Category Archives: 2 Prof. Knowledge & Understanding

Fun in French

Throughout my time at primary school I can easily say I was blessed with a number of engaging and enthusiastic teachers.
My mind was captured daily throughout many of their carefully devised lessons. An area of primary school that particularly sticks in my mind has to be the time that we spent learning French in primary 7.

One lesson remains clear in my memory, that day when the teacher successfully created an almost entirely different world within the four walls of our completely ordinary classroom. We were asked to create a French café scene, some of us were cast as staff and others as customers. As well as gaining experience in speaking and reading the language, we used our art skills to create magical costumes and accessories based on French fashion. Our skills in drama were also put to the test when we were encouraged to speak the language with expression to show whatever emotion we were aiming to portray.

I believe the secret to the success of this lesson started at the build up, we were allowed to take control of our own learning. We designed the classroom, the costumes, the scripts and the menus. Our teacher planted the seed for an engaging lesson and we brought it to life ourselves with a little guidance.

The whole experience made me feel proud, we had created this masterpiece and we were given the opportunity to show off what we know about France. This didn’t at all feel like a lesson, it felt like simple role play that could be done at home or in the playground with friends.

Why is Teaching Health and Wellbeing Important?

Firstly, I would like to say how strongly I feel about the importance of teaching children about Health and Wellbeing from a very early age. I think it would be ridiculous to teach children about fractions and symmetry but not educate them at all about looking after themselves.

Health and Wellbeing focuses on many different aspects of life but I definitely think that it is all key information that can really help children to make informed decisions right from their first few years on earth. It teaches children about their mental, emotional and physical health as well as preparing them for the changes that they will go through in the years to come. Some may argue that teaching children topics such as “sex and relationships” is inappropriate but with the amount of younger children using social media these days it is inevitable that they will find out at some point so obviously it is much better for it to come from a professional. 

Relationships don’t always have to be romantic ones, from the moment we are born we are forming relationships with others around us, if we can’t make and keep friendships then this may have a negative impact on mental health also. I know from personal experience that during tough times my friends can sometimes be the only ones that keep me positive so I personally think that it is brilliant that there is room within the curriculum to educate children about this.

As well as this, children are taught from nursery about hygiene and food preparation, if they start eating healthy early on then they are way more likely to carry it on throughout their lives and then hopefully pass it on to the next generation.








It is ideal that health and wellbeing is taught in schools mainly because children spend all day every day with their class teacher and so they may be many of the pupil’s main role model. If a teacher speaks about healthy living then pupil’s may be more likely to follow.


Science Literacy Group Task TDT

AC1 – According to the Programme for International Student Assessment, scientific literacy is defined as “the capacity to use scientific knowledge, to identify questions and to draw evidence-based conclusions” It then goes on to tell us that “Clearly this does not mean turning everyone into a scientific expert, but enabling them to fulfil an enlightened role in making choices” This definition helps us to understand that science is something which should involve research of a specific area of science, ask relevant questions and find a suitable outcome. It also explains that science is a subject which should be enjoyed by pupils and teachers. Without noticing, we use science every day of our lives and a lot of our decision making comes from science. From choosing what to eat to considering how our decisions will impact the surrounding environment. So, an understanding of scientific literacy is extremely important in having a sound understanding of all types of science in everyone’s daily lives.

AC2 – Analysis of an example where a lack of scientific literacy has led to inaccurate media. Not all science literacy can be helpful. The MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination is a good example of this. This vaccine is normally given to a child from around 12 to 18 months. This vaccine has almost got rid of these diseases. However only 60% of children in some areas of the UK are getting this vaccine, this might lead to an epidemic outbreak. The reason for this is because of a paper published by Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield suggested that the combination MMR jab caused autism. He studied children who were suffering from a kind of bowel disease that he thought could be linked to autism. (BBC 2014) Since the paper came out it has since been viewed as “misleading, dishonest and irresponsible” (Bad science 2010, no page given). It was also found out that the children who were tested, that these on were not performed in their own clinical interest and without ethical approval. (Bad science 2010) Studies more recently have showed that there is no link between autism and the MMR. A new study examined blood samples of 100 autism children and 200 children without autism. The results showed that 99% of samples showed no trace of the measles virus. So therefore there is overwhelming research that there is no link between the MMR and autism.

AC3 – Within scientific experiments, a fair test is one which the variables are controlled and bias is avoided. The aim of this is to provide reliable results that allow the experimenter to observe and identify the impact of one factor.

While exploring the concept of fair testing in the classroom, children should be encouraged to think about all of the factors that could influence the results of the experiment and which of these can be controlled. In this way, children are learning to become critical and then appreciate that absolute reliability may not be possible (Linfield, 2009. P3)

It is vital that children are taught the principles of fair testing within schools, because this allows them to recognise the wide variety of factors which can influence the results of a test or experiment. This knowledge allows children to be objective and to feel more confident to challenge or question information, rather than accepting it on face value.

Some may say that not all aspects of primary science need to involve fair testing. For example one of the primary school science experiences and outcomes states:

I can identify and classify examples of living things, past and present, to help me appreciate their diversity. I can relate physical and behavioral characteristics to their survival or extinction. SCN 2-01a (Scottish Government, 2009)

Fair testing may not need to be used for this particular outcome, however it will contribute to the child’s level of scientific literacy. (Jane Turner et al, 2012). Overall this supports the idea that fair testing does contribute to becoming science literate although it is not always vital. It is possible to become science literate without always using fair testing.



Jane Turner et al (2012) it’s Not Fair. Available at:…/30-33.pdf (Accessed: 09/02/15)

Linfield, R S, 2009. Planning to teach Science: in the Primary Classroom. London: Hopscotch

OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] (2003) The PISA 2003 Assessment Framework – Mathematics, Reading, Science and Problem Solving Knowledge and Skills. Paris: OECD.
Scottish Government (2009) Curriculum for Excellence: Science: Experiences and Outcomes. Available at: (Accessed: 09/02/16)

Turbull, M. (2016) Creating Connections and Contagious Enthusiasm for Science. Available at: (Accessed: 9th February 2016)



How I Aim to Learn More About Space

When asked to come up with an aspect of science that I would not be confident to teach, space immediately sprung to mind. A whole solar system out there that I know very little about. During my time at primary school, there were a number of occasions where we did make the effort to learn about aspects of space, however, not many of these activities actually stuck in my mind. My goal as a teacher will be to give interesting and important subjects justice by creating fun and engaging exercises for all of my pupils. This way, there is a much larger chance that the children will retain more information about their topic.

So back on to space, where to start? There is a vast amount of information out there on the subject so this task in terms of time scale, may take a while. I aim to be able to cover the basics of what is actually going on up there, and anything extra is an added bonus. If I were the class teacher and I had made the decision to teach my class about the solar system for a science topic I would start by taking them on a trip, mainly due to the fact that most of the memories I have of primary school include a break from routine, some sort of exhilarating outing.

My chosen excursion would be to Mills Observatory in Dundee, as this will give the children an opportunity to actually see some of the stars and planets that they have been learning about in class prior to this. Of course this outing will be weather permitting, a foggy night wouldn’t really be ideal. I have chosen this because it is easily achieved due to the fact that it is not far away and it is also extremely relevant to the topic of space, allowing the children to make the connection between class work and what they are seeing through their telescope. However, this trip isn’t just a plan for when I have my own class, it is something I could do myself before starting placement to brush up on my own knowledge of space, and I will also have an opportunity to ask some of the staff at the observatory any questions that I have regarding space.

As well as this trip I will use a combination of books, internet and television to build on what I already know. Following news updates regarding the astronauts who are currently in space may also be useful in my attempt to build up a clear knowledge base.


My Maths Journey

I could confidently say, throughout primary school I was one of the best in my class at maths, I was bursting with confidence in the subject and I found every aspect of it painfully easy. On my final day of primary school I even received a prize for maths, I was that good at it.

However, after my transition into high school it all went downhill. I began to find maths extremely difficult and I seriously lacked the confidence to progress in the subject. I was never bad at maths, I still remained in the top class for my year group but something had changed. I was now the worst at maths in my class and I felt too stupid to ever ask my teacher for help.

A well-known saying is: “a good workman never blames his tools” but I am going to contradict that by placing most of the blame on my high school maths teacher for my lack of confidence. He snapped at me whenever I asked him for help and he even told my mum at parents evening that there was no chance of me passing the subject. He was wrong, I sit here today with a C in higher maths, a very low C, but still a pass.

In my experience, those who were good at maths were regarded much smarter than someone who was good at history or art. I think this is a main reason as to why the subject intimidated me slightly when it came to secondary school. Another reason is that I strongly believed the myth that we were born with either a mathematical or a literacy brain, I was always good at history so I then decided that it just wasn’t in my genes to be talented at maths.

There is also another myth circulating that people wont need maths once they leave school. I feel very strongly against this as we use maths in many aspects of life. When I get on the bus every morning I have to deal with money which is pretty much basic maths that I learned in primary school. When I become a teacher maths will be a large part of my job so that directly proves that this myth is rubbish.

I aim to incorporate group work into my maths lessons because I feel that children will be more likely to ask for help when they are in a group rather than on their own. As well as this speaking out in class is much less daunting because it wont be as humiliating giving a wrong answer when it is a group effort.

In today’s maths input there was an extremely interesting saying:

I hear, I forget

I see, I remember

I do, I understand

This backs up the idea that group work among other things, may be beneficial. Children learn better by actually trying things out instead of just working from textbooks. If they can apply their maths to everyday life and make it interesting they are more likely to remember it in the years to come.