A memorable learning experience

Thinking back to my time in primary school a learning experience which is firmly stuck in my memory is studying the Tudors in my last year of primary school. We studied what it was like to live during the Tudor times both as a peasant and a rich member of society. This experience was really memorable as we got to explore lots of different aspects of Tudor life through the different subjects. We found a traditional recipe for bread and tried to make it and then all had a slice to eat. This was really memorable as it incorporated all our senses and involved literacy and technology. We also learnt a Tudor dance which we did as a PE lesson, once we learnt it we dressed up as Tudors and performed it in an assembly for the whole school.

Through using one context, the Tudors, my teacher produced a lot of content incorporating multiple subjects which helped strengthen our learning. I really enjoyed this topic and still remember elements of what we learnt today as I felt we were thoroughly immersed within the world of the Tudors.

Reflecting on Placement

My placement experience was a hugely enjoyable one. I was working with a P5 class within Forthill Primary school in Broughty Ferry, this was a great deal of fun as it was a very nice class, in a nice school, in a nice area, which made it a very pleasant experience. My class teacher was incredibly supportive and helped me a great deal, he spent a long time helping me to improve my success criteria’s which was something I was struggling with and this boosted my confidence a great deal. He also helped me build up my confidence within the teaching environment as he always gave me very thorough and useful feedback .The class themselves were a pleasure to teach, although they were very chatty and there were a few vibrant characters within the class I still felt that we got on well and I could teach them successfully most of the time. At the beginning I found the noise level difficult to handle and this wasted a great deal of time, however I tried out some different behavior management techniques and along with some support from my class teacher I found a way to deal with the majority of the talking. However it was never perfect but we got on well and the pupils worked hard with me.

I feel that I reached a lot of my goals during placement. I wanted to improve my lesson plan making which I felt I did as my teacher gave a great deal of guidance about creating success criteria, further more I felt that I got plenty of practice and this helped me to create better plans. I also had set a goal to improve my numeracy skills, I feel that I have built up my confidence surrounding numeracy as I taught many maths lessons and realised that I do have a suitable knowledge of maths for teaching at a primary school level.

I feel that placement was a fantastic experience and I am extremely glad I got to have a placement within first year.

Science group TDT

Scientific Literacy


Within our society we are bombarded daily with various claims and stories about the impact of science on our world. These can range from global warming and medical advances all the way to the food we eat. When we have knowledge and understanding about scientific processes and larger concepts we can then hopefully approach this information in an informed manner. If we grasp the concept of scientific literacy we can question the world around us. The idea of scientific literacy is basically being educated as to how science moulds the world. This can hold great cultural, social and personal importance. The skills that are developed when we analyse and critique scientific information are transferable. Scientific knowledge then becomes a very observational, experiential, logical and somewhat sceptical way of knowing. This enables people to ask questions and find answers. If we are to be fed “facts” by the media it is with scientific literacy that we can decide whether to take them at face value or delve further for answers. This also grants us the tools to reach conclusions through fair debate and applicable evidence.

Scientific literacy is very important as not having it can lead to misunderstandings. This happens a great deal with media reporting when the journalist didn’t have a good level of scientific literacy and writes a report which spreads incorrect information to the public, this can often have a very negative impact. An example of this is the report which claimed there was a link between the MMR vaccine and ASD, which has now been proven wrong. However this report was picked up by the media and they spread hysteria across the country over whether or not it was safe to vaccinate children. In 1998 BBC news published an article titled ‘Child vaccine linked to autism’ the Telegraph also published an article in 2007 which restarted the concern over the vaccines claiming there was a ‘New fear over MMR link with rising autism.’ This panic meant that hundreds of children were not vaccinated which could have been avoided by ensuring people have a good level of scientific literacy. Scientific literacy is the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity. It also includes specific types of abilities.

A “fair test” refers to an experiment that is carefully controlled to ensure that the information gathered is reliable. In science, it is an experiment conducted in a manner so that it does not provide any advantages to any of the conditions or subjects being tested. To insure that your experiment is a fair test, you must change only one factor at a time while keeping all other conditions the same. Scientists call the changing factors in an experiment ‘variables’. For example, imagine we are wanting to test which toy car is the fastest while going down a sloping ramp. If we gently release the first car, but give the second car a push start, this is not a fair test! This is because we gave the second car an unfair advantage by pushing it to start. The only thing that should change between the two tests is the car. To ensure a fair test, we should start them both down the same ramp in exactly the same way.


Reference List

BBC (no date) Home. Available at: http://bbc.co.uk (Accessed: 7 February 2016).

The telegraph – telegraph online, daily telegraph, Sunday Telegraph (no date). Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk (Accessed: 10 February 2016).

The national academies press (no date). Available at: http://www.nap.edu (Accessed: 14 February 2016).

Oxford dictionaries (no date) in Oxford Dictionary. Available at: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com (Accessed: 13 February 2016).


How do I feel about teaching music?- Taking the quiz

1. How confident do you feel about music?
b. Quite confident

1. What is your experience of learning to play a musical instrument?                                         a. I can and still do play a musical instrument (But only occasionally nowadays)

1. If you did play a musical instrument in your youth but have since given up, what was your reason for this? (choose the most suitable option below)                                                    c. I was too busy with other things/interests

1. How do you rate your ability in music?                                                                                           a. I think I’m quite musical (and play an instrument/sing)

1. What were your experiences of music in the primary school as a pupil? (choose the most suitable option below)                                                                                                                    a. Singing around the piano with the music teacher
b. Playing tuned/ untuned percussion instruments and/or recorder                                                  d. Singing in a choir and/or musical shows

1. What was your most significant (positive or negative) experience of music in primary school?                                                                                                                                                           b. I loved playing the musical instruments

1. How would you rate your ability to read musical notation?                                                     b. Have a basic grounding but may be a little rusty

1. How much do you enjoy music in your day-to-day life?                                                              a. I enjoy listening to music and have distinct likes and dislikes of certain types of music

1. How important is music to you?                                                                                                        b. I enjoy music and feel it enhances some things

1. Of the four curricular areas listed below, which of these are you most (if at all) apprehensive about teaching?                                                                                                                c. PE


While I am by no stretch a musical genius I have an idea of the basics and managed to make it to grade 5 with my piano playing. I do feel slightly apprehensive when it comes to teaching music but this is simply because of the pressure I feel to recreate the stunningly high quality music education I was given. Throughout primary and secondary school I was lucky enough to have music teachers who were incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about their subject and they spread a love for music through all their pupils. My music teachers were a real inspiration to me and have contributed to my desire to become a teacher as I hope I can bring the same level of enthusiasm and joy to all the subjects I teach. While I was in primary school I attended choir, recorder classes, piano lessons, orchestra and we had music lessons and singing assembly’s. As it was a church school we also attended ceremonies within the church which always involved music and we sang hymns during every assembly. Although I never took on the religion the sense that music is important and should be a large part of school life has stuck with me throughout my education, I can still remember my disappointment when I realised you didn’t sing during assemblies at my secondary school. The fact that our musical life within the school was spread across all the year groups it also helped to create a strong community feeling inside the school and my memory of primary school was everyone knowing each other and getting on, although it was a relatively small, middle class school within a well-off Cambridge suburb which probably helped us all get along as we were all having relatively easy childhoods. The music department within my secondary school was also incredible, they produced incredibly talented children year after year who go on to do incredibly well in life, two of my peers now attend the Royal Academy of Music. However once I moved to Scotland and spent my last two school years doing my highers I attended a school which valued high grades a great deal and pushed its pupils to achieve the most they could but completely ignored music and other expressive arts. They had a sparse number of extra curricular music activities which hardly any pupils attended and were rarely advertised. This school produced one Christmas concert which ended up being cancelled both years I was there and that was the only celebration of the music department within the school.  This stark contrast really showed me the importance of music within a school and has made me really determined to overcome any concerns I have over teaching music and ensure that the class I teach take on my enjoyment of music and let it change the way they see school life.


Learning in Drama

Drama is an exciting and fun lesson for most children, there are many different ways to make each lesson engaging, interesting and worthwhile, a Drama lesson should not simply be ‘doing a play.’

1. Hot-seating

Hot-seating is an excellent exercise to try during a drama lesson, the pupils are asked either in small groups or as a whole class to direct questions to an individual who has to answer the hot seatquestions playing a character, for example a pupil could answer questions as the wolf from the story of the three little pigs. This drama convention means that pupils have to put some serious thought into the character they are playing and therefore will have a better understanding of how to play the character when performing.

2. Freeze-frame

This convention is when the pupils are in groups and have to break a story down into a series of still images, for example they could break down the story of Jack and Jill into five still scenes. This exercise helps the pupils to break a story down into the key moments and will aid their language skills as they will be working on beginnings, middles and ends. It also, like hot seating, encourages the pupils to put more careful thought into what they are creating.

3. Improvisation

Improvisations is the process of creating something spontaneously and without preparation. This is a good exercise during drama as you will encourage the pupils to be creative and inventive. They can be given a scenario and then asked to come up with a quick performance based around this idea. This will ensure that the pupils are being properly involved with the drama lesson and engaged with what they are doing as they are creating the performance completely on their own.



Looking at my reflection

In our last eportfolio input we got the opportunity to look and read a few very good examples of our peers blog posts. This really brought the nagging feeling I had that I wasn’t trying hard enough to light. I have never engaged properly with the eportfolio I don’t feel a pressing desire to write on mine when doing reading and never felt that it helped with my own professional reflection. However I have realised that I should be using this as an outlet to show others that I do genuinely care about becoming a teacher and this profession, and I am sure tchants-field-mirror-4-by-alex-baker-photographyhat when I look back at my posts in the future I will be interested and pleased to be able to see how I progressed to become the teacher I truly want to be. Therefore expect more being posted and at a much higher quality than before. I will become a much more visibly reflective practitioner.

Lesson planning

Today was my first attempt at lesson planning, and despite having an input on lesson planning earlier today and doing some extra reading on the subject it was still surprisingly more difficult than I was expecting as although I was aware it wasn’t going to be completely simple there was much more to think about than I previously thouappleght. Instead of simply deciding what I needed to teach and how I was going to present my lesson in a fun and engaging way I also had to consider how I would assess whether or not each stage of my lesson was working to the standard I wanted and then evaluate what the next steps for my pupils needs to be. As I never actually got to teach this lesson I could not complete the ‘Evaluating my practice’ section however I looked at the questions and considered how I would have to be constantly reviewing myself as I taught the lesson. I like the format of the lesson planning sheet we were given as I felt that it was very clear and supported me a great deal. Although it did take me longer than expected to complete the sheet I am not concerned as I am sure that the longer I am on this course and the more I try lesson planning the faster I will be and once I have more teaching experience I will need less detailed lesson plans.


This is my lesson plan: Spooky story writing lesson plan

To complete the experience I decided to also create a power point which I would put onto the interactive white board and use as a teaching tool which would make my lesson much more engaging and interesting for the pupils.

This is my power point:  Spooky story writing power point


Although it was more of a challenge than I expected I thoroughly enjoyed making both my lesson plan and the accompanying power point, and it has helped my confidence when thinking about teaching on placement.

Internet safety- Prezi presentation

prezi– internet saftey (TDT)Computer

The purpose of this ‘Prezi’ presentation is to use as a tool for teaching pupils about internet safety and it meets certain skills outlined within the Curriculum for Excellence ‘Experiences and Outcomes.’

I can access, retrieve and use information from electronic sources to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts.

TCH 1-03b

This outcome is met as the skill of accessing information is being addressed as the presentation discusses not using any websites which the pupil is unsure of and this means that the pupils learn to access safe information to support, enrich and extend their learning.

I enjoy exploring and using technologies to communicate with others within and beyond my place of learning.

Zip it, Block it, Flag itTCH 0-04a

This outcome is also addressed by the presentation as pupil safety while using resources such as social media is discussed. Social media is a hugely useful tool for communicating with others however as the presentation discusses it can also be a dangerous activity especially for young children. Therefore pupils need to be taught the skill of using technologies for communication while being responsible and keeping both their identities and personality safe.

I can create, capture and manipulate sounds, text and images to communicate experiences, ideas and information in creative and engaging ways.

TCH 1-04b / TCH 2-04b

This is an outcome contains skills which are taught through the form of presentation rather than the content, to teach these skills you could get the pupils to create their own ‘Prezi’ presentations to show each other, or another class of the same age group if the school has one, they could use the information discussed as a class and then extra information they have found using safe internet searching to create a more in depth presentation. A more advanced class would be able to add music or videos to show theSocial mediair grasp on more difficult ICT skills.


How I feel about my own maths ability

Maths has always been a struggle for me, I never managed to find very much enjoyment or understand it very well and therefore I never thought it would be a subject I would enjoy teaching. I think my main issue with maths was my complete lack of faith in my own mathematical ability, this began in primary school which was a time in which I struggled with most of my subjects but especially maths. However one of the main cMaths 1auses of my low confidence in my own ability was my teachers. I was placed in the bottom set in maths once I reached secondary school and had to work incredibly hard to move up to a level which would allow me to be physically able to attain a grade higher than a C at GCSE. My maths teacher at the time was not very supportive, he agreed to give me additional work to help me improve but this turned out to mean giving me work sheets similar to those in primary school, he even gave me a colouring sheet once. There was a complete lack of faith in the bottom sets, the message that we were not good at maths was very clear and that no one expected us to be able to attain a good maths grade. This lack of support of interest in our maths education resulted in classes of disinterested pupils who will never believe they are capable of doing maths. Once leaving GCSE level with a B grade I moved into the Scottish system and although I was not in the bottom set of maths I was faced with a lack of support from a new teacher who, like the others, didn’t believe I could achieve a good maths grade to such an extent that he told me on my last lesson that I wouldn’t pass the exam. I was thankfully not put off by this comment and managed to get a B in higher maths. However putting all these experiences together it is easy to see why I am apprehensive over teaching maths to my pupils, I’m not only afraid of being unable to provide a thorough and useful level of teaching, I am also afraid of holding pupils back and not allowing them to enjoy maths and reach their full potentials.

However the maths input we received on the 14th helped relax me slightly and made me feel a little more confident about teaching maths. The discussion over what made people anxious about maths was very encouraging as I found that many of my own fears were shared by others. This made me feel a little more confident as I realised that maths anxiety is not my personal issue but a nationwide problem, this showed that, although it will take more work for me to feel fully comfortable about teaching maths, a huge number of teachers have gone before me also unsure of their own maths ability and have been capable and successful maths teachers. Another point which increased my confidence slightly was that we will improve the more we teach as the information will become more and more embedded within our brain meaning that Maths 2although I am not comfortable with my maths ability now it will change and my mathematical capability will increase. The input also helped me as it helped me realise that maths can actually be a hugely creative lesson, I was afraid that I would struggle to find different ways to teach maths as my own memories of maths lessons are not overly inspired or creative. However the input discussed ‘doing, talking and thinking maths’ which involve a variety of learning styles. The input was useful as through discussing these different styles of maths I found I could think of many more ways to teach maths creatively and how to incorporate maths into other curricular areas in an interesting and relevant way.

The reading following up the input was also hugely helpful and interesting, it was Haylocks ‘Mathematics explained for primary teachers’ and I found it a very easy to read text which was hugely engaging.  This text, like the input, helped relax some of my anxiety over maths as it includes fears from other trainee teachers which were often very similar to my own fears and concerns. It was also interesting as it explained why maths is such an important subject for primary schools to teach, the text states “We teach mathematics because it has an inherent beauty that can provide the learner with delight and enjoyment.” I found that this sentence changed the way I felt about maths I had never thought about maths as beautiful but once I considered the sense of pride and pleasure I feel when I finish a maths problem correctly I could see how it could provide ‘delight’ or ‘enjoyment’, furthermore as I carried on reading the passage and was introduced to the idea of how maths isMaths 3 made up of patterns and shapes from the world around us I began to see that maths can be a beautiful and necessary  to our lives. The text claims that through teaching mathematics in the primary school successfully we will encourage a generation of children with a true appreciation for the complexity and ‘beauty’ of maths.

The maths input and the reading have both helped me to begin to warm to the idea of teaching maths, I no longer feel that I am inadequate as I know that although it will take work and I will never find teaching maths completely easy as long as I teach it in a passionate and engaging fashion ensuring that I make each lesson as creative as possible I will hopefully help my pupils develop a love of maths and ensure that maths anxiety is a thing of the past. The main message which I have taken away from thinking about how I feel about maths is that I do not want to be the reason a child says ‘I can’t do maths.’

My science SMART target

I am relatively confident when thinking about teaching science, I have always preferred biology but I have qualifications in all three sciences. However before entering placement I have set myself a science based SMART target.

S-pecific: I have very limited knowledge of the solar system, I did once learn about the planets but the information has been lost somewhere in time, therefore I want to learn the names and order of the planets with our solar system.

M-easurable: I want to be able to list the planets correctly off the top of my head in the right order.

A-chievable: This is something many primary school age, and older, pupils can do as they are interested in our solar system. This is partly why I wish to be able to do this challenge as I feel it will come in use during placement and later teaching.

R-elevant: This is a very relevant task as space is an experience and outcome within the science section of curriculum for excellence.

T-imed: I aim to have achieved this goal by the start of placement.Solar system 1