a ‘bigger picture’.  


Education Scotland, “curriculum for excellence: sciences principles and practice”, (No date), Available at:, (accessed 01.02.19).

Education Scotland, “The Sciences 3-18″, (2013), Available at:, (accessed 01.02.19).

With thanks to Lucy Johnston and Julia Savaniu.

Maths Input 1 Reflection

Maths was definitely a subject I had to work hard at during school.  I was often filled with dread at the thought of having to wrap my head around a new mathematical concept, which had not really been explained.  I do still suffer from maths anxiety, but I am determined not to pass this on to my pupils and am motivated to make maths fun.  Haylock states that anxiety surrounding maths “is associated with rigid and inflexible thinking in unfamiliar mathematical tasks and leads to insecurity and caution”.  (Haylock, 2014, p.6.).

I was surprised at how quickly time flew during the input, as I normally would be counting down the minutes until I could leave maths behind me for another day.  Tara created a safe environment for everyone, which made it much easier to pay attention to and understand what she was saying.  This was in sharp contrast to the hostile environment and fear I was subjected to by my previous maths teachers.  Looking back, no wonder I struggled with maths!

Numeracy and maths is an essential part of the curriculum, which everyone needs to be able to understand, in order to succeed in life.  Education Scotland states “Mathematics is important in our everyday life, allowing us to make sense of the world around us and to manage our lives.” (Education Scotland, no date, p.1.). An interesting point was made that illiteracy is not acceptable in society, but innumeracy is much more tolerated.  Many adults say that they “hate maths”, or they were “always bad at maths”.  This negative opinion is definitely picked up on by children and could also create issues which last a life time.  Why have we allowed this to be the case and how can I, as a practitioner, prevent this trend from continuing?

I had never considered the idea that there were different ways to tackle a maths problem, because I had always been encouraged to follow set rules, and work out the problem in one specific way.  This is where I developed the idea that maths was a very rigid subject compared to literacy and other areas of the curriculum.  However, there is definitely an opportunity in maths to solve problems in a way that suits you, if each individual actually understands why there are different steps.



Education Scotland, ‘curriculum for excellence: mathematics principles and practice’, (no date), Available at:, (accessed 24.01.19).

Haylock. D, ‘Mathematics Explained for Primary Teachers’, (2014), (London, Sage Publications Inc).