Category Archives: Uncategorized

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

After learning about the role of action in the PYP, I now have a deeper understanding of why it is such a crucial part to the curriculum.

I have learnt that actions come in many forms, big and small. Big actions are often life changing and make bigger impacts onto the individuals carrying out the action and also many others around the world who are affected by the issue. An example of a bigger action would be organising a bake sale/ raffle to help raise money for a specific global or local issue within the community. Through organising these events the money raised can make a huge difference. On the other hand, actions can also be small. With children, actions need to be realistic and achievable, so small actions are a key part of school life and are fundamental to a child’s development. Examples of small actions can be as small as making a friend or being healthier. As long as it helps develop the child in a positive way, then the action is significant to them and will help them to be a better version of themselves which is great for later in life.

The action I will take from this input will be to not think that every action needs to be a big one. I will focus on completing actions that are realistic for me to achieve and will try my best to make sure I carry out these actions and not procrastinate. Intentions are only a small proportion of the action, it is fundamental that you carry the action out.  For example I want to be healthier myself and I want to achieve this by improving my lifestyle choices eating better and exercising more, so I will make sure I will do all that I can to achieve this. If I just told myself I would exercise more and eat healthier rather than actually doing it, no differences would be made. Therefore it is important to follow intentions through to the end to achieve a positive difference.

I also want to take action on my learning through completing my tutor directed tasks so that I gain as much out of inputs as possible to better my learning. I will focus on one action at a time, as I can often overwhelm myself when it comes to getting things done, so another action I will take from this input is that there is no time limit to complete an action (unless there is a deadline)! I will make sure that I take my time and complete actions in my life with all the time I need, so the effects of the completed action can be the most positive. When I know I have completed an action such as doing my homework, it also benefits my wellbeing as it makes me feel better knowing that I have completed something I needed to do rather than having a massive to do list to stress about. The happier I feel, the easier it is to complete actions.

In short, any action, big or small, can make such a difference to a person’s life, and that is why actions are crucial to the curriculum.

The Importance of Embracing Multilingualism

Through reading Imagining Multilingual Schools: Languages in Education and Globalisation I have learnt much more about how important it is in schools to promote multilingualism as much as possible.

In many schools, English is the dominant language that lessons are taught in. When there are pupils in schools who do not speak English as their first language, they can sometimes deal with barriers throughout their education, for example perhaps not being able to understand what is being taught. This can have a big impact on how much the pupils will gain out of lessons. Therefore there are many ways for schools to promote language learning.

Firstly, from what I read it is important that, with regards to the home language and English, schools have a “both/and” attitude rather than “either/or” attitude when it comes to teaching in English and also in pupils home language as well. This is important because it allows for fairness in class and for all pupils to gain as much out of lessons as possible. In addition, it allows pupils to embrace other cultures through learning from each other’s languages an creating an inclusive learning community.

Following , it is also important to create interpersonal spaces within the classroom that support the development of literacy in both English and the home language of each child. This will make all pupils feel comfortable to embrace each other’s differences in a shared space. This is good because in IB schools it will promote pupils to be internationally-minded people through developing skills of appreciation, curiosity and empathy of each different culture.

Lastly, from what I read another way of promoting multilingualism in schools is to encourage the use of new technologies to reinforce the development of home-language literacies as well as English. These technologies help to give pupils the opportunities to use less-dominant languages and plenty of other ones when doing their work to help them complete their best work, rather than having to attempt to complete it in a language they are not comfortable in- therefore improving their educational experience allowing them to achieve their full potential.

It is therefore important that schools encourage as much use of other languages and cultures as possible, in order to help pupils feel welcome, included, supported and confident in their learning. No matter where a pupil is from, they all deserve equal chances to do their best in school and by getting rid of language barriers it can make all the difference.

How Drama Brings Life to Lessons

After watching a video about the structure of a drama lesson, it got me to really understand why drama lessons need to be structured a certain way in order for children to learn as much as they possibly can.

In the video, it stated that to begin, an agreement had to be made; these were a set of rules that both the pupils and the teachers needed to follow. For example, the teachers created the ‘three c’s’, which were communication, co-operation and concentration. It is important for pupils to follow these rules in order for the lesson to flow as efficiently as possible. From the lesson flowing well, it means that fewer disruptions should occur and it keeps all the pupils organised, allowing them to have more focus. Next is to allow the pupils to warm up. By warming up, it is extremely beneficial for the pupils as it gets their mind and body ready for all the physical activity that is to come. Following this there has to be a focus to the lesson which helps pupils to develop their ideas more specifically. This is very beneficial as it inspires them to be as creative and imaginative as possible; for example this is done through visualisation and sound and body scapes. Body scapes are beneficial as they allow pupils to improve their team working skills by working together to create a particular scene with their bodies. By involving all these different ways of using their imagination, it allows pupils to use a variety of senses which develops their creative visualisation and listening skills in greater depth. Furthermore, the pupils then perform what they have created and learned to the rest of the class. In the video it states that children see the performance as the ‘purpose’ of the lesson. By performing their work to the class, pupils receive praise from the rest of their peers and the teacher which therefore is beneficial as it reinforces to the pupils that they have achieved and succeeded in something which grows their confidence in their learning massively. Lastly, it is extremely important that an evaluation is carried out at the end of the lesson. This is beneficial as it gets children to think about their learning in a critical way by thinking about what they have done well and what they could have done to improve. It also helps to relax the children after a full on lesson full of physical activity, preparing them to go back to class in a quiet and non disruptive manner so that they can gain full focus and concentration for the next lesson back in the class room.

Drama can be used to enhance lessons for other subjects very effectively. For example, I believe that it can be used in a history lesson by perhaps getting pupils to act in a play that is set in a time period in the past, such as medieval times, world war 2 or the victorian times. This allows pupils to fully engage in learning about their topic as drama brings the lesson to life. It allows them to see for themselves what life was like during a specific time period as they are actively acting these out. It can also be used with regards to literacy by acting out events in a story the class was reading for example, which can consolidate their understanding of the story by reflecting and acting out what occurs.

I really enjoyed the drama workshop. To begin I was a bit nervous for it as I had never done drama in school, so I didn’t know what to expect and I was a bit shy. However, my nerves began to fade as the workshop progressed as I began to realise that there was no reason to feel shy as we were all made to feel like we could express ourselves freely. As a teacher I will make sure all pupils feel confident enough to not be shy and encourage them to enjoy the lesson as much as they can. This will make them gain as much from the lesson as possible to achieve their full potential.




The Health and Wellbeing of the Child is Crucial to Development- Reflection

After watching both Suzanne Zeedyk and John Carnocha’s videos about the brain development of children in their early years, it made me understand even more just how important it is that we as practitioners do everything in our power to promote positivity into every child’s life.

It was particularly eye opening for me to understand in better depth from Suzanne Zeedyk’s video just how much the environment a child grows up in can affect the development of their brains in both good ways and bad. If the child grows up in a calm and more predictable environment then they will feel happier themselves which effectively makes them learn more efficiently. However, if a child lived in a more stressful and unpredictable environment, it causes them to feel anxious and uneasy which can negatively impact on their learning as all their energy is focussed on feeling nervous and limited to learning. These factors effect children’s futures as the children living in more calm environments find it easier to succeed in life as they don’t have to focus all their energy on being nervous as they have nothing to be afraid of. Whereas for children living in environments that involve problems such as abuse, it can make it hard for them to connect with others later in life as they come across as anxious as they don’t know who to trust.

John Carnochan’s video reinforced to me the fact that it is also important to be as caring and nurturing to children as possible, especially in the early years of their lives. By doing this, it can make a remarkable difference to the way their brains develop later in life. By adding positivity into their lives at an early age, it makes a huge difference as it allows children to feel happy and safe in ways they maybe cannot at home if they are living in an abusive household. This consequently will increase the productivity of their learning in the future as it helps reduce stress and anxiety by having someone they can trust to help them.

As primary practitioners, it is important for us to make all children feel welcome in the classroom and feel at ease by creating a positive ethos in school. By creating a positive ethos both in school and in the classroom, it effectively encourages to children that school is a safe and enjoyable place to be. It reassures children that they will feel comfortable and wouldn’t need to feel anxious in any way. To create a positive ethos, teachers and all staff in the school need to be happy, open, approachable, and trustworthy to children. By being this way, it means that pupils will not hesitate to speak to teachers if they have any questions or want to talk about problems which develops positive relationships between both the teacher and their pupils. In addition, it is important for the school environment to feel welcoming and friendly, for example by adding lots of colour onto the walls and displaying pupils’ work on the wall. This helps to make all pupils feel like they are included members of the school which helps to boost their confidence. On the whole, by making school a pleasant and positive place to be, it will effectively enhance the learning of all children as they gain positive attitudes and mindsets from this. As primary practitioners, we need to be as caring and nurturing as possible to all children in the school to reinforce this positive ethos.


Learning Language- My Experience

Language was an area of the curriculum that I really enjoyed when I was in school. It is an extremely important area of the curriculum as it is a way of expressing ourselves and a key way for us to learn.

There are four areas of language: writing, reading, speaking and listening. When I was younger, I developed my writing skills greatly by writing many different stories. Since this was a very enjoyable part of my childhood, it motivated me to keep developing my writing skills by writing even more stories, helping me to improve more. In school, we also used work sheets to trace letters onto which helped massively with my handwriting.

To develop my reading skills I would always read stories with my parents most nights before going to sleep, which allowed me to hear more frequently how certain words were pronounced which helped greatly. Furthermore, reading out in class at school also developed my confidence massively in reading which helped me progress even further by  making less hesitations and becoming more fluent.

My listening and talking skills were developed by doing both solo and group presentations in school. These successfully helped me gain more confidence in speaking to a larger number of people and also improved my listening skills from watching other presentations.

As a teacher, I would like to encourage the methods I used to help develop my writing, reading, speaking and listening skills as I felt that they really helped me and were very effective for me to make as much progress as possible.

Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your ePortfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

The ePortfolio in the form of this WordPress blog allows you to pull in material from other digital sources:

You can pull in a YouTube video:

You can pull in a Soundcloud audio track:

You can upload an image or pull one in from Flickr or any other image sharing site.

Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

You can just about pull in anything that you think will add substance and depth to your writing.