Geography and Art

When choosing the Social Studies elective I did not realise that art would ever be linked to geography. Geography is about exploring the world around us (Tanner, 2013, pp. 128) and this world can be explored through art. There are several different circumstances where people have expressed how they feel about something through art.

Craftivism is a way in which people express how they feel about something through art. This can be seen as a gentle protest. These people use art to challenge injustice in the world. They use craft and art to express their opinions and encourage conversations to open. Craftivist Collective are a group of people who do exactly this. They use craft to “help themselves and encourage others to have a positive change in the world.” (Corbett, nd). This group do things like send embroidered letters to MPs about issues they they have; make hearts to wear on your sleeve to promote climate change and create banners with material to promote injustices in the world. Now you may ask yourself ‘What is the advantage of doing this over a regular protest or banner?’ The answer is simple, would you walk past a pretty eye-catching cross-stitched banner in the street? Probably not! If something is different then you are more likely to stop, have a quick glance at it and that is what this group needs. By making people stop and look, this means more people see it and speak about it. You are far more likely to remember an embroidered banner or someone wearing a heart on their sleeve than a normal banner.

How does this link to social studies and teaching? This group promote issues that we would normally teach about and discuss in our social studies lessons. Often, at some point in a year of school a social studies lesson will be based around discussing an issue in the news or something that is going on around us, for example, climate change. This sort of issue relates to geography. Instead of the children creating a poster, banner etc they could create something with cross-stitching or embroidery. Anna had us do this in our lecture and as well as make me aware of an issue and want to do something about it, it was fun!

This is a banner that the Craftivist Collective created!

Artists have used art to express themselves on other matters that relate to Social Studies as well. In several art museums throughout the world artists have used their art to express topics that are relevant in social studies. There are several different artists pieces in art museums throughout the world that convey different Social Studies matter or issues. These are great for children to see and discuss as they let children see how Art and Social Studies can be linked together effectively and easily. For children to discuss these different art pieces and what they mean not only develops their discussion skills but also their enquiry and interpretation skills.


Corbett, S. (n.d.). Our Story. [online] Craftivist Collective. Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2017].

Tanner, J. (2013) ‘Geography and the Creative Arts’, in Scoffham, S. (ed.) Teaching Geography Creatively. London: Taylor and Francis, pp 128-142.

The Last Week!

The last six weeks have gone by so quickly that I cannot believe is it over! When I started my placement six weeks ago I thought this placement would take a very different path than what it has. The start of my placement was very hectic as I thought that I was going to be completing my placement at The Brae Riding For The Disabled. However, after developing an allergy to something there this had to change. This left my placement very up in the air and left me worried for my future. Starting at PAMIS was very scary as I had not had time to prepare for this placement and I did not know where it would go and what my role within the organisation would be. When I started at PAMIS I had a lot of information given to me as well as the little research I had had time to do. As well as this, I was quickly thrown into life at PAMIS. This was scary and overwhelming but also very educational as it forced me to learn as I went. This was incredibly helpful as I will not have time to prepare for every incident in my future career and at university.

This week has been very hectic as I have had to make sure that everything that I have been working on is completed and handed over to the people that need it. I attended a meeting about K’s transition at the primary school. She had had her first visit up to the high school in the morning. This meeting was with the head teacher of the primary school, two members of staff from the high school, the child’s mother; the visual impairment principal teacher plus two other people that work along with K. This meeting had been requested by K’s mum as she felt that having every professional around the table overwhelming. To overcome this, they had broken the meeting down into smaller groups to create smaller but more meetings. The next meeting was going to with only the health professionals. During our interagency module, we learned that when parents go to these big meetings with several professionals, it can be very daunting. The fact that the primary school had recognised this and made changes to try and overcome the family’s feelings is excellent. This is something that I know that I will take into my future practice if I ever happen to be at or run one of these meetings. Helping families not feel as scared and nervous about this kind of meeting is vital to the success of the meetings so if breaking the professionals down into groups help those feeling lessen then it is a fantastic thing to do.

My main goal I had set myself in the placement was to work with disabled children as I had no experience of working with disabled children. This placement has not only allowed me to meet this goal but it has also allowed me to learn about what families with disabled children go through; the challenges that people with disabilities go through to be able to go about simple everyday tasks like getting on a bus and going to the toilet; and the way that children with disabilities are treated in schools. Learning all about the life of children and adults with profound and multiple disabilities has been fascinating. This placement has taught me a lot about myself as well as several transferable skills that I can take into my future professional practice.

During this placement, I have not had anyone watching over me all the time to make sure that I have completed certain tasks. At the beginning, I was told that I would be helping with K’s transition and what needed to be done for this. After this time, it was my responsibility to have these done when they needed to be done. At PAMIS I had to learn to work autonomously as everyone else had lots to do. I was given different tasks throughout my time and different tasks arose as I attended meetings and spoke to the family and other professionals. Being able to have the time to read about the different campaigns that PAMIS are involved in as well as the research behind the multi-sensory stories and different communication methods has been very interesting and educational. This time has been important as it has meant that I know the research and information behind the projects and campaigns which has given me an insight. At PAMIS I have also had to manage my own time. PAMIS were very flexible about where I could spend my time. If I needed to organise meetings then I was the one to contact the person and arrange when it would be best to do this. It also meant that if I needed to go to the library or go to the shops to buy the sensory items then I could do this. Since, it was always me contacting and arranging the meetings that I was attending it helped to build my confidence when I was at the meetings. Previously, if I have attended meetings I have not felt confident to speak up as I was only there shadowing. However, at this placement that was not the case. Most of the meetings that I attended were only myself, Max and the people/person that we were meeting. This meant that I could not hide behind someone else and I had to speak up and share my own ideas. I was also not viewed as a student during my time at PAMIS. I was always viewed as a professional and asked for my opinion in every meeting that I attended. I know that I will carry this confidence on when I return to university and in my future placements. This relates to several of the Standards of Provisional Registration but mostly to do with professional commitment.

I have learned several new skills during this placement that I will carry on to my future practice as well as my time as a student. I do not think that I could have learned these new skills or developed other skills anywhere else. I plan to continue my relationship with PAMIS and volunteer there when I can.

Multi-Sensory Stories

Some of the first pieces of work that I did at PAMIS was looking into multi-sensory stories. I knew that I was going to be creating one later in my placement so I wanted to understand why multi-sensory stories were created.

Multi-sensory stories are short stories of just a few lines that are brought to life through a selection of meaningful sensory experiences. They are extremely beneficial for students with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other special educational needs (SEN). These stories open new ways of communication for these children as well as introduce new ways to learn (Grace,2015). Sensory stories help children with profound disabilities cope with sensitive issues that may crop up in their lives (Young et al, 2011). The stories that PAMIS have range from experiences like transitioning from primary to secondary or going to the dentist. However, some of the stories are just stories that can be told for fun such as fairytales. These stories can bring families together as the other siblings can perform the stories to the child with a disability. This means that it gives all the children something to do and brings everyone together.


A big part of my time at PAMIS was focusing on one child and her transition to secondary school. To aid in this transition PAMIS wanted to create a multi-sensory story to help explain this transition and to have something that the primary, secondary and family could perform to the child.

The first step of creating the story was attending meetings to find out what the best ideas would be for the story. When I started my placement at PAMIS, I was shown videos of multi-sensory stories being performed and I looked through some of the many stories that PAMIS have in their library. These stories are available for anyone to borrow and use that needs them.

The first stages of creating the story was attending meetings with the high school and then the primary school to find out what each school would like the story to be about and what they would like from the story. After we had spoken to both schools we had to start thinking about what sounds and sensory items we wanted in the story. At the high school one of theteachers had said that his signifier to K was going to be his beard. If we could find a good replication of a beard we wanted to re-create this for the story. After visiting both schools and meeting K we went back to the high school to record some sounds that K would encounter that were different from what she hears in her typical school day currently.

One of the main concerns that the primary school had was that the noise of the other children in the school would bother K. The department that K would be in for most of her day was relatively quiet as we had had a tour of it when we had been there previously. However, we took their concerns on board and recorded the sounds of the children at the nosiest part of the school. Other different sounds that K would never have heard before is the sound of the school bell at the secondary school; the sound of another child’s electronic wheelchair; the sound of the electronic doors that K would come into the school through and the voices of each teacher that would be working with K. We recorded several sounds so that when it came to writing the
story we had more than enough different sounds to incorporate into it. Recording these  sounds looks a while as we had to wait for the correct moment to record some of them as well as go around the school to get each teacher that would be working with K.

We used talking tiles to record the different sounds. These were little switches that K can press herself to hear the sound in the story.

After we had of the sounds recorded, the next stage was to write the story. When we had discussed the story with the primary and secondary school we had been asked if we could incorporate a song/jingle as K loves music and she really tunes into songs and

music when she hears them. K also enjoys shaking bells or a maraca so we wanted to have a part of the song that K could do this. As well as this it was also suggested to have a repetitive line throughout the story. Writing the story was not too difficult as we knew that it was going to follow what K would do on the days that she going to the secondary school. Writing the song was a little trickier but Max came up with some catchy limerick style songs that worked well with the story.

The next stage was to buy tor create the different sensory items that we had written into the story. Finding some of the items was a lot more difficult than I first anticipated it to be. It took a lot of searching online, asking friends and family and going around several different shops to find everything that we needed. For a couple of the items we needed to make the item. The most difficult item to re-create was the teacher’s beard. It took a few discussions with different people to conclude what we were going to use.

The final step was to print the story up in an A3 size and attach all the items to wipeable boards and number each one so that whoever is performing the story knows which order the boards should be in and what stage of the story each one goes along with. 

Each of the boards are numbered as pages to correlate with each line of the story.         






All of the sensory items I bought for the story (we used the paintbrush bristles to recreate the teacher’s beard).




We used a torch and green tissue paper to re-create the green flashing light in the secondary school.

Velcro pads are used to attach each item to the boards so that they can be attached and unattached easily. 






K has different signifiers for different rooms and places that she goes throughout her school day. we incorporated some of these into the story. The astro turf is given to K when she goes outside and the pom pom signifies the sensory room.






Grace, J. (2015) Sensory Stories for Children and Teens with Special Educational Needs. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Young, H., Fenwick, M., Lambe, L. and Hogg, J. (2011). Multisensory storytelling as an aid to assisting people with profound intellectual disabilities to cope with sensitive issues: a multiple research methods analysis of engagement and outcomesEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education, [online] 26(2), pp.127-142. Available at: (Accessed 20 Apr. 2017).

Canaan Barrie on body signing

There are several different forms of communication that different disabled children use. K uses Canaan Barrie on body signing.

Canaan Barrie was pioneered by a principal teacher of Edinburgh’s Royal Blind School. Mary Lee and her colleague Lindi MacWilliam devised this new “language” for children who have multiple disabilities as well as being visually impaired. This approach is unique as it comes from the point of view of the child who is visually impaired (Scotsman, 2010)

This communication approach has three main sections which includes movement interaction, personal gestures and an adapted sign vocabulary. Underlying this approach is the belief that everyone can and dos communicate and it is therefore up to those who are supporting people with complex support needs to tune into them and try and see the world from their point of view (Lee and MacWilliam, 2001).

This approach centres around touch. Touch plays a major role in allowing communication partners to make contact and build understanding between them. Touch enables them to exchange their thoughts and feelings, a process that is normally supported largely by eye contact and the visual channel (Lee and MacWilliam, 2001). Since K is registered blind and can only see slight light changes she cannot communicate through visual cues. This means that when somebody enters a room, she cannot see them. A new person entering a room where K is should first approach her and shake her right hand and say “hello”. This introduces you to K and lets her know that you are in the room.

Canaan Barrie signs are developed as a relationship between an adult and child develops. This means that each child’s Canaan Barrie signs are slightly different as they are unique to them. There are universal Canaan Barrie signs but not every child will need every single one of these. Canaan Barrie signs mean that children who are visually impaired can still communicate and be communicated with using their sense of touch. Most of the signs have a specific reference point on the body. All of the signs involve touching – on the body or using hands – or movements close to the child. “The aim is to work out a vocabulary of movement, gesture and touch that reflects the everyday routines, needs and interests of the child.” (Scotsman, 2010).

A few of the Canaan Barrie signs.


Lee, M. and MacWilliam, L. (2001). Learning together: A creative approach to learning for children with multiple disabilities and a visual impairment. 2nd ed. London: Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Scotsman. (2010). Teacher who devised signing system for blind up for award. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Apr. 2017]

Weekly Reflection Week 5

I can’t believe that I only have one week left here!

This week has been pretty busy as we had to finish the multi-sensory story this week as K goes back to school on Tuesday. At first, I thought this would be easy as all we had to do was buy the sensory items for the story. However, it was a lot harder than I expected it to be. Finding the items that we needed for the story was difficult. When we wrote the story, we did not really think about where we would get the items we wanted. The most difficult item to create was the signifier for one of the teachers at the high school. He had told us that he was going to use his beard as his signifier for K. We had to create something that felt like his beard. What do we use for that? We had thought of several ideas but none seemed quite right. I had thought that creating this sensory story was going to be relatively easy but even creating the boards was proving to be a small challenge. We eventually found the best we could to re-create the beard which turned out to be a paintbrush bristles cut off the paintbrush and stuck together. This needed me to use skills that I never thought this placement would require me to use as well as we need to think outside the box to create the something that was the most realistic in touch to a real beard. Some of the other steps of the story created smaller challenges like making sure the voice recording clips were clear and loud on the talking tiles and creating a green flashing light with tissue paper and a torch. Using these creative skills to make this story was not the kind of skills that I thought I would develop at this placement. How to create the items that K would come across in real life was challenging and required me to think outside the box and away from how I would normally create something. These skills will also be transferable to a classroom for arts and crafts lessons or for creating things for around my classroom. Being able to think of different ways to make items or to replicate items will be good to show children and will be a fun learning opportunity for my future pupils.

I also had a meeting with K’s mum today. We were hoping that K would be there but she had unfortunately taken ill during the night so it was just her mum and sisters. As it was still the school holidays we were meeting at Dundee Science Centre so that the other girls would have something to do while we were there. All PAMIS families have access to Dundee Science Centre for free as part of the PAMIS Golden Ticket which means that they and their family members can get in for free. This means that families with children with PMLD have somewhere that they can go that helps to get the child with PLMD out of the house. The science centre has lots for a disabled child to do as well as being relatively wheelchair friendly is that is needed. As well as this, the siblings also have a place that they can run around and explore that is not solely for the disabled child.

We were meeting the child’s mum to speak to her about K’s digital passport. We took a printed copy of the passport with us so that she could see what was already in it as well as what was not. We had only briefly met the mum before so it was a good chance to speak to her about the passport and the story. She loved all the pictures that were in the passport and it was good to learn some context about some of the pictures. We were hoping to incorporate some videos into the passport as well as some information on K’s typical school day. Her mum also wanted us to add in information on her movements and information and x-rays from a recent surgery she had. As the digital passports are for the family it is important that it has the information that the families want people to know. We also showed her the sensory story and checked that the steps were correct. She asked us to change the first line of the story as we had that there would be the smell of toast in the morning and she said that there was not but there was coffee. Something coffee smelling was easier to get a hold of than something toast smelling so this made creating the story a lot easier. Getting to spend time with the family helped me to get to know them a lot more. I think that getting to know them more will help us to finish the story and passport as I will know more about them and K. 

Working on the digital passport this week has been quite challenging. Most of the passport is already done which means that adding in slides so that they flow smoothly with what is already there is a little challenging. I do not have the best computer knowledge so keeping everything the same was difficult. The most difficult bit was adding in pictures as all of the pictures in the passport have a double border plus writing so moving and adding new pictures took a lot of fidgety work. Previously, I did not know how to add links and I had to figure out how to do this for the passport. I did not expect to learn how to improve my computer skills during this placement but working on the passport has required me to.

Week 4

This week has been a relatively quiet but busy week. I can’t believe that I have been at PAMIS for three weeks now! 

The office has been very quiet this week as it is the first week of the school holidays. As it is the school holiday I had no meetings this week but lots to do in the office. When we were at the high school last week we told them that we would have the multi-sensory story finished for the schools going back as this is when the transition starts. This means that we had this week and next week to write and create the story. This week Max and I wrote the story as well as a small “song” to be sung to K at the start and end of the song. This was one of the suggestions from the primary school. As K loves songs and listening to music we thought this would be a great way to grab her attention. She also loves shaking a maraca or bells along to music so we thought she could do this along with the song. Creating her story was relatively simple as we were just writing what she would be doing on the day that she goes to the high school. We decided to include something that would happen in the morning at her house which we thought might be that her sisters have toast so K would smell toast. We also decided to incorporate some of the activities along with their signifiers that she does at her primary school so that she realises there will not be too much different. The story took a few different drafts as we checked it with Maureen from PAMIS as she knows the family well as well as made sure that we had enough different sensory items in the story for K to touch, smell and hear. The task of creating the story has shown me that it is not easy to create these stories. For ours we have had to make sure that everything is accurate to how K’s daily routine would be so as not to confuse her. As well as create the song and a line at each step of the story that can be sung.

The rest of this week has mostly been working autonomously on different smaller tasks that Jenny emailed to us. These were a variety of things including look at who I would call upon as a teacher if I had a child who challenged me with their behaviour or if a child had a specific physical disability. Being at PAMIS has opened my eyes to what support and help is out there. Previously, I had never heard of PAMIS and having a child in my classroom with a condition I did not understand or know about scared me. This has helped me to see some of the support that is in place for families of children with disabilities but the support, facilities and programmes are also available to teacher is so needed. I will carry this knowledge onto my future placements as well as into my teaching career. This will be very useful for me as I will be able to help children with learning and physical disabilities as well as let their families know where they can go for support if they do not already.

Another of the tasks that Jenny had suggested was to look for a community hub school and identify the important aspects of one. I find community hub schools interesting as they are a school, community centre and other facilities all in one building. These are great for communities as they become the centre of the community and make it easy for people to find what they need and access help and support. There is not a community hub school in Dundee at the moment so we could not visit one to see how the different facilities work together. There is one in Dunfermline that I am hoping to visit as my Dad lives close to it but I am not sure if I will be able to. I think it will be fascinating to see how these different places work together to create a community feeling with a lot of people under one roof. From a teaching perspective, I would also like to know what teaching in this school is like. I think it would be really useful to have access to lots of different facilities on your doorstep to help your children with any problems. 

This week has been mostly learning how to work through tasks on my own without needing constant guidance. This is an important skill to have for my future years at university as well as when I am qualified. Being able to work autonomously means that I can work on what is needing to be done when I am on placement and in practice without having to be told what to do.

One Great Big Family! (Section 3)

The PAMIS organisation feels like one big family. In the Tayside office, they are not loads of staff members but everyone comes together and helps with what they can, when they can. The layout of the PAMIS building is several smallish offices over two floors. There is only one bigger office that a few people share. Usually this closed off type of layout can mean that staff members are all very secluded. Not at PAMIS! Unless there is a meeting going on, all office doors are left wide open, even Jenny’s. This creates a very open and friendly atmosphere where everyone is very approachable. This feeling carries right through the whole organisation. This has been helpful throughout my entire placement but especially at the beginning as I was unsure where everything was. I felt that I could ask anyone to help. 

What helps to create the family feeling that is throughout this organisation is the twice daily coffee breaks. When I first started my placement here I never went along when asked for a coffee as I do not drink tea or coffee. After a few days of wondering why the office was so quiet for twenty/thirty minutes every day, twice a day, I went along. When I did, I discovered the heart of this organisation. Everyday kettles of coffee are made and taken along to the tea room. Once the coffee is made a small bell in rung to let everyone know that the coffee is ready. Everyone then goes along to the tea room which is where the magic happens. The coffee breaks are not just a time for having a coffee and a chat. During coffee breaks current projects that staff are working on are discussed, ideas are bounced back and forth and different options and solutions are thought of. It is also a time to catch up on what is needing to be done for certain projects without having to be behind email all of the time. For me, this was useful for catching up and talking to members of staff that you may not have seen or known whether they were in or not. It also was a time that other ideas or meetings could be proposed or discussed relating to what I was working on. I found the coffee breaks at PAMIS really fascinating as not only did everyone member of staff that was in go along at the same time but they also all shared ideas and opinions with each other. I think this is a big part of what helps to create the family-like feel that surrounds everyone at PAMIS.

I’m sure that this family feeling extends out to the families that PAMIS work with. PAMIS go above and beyond to help families and give them all the support that they can. I have seen how highly that K’s family regard them and her mum said to me that she would do anything for PAMIS. As this probably echo’s several family’s sentiments towards the charity it shows the importance of the work that PAMIS do.

I hope to carry this kind of attitude on to my future placements and in my career as I think this collaboration for working together and discussing projects creates a good work environment. It also help everyone to know what is going on within the organisation even if it is not a project that you are working on personally.

Changing Places toilets

PAMIS are involved in several different campaigns. One of these campaigns is the Changing Places toilets. PAMIS are currently involved in a big campaign to bring more Changing Places toilets to the UK. Standard accessible toilets meet the needs of some disabled people. However, 230,000 people living in the UK need personal assistance to use the toilet or change continence pads. They and their families or carers need Changing Places toilets to be able to take part in their communities. Many cannot leave their homes as the places that they want to go do not meet their basic needs. A Changing Places toilet provides the right equipment – a height adjustable changing bench and a tracking hoist system or mobile hoist; enough space – adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers, a centrally placed toilet with room wither side for the carers and a screen or curtain to allow the disabled person and carer some privacy; a safe and clean environment – wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench, a large waste bin for disposable pads and a non-slip floor.

Changing Places toilets should be installed in as many venues and locations as possible so that disabled people, elderly people and anyone else who needs access to a Changing Places toilet can go to the places that they enjoy and still have their basic needs met. Currently, these people need to either be changed on dirty bathroom floors or cannot leave their homes. This is not fair for people to have to live their lives this way.

PAMIS are campaigning for more Changing Places toilets around Scotland as well as a mobile one. If there was a mobile Changing Places toilet then venues would be able to hire this toilet like they do normal toilets when they put events on. This would mean that people that need these toilets would be able to go to more events across the country.

In February 2009, Changing Places toilets were included in the British Standards BS8300, this means that they should be included in all new larger buildings and complexes such as large railway stations and airports, sports and leisure facilities, shopping centres and health facilities such as hospitals. This is great for all building that have been built since this time but there still needs to be more done to get these toilets into older buildings and places. Currently, there is only ten Changing Places toilets in Dundee. Even though this may not seem a lot when you compare this to the number of toilets in Scotland’s other big cities it is very good. Glasgow has the same number of Changing Places toilets as Dundee but Edinburgh and Aberdeen have nine and seven respectfully. Since these cities are much bigger than Dundee they should have several more since even the amount in Dundee is not enough.

Big venues such as Murrayfield Rugby Stadium and Blair Drummond Safari Park have Changing Places toilets. This means that events and days out can be enjoyed by entire families because the basic needs of a disabled family member has been met. There needs to be more Changing Places toilets across the whole of the UK so that families can go wherever they want to go without worrying that the correct facilities will not be available to them.

Several organisations (including PAMIS) under the name the Changing Places Consortium are still campaigning for more Changing Places toilets so that the basic needs of disabled and elderly people are met.

This is an example of a Changing Places toilet.


Changing Places Consortium (no date) Changing places, changing lives. [Leaflet obtained from PAMIS Dundee], Date obtained: 30th March 2017.

PAMIS (no date) A Directory of Changing Places Toilets in Scotland. [Leaflet obtained from PAMIS Dundee], Date obtained: 30th March 2017.

Scottish Parliament Visit

Yesterday, Jenny (PAMIS CEO) Max, and I went to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. We were going to a Learning Disability Cross Party Group in one of the meeting rooms at the Holyrood building. I was really looking forward to going to the meeting and hearing what they were discussing. There were three speakers during the meeting: – the first was Professor Andrew Jahoda; the second was Kayleigh from ENABLE Scotland and the last was Donna Marie Speir and her team from Values Into Action Scotland.

It was a controversial day to be at Holyrood as it was the day that the Government were debating whether to have a second referendum in Scotland. This meant that when we got there, there were several media vans there reporting on what would happen. There were also campaigners campaigning for the referendum to go a certain way. I had never been to the Scottish Parliament before and all of this activity made a simple visit seem very exciting.

I found the meeting really informative and all of the speakers were very interesting. The first speaker at the meeting was Professor Andrew Jahoda, who works in psychological medicine, and his colleague from Glasgow University. Jahoda has researched exclusion of people with learning difficulties previously. They have been looking at bullying in schools of children with learning difficulties and whether anti-bullying strategies are working. I found what they had to say extremely interesting as having being bullied myself previously where teacher’s anti-bullying techniques were questionable, I know how important this is. Professor Jahoda found that there were more cases of bullying than what they expected to find. He told us that we also found that generic anti-bullying techniques do not address people with learning difficulties. As well as this, many anti-bullying programmes work with the victim so that they can learn how to cope with the bullying and can be more assertive and develop their social skills. I think this is shocking that it is more often the victim that is worked with so that they can deal with the bullying rather than the bullies being given workshops on not bullying and the results of bullying. Professor Jahoda and his team thought it would be a good idea to teach young people to have knowledge and understanding of people with disabilities, their condition and what goes on in their lives.

The team at Glasgow University have developed lessons for school children. These lessons will teach the children about diversity, disabilities and understanding disabilities. They are hoping that these lessons will be delivered often in schools and the children will be engaged and interested in the topics. Many anti-bullying programmes are only on for a short while or are a programme that children go to once. The team want to stop this and have a more permanent solution. These lessons are aimed towards children in secondary schools, primarily first year pupils. These lessons are being developed over the next five years and have been piloted in several areas in Scotland. Currently, the lessons are out for their second pilot after being developed after the first time. Professor Andrew have also developed resources for teachers to use to help teach these lessons and they have also made sure that they have fitted into the curriculum. At the moment, they have not made any links with Education Scotland to do with these lessons yet but that is the next step that they are planning to do. They have worked with local authorities and they think the lessons are a great idea.

I think that these lessons are a fantastic idea as it means there are long term solutions to bullying available rather than short programmes that focus more on the victim than preventing the problem. However, I think that they should work these lessons into the primary curriculum as well. I think that waiting until secondary school to start these lessons could sometimes be too late. These could be brought into upper primary school stages which would help educate children earlier on about different disabilities.

The second speaker was Kayleigh from ENABLE Scotland who spoke about the IncludED In The Main?! Campaign (see IncludED In The Main). She summarised what the campaign was trying to achieve and spoke about the 22 recommendations. She said that a child with a disability being present in a classroom does not mean that they are being included. ENABLE hope that along with Professor Jahoda’s plan to deliver these lessons and their 22 steps that inclusion for all can be achieved. Currently, it is found that there is a big reliance on classroom support teachers as only 12% of teachers feel equipped to teach disabled children. This is an incredibly low number of teachers and means that the majority of teachers do not feel prepared to teach disabled children. This number does not surprise me as I did not feel very confident, when I was on placement last year, teaching children with learning disabilities and neither did the class teacher I was working with. Even though IncludED In The Main?! highlights a lot of problems Kayleigh said that it is about campaigning for solutions, not highlighting the problems. Kayleigh also agreed with Professor Jahoda as she thought that having lessons within the curriculum about disabilities would make a big difference.

Professor Andrew Jahoda and his team at the University of Glasgow and ENABLE Scotland think that the Scottish Government should invest more money into the role of teaching. They also want modules to be out into teacher training courses on additional support needs and think this training should be continuous throughout a teacher’s career. They also think that more money should be invested into additional support needs in general so that each school can have more ASN staff.

The last speakers at the meeting were Donna Marie Spier and her colleague, Jordan, from Values Into Action Scotland. They were speaking about transition and what VIAS do. Jordan is a quality checker for VIAS. A quality checker is someone that has a learning difficulty or is on the autism spectrum. Quality checkers visit people and ask question about what support that they provide. Sometimes the quality checker also do mystery shopping to see how much support there is in place. They then write down what they have discovered in a report as well as suggest how the organisation can improve their support. I think that this is a great idea as who knows if the correct support is in place better than the person with the same or similar condition. Fifty five NHS staff have been trained correctly as a result of Quality Check. VIAS are also working alongside People First Glasgow and Glasgow city Council on “The Life I Want Public Social Partnership”. This is a person-led partnership that gives people with learning difficulties in Glasgow a strong voice where they can help to make decisions which helps them to achieve choice and control in all areas of their lives. This is the first person led public social partnership in Scotland. Values Into Action Scotland help to give people with learning difficulties and individuals on the autistic spectrum a voice in their lives. This is hugely important as why should they not get a say in their lives and the support that is offered to them.

I found the meeting at THE Parliament highly educational and eye-opening. It showed me just a small amount of the work that it going on to help people with learning difficulties live a normal life. As well as this it also showed me what can be done to prevent people with learning difficulties to be bullied. I know that the information that I have learned today will help me in my future practice as I have learned information about organisations that I may never have. The meeting yesterday can also be linked to the SFPR for professional commitment as I had to be professional throughout the entire day. Whether that was when I was met some of the people that would be attending the meeting; throughout the meeting or when I was on the train to Edinburgh with Jenny and Max. I am also working towards the standards for social justice – Demonstrating a commitment to engaging learners in real world issues to enhance learning experiences and outcomes, and to encourage learning our way to a better future. i cannot teach about real world issues and help learners towards a better future if i do not know what these issues are and how i can help to change them. The meeting today has opened my eyes to some of these issues.

IncludED In The Main?!

Tomorrow I am going to a meeting at the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh. There will be three different speakers at this meeting and one of them will be ENABLE Scotland talking about their IncludED In The Main?! Campaign. I have just read the report from this and some of the facts and figures that they have discovered are really surprising to me.

ENABLE have looked at the bullying of disabled children in mainstream schools and how these people feel now that they are out of school. ENABLE have said that placing disabled children into mainstream school is not always the best for the child as it can equate to bullying. They have published a report that has twenty-two steps for the journey to inclusion. These steps include recommendations that suggest it may not always be best for disabled children to attend mainstream schools. They have several reasons (which they call their steps) for this. One of the most important (in my opinion) recommendations that they have is to embed lessons on learning difficulties into the curriculum. Many disabled children feel lonely at school with 62.5% saying that other people do not understand them. ENABLE have developed resources for teaching these lessons and they will be available in schools this year. Teachers will be also be getting training to help deliver these lessons. Hopefully, once these resources are introduced into schools they will help children to understand different learning disabilities and help to reduce disabled children’s feelings of loneliness and being misunderstood.

Another of the recommendations that ENABLE have in this report is that teacher training does not adequately prepare teachers to teach children with different learning disabilities. However, they also go on to say that teacher training cannot prepare teachers to be able to teach every child’s disability for each different learning disabilities as every child is different. This means that there needs to be continued professional development throughout a teacher’s career where they can receive training to different disabilities as well as have specific staff to help the child. ENABLE found that 30% of education professionals felt that there were not enough specific CPD for teaching young people who have learning difficulties. ENABLE also think the Named Person will help to support families of the children and the children with learning difficulties. The Named Person will make sure that families have the correct information, support and access to the right help. To develop this point further, another of ENABLE’s recommendations is for the Scottish Government to commission training courses on several areas including learning disabilities and Positive Behaviour Support. The main issue for providing this support is also not enough additional support staff and classroom assistants. Nearly 71% of educational workforce felt that there was a shortage in support assistants and that more were needed. I think if there were more support assistants then teachers and schools would be able to support all children with learning disabilities.

These are just a few of the twenty-two recommendations that ENABLE have said are the steps to inclusion for children with learning disabilities. I think that these recommendations show what needs to be done to help children with learning disabilities to feel like they are no difference to any other child. I am looking forward to discovering what is said on this topic at the meeting tomorrow.


ENABLE Scotland, (2016). IncludED In The Main?!. [online] North Lanarkshire: ENABLE Scotland. Available at: [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017].


Monday Meetings

This morning Max and I had two important meetings to help us finish creating the Multi-Sensory story (MSS) for the child that we are working with. The first meeting was at the primary school of the child who is transitioning and the second was at the high school that she is moving to. Both meetings were important but for different reasons. The one at the primary school was our first meeting of the day and this was when we got to meet the child for the first time. It was great to see how she interacts with al of the teachers and how she reacts when her teachers sing to her. The enjoyment that she got from them singing to her while she shook a maraca showed us that we needed to have a song in her story so that she can shake her maraca at the same time. When she is being sung to her full attention is on the song and the person singing it. Meaning if a song is at the start of her story she will be paying attention to the voice for what is coming next. To keep her attention we are also going to have a sing-song repeated line throughout the story.

The primary schools main concern with the transition was that the noise of all of the other pupils within the high school would be bothersome as in her primary school she is in the same room with five pupils and five teachers most of her day. Even though, we did not think it would be a big concern, as she is going to be in a very quiet part of the school all day, we took their concerns on board and addressed it when we got to the high school.

As we had already been at the high school for a meeting we were only really going there to briefly get the recordings that we needed for her story and to speak to one of the ASN teachers  about what he thought best for the MSS, the transition and to let him know of the primary schools concerns. He agreed that she would not hear the sounds of the other children much but showed us the best place to capture these sounds so we could let her hear them anyway. We spoke to him about what sounds would be the most different and unusual for her. The most distinct noise was the school bell as it was not something that she was use to hearing. We made sure to record this noise of the bell as well as the noise of the children when they were moving between classes since that was the primary schools main concern. We also recorded the voices of the teachers that would be working with the child so that she could get use to them recognised who each person was. One of the ASN teachers is male. The child has never had a male teacher work with her. This means that this will be something very different for her. We made sure to record his voice too and incorporate it into the multi-sensory story. This will help her get use to his voice before she goes to the high school and become even more familiar to her through the transition.

These meetings have been very important to us being able to make the multi-sensory story as helpful as it can be in the child’s transition. They were also important for finding out what each schools wants from the story and what concerns they each have about the child’s transition.

Throughout both of these meetings I had to be professional as well as remember that I was representing PAMIS at these schools. These are skills that are always useful to contiously develop for now and when I will fully qualified as I will need to be professional at all times.

A Time for Change!

 My second week has been busy as well as a little worrisome. As I had to leave my placement at the Brae last week I was worried what would happen and if I would be able to progress into third year. Susan got in touch with me quickly and told me that she had found me another placement. I was relieved! She sent me the organisation details and the contact details of the CEO of the organisation. I got in contact with her and she was happy for me to come in for a meeting the next day to meet everyone and find out more about the organisation. She also sent me some information on the organisation so that evening I did some research on PAMIS as I had never heard of them.

Meeting Jenny and everyone at PAMIS on the Wednesday was great and I found out more about the organisation as well as all of the different tasks that I would be taking part in. PAMIS is an organisation that works with children and adults with profound and multiple disabilities which meant that I could still achieve my goal of working with disabled children as well as let me complete tasks that I had never had experience of before. I also found out that someone else in my course was at PAMIS.

All the different tasks and meeting done at PAMIS sounded fascinating to me as well as great for my development as a teacher. After my meeting, Jenny had asked me if I had wanted to join in a meeting that the other teaching student had. I decided that it would be best to jump into this placement straight away and decided to join the meeting even though I had no idea what the meeting was about and all I knew that it was with other students on placement. When we walked into an empty room I was a little perplexed and then I noticed that it was a video meeting. The students were in the Glasgow office!

Walking into a meeting blind was scary when I was only just learning about the organisation. Luckily, the meeting was with four occupational therapist students so it did not feel so scary. Straight away I was experiencing new things which was scary and nerve-wracking but also very interesting. A first I did not know what the meeting was fully about but I very quickly worked it out. The Great Day Out had been mentioned in my initial meeting but only briefly as Jenny was telling me all about the different projects that PAMIS has running. PAMIS are currently trying to create a website so that parents of children with profound and multiple disabilities can know which activity places that have certain facilities and activities that are suitable for disabled children and their siblings so that the siblings do not get bored doing the same thing all the time. The meeting with the occupational therapist students was to share ideas for this website that they had come up with and what we (the other student more so as I had just started but I contributed what I could) had thought of too. The organisation is hoping to plan a Great Day Out at one of the places that would be on the website so that different activities at one of these places can be organised. This website may have things like a symbol to show certain facilities at different places, for example, a gold star to show which locations have a changing place
s toilet. It was also discussed that the website should have a filter type feature so that families can filter all of the places to what they need. For example, if they need a changing places toilet and wheelchair access they can click those two features and the website will bring up all the places
that have these facilities. As well as what facilities each place has the website could also show teaching activities for each place so that schools can use the website when planning school trips. This was particularly interesting to me from a teaching point of view as its showing what can be learned from each place. For example, what activities could a disabled child and her non-disabled sister do at Blair Drummond so that it is enjoyable for them both and they both learn something.

When I had my initial meeting with Jenny she had mentioned that Max had a meeting the next day at a close town’s high school as he was putting together a Multi-Sensory Story to help with a child’s transition from primary to secondary school. Jenny thought it a good idea for us to work on this together. The next day we went to the high school to meet with the teachers the child would be in contact with the most as well as speak about what is best for the child when they visit the school for transitions visits and what signifiers she uses to signify different rooms and places as the child is registered blind. On the way to the school I had made sure that i knew who we were going to meet, about the child and about the transition. This meant that when we got to the high school I knew what was going on and could contribute to the meeting, even though I had only started at PAMIS the day before.

The meeting can be linked to the Standards for Provision Registration as meeting with an ASN teacher and a visual impairment teacher I needed to be professional and confident in what we were discussing. this meeting can be linked to several of the GTC Scotland’s’ standards for professionalism but I feel like it inks best to this one develop an understanding of the sector and schools in which they are working, including: the role of education authorities, the organisation and management of schools and resources, improvement planning, professional review and development and how these connect to teachers’ professional practice. This is important as by having this meeting and helping with this transition has also let me see what facilities there is within my local community in which I will be teaching within one day.

PAMIS (Promoting A More Inclusive Society)

Promoting a More Inclusive Society (PAMIS) is a charity organisation that works solely with children and adults with profound and multiple mental disabilities (PMLD) and their families. PAMIS is a charity that started 25 years ago by two members of staff. Now, PAMIS have several offices all over Scotland and over twenty members of staff. PAMIS have always had a vision of having people with profound and multiple learning disabilities at the heart of their organisation. Their commitment is to help people with PMLD feel that they are valued members of society; that individuals receive all of the help and support that they need to take part in everyday life; choices, abilities and needs underlay all provisions and policy that affects their lives; and the knowledge and experience that family carers have is recognised. To achieve this PAMIS offers several different services including practical help, advice, information and training; individual support as well as contact with other families so that each family does not feel alone; assistance to gain better access to community resources; and the opportunity to influence policies and services.

PAMIS are involved in several different projects that are all associated with helping disabled people. One of the projects that PAMIS is involved in are Digital Passports. Digital Passport is an online e-book that contains information about an individual. This digital resource bridges communication problems between professionals who could all be working with the same child. This means that all of the information about one individual would be in one place that anyone who works with this individual can access. Having these digital passport also encourages partnership working between family carers, paid carers, healthcare and educational workers.

PAMIS have also created Multi-Sensory Storytelling. This is where a story is created to help an individual facilitate change, support learning and development, access mainstream education and connect communities and cultures to those who are visually impaired. These stories can be created to help someone overcome a big change in their life or they could just be to tell a well-known fairytale or folktale.


PAMIS (no date) Promoting a more inclusive society. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

A Whirlwind First Week!

(written on 18th March)

My first week at the Brae was fascinating. I really enjoyed learning all about the horses and the organisation. My first week flew in as we were given lots to do and every minute of the day there was a task needing to be done.
Even though I have always liked horses and horse riding I did not have any experience of working alongside horses. My week started by having a quick training session on some basic necessities that you need to know at The Brae including putting a head collar on a horse. Once I knew the basics for keeping myself and a horse safe I got stuck in to the typical Brae life. On a Monday morning there are no lessons at the Brae so this time is about exercising and grooming the horses as well as do any other cleaning and maintenance jobs that need completed. After lunch this is when the first lessons of the week are. I found the lessons to be really fascinating. Seeing how a horse can help someone as well as seeing the enjoyment that the rider has on the horse was amazing. I took part in two lessons that afternoon and the riders were very different. One rider was an adult who could control the horse herself without any lead reigns and thoroughly enjoyed the sound of the horse. This week she enjoyed it even more as she was out on the track around the school. She said that she felt like she was really horse riding as she could hear the sounds, that many people associate with horses, of the horses’ hooves on the road. My second lesson that day was with a child on a smaller pony. This child had the same look of enjoyment on her face when she was on the horse. The little girl needed a lot more support at the side of the horse than the previous lesson had. In spite of this, she showed me how important The Brae is for developing a child’s communication skills. She knew how to tell the horse to move “walk on” and stop “woah” and would be able to say these things to the horse and then enjoyed when the horse responded to her commands.
The Brae has letters and pictures all around the perimeter of their indoor and outdoor school. They also have obstacles. This means that the riders are not just walking round in circles when they are in the schools but they are moving around comes, objects and stepping over poles. As well as this the instructor of the lesson will tell the rider to look for the king, apple, horse picture or a certain letter. This means that the child is looking for the picture or letter and they know where the horse will be going. The young girl loved looking around her and talking to me and the other side helper. She had to be reminded to look ahead a lot. This just showed how much she was enjoying herself and how comfortable she was with communicating with everyone at The Brae. Not all of the riders were able to communicate with words but some would tell the horse to move forward by showing that they were looking straight ahead or using a hand signal. This meant that the riders were still learning new communication skills but ones that were suited to them.
After this first day I took part in several different tasks within Brae. A lot of my day was taken up by shadowing a leader in lessons (so that I could see how to lead on my own) or side supporting riders while they were on the horse. Side helping could be quite challenging as your sole responsibility was the rider. I found this role to be quite pressurised and stressful as one of the lessons I was involved in the rider had had a seizure the night before. This meant that she could fall asleep on the horse at any time. My role, alongside another volunteer, was to make sure that the rider stayed awake and sitting up straight on the horse throughout her lesson.
Outside of lessons my day was spent doing the necessary things for the horses. Whether that was getting them ready for lessons, taking their tack off after lessons, grooming, putting on their rugs, filling up their hay bags, bringing them in from the field and taking them out to the field every morning and evening.
My first week at The Brae was very interesting and I learned a lot. Unfortunately, I developed an allergy to something within the indoor and outdoor schools during my first week and I had a severe reaction. I have learned so much in a short period of time with The Brae and I know that I will take this on with me. I was looking forward to continuing my role at Brae for many reasons. One of these reasons was that no two days would be the same. There were different volunteers, different riders and different tasks to focus on every day. Another reason was that I am sure I would have learned even more about horses and what they can do for disabled people. I am really sad that I have had to leave this placement but hopefully I will find something that I can use the skills I have learned here.

Communication at the heart!

Communication is vital to the everyday running’s of the Brae. Since there are different volunteers and staff members everyday there has to be a way for all of the information for the riders and horses to be kept in once place. There are only 5/6 members of staff at The Brae with  over one hundred volunteers. Some volunteers work half days, others full days. This means that     there could be many different volunteers a day taking part in the lessons and looking after the horses and riders. Some riders only need one volunteer with them leading the horse, while others also need one or two side-helping. This means that their responsibility is the rider, making sure they are straight on the horse and occasionally holding the riders leg and/or ankle to keep then straight on the horse.

In the stables there are a couple of noticeboards that all have different communication messages that equate to the smooth running of the school every day. The first noticeboard focuses on the lessons of the day and information on the riders. Everyday there is a timetable pinned up with information on the lessons of the day. This sheet is vital as it contains all of the important details about each rider. These sheets have different number ratings for whether the rider has seizures and how severe that they are (there is a corresponding key also on this noticeboard so that the number beside each rider can be understood as to what it means). This makes it easy for everyone to understand what the different seizure ratings mean. There is also a similar rating for how the rider can communicate but this rating is done in order of letter so as not to be confused with the seizure one. These two pieces of information mean that staff and volunteers working with the riders know how they need to communicate and what you need to look out for when side-helping. As well as this, these sheets also have the time of each lesson, the riders name, which horse their lesson is on, the rider’s hat size and their stirrup length. At the side of each lesson time it also says how many volunteers are needed for each lesson. This means that the horses that are required can be tacked up ready with the stirrups at the correct length before the riders get there. There is also a small whiteboard in this area where each volunteer writes their name when they come in. This means that the supervisor knows how many volunteers they have that day and can assign the correct amount of volunteers to each rider.

On a second noticeboard these is a sheet, which is changed each day, that lists the daily tasks that need to be completed to make sure that the school and the horses are taken care of. This noticeboard also has different training sheets that are changed occasionally. These sheets go over training that all of the volunteers have had and they are put there as a reminder of how to complete certain tasks and jobs.

Without all of these different communication methods and sheets it would be very difficult for everyone to know this information. This shows how important communication at the Brae is and why they need this system in place to ensure that all of the volunteers know what they need to.

The Horses

(written on 16th March)

There are ten horses at The Brae and they all serve a different purpose or have a different priority. There are horses of all different heights and weights so that they can take different heights and weights of children and adults. A horse can not carry more than its own weight. This is very important as it means that each rider has to be weighed so that the correct horse can be selected for them. This is most important for children as they might be on the small Shetland pony but as they grow they may become too big for him. The horses range from a small Shetland pony right up to the biggest horse Prince. Through the summer months the Brae also do carriage driving lessons so that children and adults that are confined to a wheelchair can still experience the feeling of riding a horse.


Paddy is the newest horse to the Brae as he only arrived in September last year. It can take a horse 9 months to fully settle in to
somewhere new so he has not fully settled into the riding school yet. Paddy is 10 years old and his main job is to pull the carriage as he has recently passed his carriage driving test. He also has to take
part in lessons which he had not had much experience of but is getting more and more comfortable. Paddy is a lovely horse with a very calm personalty (as all of the horses need to have). My experience with Paddy was that he was a cheeky chap who had a great personality. Paddy would always help by lowering his head when putting his head collar on as well as check your pockets to see if you had any treats for him.


Boris is the smallest horse at the Brae as well as one of the oldest horses. Even though he is the smallest horse he is still a very strong pony. Boris gives rides to several smaller children. Boris has a great temperment and would often have his head over
the door of his stable so that he could be petted by people walking by. He was a very easy horse to work alongside and groom. Boris can often be seen relaxing in the small side field at the Brae when he is not working


Duey is one of the bigger horses at the Brae. He has been at the Brae since October 2014 which means he is well settled into his life there. Duey enjoys taking part in many lessons with some of the older children and adults. He is a very big and strong horse but is actually a gentle giant and can be a little bit of a wimp sometimes.


Prince is the tallest and one of the oldest horses at the Brae. Even though Prince is very tall he is  a ‘gentle giant’ who can give lessons different ages and abilities. Prince can also adapt from lead rein lessons to jumping lessons without a problem. Prince is very easy to work alongside and gives riders and volunteers confidence in the work that they are doing. As Prince is older he will probably be retiring soon. However, as Prince is such a hard working horse who does several different types of lessons, he cannot retire until the Brae find a replacement for him.


Gismo has been at the Brae for five years and is one of the smaller horses. Gismo works well with children of all abilities even those who need to be hoisted on to his back. Gismo is happy for new volunteers to learn their new skills of tacking up and grooming with him.


Dusty is an 11 year old Dapple Grey who has been at the Brae for three years and he enjoys taking part in lessons with smaller riders. Dusty is a very cheeky horse who can be a pain on lessons if he does not feel like doing certain tasks. He is an ideal height for many children but my own experience with Dusty is that he can be a bit of a pain at times. Dusty can occasionally take a nibble at volunteers when being groomed or on a lead rope during lessons. This means that he can be difficult to keep on track during lessons and will sometimes refuse to go from walking to trotting.


Mickey is a very calm black Gypsy Cob horse. He has several jobs so he is a very busy horse. Just like all of the other Brae horses Mickey takes part in several lessons a week. Mickey is also one of the Brae’s carriage driving horses. Mickey is a very laid back, quiet horse which means that he is ideal for new volunteers to learn how to tack up, groom and clean his feet. In my experience of working with Mickey, he would lower his head into his head collar to help me as he was quite tall and I am not! I was amazed when he did this as he realised that I was struggling and helped me. I was told when I was at the Brae that horses can sense human feelings a lot more than we can which means that you need to show the horses that you are confident even if underneath you are not.

As well as this Mickey can also step in for Romany in back riding lessons and he has also had training in vaulting lessons which are a new kind of lesson to the Brae.


Misty is a 13 year old grey Fell pony. Misty takes part in a lot of lessons as he is an ideal height for a variety of children and adults. He has been at the Brae for three years and in that time has doubled the amount of lessons that he does.


Rolley is an 18 year old grey mare and she is the only female horse at the Brae. Rolley takes part in several lessons and is slowly building her confidence for doing more. Rolley enjoys giving several children lessons. Rolley also has a very calm personality so she is good for new volunteers to practice tacking up and grooming. Helping new volunteers gain new skills is Rolley’s main role at the Brae at the moment but she is building up how many lessons that she does.


Romany has been at the Brae for four years. Romany helps to deliver a unique type of lesson, alongside the Brae physio, called Hippo therapy which is physiotherapy on horseback. Romany has been taking part in these lessons for a while now and they have managed to double the amount of lessons that they do. All of the children that have these lessons gain physically and mentally in strength and confidence.


Even though I was only at The Brae a week I had already started to see the different personalities that each horse had and I was enjoying getting to know each one. I felt like i had already started to develop a bond with some of the horses, however, I did not get to work closely with all of the horses in this short time. This meant that I got to know some better than others.


The Brae Riding for the Disabled. (no date). The Brae Riding for the Disabled. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].

The Brae Riding School

The Brae Riding School is a charity that is associated with the Riding for the Disabled. They are an independent charity. The Brae works with disabled children and adults ranging from 3-90. The Brae has only six members of staff and relies hugely on volunteers to run the school. There are over one hundred and fifty volunteers that work at The Brae.

Using horses can help disabled people in several different ways. The first is communication as it teaches them new phrases and words that when said will get a reaction from the horse or even just communicating with the volunteers. The second is that it might be the only time that the child or adult is ever taller than everyone else. This alone is a new experience for the riders. Being on a horse is can also improve the posture of a person and how they hold themselves as well as work on concentrating as they need to concentrate to control the horse. Lastly, since the riders enjoy horse riding so much they do not realise that they are putting their body through physiotherapy. The physiotherapist at The Brae also does some one-to-one Hippo therapy (physiotherapy on horseback) lessons. The Brae was the first riding school in Scotland to offer this kind of therapy.

In this placement I will have the same role as all of the other volunteers which includes a multitude of tasks. These tasks include mucking out, grooming, feeding and any other care needed to look after the horses. As well as the care of the horses I will also be taking part in the riding lessons with adults and children. At first I will be working with a buddy to help train me on how to lead a horse and how to side support a rider. After my training time I will be doing these activities on my own. As my placement continues I may be given other tasks as well.

I chose to complete my Learning from Life placement here for many reasons. The first reason was that I have always enjoyed working with horses and animal in general. I had horse riding lessons when I was a child and I always wanted to learn more about horses and work more with them. The second reason was the I wanted to see the work that RDA did and how the horses help disabled people. A friend of my gran was disabled and my gran would take her to the Riding for the Disabled so I wanted to see the work that this fantastic organisation did. Lastly, I did not have any experience of working with disabled children and adults and I wanted to gain some.

A Change of Plan

Originally, I was doing my Learning from Life placement in a very hands-on environment where I would be spending my time outdoors working with animals. My plan had always been to be creative and present my portfolio as a scrapbook as we had been told we could present it in any way we wanted. Unfortunately, during my first week at my placement I developed a severe allergy to something there and I was advised by my doctor and a specialist asthma nurse to leave as this allergy was affecting my asthma. This was incredibly disappointing as I had been planning to go to this place for placement for a long time and I was really looking forward to working with them. I had to make the decision to put my health first and leave my placement.

I remember when we had some of our first lectures about the Learning from Life placement my lecturer mentioned what you would need to do if your placement fell through last minute or something happened during your placement. I remember thinking at the time “I hope nothing like that happens to me”. Famous last words! As I now found myself in the situation where I had to email my university and let them know the unfortunate situation I was in. At this time I was really concerned. What if I had to go somewhere else for a placement I do not enjoy as much? What if I do not find a placement and will not be able to progress to third year? There were several “What if’s” going around in my head!

Luckily, only a couple of days later I received an email from my lecturer telling me she had found me a placement. I was delighted as well as slightly nervous. Once I had found out more about this placement I became really interested and I got in touch with the Chief Director of the organisation. I had found another placement that sounded fascinating and I couldn’t wait to start.

Since the nature of my placement has changed I have decided to present my portfolio on here rather than a scrapbook. Because of this I have several posts that I will be posting close together as I already had some information waiting to go into my scrapbook.

My Proposal

(written 22nd February)

In the box below please write a short placement proposal statement explaining:

  • What the placement is
  • Why you have chosen this setting
  • What you think the benefits of the placement will be
  • What you think you would be able to bring to the placement

(500 words maximum)


For my Learning from Life placement I am going to “The Brae – Riding For The Disabled”. This placement will help me work on my communication with everyone but specifically people with disabilities. This placement will also let me see how animals can help people who struggle with their disabilities. I hope that this placement will help me in these areas as well as to discover the best ways to communicate with adults and children with disabilities.

I have chosen this setting for my placement for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that I have previously visited Riding for Disabled places with a family friend and I have seen how much help they give people with disabilities. The second reason that I have chosen this setting is that I think it will be extremely educational for me to work with people with physical disabilities so that if I have a child that has physical disabilities I can help them in the best way possible.

The benefits of this placement will be learning new communication skills which will be hugely beneficial for me in the classroom. I will also learn new ways in which to communicate with people which will come in useful across all stages of school but more so in the early years as children at this stage may all communicate differently. This placement will also assist me with being able to communicate appropriately with any parent or children who have a disability. I will get to work in a setting that I have never before seeing how different techniques can be used to help children and adults.

I think I will be able to bring enthusiasm and a different outlook to this placement. Coming from an educational background will make me look at my tasks from a different perspective. Also, looking at things in this way will mean that I may come up with different ways to complete these tasks. I can also help this organisation come up with new ways to campaign their work within schools and show children what they do.

Goals and Plans!

This is my audit of skills and how I planned and prepared my placement. I have updated this since moving placements.

Audit of skills, knowledge and personal attributes
Rate yourself (1=Not very well developed; 3=very well developed)

Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
Self confidence x
 Work under pressure  x
Share opinions confidently  x
Teamwork  x
 Build social networks x
Converse confidently  x
Organise and plan  x
Self-discipline  x


Recognition Reflection Action
Skills already developed How will I use these How do I know (evidence)**
Self confidence  I will use this to be confident  in my abilities and if I am not sure what I am doing to ask someone When I feel confident in my work and what I need to do
Work under pressure  For this placement I will have a certain time that things can be done and a certain time when riders need help. When I can calmly help riders even if there is a certain safety pressure or other pressures upon me.
Share opinions confidently  When I am working alongside other staff members and volunteers I will be able to share any ideas that I have  When I can comfortably sit in a meeting and contribute my ideas and opinions.
 Team  Work  I will use the skills I gained on placement last year where I worked with pupils, teachers, teaching assistants and other staff members. This will be vital as there is many staff members and volunteers at Brae that I need to work alongside. When I am successfully working alongside everyone on my placement.


I know a lot of the work that The Brae and Riding for the Disabled do, however, I do not know the daily ins and outs of the running of the riding school. I also did not know that there was a Riding for the Disabled School in Dundee but I had had contact with the one in Forfar previously. I am looking forward to discovering everything that goes on at this organisation.

Personal Attributes:

I would say that I am someone who is approachable and friendly. I am very organized with my work and university life and I hate to be late for anything. I find these attributes to be key for becoming a teacher but I will also transfer them over to my time at the Brae as I think they will be useful characteristics there as well.



Reflection on experiences to date

Since my fourth year work experience I have taken every opportunity that I can to work with children in a primary school setting. These experiences helped me to work on my teamwork and professionalism skills quickly and helped me to see the school environment.

Since starting university I have continued to improve these skills as well as gain new skills. My MA1 placement helped me to work on my teamwork skills as there is so many different people involved with the daily and overall running’s of a successful classroom. Last year, I also got to work my professionalism as there were several different people in the classroom that I was working in and throughout the school. This will help me at the Brae as I will need to be professional with any riders and carer that come into the school. As well as this I will also need to be professional with the other staff that I will be working with.

I am a very punctual person as well as highly organized. During my first year placement these skills were highly important as I was always at the school early as well as it helped me to run my class on time throughout the day. Being organized is highly important when you are a teacher as you have paperwork for your children’s safety as well as lessons to plan and work to make. These organization skills helped me to keep on top of all of the work and planning that I needed to do. In my learning from life placement these skills will also help me as they will make sure that I am organized and ready before lessons.

Identification of skills and knowledge to be developed

Self-confidence: self-confidence is something that I have but I do not have it in bucket loads. During this placement I want to be able to improve this. I am going to try and improve this skill by meeting and working alongside many people that I will not be familiar with and possibly helping to present fundraising ideas.

Confidence in sharing my opinion: I am never very confident about sharing my ideas and opinions when in a meeting of several people. This is mostly because I can see that these people are more experienced than me. I want to improve this and have the confidence to speak up if I have a helpful idea or opinion.

Identification of learning opportunities

The Brae

  • At The Brae a main learning opportunity that I will have is to learn more about horses, what work they do for disabled riders and how to take care of them.
  • I will also learn more about how to communicate with disabled children and adults and t
    he different ways that each individual prefers. This relates to the SPR for social justice and being able to be fair to all learners and being able to communicate with disabled children is part of that.
  • Brae is one of few that offer Hippo therapy (physio therapy on horseback). Being able to see how this type of therapy can help disabled riders will be a learning opportunity.


  • A learning opportunity at PAMIS will be taking part in meetings where there will be several organisations in one meeting. This will give me the opportunity of seeing several professional bodies in one meeting. This related to the SPR as a student teacher needs to have professional commitment for Engaging with all aspects of professional practice and working collegiately with all members of our educational communities with enthusiasm, adaptability and constructive criticality.
  • I will also have the opportunity to learn more about disabled children and what different communication methods that they use.
  • A learning opportunity will be to improve my computer skills. I will be working with different computer programs than what I am use to for creating Digital Passports and Multi-Sensory Stories.

Record of planning and organisation

 For this placement I had several problems when planning my placement. I was not sure where I wanted to go until Susan spoke about where previous year students had gone for placement. One jumped out at me – Guide Dogs for the Blind. It incorporated a huge love of mine, animals, and a goal I wanted to achieve in this placement – working with disabled children. I started to research the organisation and contacted them about a possible placement there. The organisation were very interested in offering me a placement and put me in contact with the person who organizes volunteers. I then never heard from anyone for the Guide Dogs again. I contacted then again but I did not get a response.

After this happened, I did not know where I wanted to go or what I could do as well as it was not long until we needed to start our placement. In a panic I started to think of different places that I could go for placement. The Brae, Riding for the Disabled was one of the places that I thought of as it still incorporated my animal love and my main goal I had for this placement. I contacted them and got a very quick response saying they would be delighted to have me. I organized a meeting with the volunteer coordinator to discuss what my placement would consist of, what my main tasks would be and to have a tour of the school.

It’s all over!!

I have always enjoyed mathematics. Inside and outside of the classroom I enjoyed doing mathematical activities and games and I was good at them! My main reason for enjoying maths in the past has been because there is always only one answer. It does not matter
how you get to this answer as long as you get there somehow. I was taught by my maths teab2d6ed7853ac1e89ddb6c2756ecce1b8cher that even if you had to look at the answer and then work backwards then that was okay. As long as you found how to come to the answer after working backwards. I found this useful to know as it taught me that you can come at things from different
angles and still get the right answer.
I was always told “Oh, you have a maths brain” or people were shocked to find out I enjoyed math, saying things like “You like maths?!. Liking math is mostly a foreign concept for a lot of people. I was always use to this. I did not realise how much anxiety several people held on to relating to maths until I started this module. Several people think that they are bad at math without even trying maths activities. This must be a massive issues for teachers when they teach maths to children that hold on to these mentalities.

I cannot believe that this module has came to an end. Even though I picked it because of my love of math, I did not realise it would be as interesting as it was. This module has made me look at the world in a completely different way. It has made me see the mathematics in the world around us. At times, I have felt extremely confused, shocked or disbelieving after lectures or inputs from this module. This was mostly because I could not believe the areas that we were being told mathematics related to. However, the best feeling was when I would feel confused halfway through a lecture and then understand what we were being taught by the end. I have seen the whole class, even those who did not enjoy maths usually, go through these feelings. The nicest thing at the end of this module is to see the people that had math anxiety at the beginning say that have enjoyed this module.

Lastly, I would tell anyone to take this module. I have thoroughly enjoyed it as well as enjoyed being able to tell my family where there is mathematics in the things that they do. If you have not previously been good at math or hated it. Take this module! It will change your life!



My Understanding of PUFM

Liping Ma (2010) suggested that in order for mathematics to be understood correctly teacher’s must have a profound understanding of mathematics (PUFM). Ma said that there were four key concepts that you needed to understand in order to have a profound understanding of mathematics. These concepts are basic ideas, multiple perspectives, longitudinal coherence and connectedness. i am going to discuss my understanding of these in this post.


Basic Ideas

Ma (2010, p.122) describes this as ” Teachers with PUFM display mathematical attitudes and are particularly aware of the “simple but powerful basic concepts and principles of mathematics” (e.g. the idea of an equation). They tend to revisit and reinforce these basic ideas. By focusing on these basic ideas, students are not merely encouraged to approach problems, but are guided to conduct real mathematical activity.”

The basic ideas of mathematics are really important as children need these basic ideas to be able to continue to more complex areas. The basic ideas are similar to the foundations a building. If these basic ideas are not taught correctly to children or some areas are missed out that will make it more difficult for children to learn the more difficult areas of mathematics that are built on top of these basic ideas. These basic ideas need to be reinforced so that children have a sound understanding of them. For example, children need to learn addiction and subtraction before they can move on to more complicated areas like money and time.



“A teacher with PUFM has a general intention to make connections among mathematical concepts and procedures, from simple and superficial connections between individual pieces of knowledge to complicated and underlying connections among different mathematical operations and subdomains. When reflected in teaching, this intention will prevent students’ learning from the being fragmented. Instead of learning isolated topics, students will learn a unified body of knowledge.” (Liping Ma 2010, p.122)

Connectedness is a mathematical concepts that means math is connected to other subjects. I have realised through this module how important this principle is as there is math in everything.
In order for teachers to achieve connectedness they need to teach mathematics beside the areas that it can relate to and not as a single subject. Since math is laced through nearly everything that we do, that is how it needs to be taught. For children to have a thorough understanding on mathematics it is best to teach it alongside the other subjects that it is connected to.
A teacher could teach a music lesson and whilst doing different values of musical notes could do some work on counting and addiction. Another example would be a baking lesson, weight and measurement could be taught while measuring the ingredients. This gives the children some context to their lessons rather than just weighing random items that they do not care much about.


Multiple Perspectives

Liping Ma (2010) discribes multiple perspectives as “Those who have achieved PUFM appreciate different facets of an idea and various approaches to a solution as well as their advantages and disadvantages. In addition, they are able to provide mathematical explanations of these various facets and approaches. In this way, teachers can lead their students to a flexible understanding of the discipline.”

Multiple perspectives means that children need to have several ways to get to the answering not just one. This is useful for children as not everybody’s brains work in the same way. This means that if a child does not understand the first way that a new mathematical area is taught then the second or third way might make more sense. By multiple perspectives being provided in the classroom, it makes mathematics less restrictive and easier to understand.


Longitudinal Coherence

Lastly, Ma (2010, p.122) states that longitudinal coherence is needed to have a profound understanding of mathematics.
Ma describes this as “Teachers with PUFM are not limited to the knowledge that should be taught in a certain grade, rather they have achieved a fundamental understanding of the whole elementary mathematics curriculum. With PUFM, teachers are ready at any time to exploit an opportunity to review crucial concepts that students have studied previously. They also know what students are going to learn later, and take opportunities to lay the proper foundation for it.”

This concept is the one I found most difficult to understand. However, it is still important but just takes a little longer to understand. This principle says that what a child learns should not be limited because of their age and year that they are in. Ma says that a teacher should be able to teach any mathematics to suit the level of his/her children. I think that this is vitally important for in the classroom as children should not be limited just because they are a certain age. If a child understands all of the areas that they “should” know in their year then why should they not be moved on to the next area even though it is normally done in the next year up. This means that teachers need to be prepared to teach children of all levels.



Liping (2010) Knowing and teaching elementary mathematics: Teachers’ understanding of fundamental mathematics in china and the United States. 2nd edn. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Demand Planning

We think of ourselves as individuals but in fact what we do can be predicted. Every time we text, use our credit cards and shop data is created that allows our movements and plans to be tracked.

Temperature can change how we act and how we eat. When it is colder we eat more. We also want to eat and drink hotter food and drink when the temperature drops. Porridge sells millions more when the weather is cold. Demand planners are people who have to predict what we will buy all year round. They have to know how much advent calendars will sell at Christmas so that they have enough for everyone but are not left with lots of stock. Demand planners also have to be able to work out where the most advent calendars will sell so that they have the correct amount of stock in each shop. However, demand planners do not need to be able to work out what we will buy at special times of the year, they need to do this all year round. Demand planners need to constantly predict how much stock each shop with sell all year round. To do this they need to analysis previous stock sold, the temperature outside, the area of the country and the time of year. If we eat more or crave more hot foods when the temperature drops then that means that demand planners need to be able to predict when this is going to happen. During “Human Swarm” on Channel 4 they talk about how weather affects what we buy. Ross Eggleton who works at the biggest warehouse in the UK tells us that “we basically capture every single transaction that every individual makes in every single store every moment of every day. And if you overlay that then with what the weather conditions were outside at the time they made the purchase,

it obviously gives you a lot of information and data that you can then use to build a picture of what those patterns are going to be the next time.” This shows how the food that we buy correlates with the weather outside and shows how demand planners then use this information. Eggleton also says that the hardest time to predict what we are going to buy is when there is a sudden change in the weather. On a low temperature weekend 246% more pies were bought than on a normal weekend. This shows how important demand planners job is. If they were not able to predict this, then the supermarkets would run out of these popular items like soup and pies that we like to eat when it is cold. This is a perfect example of how important mathematics is. Without being able to collect all of this data, demand planning would not be able to happen. This is another example of how math is used in the real world and it shows how important it really is.


Business simulation

During this input Richard came up with a way for us to have a go at demand planning. He gave us a selection of product that we could buy and a budget to start with. in groups we got to decide what to buy, how much of each thing to buy and how much we were going to spend. Richard then told us what percentage of stock we had sold, what we could carry over (non-perishable items) and is any stock was discontinued. I found this simulation lots of fun but the buying the items was pretty stressful incase you picked the wrong items. Finding out how much of the stock was sold was also nerve wracking as you might have picked the wrong items then they went off. We did this over a full year so that we got a different idea of the seasons. At the end, my group actually did pretty well and we had the third highest amount at the end out of everyone.

Below are my groups sheets from the simulation.








img_8178I think this is a fun thing that you could do with children in a classroom. Using a more simple version of this would be a great example for children how maths can be used in this industry in the real world. It would also give children an insight into food ordering and supermarkets would could be useful for their future.



BBC (2002) Autumn’s Supermarket Secrets. Available at: (Accessed: 21 November 2016).

Doherty, J. (2013) Human Swarm. Available at: (Accessed: 21 November 2016).

Logistics and Supply Chain

Richard’s last input with us was all about logistics and supply chain. Is there any maths behind these two things? Well yes of course there is! Logistics and supply chain is the managing of planning, implementing and controlling the process of the shipment of goods. This includes how far the food had travelled to how the food is travelling.


Food miles

Food miles is vitally important when it comes to our food. How far has your food travelled before it gets to your plate? Food miles is the distance all of your food has travelled before it gets to your plate. That includes every single ingredient. So has your chicken came from 40 miles down the road or has it been flown over from New Zealand? Are your vegetables from your local farm or Europe? These things are all important. Food miles includes every mile that your food has travelled, from producer to the supermarket and then to the consumer. However, other factors can come into play. For example, Saunders, Barber and Sorenson (2006) did a study that compared how much energy it took to produce lamb in the UK and New Zealand. She found that New Zealand were using less energy to produce their meat then the UK. This included the energy used to get the lamb to the UK as well. But why is this important? This is important because of climate change. Climate change is a massive thing worldwide with big companies wanting to do what they can to decrease their carbon footprint. If importing lamb from New Zealand is actually better for the planet than producing it here than is what supermarkets are going to buy. This shows that food miles are not as important to supermarkets anymore as they are concentrating more on their carbon footprint.

Food miles are important to a lot of consumers though as many people like to buy locally produced food. This will be a challenge for supermarkets as they will need to work out what products are better to get from local producers and when it is best to import them. What will the consumer buy? This is the role of Demand Planners.

Teaching children about food miles is important. If a child knows where their food is coming from then that might help them with knowing the right things to eat. This emphasises the fundamental understanding of mathematics as it shows connectedness between mathematics and health and wellbeing. Profound understand of mathematics’ concept of basic ideas can also be shown when looking at food miles. Children can learn about distances – miles, kilometres, metres and centimetres using the context of where their food comes from.



When shipping products many different factors have to be considered – mass, distribution of this mass (the truck or ship needs to be evenly packed), size, temperature requirements, distance travelled and time taken to travel this time (shelf life of the products), and shape and volume. All of these things need to be taken into consideration when products are moved about. Food tends to be moved in shipping containers. The creation of these shipping containers has changed international shipping. These containers can be filled with different food products. Each different container can be a different temperature so that the food inside can stay at its best as it travels. This solves the problem of food going off while in transport because of the temperature it is stored at. Shipping containers also solve the problem or shape and volume. Shipping containers are all the same size and shape which means that they fit together and can be pilled high on the back of a boat. Since they can be stacked together with no space that means that companies are not shipping air and the boats can be evenly packed to distribute the mass evenly.

Who knew that so many mathematical concepts are needed to import and export food! This relates to the PUFM basic concepts. Children need to learn about the basic idea of volume, shape, weight, size, temperature and distance. These are all basic concepts that underlie primary school mathematics. Yet, here they are in a real life setting. This, again, shows me how much math is needed in the real world. The fact that there is so many mathematical ideas in something that seems simple has left me shocked.



Saunders, C., Barber, A. and Sorenson, L.-C. (2006) Food miles, carbon Footprinting and their potential impact on trade 1 food miles, carbon Footprinting and their potential impact on trade. Available at: (Accessed: 21 November 2016).

Time for Maths

Time is a funny thing. It is something that we all use but we have no idea where it originates from.

Why do we use the time system that we do? How before clocks were invented did we know what time it was? How do animals know what time it is?

Well let’s try and answer some of those questions.

Horology is the study of time and the measurement of time. The word ‘Horology’ originates from Greek words hṓra (hour, time). Horology also look at how time is important to humans and is this idea of time innate in animals.

When you think about it, time is enlaced though everything that we do. What time do we go to sleep; what time do you get up; how long did you sleep for, which makes a huge different to how you feel that day; the time that you eat at throughout the day. Humans are not the only ones that go through these different time routines everyday, so do animals.

For example, if you look at my dogs. My dogs in the morning and evening are very vocal about needing fed. They will come and sit staring at myself or my mum until we go and feed them. Now, does this mean that they have an innate idea of time, which is referred to as a “body clock” or do they just start to get hungry? There is no way to really know.

However, what about animals that’s routines are not influenced by humans, for example, nocturnal animals. How do they know that it is time for them to come out? it is said that they “just know” when to sleep and when to eat but that “just knowing” would be their innate idea of time. Another example of animals understanding the concept of time is hibernation. How do hibernating animals know when it is time to stock up for food and find a suitable spot to hibernate in?

A suitable example for this time of year is migrating birds. If you look up in the sky in the mornings and evenings the sky will be full of geese migrating for the winter. In the spring, the sky will again be full at these times of day as the geese migrate back to Scotland. But how do these birds know when it is time to migrate? Is it that it simply gets too cold for the animals hence why migration and hibernation happens? Or is it that the concept of time is imbedded into these animals’ natural instinct which tells them when it is time or change their behaviour to suit their surrounding or move elsewhere. I use the migrating geese over Scotland as my own way to tell time. When I see them migrating south I know that it is getting colder and that winter is coming and when I see then migrating north I know that spring is near. This means that I use an animals innate time telling to clue me in on what time of year it is.


We tell time using the traditional mechanical clock. However, this is not what has always been used to tell the time. Sundials and obelisks are the oldest known device for measuring time. Sundials worked by tracking the sun as it moved from east to west. As the sun moved it created shadows which then predicted what time of day it was. A pillar or stick called a gnomon was put in the middle of the sundial and time was then calculated depending on the length of the shadow (Marie,2016).

This is the shadow of the sun revealing the time on a sundial.


The Egyptians created an obelisk. There were similar to a sundial but they divided up the days into parts. This was the first time days had ben formally divided up. These worked the same as sundials but the enabled citizens to partition their day into two parts by noon. Obelisks also showed when the longest and shortest days of the year were (Bellis, 2016)

Looking at time has given me even more idea of how math is used in the real world that I do not even realise. Hence this has given me a better understanding of what it means to have a “profound understanding of mathematics”.


Wikipedia (2016) ‘Horology’, in Wikipedia. Available at: (Accessed: 21 November 2016).

Bellis, M. (2016) The history of sun clocks, water clocks and Obelisks sun clocks, water clocks and Obelisks. Available at: (Accessed: 21 November 2016).

Marie, N. (2016) When time began: The history and science of sundials. Available at: (Accessed: 21 November 2016).

Common Myths of Mathematics

There are several different myths that are associated with math. These myths are the reason that children do not enjoy or even try at maths.


Myth 1 – Some people get maths because they have the ‘math gene’ and others don’t.

There is no such thing as a ‘math gene’. Nobody is born knowing everything about maths and just ‘getting’ mathematical concepts. Some children have just been exposed to mathematical situations more than other children. However, this is something that is difficult to explain to children.

How can you explain to a child who is adamant that they do not have the ‘math gene’ that there is not such thing? Simple answer, you don’t! They will see one child understand a new maths area straight away and they will not. Weeks later they will start to understand the new area while the other children have moved on to something else.

Dispelling this attitude in a classroom can be extremely difficult if children have already decided that this is the case. This makes the teachers job even more difficult when teaching math.


Myth 2 – You are cheating if you use any tools.

This myth is one of the most irritating out of all if them. A common myth within math is that you are cheating if you use something to help you. Not everyone can do maths in their heads very quick. Me personally, I struggle with doing maths quickly in my head and I would much rather write it down on a piece of paper to work through it and use a calculator.

There is no shame in using your fingers or a calculator to help you. Why shouldn’t you use all of the tools that you can if you are struggling to understand something. The fact that a child cannot add up in their head should not stand in their way of working out a bigger, harder problem. They should be able to use a calculator, number square or their fingers if it helps them.

If children are told that they can not use a tool or that using one is ‘cheating’ then they will disengage with what you are trying to teach them as they cannot use the only thing that is helping them through.


Myth 3 – Nobody actually uses maths in the real world anyway.

This myth is one of the most common and is the one you hear most throughout society. A lot of people think that you do not need math in the real world so what is the point in learning about it. The myth comes from several different angles. Parents or guardians may tell their children when they are struggling with their homework ‘It doesn’t matter; you wont use it anyway’. This then shows children that disengaging with math is okay as you do not need it.

This myth could not be further from the truth. I have always known that we need math in the real world but never have I realised this more than since I have started this module.


And lastly,

 Myth 4 – You must always know how to get the answer.

Many associations with math is that you need to show everything that you did to get the right answer. But you don’t! If you can get the correct answer several times for the same kind of problem then you know wheat to do, you should not need to explain that.


There are many myths to do with mathematics but none of them are true. These are the myths that come in between children being open to learning math. In my classroom I hope to have no preconceptions about math and let children use whatever they need to understand the subject.

Math is linked to Music!?! What!!

Every input in this module I realise how much math is laced through nearly everything we do. I did not realise how much math interlinked with so many other curricular areas.

The astronomer Galileo Galilei observed in 1623 that the entire universe ‘is written in the language of mathematics’, and indeed it is remarkable the extent to which science and society are governed by mathematical ideas” (Rosenthal, 2005). This shows how mathematics has been known to run through several different areas for hundreds of years.


Music has always been hugely important to be. I have always sung or been sung too. When you are learning to read music and play an instrument math is not something that you think you are doing anything with. But in fact you are! Apart from the obvious mathematic part of music like how long notes are held for; how many beats are in a bar or how to pitch a piece of music or a song. There are many ways in which maths runs through music in ways you would never realise.

Patterns are an important and huge part of maths as I have already spoken about (see Maths is Pretty!). They are a huge area in which math can be used in the real world. However, math and music can also be linked through patterns. Many different musical pieces are made up of different patterns of notes. These do not tend to be called patterns though as musicians tend to call them motifs, melodies or sometimes rhythmic patterns. Pieces of music consist of these patterns.

Maths also comes into music when you look at octaves. An octave consists of eight notes. Notes are an octave apart when they are the same named note but played in a different frequency. A note played an octave higher is played at double the frequency while a note played an octave lower is half the frequency than the middle note. For example, High C and Middle C are an octave apart but when played together they sound great. This is the same for all notes. Several famous songs play notes together that are an octave apart – the initial “I’m singing” of “Singing in the Rain”; the first two notes of “Somewhere over the rainbow”; and the first two notes of the third line of “Happy Birthday”. (Rosenthal, 2005) This is a perfect example of how these pairs of notes go together.

The Pentatonic scale is made up of five notes. If you are playing a piano these five notes are your black keys. Every piece of music will have these five notes in it somewhere. It is suggested that we are genetically programmed with these five notes just as we are language (Goodall, 2008). These five notes are innate within us. Several famous songs use the pentatonic scale including, “Mull of Kintyre”, “Auld Lang Syne”, “Swing Low” and lots of rock songs use the pentatonic scale in their guitar riffs including “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppella. If you are using the oentatonic scale to write a song you are not just stuck with these five notes but they can be used to develop from.

Bobby McFerrin demonstrates how this scale is genetically within humans.

He does not tell the audience what is the next note to play but they are able to sing the next note in the scale.

The Pentatonic scale is the perfect notes to give children as they will always sound good together no matter what order they are played in. Is that how these five notes become programmed into us? By music teachers who want children to create a nice sounding piece of music, who knows! 

Fibonacci Sequence

The Fibonacci sequence (mentioned in a previous post, Maths and Art) can be seen throughout musical sequences as well. Including all notes in an octave there are thirteen. In a scale there are eight notes, the fifth and the third notes make up the basic foundation for the chords. On a piano keyboard scale there are thirteen keys, eight white and five black, these notes are then split into groups of two and three. All of these numbers are from the Fibonacci sequence.

The Golden Ratio and Phi can be seen in music instruments as well. Violins are designed using the golden ratio.




K. (2012) Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the power of the Pentatonic scale. Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2016).

Rosenthal, J. (2005) The magical mathematics of music. Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2016).

ScoobyTrue (2008) Howard Goodall on Pentatonic music. Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2016).

(No Date) Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2016).

Maths and Art

“Maths is everywhere”

I have heard this quote several times throughout my life. I have always known that mathematics is used in day to day life but I did not realise how much math was around us in nature. I did not realise that there was maths in the plants and animals in nature and in the buildings around us.

In a recent input in my Discovering Mathematics module we were looking at how maths and art connected. We looked at the Fibonacci sequence, golden ratio and the golden spiral. Out of these three things I had only heard of the golden spiral before this input. I had heard of the golden ratio prior to this input in relation to photography but I did not know where it came from or the numbers and equation behind it.


The Fibonacci sequence is a sequence of numbers where the next number is the previous two added together. For example, to get the number 3 the numbers before (2+1) are added together. The same is then done again to get the next number 5 using the 3 and the previously used 2. This continues on and on! The sequence starts with the numbers 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,56,90 and so on. This sequence of numbers can be seen in many different places throughout nature including the reproduction of animals.


The Golden Spiral is linked to the Fibonacci sequence as using the numbers of the Fibonacci sequence to draw square boxes linked to each other. Using a protractor, you can then draw a spiral going through all of these boxes. The Golden Spiral can be found in nature in insects’ wings, sea shells and flowers.

This can be linked to Liping Ma’s ideas of having a Profound Understanding of Mathematics.

Connectedness this idea links using mathematics and creating a beautiful piece of artwork with it. This means that you are using basic mathematics procedures to understand the world around us.

Basic Ideas if you do not know the basic mathematic skills of being able to measure, count, work out the next number and using a protractor at certain angles. If you did not have these basic skills in math, then this task of creating the Golden Spiral would have been really difficult. Even though I have these basic mathematic skills I still struggled to see what I was trying to create.


From the Golden Spiral you can work out the Golden Ratio. Tnotre-dame-paris-golden-ratiohe Golden Ratio is 1.61803398875. If you take any of the numbers in the Fibonacci sequence and divide the bigger one by the smaller one you will always get close to the Golden Ratio. If I take 34 and 21, the result is 1.61904 which is the Golden Ratio! The Golden Ratio can be found in several buildings throughout history though there is no evidence whether these buildings were built purposely using this ratio. Buildings that are an example of this are Notre Dame, Taj Mahal, the Parthenon in Greece and even the Egyptian Pyramids.
These are all examples of how maths and art link in the real world. This input made me realise how big a part maths plays in our world around us. Prior to starting this module, I knew that we used mathematics a lot in everyday life in areas like cooking and banking but I did not realise how much math was around us in the buildings and animals. I look forward to discovering more ways in which math is in the world around us as I continue through this module.



Ma, L. (2010) Knowing and teaching
 elementary mathematics: Teachers’ understanding of fundamental mathematics in china and the United States. Anniversary Edition edn. United Kingdom: Routledge.

The Fibonacci numbers and golden section in nature – 1 (1996) Available at: (Accessed: 3 November 2016).

(No Date) Available at: (Accessed: 3 November 2016).

A New Number System!!

Recently, in our Discovering Maths module we were asked to come up with our own number system. This proved to be a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. How can you come up with another symbol rather than the numeral we are use to to represent a number?!

Myself and my partner Holly, managed to come up with a system but this was based on the base 10 system.

This is the system that we came up with.

number systemmnumber system

We decided to use circles and squares to represent our numbers. We used circles to represent odd numbers and circles inside squares to represent even numbers. After, we had came up with this we realised we had not included a symbol for zero. We were not sure what to use for zero, and after a while we decided zero would be represented by a plain dot.

I underestimated how hard it would be to come up with my very own number system. To think ‘outside of the box’ and away from the numerals that we are use to to represent our numbers was really difficult. It look a long time to think of what we could use. It also took a few attempts of trying different ideas and trying to think of a system that could be easily used. We did not go as far as what we would do for any numbers past nine as it was hard enough to get to nine. We would more than likely use the symbols we already have to create other numbers.

Even though we did not manage to go further than nine, other people in the class did manage to go further up the number line.

Math is Pretty!!

Even though I have always loved math I did not realise how pretty maths could be. Symmetry is what we use to make this ‘pretty maths’. This symmetry is the most significant area of math the makes a connection between science, art and maths. Symmetrical patterns can be used in several different areas. Artists use symmetry to create patterns and use maths to help create these patterns. By using simple fractions and a computer software symmetry can be used to create amazing intricate patterns that artists put on anything from canvases to items of day-to-day use.

Islamic tiling is a unique way the symmetry is used to create fascinating patterns and designs. Islamic art is created by using extravagant geometric decoration expressed by using texture, pattern. colour and calligraphy. These patterns are not just used for a decorative purpose they are used to represent a spiritual version of the world – “Unity of God”. These Islamic tilings are always created of three simple shapes – the square, the hexagon and the equilateral triangle.

15565322-mod-le-traditionnel-maroc-banque-dimages This is an example of Islamic Tiling,

This kind of pattern is called tessellation and is a great way to show children how math can be fun. Using Islamic Tiling, pattern and symmetry can be taught through a series of lessons starting with showing the children examples of Islamic tiling, showing them how they can be created on the computer and the history and meaning behind these works of art. After the children have learned about the history they can move on to create their own designs. This is showing the children how math and art are linked and how math is not always about numbers.  This lets the class have fun with this new area of math and lets them try and use simple shapes to create intricate designs. Tessellation can also be shown to children through looking at buildings and all over the world. Tasks can be set as homework for the children to find tessellation around their city. A programme could also be downloaded on the computer and this can be used with real life pictures to create patterns

The concepts in this post relates to Liping Ma’s principle of connectedness as whilst the children are learning how to make symmetrical patterns and how to use simple shapes in these patterns, they are also learning how to fit these patterns together in tessellation. This means that the children are learning more than one area of knowledge and not just the topic of tessellations. This allows children to see how all of their learning is connected.


Liping (2010) Knowing and teaching elementary mathematics: Teachers’ understanding of fundamental mathematics in china and the United States. 2nd edn. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Emergent Reading in Real Life!

I witnessed some fantastic emergent reading this weekend. I bought a book for my three-year-old little sister. She sat down with the book straight away and started “reading” the book. She began to say sentences and “read” describing the pictures that were on the pages of the book that she had been given. Obviously, since my sister has just turned three in the last few months she cannot read. However, she showed how she would read if she could. She was holding the book correctly and following the words with her finger as if she was reading it.

When I sat down with her to read it she was desperate to tell me what the words said and how that was different to what I was saying. This was my first time seeing the signs of emergent reading developing in a child. It was incredibly interesting to me and it It showed me what I had to look for when I am working in the early years in children.

Why would you want to discover maths?!

When we were asked to choose an elective for MA2, it was not a hard choice. The minute there was a module that mentioned mathematics I knew that was the one I wanted to do. To me, mathematics is the subject that makes the most sense. The fact that I enjoyed mathematics in school was always something that my family and friends did not understand. The minute that math is mentioned as something that you love mathematics, people give you strange looks and ask you ‘Why?’. Many people struggled to understand why I would enjoy a subject that is all about numbers and equations. They struggled to see why I would choose to understand the language of numbers rather than the language we are all use to in standard English reading books. Well, why would I not choose the world of numbers? If you cannot understand the numbers around you then you will not be able to understand the world.

One common dislike of mathematics is that there is only ever one answer. That is always my answer to why I love mathematics so much. I have always loved that if you follow through an equation correctly then you will get the correct answer. Compared to English texts which could be interpreted in any way depending on the person and how you understood the text. However, this is not always the case. Some areas of mathematics are not as structured as always having one answer. In fact, some areas of mathematics might not even be about getting a correct answer but about what you can create using mathematics.

The way our curriculum is structured why would anyone see the fun and adventure in numbers. When mathematics is mentioned, the general response tends to be ‘why do you like it?’ or ‘when are you going to use it in day-to-day life?’.  Most mathematics that you learn in secondary school may never be used unless you go into a certain career. However, mathematics is used very differently in normal day-to-day life.  How can we get children to enjoy mathematics and see the fun in it if they only think of mathematics as times tables or algebra? Children need to be shown the fun in mathematics. They need to be shown how mathematics is weaved throughout several of their other subjects. Maybe if children were shown how people in history discovered how to work out the area of a shape or how symmetry is used in architectural they might be more interested in learning mathematics (Sautoy). If the curriculum brought in a context to mathematics rather than children learning an equation, how to use it but they think they will never use it again. Having more of an understanding of the background to math would help engage children in mathematics a lot more than simply sitting learning from a textbook.

Professor Marcus du Sautoy described mathematics as a language that you needed to work on to understand just like Shakespeare. I think this comparison describes mathematics and what you need to do to understand it perfectly. At school, I always struggled to understand Shakespeare but several people struggle to understand the language of mathematics. If the children that struggle with math are sat down and helped to understand the language of numbers, just as those who do not understand an English book or Shakespeare are treated then I think we would have a lot more people in the world who would see mathematics as a good thing and not something not worth learning.



du Sautoy, M. (2009) The secret life of numbers. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2016).

Enquiring Practitioner

Practitioner Enquiry is defined as a professional whom is constantly doing research to better their understanding and knowledge of their profession. The research is based on your practice and it is beneficial to reflect on the research you have done previously to better you as a teacher. It can be done by the professional on their own or in a group. If it is a group then they collaboratively share a common research question that can be investigated in different ways.

Practitioner enquiry should be an aspect of a normal day-today life of a teacher and should be done consistently throughout a teacher’s career. This supports the growth of a teacher within their career and helps to create different ways of working. You do not just train to be a teacher and then you are qualified, your learning continues, being a teacher is a continuing journey. Being an enquiring practitioner is about moving beyond your usual way of teaching and discovering other ways to teach and help the children learn.

The most successful education systems invest in developing their teachers and helping them reflect and enquire on their practice. Benefits of practitioner enquiry can include encouraging teachers to challenge and transform education; provide a way for teachers to reflect and develop from their own teaching and to discover new strategies for teaching. Practitioner enquiry also supports teachers and helps them gain a better understanding and show how the concept of teachers is constantly changing.


Working Together Visit

As part of our Working Together module we get to go out on a visit to different agencies to see how they work together across different disciplines. We had been preparing for this visit for a few weeks and had prepared questions to ask when we were there.

My group visited Baldragon Academy in Dundee where we spent the morning with their Pupil Support Department. They had two pupil support workers or as they were referred to from the children “The Toast Ladies”. Both workers came from different disciplinary backgrounds, one was social work trained and had worked in social work for several years prior to joining the school twelve years ago while the other came from a Community, Learning and Development background and also joined the school twelve years ago. They also both agreed that their job was the most rewarding job they had eve done. They both agreed that their disciplinary did not matter within the school and they just worked to help the pupils the best as they could. They were happy to be known as the “Toast Ladies” and even joked about going to university for four years just to end up making toast.

They are known as the toast ladies because they make toast during break every morning for as many pupils as 200 pupils every day. This is because where the school is located is the fourth highest deprived areas in Britain. They fund this entirely themselves and rely on bread being reduced at the end of the day in supermarkets and donations from teaching staff and their families. The women also run nurture clubs that focus on the most nurture deprived pupils in the school and they give them breakfast as well as a little task to help them focus on the day ahead.

I found this visit highly fascinating and could have stayed all day if I had the choice. The way the women worked with the pupils to help them the best they can was amazing to see and showed the support that pupils have within the school. It was also very obvious how trusted they were by the pupils and were even brought gifts from the pupil’s holidays.

Another highly interesting aspect of the visit was how the pupil support workers work with other people within the school as well as outside agencies. They had a CLD worker who came in every week and worked with the children and took little groups. They also worked closely with the teaching staff, the guidance team (so much so they said they felt part of the guidance team) the school nurse and the senior management staff within the school. Outside the school they work with KIKO and Fairbridge who support the pupils and give them different areas to work within. They also work with primary school teachers and primary sevens in the move up to secondary school, giving some pupils that extra support they need. The staff within the school constantly pop into the “Toast Room” to speak to the workers or sometimes to just grab a slice of toast. They also spoke about how the senior management team are very supportive and if they pitch an activity or idea well them they will most likely let them do it.

On follow up we spoke to some of the agencies and people within the school. All of them reported a great working relationship with the pupil support workers that had next to no barriers to working together. They also have regular meetings with everyone they work with which include monthly meeting with the guidance team within the school; three monthly meetings with all CLD workers across the city and regular board meeting which include the school nurse, CLD workers and people from outside agencies.



What makes a teacher who makes a difference?

I think a teacher that makes a difference is someone who will go above and beyond for their pupils. The teachers in this video are teachers that make a difference as they take it upon themselves to better their teaching styles so that they are the best teachers that they can be. They do this all in their own time as well as hold groups so that they can discuss  different teaching styles. This means that everyone receives the best education that they could because of these amazing teachers. If these teachers had not taken this time, then their pupils would not be getting the best education they could which could harm what they go on to do in the future.

Do you agree with what these teachers call professionalism?

I agree with every point that these teachers make about professionalism. Professionalism is the way you talk and your attitude towards the pupils. It is also about how the pupils see you and how approachable they find you. Pupils should find their teacher to be someone they can go to with they have any problems as well as someone they can look up to. There are also different levels of professionalism. You do not use the same level of professionalism with the pupils as you would with the parents. Communication is also extremely important skill for teachers to have which is mentioned in this video.

What is the message here?

The message in this video is who values teachers as professionals? There are two very different talkers in this video.

The first is Chris Christie and he talk about how teachers should be highly valued and should be carried up high within society. He also talks about how teachers should be given what they deserve in pay as they carry our children through the educational system.

The second talker in this video is Karen Lewis. She talks about teachers being “education workers”. I think this view is a very negative view towards teachers and she makes teaching look like it is not that important a career. I think this is funny as Karen is a teacher herself so this shows how she has a negative view of her own profession

Overall, this video shows how different people look upon teaching as a profession. It shows how Chris who is obviously not a teacher thinks teachers should be valued highly within society, and Karen who is a teacher but sees her profession in a negative light and she does not think she is a professional.

Important Qualities of a Teacher.

When looking at professionalism I feel like compassion is an important characteristic for teachers to have. Compassion is helping someone that is struggling or suffering. This is important for a teacher as they need to constantly be helping children who may be suffering. Teachers may also need to be compassionate towards parents or guardians if anything is going on out with the school environment.

Patience is another hugely important quality that teachers need. When working with children, patience is something that you need as children may not pick up ides and concept that you are teaching as quick as adults would. Children can get something wrong several times over, make a mess when doing art projects or playing. Teachers need patience to just keep calm in these situations and not get angry with the children but teach them what they need to do.

Another quality that I find important in teaching is fairness. Children come from all different backgrounds and have different skill levels. A teacher needs to be a fair person and treat all children the same. A good teacher cannot treat children differently because of where they come from or how clever they are. A lot of the time teachers can be seen as not being fair but this isn’t the case. All children learn differently so sometimes you have to teach children differently to combat this but at the same time you are still teaching children fairly. Fairness when disciplining children is also important as teachers cannot be seen as favoring one child over another.

In my opinion, tolerance is another important characteristic that teachers need. Teachers need to be able to tolerate a lot from all angles. Teachers may need to tolerate abuse from parents or guardians on the way they are teaching or how they may think you are doing something wrong. A teacher needs to be professional in these situations and tolerate what the parent say. It does not mean the teacher needs to do what the parent is telling them but they need to be able to tolerate the criticism but be confident in your teaching style.

 Lastly, honesty is an important quality for teachers to have. An honest teacher is a great teacher. Children do not benefit from a teacher that lies about what they are good at. A teacher needs to be honest about what their pupils are good and bad at. If a teacher was not honest then children would not know what they need to work on and what they are good at. On the other hand, teachers also need to be careful with honesty and make sure that they are not brutally honest and that they do not offend anyone.

Social Media In Schools.

If I’m being honest, the power of social media scares me. Especially when you see how much children know and do on websites.
Do not get me wrong, the power that social media has is also fantastic. It means that pupils can connect and learn through several different web sites.
I keep going back and forth with whether I want to have two separate social media accounts for the personal me and the professional me or whether I will just monitor my one account. At the moment, I think that it would be more work if you had two different social media accounts. However, having one social media account for personal and professional purposes has its challenges.
I think the best way to marry the professional and the personal you on social media is to consistently monitor your privacy settings and make sure that you do not post anything that can get you into trouble at a later date. I am quite private with my social media accounts already and have my Twitter and Facebook page very private and I have to accept people that ask to follow me or see my page. I think my Facebook will always be for my friends and family only where I will be very careful with anything I post on that page and have it so that pupils cannot find me. Twitter is a little different. I don’t use Twitter a lot but I feel like it can be good for following educational hashtags that you might want your pupils to see. I think having a school Twitter page is a great idea as the pupils can then all follow it and post things onto it, as well as the teachers. If the teachers have a page with a different name that cannot be traced to them then the pupils would never know who is posting what.
Social media can be seen in positive and negative lights. I feel like using it within the classroom and engaging with pupils on it for educational purposes is an excellent use of the sites. However, I think that we also need to make sure that we are educating our pupils on the dangers of social media without making them scared to use

How does gender affect childhood?

I do not remember gender affecting me as a child. I was and still am quite a girly girl and had lots of dolls and Barbie’s. However, I would not say that I was pushed towards certain gender areas with toys or clothing. I played football and other sports with the boys in my neighbourhood and I had a little cabin in the garden that my dad built for me.
My primary school did not have anything that the boys did, but that girls didn’t. We all played sports together in P.E. and had mixed teams for sports day. I thought this was normal but when speaking about this topic with my peers and friends I discovered that every school was different. I was extremely surprised to discover that different primary schools, even ones in the same city as me, were separated for P.E. and sports day. In these sports days they would have ‘boy’s races’ and ‘girl’s races’. I also found out that not only were they separated by gender but they were also separated by age for these races. At my primary school we had mixed sex teams with a couple of people from each primary year.
The difference between all of these primary schools has really surprised me and shown me that whilst I maybe did not have a gender divide at all in my childhood, quite a lot of people did.

You want to be a teacher?! Why?

I cannot really pinpoint the moment when I wanted to become a teacher. I had amazing teachers in primary and secondary school that supported me and showed me how much a teacher can help a pupil outwith their usual teaching. This inspired me to want to help, teach and support children the way they had helped me.

I have always enjoyed teaching in a way. Before my little brother went to school, I use to sit with him and work through children’s workbooks filled with maths and writing exercises. When he started school I continued these workbooks with him for as long as he would let me. After this I would coerce him and his friends into playing school based games where I was the teacher and they were the pupils. In these games I always made up lesson plans and exercise sheets for them to complete. After these two events I always enjoyed helping and “teaching” anybody that I could. Even in school I would try and help my peers if they did not understand what we were doing.

I realised teaching was what I wanted to do when I went to a primary school for a placement. I loved every single day, from teaching the basic alphabet to the P1’s to taking P4 reading groups and teaching the P7’s fractions. The way the children listen to you and take in the knowledge that you are passing on to them is one of the main reasons I enjoy teaching.

Currently, I do not know what kind of teacher I want to be. I have worked with lots of different teachers throughout my placements and they have all been very different kinds of teachers with differing  teaching styles. I would like to be the kind of teacher that takes on some of these aspects. I think I will discover what kind of teacher I want to be once I start my placements. I will  develop my own style of teaching and see which way that I teach and what works best for me.



Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your eportfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

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Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

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