Community Project

For my community project  I volunteered at a foodbank. I found this to be an eye opening experience and I did not know what to expect. In high school I had been part of organising and collecting donations for a foodbank but I did not realise how much work goes into running a foodbank.  A foodbank is a place where people can go when they are in desperate need of food and other essentials, they  go when they are in a crisis and there can be various reasons of why people need to utilise a foodbank. It is a non-profitable, charitable organisation and there is a lot of information on on the Trussel Trust website on ways to donate and help out.

I was firstly shown around the foodbank and was pleasantly surprised at how much food and other necessities they had and were able to give to the people who need it the most. I signed a form to say I would only enclose information if it was necessary.  I felt this made a link to teaching as when I am a teacher I will have the responsibility to pass on any information to a specific person who can give me advice if I was worried about a pupil for example. This requires confidence and is a very important skill to have as a teacher, especially in difficult situations. I did not realise how much information was out there surrounding foodbanks and also how integral the volunteers are. There are three main roles that contribute to helping the foodbank run smoothly and efficiently. The first role is a support worker, this involves meeting and greeting people when they come into the foodbank and being ready to talk and encourage people. The second role is hospitality, this involves making people tea and coffee and providing biscuits whilst they are talking to the support worker and this makes the environment feel safe and welcome. The third role is distribution, this involves preparing the bags of food for the people whilst they talk to the support worker. All of these roles are essential and shows the importance of working together as a team and this relates to the UWS graduate attribute of being collaborative. This skill is necessary at this foodbank and will also be a skill necessary for me to have as a a teacher as I will work with many different people.  During my time at the foodbank I did a bit of food distribution and and was also trained how to do the IT part of the role as information needs to be put onto the system. I enjoyed doing this as everyone worked together to get the bags together with the necessary items that were on the list. It was a very rewarding experience as everyone was so thankful for your help and it felt like I was  making a small contribution to make a difference.

I feel within the primary school pupils could, if they were able to, bring in essentials for a foodbank and also learn about why it maybe necessary for people to utilise them. However, this could be a very sensitive subject depending on the pupils that are in the classroom and I would consider this before discussing foodbanks in the classroom. Pupils could even make up boxes of food at Christmas time and deliver them in the community. An experience and outcome that I felt related to this was “I can consider ways to look after my school community and can encourage others to care for their environment”. Although this mentions the environment, it doesn’t always have to concern nature, which I learned in a lecture on this module, it is everything around you, like the community and pupils going out into the community and looking after people could be a very positive experience for them.

I feel that reflecting on an experience like this is very important as it made me realise how lucky I am and it also gave me ideas of ways that I am able to help the people who need it the most. Brookfield talks a lot about critical reflection. He says ” it grounds not only our actions but also our sense of who we are as teachers in an examined reality; we know why we believe what we believe.”  (Brookfield, S, 2017, P81). I feel that this is an important skill to have as a teacher as I will always be reflecting on my lessons for example, and looking for ways to improve these if necessary. Being able to reflect on experiences like this will be useful for me in the future when I become a teacher.



Scottish Government, Education Scotland, 2017, Curriculum for Excellence: Social Studies experiences and outcomes. (online). Avaliable at:

What We Do

UWS Graduate Attributes 2018. Avaliable at:

Brookfield, S, (April 2017). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. Second edition. Publisher: Jossey Bass. P81.



Energy is all around us and it cannot be destroyed. We depend greatly on fossil fuels but one day this source of energy will run out so we need to ensure that we have alternative ways to find energy sources. Examples of this could be wind power and solar power. I found a short YouTube clip that explains energy in a  simple way and also discusses the different types of renewable energy and gives examples of the use of energy in everyday life which would be a good video to show the lower to middle primary’s when discussing this topic.  An Experience and Outcome that would link in well when teaching energy could be: “I am aware of different types of energy around me and can show their importance to everyday life and survival” SCN1-04a.

In the energy workshop we did a debate which would link to political literacy within the classroom integrating different parts of the curriculum together. Debate can be adapted to any area of the curriculum and can also be used in any environment. In this workshop we were split in half. One group was arguing for wind turbines and the other group was arguing against wind turbines. We all started off by looking at articles and information on the topic separately then came together as a group to to form the arguments which our group was looking at against wind turbines and this approach could be used in the classroom. We then nominated five people from our group to give our arguments against the other half of the group which was for wind turbines. I found this workshop very useful as we were all able to work together and share ideas to form our arguments to use in the debate. During the debate there was an expectation to listen to everyone that was speaking and this is an integral skill not only for me as a teacher to have but also for the pupils to learn and work on. This means that the pupils gain respect for the people who are talking and presenting their arguments to the group. This type of activity also allows confidence to be gained and developed.

In another workshop we looked at electricity and practical ways to teach and demonstrate this within the classroom safely. We did a quiz working in pairs which is a good way for collaborative skills to be developed as I will need this skill as a teacher and can also teach the pupils in my class to work collaboratively when working on different aspects of their learning. Working collaboratively is also  UWS Graduate Attribute. There was then various experiments to carry out like a circuit series which entails learning what parts connect together correctly to make the light bulbs turn on. Once the pupils had learned how to make the lights work they could create something using the circuit like an ornament or even a game. I found an experience and outcome that links well with the circuit making which was – “I can describe an electrical circuit as a continuous loop of conducting materials. I can combine simple components in a series circuit to make a game or model.” SCN1-09a We also looked at static electricity and using solar power to make a Lego car move.  All of these experiments are fun ways to show how electricity works and also allows the pupils to be interactive in their learning.

In the following week of the energy topic we looked at a structured approach versus a tinkering approach to learning. When we went into the workshop we had no idea what we were doing, our group was tinkering.  We were told to make a vehicle out of the many materials that had been left at the front of the room. We could use whatever materials to create the vehicle as we had been left with no instructions. I worked in a group of three and we made a royal mail van as the hard plastic that we used was red. I  enjoyed this workshop as we had the freedom to make whatever we wanted and we also had to experiment with the materials to see what would work to ensure that the vehicle would be able to move on it’s own. This allowed me to be creative which is one of the UWS Graduate Attributes and I find that this is a valuable skill to have as for example when planning lessons I will be able to be creative to ensure my approach to teaching the pupils is engaging. The other half of our year had looked at a structured approach and had been given a set of materials and instructions to follow to make their vehicle. A structured approach ensures no mistakes are made, everyone’s end result is the same however a tinkering approach allows more freedom. I would definitely use both approaches within my classroom when teaching various topics.


UWS Graduate Attributes (online). Available at:

Scottish Government, Education Scotland, 2017, Curriculum for excellence: Science experiences and outcomes. (Online) Avaliable at:

Natural Disasters

In the lecture we looked at the main information surrounding a natural disaster. A natural disaster is an event that happens which seriously disrupts how a community functions and causes loses in economic, environmental and human material. A natural disaster is most likely caused by nature, there are various types of natural disasters which are: Geophysical (an earthquake,) hydro-logical (floods), climatological -(drought) and biological  (disease epidemic).

In the first workshop we looked at how to develop research skills, collaborative skills and critical skills. We took part in various different experiments and tasks that we would be able to do with the pupils in the classroom when teaching about natural disasters. I found this input very useful as teaching this subject could be challenging because it is quite a sensitive topic and can also depend on the maturity level of the class which means I would have to be aware of this when I teach it. There were four experiments that we did in this workshop which were using a bunsen burner to make a volcano, making fossils, making a volcano and smashing rocks. Making fossils would be a fun and engaging lesson to do with the class as the pupils would be involved in the whole process of this.  The Volcano would also be a good experiment to carry out with the class, all you need is vinegar and baking soda for it to work. This would allow the pupils to be imaginative and think of what a real volcano would look like without it being too graphic. Imaginative is one of the UWS Graduate Attributes and it is also important for me to use this skill when thinking of engaging but fun ways to teach the pupils about certain topics. The last experiment I did was smashing rocks to show what an earthquake looks like. I found an informative video about Earthquakes on Newsround which would be appropriate for the pupils to watch as it does not contain graphic content and is also interesting.


In the second workshop we looked at political and economic considerations on natural disasters. We were given an image to look at and discuss.  We decided it looked as if it may have been a hurricane that had affected this building as infrastructure of some building would be able to remain unharmed if a hurricane occurred but others would not. Economics relates to this as a richer community would be able to rebuild their community faster whereas a poorer community would take a lot longer to get back on its feet and this is something that pupils could look further into to see the countries preparation, response and the recovery and how all of this has an effect after a natural disaster occurs. We then did a fruit tree relating to the global poverty gap. This could be a task that a class in the upper school could complete when talking about certain topics.

In the second week of this topic we carried out a Microteaching task and our group was looking at volcanoes. This allowed me to use my group work skills as we all looked at a different piece of information and then linked it all back together. A research task on Volcanoes, or any other natural disaster, would be very useful in the classroom as it allows the pupils to expand their knowledge but also each have a role to contribute to the group allowing them to work together and collaborate. Collaborating is a UWS Graduate Attribute and is an important skill to have as a teacher, I will have to work with a wide variety of people and need to be confident when doing so therefore this task allowed me to use and develop this skill.  There were six groups that did a Microteaching task on a different disaster. When watching each group I developed my listening skills further as each group had a different way of presenting which was very interesting and engaging. I found this task advantageous as it showed me how I would teach my class about natural disasters and the various tasks the pupils could carry out in order to become more knowledgeable about each topic.

An experience and outcome that I would look at when discussing this topic would be – I can describe the physical processes of a natural disaster and discuss its impact on people and the landscape. SOC 2-07b. I could link this into an art lesson on drawing a volcano, a science lesson by doing the volcano experiment that I previously mentioned and I could also link this into media reports such as Newsround which the pupils would find engaging whilst also finding out important information.


Scottish Government, Education Scotland, 2017, Curriculum for Excellence: Social Studies experiences and outcome. (online) Avaliable at:

Volcanoes Powerpoint from microteaching: Volcanoes-PP