Category Archives: 2.1 Curriculum

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: (Accessed: 7 February 2016).

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

The national academies press (no date). Available at: (Accessed: 14 February 2016).

Oxford dictionaries (no date) in Oxford Dictionary. Available at: (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.



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.


Animation and ICT skills

Creating a short animation was a fun and interesting task which I found highly engaging and was one of the first times I enjoyed an ‘ICT’ lesson. During primary school ICT consisted of going to a crowded room at the back of the school and having to race to get a computer which actually worked, needless to say I did not enjoy the lessons and couldn’t tell you what I learnt, or was supposed to learn, during those classes. Secondary school somehow managed to be worse with the schools only ICT teacher being seriously disengaged and the classes never managed to grab my attention and while I now have some grasp of simple IT skills I have never been confident with using computers and the idea of teaching children ICT was something I was dreading. However during the two hours we spent making our animations I really enjoyed learning about the different programs available for people to use and I realised that teaching children to use computers to express their creativity will actually be a thoroughly enjoyable and exciting experience.


Through creating this style of animation children would be developing several different skills, they would be working in a team which allows them to develop their communication skills and how to create a creative piece of work which they were all proud of through sharing ideas and compromising with one another to ensure everyone has an idea within the project. They would also be developing several ICT skills. We used the program ZU3D which allowed us to attach a camera to the computer and take pictures of our models which created a stop-motion animation. This would teach the children to be able to use additional pieces of equipment as well as the computer itself and be able to use a range of technology to express themselves. We also placed a piece of music in our film which we had to find and then add to the film in the appropriate place. This would also help the pupils develop ICT skills as they would learn to add in multiple layers of media to their animations.


This activity sits within the ICT experiences and outcomes as it falls under the category of ‘ICT to enhance learning’ as it is a way for the pupils to manipulate their ideas in a creative way and produce a piece of work using sounds, texts and images to communicate their thoughts across to a wider audience in an engaging way. It is also a very good activity as it is exciting and will encourage more children to go out and find ways to express themselves and their ideas in a way which they find engaging and interesting.

I really enjoyed this task and it has started to change my opinion towards teaching ICT and has shown me that there is more to computer skills than simply learning how to use powerpoint and word.