A question upon concept-based learning

The scope for further exploration when using a concept-based approach is endless – there is always somewhere to go, and some way to expand. So how does a teacher decide when too ‘move on’? 

Children in the same class will always be working at different levels. Does this approach not favour the best learners in the class? How can we stop this approach from leading to the attainment gap (between students in the same class) from growing?

Reflection into my Teaching Philosophy

Above is my reflection into my teaching philosophy. I struggled with the size of the files (hence the quality and the fact there is two files).

Inquiry Diary

Inquiry Diary

What are your experiences of inquiry?

I think I am immediately drawn to thinking about my time at college, and my graded unit. I had to choose 2 different monologues, using inquiry skills to choose ones that are to develop them. I think this is a great way to learn, it gives a sense of hones and autonomy onto the learning.  I feel good about it, I think it’s a positive way to learn.

What are your questions about inquiry?

How can it be properly implemented in a classroom? Especially a younger years classroom. How does it fit into time constraits?

Sorting out

Resource:          https://www.edutopia.org/blog/what-heck-inquiry-based-learning-heather-wolpert-gawron


Inquiry-based learning is more than asking a student what he or she wants to know. It’s about triggering curiosity


transfers some responsibilities from teachers to students



Frayer model




An investigation. Asking the right questions that are going to help your investigation.


Inquiry is in the hands of the investigator. Whether it is a pupil or an official.

Inquiry is a process.

Open questioning



My time at college doing my graded unit

Open questioning

Online resources





Non examples

Heinemann text books

Spelling test

An assignment?





Chapter 6 ‘How do we establish a culture of inquiry in classrooms?’ in McTighe, J. & Wiggins, G. (2013) Essential Questions: Opening doors to student understanding. Alexandria: ASCD. Available online from the library..


New questions

What are some of the drawbacks on inquiry learning?

Why dosen’t my university course offer more inquiry learning?

But why…?

  1. Who is disadvantaged with this approach and how?
  2. Who is advantaged and how?
  3. What am I challenged by?
  4. What am I curious about?


  1. The enquiry bases disadvantages children that are shyer, particularly children that have special needs. It isn’t scaffolded enough to teach the skills that are necessary, and in some ways already expects a lot of the children. However, it could be argued that children develop at their own pace, and that with support enquiry-based learning can be great for children of this nature.


  1. I think confident and inquisitive learners are advantaged by this. As they carry out this type of learning they grow their independence. They develop many different skills through this.


3/4. I am challenged and curious by thinking how this works in practice. I am trying to think of what types of activities would be implemented.

Values in Early Years Education

  • What values are present within Early Years Education?​

One value that I believe everything is based around is making everything child-centred. During this age children develop enormously; and making things child-centred enables this development. Play in the classroom is fundamentally, and is valued very high in Early Years Education. I think that creating a valuable play experience for children is very valued. Creating meaning in their play that enables them to create their own discoveries.

  • What practices are promoted to enact or realise these values?​

There is a pedagogical cycle that best represents the way that these values are enacted. There is no first stage of this cycle but one stage is observation. Teachers need to ‘listen with their eyes and their ears’. They need to ask themselves what these behaviours, actions and emotions mean about a child’s development. Documenting these is important. The cycle can then move onto the responsive and intentional planning. Taking these observations and deciding what parts of their learning are working well, and need to stay. Also deciding which parts need to change. The final part of the cycle, and arguably the most important is the facilitation. Notice that the word is not teaching, as we in keep with the values. Children need a variety of spaces (including outdoor). Experiences should also be flexible and sensitive; reconginziing that every child is different.

IB Introduction – Reflections

One – summary of aims

The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, is a global curriculum that offers four education programmes for learners aged 3 to 19.

The IB is primarily learner focused. It gives learners the tools to achieve autonomous learning. Using effective teaching, significant contents and global contexts to do so.

Something that runs true with me is the relevance that the programme has to the modern world. Some syllabus’ are dated but the IB seems not to be. Learning focus on things like the environment, rights, conflict and governance to create well rounded learners.

I want to know more about how they keep IB consistent across the world, about the choices and the freedom that teachers have – and how this can tie in to the things mentioned above.



Two – a) differences and similarities between IB and CfE b) My own experience and the IB learner profile attributes

a) It seems that both IB and CfE want to create a well rounded individual. A learner that is responsible, aware of the world around them. Both programmes mention creating a confident individual. One difference is I think that the IB profile mentions the skills that are to be developed, where as CfE mentions the outcomes AFTER development. I think that on the whole CfE is perhaps more outcome based.

b) I have never worked in an IB school, or had much to do with an IB school. I have however worked in schools in Scotland and in Italy. I think during my time in Scottish schools I have seen a lot of focus on reflection. There is now a push to encourage self-assessment which in turn creates reflection. Also things like ‘Friday Reflection’ have been observed. This is an example of creating a reflective learner.

During my time teaching in English in Italy I chose to create a serious of lesson on the millennium development goals. This helped create knowledgeable and caring learners. They were also invited to use their own form of communication to develop a presentation as part of this. This encourages learners to be thinkers and communicators. I have also seen and taught this in Scottish schools. Giving learners the opportunity to use their own form of communication. This also promotes autonomy in learning.

Three – Progressive trends and how they match with CfE

Again I want to think about autonomy in learning. This is something that is a funding principle of CfE and that seems to be evident in IB. I think these fit into the Student Choice and the Child-centred parts of the document. I believe that CfE’s focus on STEM subjects fits well with inter-disciplinary learning and multiple perspectives.

Four – similarities and differences between CfE and PYP

One obvious similarity is the way that both programmes are trying to make things more student centred. Making things flexible so that learning can be about what the child wants it to be about. The freedom the teachers have seems to be a similarity, although I think with the PYP programme teachers seem to work more collaboratively together.

I think one stark difference is the way that the CfE is so outcome based whereas the PYP is much more skills based. In those short videos the CfE teachers make many many references to different areas of the curriculum. Whereas the PYP  docent as much. I also think there seems to be more trans-disciplinary learning with PYP.

My philosophy is torn. When I see CfE being implemented I still often think it is quite archaic. Contexts that things like Maths and Language are taught in are often boring, dated and aren’t necessarily engaging. However perhaps this has nothing to do with CfE itself. I like the idea of making things much more trans-disciplinary within PYP, and of using new and relvant (to the day) contexts. I also like and of the collaboration teachers have with each other. I often wonder why there isn’t a massive data base of teaching resources as part of the Education programmes we use. If Mrs X in Sweden has spent a whole weekend creating an engaging and current lesson, that uses Mathematics skills as well as other areas, then surely she should be able to share this?