Category Archives: 1 Prof. Values & Personal Commitment

Digital Footprints

After researching more about what a digital footprint is through the Digital Literacy Bitesize Unit 2, it has allowed me to fully understand how important it is to be careful about what you post/ do online.

I remember we had a lecture in first year about how important it is to be careful with what you post online as anybody can see it. This information was reinforced to me greatly from watching the videos on the unit as it really opened my eyes as to how much a social media post can say about you, especially when it can be seen out of context. The video “Orange Digital Dirt” was really eyeopening as it expressed the message that future employers can search you up online and judge you based off what you post online. For example if you posted something that put you in a bad light then other people can see that and can make assumptions about you that may not even be true. Therefore it is vital that you make your digital footprint as true to yourself as possible as this will protect your reputation as a person.

I searched myself up on google and it was fascinating seeing all my accounts come up as a result. It really proved to me that even if you are private online people can still see you online in some way. This further reinforced to me just how important it is to make your digital footprint as accurate to yourself as possible as anyone can see you and judge what kind of person you are based on these posts.

I am always going to continue to be careful with anything I post, making sure that it portrays me as my true self in a good light.


“Orange Digital Dirt” Video

IB TDT Concept-based learning

I have learned a lot about concept-based learning through my reading. I realise how effective it is because it opens so many more doors into learning for children.

It is a three dimensional model allowing for: generalisation, principles, concepts, facts and skills. This allows children to gain deeper understandings of what they’re learning by thinking deeper rather than the contrasting two-dimensional model of just fact and skills. The 2D model really limits pupils capabilities as it is all about memorising facts and recalling them.

Concept based learning is a much better approach because it allows pupils to really grow as learners by pushing themselves to reach their full potential by really thinking, giving them motivation and an intercultural understanding through active engaging learning with others. Whereas the 2D approach causes pupils to become less motivated and it is more isolating as you don’t normally memorise facts collaboratively- it doesn’t necessarily develop pupil’s interpersonal skills or get them to think deeper as they are only parrot learning facts, they’re not applying the information to anything.

Concept based learning is an amazing approach that works very well and I can’t wait to see it in practice, however I do have one question. How might evidence of conceptual understandings be documented? Because with the 2D approach, evidence can be documented with exam question papers, however if we are trying to steer away from this, what would a new different approach to assessing concept-based learning be like?

Heres why what we teach matters

“90% of what we teach in school is a waste of time… It doesn’t matter.”

From reading this statement I do not agree with it. Some may say that certain topics being taught in school may be a waste of time, however, they may not see the bigger picture.

For example, some may say learning about a certain topic in school such as ‘dinosaurs’ is considered ‘pointless’. They may think “What does my child gain from learning about dinosaurs?” or “What is the point when dinosaurs have no relevance to our everyday lives”. The sad truth is that people might not realise that as well as learning about dinosaurs, the children learn about other things in the CONTEXT of dinosaurs. They miss the benefits of it.

Dinosaurs are very interesting to children, as I have seen on placement as my class has it as a topic. If they learn different subject areas through the context of dinosaurs, ultimately they will be more motivated to learn things like maths or English if lessons are in the context of dinosaurs as it will  attract them to the subject much more than if it were just an isolated English or maths lesson- the children see it being relevant to them as the context is of great interest to them as people.

From my experience, I taught language in the context of Harry Potter, which was a great success. The children were developing their reading and writing skills through the context of Harry Potter and through this it made learning more fun and enjoyable to them. The children always looked forward to my lessons which made me see how context-based learning works so well. Some may think that all they’re learning about is Harry Potter when in actual fact they are learning key skills needed for life and gives them the motivation to want to gain these.

Everything we teach in school has a purpose for pupils later in life. It is important to create a context for learning that does matter to the children in order to allow them to e fully engaged and immerse themselves 100% in every lesson because if pupils were interested, the lesson will be way more effective- pupils will be motivated to learn key skills needed for life.

IB TDT- How I embody the Learner Profile Attributes

I want to be a teacher because I want to make a difference. Through learning in the International Baccalaureate elective I have learnt that PYP schools also want to make a difference by creating a more peaceful world. Just as I like to learn from others in any context, I decided to choose the International Baccalaureate as an elective as I wanted to learn about how other different education systems from my own worked well, such as the PYP. Through learning in this elective I already notice the differences to CfE the PYP has to offer such as embodying a Learner Profile. The Learner Profile is a set of qualities that the school wants every person, whether they are a pupil, teacher or janitor, to embody to create a good learning community and a better and more peaceful world. The attributes are as follows; inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective.

Throughout my journey, I have been an inquirer in many ways. For example, on placement I always took advantage of asking questions to different members of staff about the job and also to inquire on how I could make lessons the best quality they can be. I also inquired through reserach of things such as ASD and bilingualism so that I would know more about the topics as I had children in my class who these applied to. Through inquiring I learnt more about my class which helped me to meet the needs of every child.

I tried to make sure I was knowledgeable of each subject I was teaching through research, however I would say I need to develop this further because with even more research I would have been even more knowledgeable with what I was teaching the children. For example, their topic was ‘transport’ and I could have done way more research to consolidate my own understanding even more so that I would have felt more confident in the subject.

I believe that being a thinker gets you very far through being a pupil in school and also as a teacher. I make sure that during lectures that I think very hard about the different discussion points being addressed as I can think about these discussion points when I come across them in practice. In addition I also made sure to think hard about how I could develop my practice by thinking of good ideas to improve.

Communicating is key to being an effective teacher. In my practice I always tried my best to express myself in order to connect with the pupils to earn trust and respect. In addition, in workshops I always make sure that I am working as a team with everyone I work with and make sure I listen to what everyone has to say. I communicated very well with my mentor throughout placement as we would communicate outside of school via email if I had any questions or queries about my practice and he would give me advice on how to plan my lessons the best they could be. I also encouraged my pupils to be good communicators through including lots of discussion in my lessons that were paired, group and whole class. This got the pupils to work together with their peers and taught them to respect everyone’s ideas and points. I feel that the more lessons I planned the more I acquired this aspect of the learner profile because I found it easier to include discussion points the more I practiced.

The principled attribute is very important in my journey as it is important for me to make sure that I treat every child fairly and respect their rights as pupils. I never had favourite pupils as I made sure to focus on every child by making sure they all had a voice in class and all had opportunities to answer out or speak to me if they had problems. I followed the class rules as well as the children which created mutual respect.

I believe that I am a very open-minded person as I appreciated all the children’s different cultures and stories as a number of my pupils were from different Eastern European countries. Through being open minded it allowed me to learn things about different cultures that I would not have known before. I also respect that other teachers and my friends who are also students have different ways of doing things to me and through seeing different approaches it allowed me to grow by seeing methods I never would have thought of.

I am also a very caring person as I always make sure that I put others first over myself. I showed empathy to my pupils on placement through understanding what they were going through when they would tell me about issues that bothered them, developing trust and respect. Through my studies, I have learnt that If you are not caring to your pupils then there will be issues when trying to gain their respect because if you show you care, then it will show the pupil that they matter to you as a teacher. This allows for the pupils to connect to you more as people rather than a child just being ‘one of thirty pupils’. Strong relationships are key to being an effective teacher and through myself and my mentor being caring, I really found that we were making a difference to their educational experience. The fact that I care so much shows me how right this career path is for me, as I find it so rewarding knowing that I create a positive impact on pupils.

Encouraging pupils to take a risk helps them to become better people as it gets them out of their comfort zones, which is a skill needed for later in life. I made sure to always challenge my pupils on placement by pushing them to their full potential. I created challenges for fast finishers which was very beneficial because if pupils can take the risk and complete it, perhaps by completing a piece of work that may be more difficult than usual or by speaking out in class, it gives them the confidence to push themselves even further to improve. With regards to myself, when planning lessons I took risks by not really knowing how a certain aspect of my lesson would go, for example I had a station activity that I thought would work very well, however it ended up being quite chaotic and not as effective as I thought. When lessons wouldn’t work out on more and more occasions, I build up the resilience to move on and used making mistakes as a door to seeing how I could have done something differently, which constantly improved my practice . Trying out new approaches is good for my development because through being afraid of taking the risk, it would mean that you would never know how a certain activity or lesson would work out, it could have been amazing for all you knew and if you don’t try you would  never know for sure.

Throughout my life, I have always tried to be balanced, though it is something I find quite difficult. I often overwhelm myself with everything going on in my life such as my studies, social life, hobbies and my own wellbeing. During placement, I didn’t balance these well, as a result of this I only spent my time working, which was good as I could really focus on doing well in placement and being the best I could be, though it meant that I gave up my social life and hobbies and I also did not look after myself properly as I lacked sleep and did not eat a lot. It is important that for my next placement I focus on taking care of my own wellbeing more as well as taking care of my progress in my degree. This will make me feel much more happy and healthy when on placement as I will make sure I get enough rest to recharge and give it all that I’ve got to really push myself to the best of my ability.

Lastly, I have always made sure to be as reflective as possible during my course, whether its writing reflections for my ePortfolio or whether its reflecting on how my lessons went or just any experience I encounter in school in general. It is important I am reflective as it makes me think deeper about what I experienced and develop through thinking of other possible ways I could have been better. Through writing this blog post it has really got me to reflect on how I’m doing in my course and what my strengths and weaknesses are. It allows me to develop and grow as a teacher which is vital for improving my practice.

I will continue to keep making sure I embody all of these attributes as a person not just in my degree, but in life in general as they do help make me a better person to help create a better and more peaceful world. The more people who embody these attributes the better our world will become!






My experience of Language in MA1

After reading Medwell Primary English Teaching and Practice, It has made me reflect on the key points raised in relation to my MA1 placement last year.

For example, I taught the class progressive lessons in literacy through the context of Harry Potter. I taught lessons on describing characters and got the pupils to really think deeper about each one in detail through gradually building up the skills step by step. A point came across in the book about drafting and redrafting. I used this approach as advised by my teacher through the pupils process in writing and it was very successful as it motivated the pupils to want to produce their best work. I got the pupils to create their own ending of the story to stimulate their imagination and as an extension write their own story from the beginning. The children really got into this and loved thinking up new unique ideas themselves.

In addition, the book mentions the ‘Story Circle’. In my class we participated in ‘Circle time’ activities which was very beneficial to the children as it got them practicing their listening and turn taking skills. This was a very good way to get the pupils practicing their talking and listening skills as it got them to take in their peer’s view points and made themselves feel listened to by the class as well. A ‘Kit bag’ was used with cards that had questions on them such as “what animal would describe me?” which got the pupils to think imaginatively and creatively.

Lastly, we read Harry Potter as a class novel which got the pupils to further develop their listening skills and skills for taking in information. The teacher made sure to ask plenty of open and closed questions to prompt discussion which was very effective for the children as it kept them engaged and focussed on the story.

Overall language was taught very well in my placement school and it was interesting to both observe and actively teach this.

IB TDT 1- Inquiry of Inquiry

IB TDT- Inquiry about inquiry


Tuning in…


Experiences of Inquiry


  • Contexts: in school, at home, at university




  • Good because you learn new things you didn’t know before.
  • Get issues that concern you sorted out by asking the right people for help/ clarification/ reassurance.
  • Curiosity will get you far in life because if you don’t ask, you will never know.




  • Myself personally I am really shy so I sometimes find it nerve-racking asking questions in front of a class full of other people- fear of being judged.



Opportunities of Inquiry


In primary and secondary school I used KWL approach when learning about a new topic (what do I Know, what do I Want to know, what have I Learnt?)


How did/does it make you feel?


I feel it is an amazing method as it is very stimulating for pupils in the sense that it gets them thinking about their own learning actively as a class. It gets pupils to think about what they already know and be curious about what they want to know- making it very pupil led. It also helps the teacher prepare lessons better as it allows them to teach the pupils things they want to learn and prepare the best they can to provide high quality lessons. Personally when I was a pupil, I found it very stimulating, giving me curiosity about the topic and intrigued to learn more.


Did I see it on my MA1 placement


I experienced inquiry-based learning on placement by seeing the KWL activity in action when the class started their new topic of Transport. The teacher did the activity as a whole class, getting all the pupils actively participating together and teaching them to listen to each others ideas and inputs. I will definitely use this approach in future as the pupils found it really interesting and it was a very useful tool for the teacher himself.





Finding Out…


Questions about inquiry


Why do we make inquiries?
How do we inquiries?

How can we promote inquiry-based learning in schools?

What ways is inquiry- based learning beneficial to learners?

What barriers can exist that lessen the impact of inquiry- based learning?


Sorting Out…(Using Inquiry in the Classroom- Teresa Coffman)


Question- Why do we make inquiries?


Sentence:“inquiry ensures that students are not only memorising required factual information, but are also applying the facts to the development of meaningful questions and their own understaning.”


Phrase: “special interest”, “actively involved”


Word:“curiosity”, “explore”


Question- How can we promote inquiry based learning?


Sentence: “As a teacher, you can develop inquiry skills in your students by helping them to develop a curiosity of the world around them and then to question and seek answers to help solve relevant problems”


Phrase: “functional skills” “unique interest”


Word: “motivation”



Making Conclusions…


New questions:


  • Why wasn’t inquiry-based learning reinforced as much in the past in schools.



Taking Action…


I am going to make sure I implement lots of inquiry-based learning throughout my future placements in my career by teaching pupils about concepts that truly interest them and make them feel a sense of passion when learning. I will use the KWL approach when beginning every topic so I can achieve this.


Inquiry Reflection


What was it like to learn through inquiry


It was very interesting learning through inquiry as it prompted discussion as a class and got us as pupils to think deeper about what we wanted to find out, giving us the chance to make our own decisions about our own learning by choosing things that are of great interest to us. It brought out our curiosity as a class which I feel is fundamental for children to feel when learning something new as they will fully immerse themselves in what they are learning about.


What do you notice about yourself as a learner


I felt that as a learner it was of great benefit to me as I learned in class in an active way, and I felt much more engaged during lessons and found myself participating more rather than just sitting quietly in the corner. I feel it brings learners out of their shell because it encourages them to feel more comfortable in the classroom to speak out by creating a friendly ethos throughout the discussion. Personally, it helped me massively at university as I feel more and more comfortable answering out in workshops when before I would not open my mouth, even when I did have ideas.


How will that impact on


  • my future studies:I will try to make sure to take advantage on all inquiry-based learning in future as it will help me to communicate my ideas and also listen to what others have to say and I can learn from others too by thinking about ideas I may not have considered before.
  • The work I do with my pupils:Now that I understand the benefits of inquiry-based learning, I will use the KWL approach when beginning every new topic so that I introduce this method of learning quickly and early. It will allow pupils to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts collectively as a class which will hopefully get them over the hurdle of the intimidation of speaking out.

IB Reflective Activity 1

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a not-for-profit foundation, motivated by its mission  to create a better world through education (IB, 2015). From researching it further, it has made me realise connections IB and the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). The aims of IB are that it centres on learners, develops effective approaches to teaching and learning, works within global contexts and explores significant content (IB, 2013). The aim of the CfE is to help children and young people gain the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century, including skills for learning, life and work (Education Scotland, 2019).

The aims of the IB align with the aims of the CfE, for example, to begin, the aim of ‘centres on learners’ is very similar to the fact that in the CfE the children are the main focus of absolutely everything that goes on in the classroom. The pupils are the centre of attention and it is important to give them the best quality education possible.

In addition, similarly to CfE, IB develops effective approaches to teaching and learning. From my educational experience in the CfE, I have seen many effective approaches to teaching and learning such as creating good classroom talk, formative assessment and good restorative behaviour management. I can understand that IB will use similar approaches to help encourage people to listen to each other and learn from each other through communication, and understand each other better through the restorative approach and also through having a mix of different cultures existing in the school.

Furthermore, IB gets children to work within global contexts and explores significant content. This is similar to the aim of the CfE where children are given skills for learning, life and work and skills and attributes for living in the 21st century. These align because content learnt in both IB and CfE schools are significant and apply to the principle of relevance in the CfE. Skills needed for the CfE aim are significant to contributing positively into society and learning within the global context is also significant to this as well because it is important to be understanding about those who are different from you to contribute positively into society and to decrease issues such as racism. Children in CfE also learn about different cultures through RMPS which also helps to decrease these issues. Both curriculua encourage learners to be open minded.

Throughout my experience in working with children, I have experienced the aspect of making content significant through adding meaning to lessons for the pupils to help them be more engaged and ready to learn. For example, throughout my MA1 placement, I taught the pupils literacy in a Harry Potter context (which was their class novel at the time) which helped them to be more interested in the topic and encouraged them to engage more as it was in a context that the pupils were really interested in. It made them more enthusiastic about learning literacy which helped to improve their learning experiences.


Classroom Talk

Classroom talk is so much more than just the teacher delivering a lesson to the pupils. It involves so much more. Interaction between pupils and the teacher is key for effective learning and can be done in a variety of different ways, which is extremely beneficial as every child has different learning styles that work for them. For example, an incredibly effective method of communication between pupils and the teacher is through questioning.

Questioning is an amazing way of engaging pupils as it gets them actively involved by participating in thinking of the answers. The teacher can come up with lower order thinking questions to get pupils into the mindset for learning, which are questions that perhaps require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, or they can come up with more advanced higher order thinking questions which really get the child to think deeper about what is being asked. This allows children to extend their knowledge of the subject by digging a little deeper into the analysis of what is being asked, making them think even deeper and giving them an element of challenge to push them that much further in their development. Questioning is an effective way for the teacher to find out the level of knowledge their pupils have in relation to a subject and it helps them to formatively assess who in the class might need more support than others. It is an effective form of communication between pupils and the teacher as it allows the teacher to discover how their pupils are getting on without the children actively telling them as they might be ‘scared’ or ’embarrassed’ to. This way is therefore much more anonymous.

In addition to questioning, another effective method of classroom talk is getting children to work collaboratively in groups which helps them to develop trusting relationships with each other so that they get support from their peers to know that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. It encourages shyer pupils to get their voice heard in the class as well as all the other children. Furthermore, pupils can hear other opinions from their peers that might be different from their own which makes them more open as people to hearing knew ideas which develops their listening skills even further, allowing for even more effective communication. This helps everyone to achieve the best they can.

Finally classroom talk can even be developed through areas of the curriculum such as drama as it allows for pupils to express themselves in a different way than in the classroom. It gets them to focus on body language and facial expressions further which is also an essential part of non-verbal communication.

Teaching Writing

For this weeks Literacy TDT we are focusing on writing and there are some key messages from the reading and video i have read and watched that I will discuss.

Firstly, for children, in order to write, the have to be able to talk first as from Pie Corbett’s video,  children cannot write sentences unless they can say them and they cannot say sentences unless they can hear them. From this video, I felt the key message was that as a teacher it is my job to model good sentences in order for pupils to understand how to form their own sentences and be able to put them down on paper. This is important as some children do not get their parents to read them stories as they might have a lack of books in their households, so it is important that in school teachers immerse children into hearing as many stories as they possibly can in order to build their vocabulary.

In addition, it is important to differentiate in writing lessons as all children have different experiences with language and some might be of a higher level than others. This can be done by providing many different resources such as writing frames, sentence starters and a range of vocabulary. By doing this, it helps create equity in the class as pupils can use these to help if they need to and if they do not need the guidance then that is fine too. It helps fill the gap to bring the pupils to a more similar level. From Medwell, I could see that another key message of this book was that children need to be inspired by understanding the relevance of writing in their lives by engaging in purposeful writing and understanding how it works. If children understand the relevance of a lesson, then they are more inclined to want to engage as they know that what they are learning has a purpose to it which will help them later in life. Furthermore, teachers can make lessons more engaging by using the Interactive White Board (IWB). Through using this, the teacher works with the pupils in a more active way as they work with the whole class to hear everyone’s ideas for planning, writing, exploring and discussing a text. Through active discussion, it allows the pupils to hear their peer’s ideas rather than only the teacher’s. This therefore reinforces the importance of talk in the classroom as discussion is a key way of getting children to develop their thinking more deeply and it gives them a chance to learn from their peers, helping them to build their vocabulary.

On the whole, writing is a key skill in literacy and it is important to develop it in all aspects of the curriculum in order to give pupils as much practice as possible. It is important for the teacher to read as many stories out loud as possible to the children in order for them to build their vocabulary as much as they can to become successful writers so that they can achieve their full potential.



Medwell et al. (2017). Primary English: Teaching Theory and Practice. (8th End.) London: Sage PublicationsChapter 7

Pie Corbett- Talk for Writing

Restorative Practice in Schools- Why it’s so Important

Restorative practice in schools is a vital part of education in my opinion. It helps to promote positive relationships between both pupils and teachers by dealing with conflict in a mature and empathetic manner which is extremely important in schools for them to be successful.

In the past, the retributive approach was used which was very much focusing on accusation and punishment for actions and used blame. This in turn is not very effective as through this approach no communication between the pupil and teacher occurs on how they could do better, the pupil just gets punished and that is it. The child that does the actions that causes conflict in turn do not understand why what they did was a problem and will not not how to change and become a better person. This approach is therefore not very supportive and it feels like the child and teacher are essentially ‘against’ each other as they are not working together to make things better by just punishing bad behaviour.

Whereas through the restorative approach, a lot more communication is happening and the teacher is much more involved in helping to find a way to resolve the conflict. Communication is key to get to the root of what is going wrong. It is a much more empathetic approach as everyone’s point of view is discussed so the child that caused the conflict can understand how their actions made others feel. This helps them become better people by understanding the harm caused from what they did which motivates them to make a difference and change for the better. It is also effective in the sense that the teacher clearly addresses that it is the behaviour that they do not like and not the pupil themselves, which makes the pupil feel that the teacher is not against them in any way. This approach is therefore fair and helps children to develop positively as individuals as through the discipline of it the teacher keeps the pupil on the right track whereas with punishment the complete focus is on what you did wrong rather than on how you can be better.

The restorative approach therefore builds positive relationships between pupils and teachers as it makes pupils have more trust and respect for the teacher as they are being fair and reasonable when dealing with conflict. The pupils become better people through this as it gives them skills for later in life about dealing with problems and conflict in a mature and empathetic manner. It is important that the restorative approach is encouraged as much as possible and that we move away from assigning blame and dispensing punishment as pupils will not develop from that. The restorative approach will help create a much more empathetic society in the long run.