Category Archives: Uncategorized

Community Project

‘Wheels in Motion’ is a Christian Charity set up to help support homeless people struggling with addictions throughout Ayrshire, Scotland by providing shelter, food and companionship. “We aim to provide comfort and hope through the Christian Faith.” Wheels in Motion was originally a generic bus, it has since then been converted to a soup kitchen. On board, there are a couple of tables, plenty chairs and a kitchen area at the back. This charity was set up by a friend of mine named Suzanne, she has a passion for helping people and used her Christian faith to set up this charity. The bus goes out around Ayr every Thursday night, there are two stops and almost 20 people get on at each stop. During their time on the bus, guests are provided with a hot drink of their choice, a couple of rolls and a cake provided by Greggs Bakery. They are given the opportunity to chat amongst themselves or with the charity volunteers. Before leaving the bus, everyone is asked if they require a one-to-one chat, which would allow them to express any issues going on in their lives of anything they may need help with. After this, Suzanne prays with the group before presenting each guest a bag. Their bag is filled with food items such as, rolls, cuppa soups, cakes and also some documents providing numbers for support.

On Thursday 7thNovember at 7pm, I drove to Ayr Sheriff court and met the bus for our first stop. I introduced myself to the members of the volunteer team who were all very welcoming and were grateful for me being there to help. I was asked what role I would like to work in, either in the kitchen preparing food and drinks or out with the public. As I was very nervous, I chose to work in the kitchen. That way I could observe and wouldn’t get nervous having to talk to people. Around 7.30, members of the public began to appear, they were all asked what hot drink they wanted, which ranged from tea to hot chocolate to apple tea. I made all the drinks while talking to an older lady about her involvement with the charity. I was surprised to hear about all the local businesses that support the charity. For example, Greggs provides cakes and baguettes free of charge.

The bus sits at the stop for around and hour to an hour and a half, so I had plenty of time to observe and reflect. I was surprised to see the amount of people that use this facility, all ranging in ages from around early 20s to 60s/70s. Not only does the bus provided food and shelter, it also provides a safe space from the outside world. The same as children come to school, school is their safe space, they have their teacher to confide in and their friends to support them. The adults on the bus have the volunteer members to guide them and provide a listening ear. Before this experience I considered a ‘Soup Bus’ as being somewhere people get fed and move on, however, I’ve realised it so much more than that. Every time someone entered the bus, everyone’s face lit up, I could tell instantly that they were more like a big family. Although, I was working in the kitchen, I enjoyed having the opportunity to talk to the people that came on the bus. I could tell they loved hearing my story about university and I loved hearing all about their life and the challenges they have overcome.

Following this experience, I have realised how important it is that as a community we support each other. I spoke to one of the volunteers which really opened my eyes, he explained to me that these people aren’t in this position out of choice. It’s often circumstances that they couldn’t control or illnesses out with their control that have lead them to this position. This made me realise that we really don’t know what’s around the corner. There could come a day when I need the support of the Wheels in Motion bus and for that reason I have chosen to sign up as a volunteer. As an aspiring teacher, it is important for me to understand that I will be teaching children from various different backgrounds. Therefore, I thought this was a great opportunity to get myself out there in the community, to learn to talk to people and understand every one’s circumstances. So far, I have been on the bus twice and I love it! I know that the more I go and interact with everyone my confidence is going to improve. I struggle with small talk, I get nervous and overthink what I’m meant to say, whether I’m saying too much or no words are coming out. So, I’m hoping that my time as a volunteer will boost my confidence and communication skills. Hoping to graduate from UWS in 2022, I have until then to develop the UWS Graduate Attributes. I already feel myself becoming a more effective communicator and more socially responsible.


Wheels in Motion. 2019. [Online] Available:[Accessed: 18 November 2019]

University of the West of Scotland (2018) UWS Graduate Attributes [Online] Available:[Accessed: 15 November 2019]



So, what is energy?

According to the Oxford dictionary, energy is “a source of power, such as fuel, used for driving machines, providing heat etc.” (Oxford Dictionary, 2019) In our morning lecture, I learned new things I didn’t previously know about energy. I also heard some information I already knew, which was a good recap. As a generation, we depend highly on fossil fuels for things such as:

  • Generation of electricity – coal, oil and gas
  • Transport fuels – petrol, diesel and petroleum gas
  • Cooking and heating – natural gas
  • Plastics – polythene, pvc and polyurethane

However, as future teachers, it is important that we teach young people how much fossil fuels are damaging their world. By 2040, 59% of our total energy use will be fossil fuels. (Business Standards, 2015) We need to educate young people on how they can reduce that figure, for example, finding new ways to generate electricity, power vehicles and make materials. As a result of our dependence on fossil fuels, amongst other things, global warming has become a major area of concern. The temperature of the earth has risen by 1 degree in the past 100 years, which has resulted in the ice caps melting. This is an ongoing issue, with global polar bear populations likely to decline by 30% over the next 30 to 50 years. Although it’s important for us to educate young people on the effects of renewable and non-renewable energy, we have to ensure that our lessons are enjoyable.

Which leads me on to our science workshop, where we completed a range of energy and fossil related activities. We began by completing a Fossil Fuels Quiz in teams, this was a good activity as it made us aware of what we already know about fossil fuels. Then, when we were given the answers, the ones we got wrong created discussion within our groups. The previous week in our science workshop, we created dinosaur fossils which we were given back this week to see how they had turned out. I think this was a simple, yet exciting and enjoyable activity which could be done within a classroom with pupils. Our table in the science workshop were working on creating dinosaur finger puppets.









I really enjoyed this workshop with Louise, we were focusing on windfarms and working in two teams to debate with each other for and against windfarms. To begin we were required to research windfarms in small groups of 4, this was effective as It meant we could all communicate as the group wasn’t too big. This then led us on to join up with another group of 4, where we had to share the information we had learned. Finally, we joined with another group, where we were told whether we were debating for or against, my group got for. Five members of each group all went up to the front and debated against each other. Although I wasn’t one of the ones debating, I still gained a lot from this workshop.

Working towards the UWS graduate attributes, this experience helped me become more collaborative and a more effective communicator. I was able to work with our groups as they got bigger and could express my ideas. Using the Brookfield, S (1995) Model of Reflection, I realised that it is important that I am an effective communicator. I often struggle with confidence, however, activities like todays debate, help me to come out of my comfort zone. As a student teacher, it is necessary that I am able to communicate effectively with pupils. Which will in turn, encourage them to be effective communicators, benefitting their lives in and out of school.


During our second week, we focused on technology. I was in the section where we were given set instructions to follow and materials to make a car that could move without us pushing it. This was such a great laugh and I feel like it really brought us all together, I was able to speak to people I wouldn’t normally speak to, as cars were flying across the room. This experience really makes me think about being in the classroom, I tried to consider ways I could teach pupils about energy while having this much fun. I remembered being on placement, during one of my serial days, the children were learning about Newton’s Thirds Law of motion, which is that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In the classroom, we were using balloons to represent this law, by showing that as you let the balloon go air rushes out causing the balloon to shoot up. This was exactly what we were doing in this workshop, in order to make our car move. We blew up two balloons and held them at the back of the car so that when we air rushed out and the balloon tried to shoot back, the force would make the car move. Some of the CFE skills the pupils would develop are:

  • Skills in using tools, equipment, software and materials
  • Skills in collaborating, leading and interacting with others
  • Discussion and debate
  • Evaluating products, systems and services

(Scottish Government, nd)

Overall, I’m really looking forward to teaching energy. I think it’s very important for children to learn about, however, it’s equally as important for our lessons to be fun so the children will remember them. I had a look at some CFE Experiences and Outcomes and a couple I found that I think I would base my lessons around are:

‘Through exploring non-renewable energy sources, I can describe how they are used in Scotland today and express an informed view on the implications for their future use’ SCN 2-04b

‘I am aware of different types of energy around me and can show their importance to everyday life and my survival’ SCN 1-04a


Oxford Dictionary. 2019. Energy. [Online] Available: https://www.oxford [Accessed 14 November 2019]

Scottish Government (n.d.) Curriculum for Excellence. Technologies Principles and Practice. [Online] Available:[Accessed 15 November 2019] (2019) Curriculum for Excellence: Sciences. [Online] Available:[Accessed 15 November 2019]

University of the West of Scotland (2018) UWS Graduate Attributes [Online] Available:[Accessed: 15 November 2019]

Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San-Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Natural Disasters


The definition of a natural disaster is “any catastrophic event that is caused by nature or the natural process of the earth.” There are many different categories of natural disasters such as:

  • geophysical, which relates to earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and volcanic activity
  • hydrological disasters, which are avalanches and floods
  • climatological disasters, which are extreme temperatures, drought and wildfires.
  • biological disasters, which covers, disease epidemics and animal plagues

Natural disasters can be a very scary, sensitive topic to teach primary children. However, it is very important that children are aware of how to prepare, respond and recover from natural disasters. Also, I think it is equally as important that children have an awareness of what people living in other countries have to deal with day to day.

During Louise’s workshop on Political and Economic considerations of natural disasters, we had the chance to look at some real-life examples. In groups, we were all given an image of a disaster and asked to consider it’s affects. As you can see in the picture below, we had A3 paper and had to lay it out in a specific format with N standing for Nature, E for Economic, S was for Society and finally W was Who decides. We then had to come up with questions for each section, I found this process quite helpful in making us consider natural disasters in a wider context. For example, it made us consider how disasters affect rich and poor people completely differently. For some people, their home may be all they have and quite often during disasters homes are destroyed. Therefore, some people are left with nothing. This then led us on to discuss who decides what help the area gets? We looked at the affects Hurricane Matthew had on Haiti and Florida and the differences between the ways their governments reacted.  For example, Florida was able to do a press and announce on social media to warm everyone in the area, however, we have to consider that some countries don’t have the resources etc. to carry out announcements. This workshop required me to think critically, which links with the UWS Graduate Attributes, I had to consider all the areas that could possibly be affected by natural disasters. Considering the Brookfield, S (1995) Model of Reflection, after completing this topic on natural disasters, I now feel a lot more confident. Prior to this, the thought of teaching disasters would have given me so much anxiety. However, now I realise that it can actually be informative while still being enjoyable so that my future pupils will gain a lot from my lesson. Not only on knowledge, but also awareness and how important it is that we help other countries.

BBC News Clip 1                                BBC News Clip 2

Moving on to Andrew’s science workshop, we started off by considering investigation skills. Investigation skills in science allow pupils to, find out from practical experience, express their ideas and then test their ideas and develop scientific literacy. Therefore, it is important that pupils are able to ask questions, observe, report and evaluate their science experiments. During this workshop, I realised the importance of science to children’s development and also how much it impacts their learning in other curricular areas. “Through science, children and young people can develop their interest in and understanding of the living, material and physical word.” (Curriculum for Excellence) Science skills help our pupils to be open to new ideas and linking and applying learning, thinking creatively and critically and also science helps them develop skills of reasoning to provide explanations and evaluations supported by evidence. All these skills are things that can be transferred to other areas of the curriculum to help children across other areas.

For our second week studying natural disasters, we completed a 15-minute micro-teaching lesson. My group were focusing on earthquakes, which we found quite challenging to simplify for children. The discussion about tectonic plates and the layers of the earth can sometimes come across very complex and intense. So, we decided that a video with animations would show earthquakes better than we could explain. (Link below) We also included a few possible activities we could complete in the class and explanations of the experiences and outcomes our lessons would cover. Personally, I actually really enjoyed this experience and found it very useful, I liked having the opportunity to link what we had previously learned with actually being teachers. I previously thought that natural disasters would be something quite difficult to teach, however, after this experience, I have realised that if their broken down its so much easier to understand as a teacher and for pupils. Two of the experiences and outcomes I would use for a lesson on natural disasters are:

“I can describe the physical processes of a natural disaster and discuss its impact on people and the landscape” SOC 2-07b

“I consider the impact that layout and presentation will have and can combine lettering, graphics and other features to engage my reader” LIT 2-24a

The first one would be suitable for all natural disasters lessons and the second would be suitable if the class were creating posters, fact files or leaflets on natural disasters.


Natural Disasters

Smith, A. and Quiroz Flores, A. (2010) Disaster Politics. Foreign Affairs. [Online] Available: Council of Foreign Affairs[Accessed: 31 Oct. 2019] (2019) Curriculum for Excellence: Sciences. [online] Available:[Accessed 31 Oct. 2019].

University of the West of Scotland (2018) UWS Graduate Attributes [Online] Available:[Accessed: 31 Oct. 2019].

Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San-Francisco: Jossey-Bass



Interdependence is the way in which two or more living things depend on each other to grow and remain healthy. It splits off into three areas which are economic interdependence, social interdependence and environmental interdependence. Economic interdependence is all about the global trading market and multinational/global financial institutions. Social on the other hand is about media advertising and the worldwide demand for market access. Then finally, the one we looked into, environmental interdependence, which is the increasingly apparent idea that every species has a function to fulfil in sustaining the web of life.I have included the link to a video below, I think this would be great to use when teaching interdependence to a class. It clearly outlines the importance of interdependence in a way that children will be able to relate to and understand.

We were lucky enough to be welcomed at two local farms. Both VERY different form each other, however, both with very important roles. The first we visited was called Mossgiel Farm, which is a small organic farm near Mauchline. From the moment, I stepped out the car and looked around myself I felt welcome on the farm. It was muddy and cold and we were surrounded by sheds, but it almost felt like everyone around us was happy that we were there and excited to show us how their farm worked. We started off by getting a brief introduction from the farm owner Bryce, he explained all about his family’s background with the farm and how he’s developed the farm to how it is today. He explained all about being an organic farm and how it benefits the cows being grass fed and allowed out into the fields. He explained how every area is connected and how they depend on each other, the cow eats the grass and produces milk which is then bottled and sold to consumers. Without the consumers, the milk would be spoiled and if cows aren’t milked regularly they can develop infections. Likewise, without the cows, consumers wouldn’t have access to milk which gives them a vital mineral (calcium). I really enjoyed the couple of hours I got to spend on Mossgiel farm and I’ve walked away with a love for calves (pictures below) that I didn’t think was possible!



However, we then went over to Strandhead Farm which is a large technologically advanced farm near Tarbolton. As soon as we entered the farm, it felt completely different to the previous one. This was a very big farm where everything was done through technology. There were automatic feeding machines, robot cleaners and the cows all had necklaces that monitored every movement they made. The farmer explained that the cows had to be kept inside at all times to ensure they were eating enough food in order to be milked up to 5 times a day. Personally, I didn’t like the idea of the cows never being allowed out. The farmer did explain that they have everything they need in the shed, however, I just couldn’t understand how it was fair on the cows.


After my experience at both the farms, I had a look at the UWS Graduate Attributes and realised that I left the farms with a lot of experience and knowledge that I didn’t have before. On a universal and academic level, I developed my ability to inquire on something I have little knowledge on. I asked the farmers questions and got an insight into how their farms work. Also, on a universal and personal level, I became more culturally aware. I developed a knowledge for where my food comes from that I will never forget.

Looking to the future, I think this experience would be great for my pupils. It would give them an experience that they would never forget, they would gain knowledge from the farmers that they wouldn’t have access to anywhere else. The Experiences and Outcomes that I would cover through this are:

SCN 1-02a

“I can explore examples of food chains and show an appreciation of how animals and plants depend on each other for food.”
SCN 0-01a

“I have observed living things in the environment over time and am becoming aware of how they depend on each other.”

I’m looking forward to being able to share my experience on the farm with pupils in my class in the future. I now understand how important it is that we know where our food comes from!


Higgins, K (2013) Economic Growth and Sustainability – are they mutually exclusive? [online] Available:[Accessed 13 Oct. 2019]. (2019) Curriculum for Excellence: Sciences. [online] Available:[Accessed 13 Oct. 2019].

University of the West of Scotland (2018) UWS Graduate Attributes [Online] Available:[Accessed: 13 Oct. 2019].



Climate Change


Our climate change lecture began with some general facts and an outline of what climate change actually is. Prior to this lecture, I had limited knowledge on climate change, all I really knew is that it related to the weather. However, I soon learned that the term ‘climate change’ covers more than just our recent weather. Climate is the average weather at a given point and time of year, over a long period we expect the weather to change a lot day to day but the climate to remain consistent. Our climate system is important as it determines our weather, decisions by humans have long term affects on our climate. A young girl, Greta Thurnberg, outlines humans impact on climate change, in a way I couldn’t compete with.

This weeks science workshop looked at our inquiry and investigative skills. We started off by completing a task about a plane crash on an island, firstly we were all given an area, ours was the savannah grass lands. We were then required to investigate the area and complete a few tasks about what items we think would be important to have. This required us to negotiate with our team members, listen to eachother and express our personal ideas. I personally really enjoyed this task, I think it would work well within the classroom as an icebreaker sort of task. It required me to step out my comfort zone a little when having to express my opinion and have others challenge it.

We then went on to complete some climate change related experiments. The experiment you can see in the video below was to show that heat rises. We had a bucket of room temperature water, two plastic cups, one of which was full of very warm water and the other ice cold water. We then put a couple of drops of red food colouring in the warm cup, and blue food colouring in the cold cup. To carry out the actual experiment, we had to drop the two plastic cups into the water and watch closely. As you can see in the video, the warm water all rises to the top and the cold water spreads along the bottom. We also completed a few other experiments, to show rain and tornados etc.

I really enjoyed the use of these experiments to further develop our understanding of climate change. Using the Curriculum for Excellence I think the experience and outcome that would best suit this would be “I can explain some of the processes which contribute to climate change and discuss the possible impact of atmospheric change on the survival of living things. SCN 3-05b” I think that these experiments would be great for third level pupils to put into practice what they have learned over the course of their climate change topic. As a student, one thing that I learned and will take away from this workshop, is that experiments don’t always go to plan. However, pupils can still learn from them.

Our second workshop went on to look at the link between climate change and global warming. Prior to this workshop, I would have said that climate change and global warming are almost the same thing. Global warming is when, greenhouse gasses travel into the earths atmosphere, where they are trapped causing the earth to heat up. This is known as the greenhouse effect and the rising temperature of the earth as a result of this, is known as global warming.

Reflecting on my knowledge now compared to before this input, I feel so much more aware of my actions and the affects they are having on not only humans, but animals and plants aswell. I completed the WWF Footprint Calculator which was an extreme eye opener! Going about my day to day life I quite often forget how small actions such as leaving the TV on standby are having a massive affect on the world around me. I think this resource would be great to use in the classroom, we could all as a class, come up with ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

References: (2019). Curriculum for Excellence: Sciences. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Sept. 2019].


WEEKS 1 AND 2 – Wednesday 13th and 20th September 2019

Our first Sustainable Development input was on Diversity, which I personally found very daunting. Diversity is such a wide topic and can often be very sensitive so I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to understand some of it.

Our first input was science with Andrew and to be honest I didn’t know what to expect. Science has never been my strong point, I struggled a lot with National 5 biology at school so since then I’ve been completely put off. However, this input really helped me realise that there doesn’t need to be so much pressure on science and experiments. Our input consisted of moving snails around different environments and dissecting flowers. We also went outside and collected leaves to do leaf rubbings and different types of trees to rub the shape of the bark onto paper. I thought this was very interesting as it made me aware of the large variety of plants there are in such a small area. Therefore, I think this would be a great lesson for future practice as it would show children the diversity of plants in a way that they would remember. It is also something they could do at home and get their families involved in.







Our second input was from two ladies from WOSDEC, who discussed our probable/preferable futures. Our probable future is how we realistically see our future, whereas our preferable future is how we want our future to turn out.  They discussed with us that one of the main ways that we can turn our probable future into our preferable future Is by being and creating Global Citizens. To help develop our understanding of what It means to be a global citizen we used the ‘Head, Heart and Hands’ method. In doing so I realised that although many of the traits we identified I would say I have, there were also ones that I would say I struggle with. As a student teacher, I think it’s important that I work on developing the skills to become a good global citizen so that I can then pass those traits onto my learners.

During the second week, we were looking at cultural diversity. As a country, we would all probably like to believe that Scotland is very diverse, however, upon looking at some statistics it became pretty obvious that it is not. For example, only 2.1% of Scotland are Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Sikh and only 7% of our population were born out with Scotland (Scottish Government, 2011) I believe that as teachers we should be using our voice to promote diversity within our classrooms to show children from a young age that we are all individual and unique. It is stated that children can “inhibit a range of identities that are as confusing as they are defining, not only for themselves, but also for others.” (Copeland and Bowden, 2014, p.386) Our classrooms should be a safe environment for children to be able to express their individuality as they are finding their own identity and where they belong.

The past two weeks that we have looked at the diversity topic have really opened my eyes. I’ve developed new skills and also identified skills that I thought I had but have now realised I need to work on. For example, I need to work on being a better global citizen sooner rather than later, however, I was able to develop my overall mind-set on diversity. I was also made aware of team working and how it can sometimes not go as planned. In one of our workshops, we were all giving our opinion and I made a point about my own opinion and rather than my opinion being accepted I was completely shut down by another member in my group. I found this quite hurting as I thought this was a safe space where we as students could voice our opinions and share experiences to help each other develop. I understand that everyone is different, however, we were all giving each other the opportunity to talk and because someone didn’t think the same as me I was cut off and and they tried to start an argument. This situation resulted in me not wanting to even include myself in discussions or have any opinions about the topics we are discussing. However, after thinking about it, I have since realised that maybe I need to be more open minded about situations and understand that everyone deals with their strong opinions differently.


Scottish Government (2011a) Scotland Census. [Online] Available:[Accessed: 22 September 2019]

Copeland, P. & Bowden, D. (2014) Responding to Cultural Diversity and Citizenship. In: Cremin, T. & Arthur, J. (eds) Learning to Teach in the Primary School. London: Routledge pp385-399