Art and Design TDT

For at art  and design TDT I have chosen to look at the design of the V&A museum in Dundee.

The appearance of the V&A is inciting and in my opinion the uniqueness of the external building appears to be encouraging people to come in and explore. The form of the V&A suits its purpose as an art museum as the building itself is a well-designed piece of art. However, there is currently much debate within the city of Dundee as to whether the V&A fits in with its surroundings. I personally feel that when the V&A was initially built it did not fit in with the surroundings, however as building works around the V&A continue I feel it is starting to for in, but it will forever be a focal point in the city.

The material used to build the V&A was concrete, however there are not straight walls, all of the walls on the external building are curved. The external building also has stone panels all the way around to create the impression of a Scottish cliff face. The building also has an opening that allows you to see through to the River Tay, as well having a water feature.

Drama TDT

For my drama TDT I have chosen to explore a picturebook through drama. The picturebook I have chosen to explore is The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and this would be with early years children.

The key moments I would be focusing on throughout the drama would be when the mouse meets the animals and describes the Gruffalo. In this I would be looking for the children to explore different feelings such as fear through the convention of hot seating. I would have groups of children be the different characters and answer questions regarding how they were feeing when the mouse said they were the Gruffalo’s favourite foods.

I would also explore when the characters meet the Gruffalo, how have their feelings changed or intensified. I would have the children explain these feelings through a using a flash forward convention. In this the children would be representing the character once they have hidden from the Gruffalo – the use of freeze frame and narrator could also be used here – the children could freeze in a position conveying the characters feelings and the narrator could explain to the audience how the character is feeling now they have seen the Gruffalo.

I would also create further opportunities for imaginative responses by allowing the children to convey how they would have reacted in the situation if they were the mouse meeting the Gruffalo. The children could also be given opportunity to show how they think the Gruffalo should have introduced himself – could he have been scarier, nicer and why.

Dance Games

Hula Hoop

In the game children will carry out task inside a hula hoop, such as run around or jump up and down. The children will be given directional movements to carry out, they must ensure they stay inside their hoop while carrying out the movement as well as ensuring they do not collide with any other children. This activity would be used to develop children’s understanding of special awareness and the need to consider others when during movement.

Animal Dance

In this game the teacher would call out the name of an animal and they children would perform as though they were this animal. The children would be encouraged to use a range of levels and pace.

Pass the Dance Move

This dance game requires children to focus on the moves and use their memories to repeat them. One student starts with a dance move. The next student does the first dance move and adds her own. The third student does the two previous moves and adds another. This continues around the circle. The children have to pay close attention to remember all of the previous moves.

Emoji Dance

This game consists of showing the children a picture of an emoji (eg laughing face, crying face). The children then display how they think this emotion looks through their movement. Children can also work with a partner. On partner can show the movements of the emoji or their own feelings and the other partner has to guess what emotion they think the person is trying to convey.


In the social studies elective we have been looking at the importance of fieldwork and taking children outdoors to enhance learning. Foley and Janukoun (1992) and Pickford, Garner and Jackson (2013) define fieldwork as the field being the place where the learning is taking place and fieldwork being the activities taking place there. They also both suggest that fieldwork allows for a bridge to be made between the classroom and the wider world. There are three types of fieldwork Pickford, Garner and Jackson (2013, p.48) discuss, these are the “look and see” style; when the children go somewhere such as a museum, and a guide or teacher provide information regarding what is on display, second is “field teaching”; when children are active in the learning but are limited in using their own enquiry and third is “enquiry based fieldwork”; when children are allowed to explore and construct their own learning. Job (1996) cited in Owen and Ryan (2001) agrees with Pickford, Garner and Jackson (2013) suggestion for the three types of fieldwork that can take place, but he believed there are a further two. Job (1996) cited in Owen and Ryan (2001, p.105) believes another type of fieldwork that could be used is “discovery learning”; where children are exposed to an environment in which they will learn a variety of things which have not been planned by the teacher and secondly he believes fieldwork could take the form of “earth education”; meaning children can use the environment to develop understanding through using games and role-play.  Job (1996) cited in Owen and Ryan (2001) and Pickford, Garner and Jackson (2013) give a definition of fieldwork and the types of fieldwork we could use in the primary classroom, but the key discussion is in what ways can fieldwork enhance children’s understanding of the world through teaching and learning within social studies.

Catling and Willy (2009), Pickford, Garner and Jackson (2013) and Witt (2013) all agree that fieldwork brings learning alive, making it more interesting for children helping to enhance their understanding of the world around them. They also all agree that fieldwork helps to develop a wide range of skills but one skill in particular it helps to build is enquiry, they believe that fieldwork motivates learners and encourage them to ask questions. Harnett and Whitehouse (2017) take this point slight further and suggest that fieldwork allows children to have an opportunity for free exploration to develop their investigative, examination and questioning skills. Catling and Willy (2009), Pickford, Garner and Jackson (2013) and Witt (2013) all agree that ultimately fieldwork creates some of the most exciting and memorable learning experiences for children, hence why it is believed it enhances their knowledge, understanding and skills development within social studies. Pickford, Garner and Jackson (2013) discuss what they believe to be the biggest advantages of using fieldwork to enhance learning, these are; it makes learning accessible for all pupils, it provides new opportunities and context for children to practice their enquiry and investigation skills and it allows for quality learning experiences which help to raise academic achievement across subjects. However, Catling and Willy (2009) debate this, they do not disagree with Pickford, Garner and Jackson (2013), however they make a very valid point, they suggest that these advantages can only be achieved if a teacher is clear on what they want to achieve from the visits and the outcomes these related to, meaning that fieldwork must not just be for fun but the educational context and value must be explicitly clear.

To discover how fieldwork can enhance learning I decided to go to Dundee’s new V&A Museum to find out if this would be a useful place to develop knowledge and understanding in social studies. There are many areas of the curriculum that can be explored through a fieldwork at the V&A, particularly in relation to social studies as the children would be able to develop their understanding of areas of Scottish history. The children would take part in “enquiry-based fieldwork” (Job, 1996 cited in Owen and Ryan 2001, p.105; Pickford, Garner and Jackson, 2013, p.48) as they would have opportunity to explore the museum and the artefacts on display, to observe and question the artefacts they find interesting. There would also be an opportunity for “look and see” fieldwork (Job, 1996 cited in Owen and Ryan, 2001, p.105; Pickford, Garner and Jackson, 2013, p.48) as a member of staff from the V&A would take the children around the artefacts showing significant events in Scottish history and explain to the children what they are and how they came to be in the museum. Children would also have opportunity to develop their investigative and questioning skills through the education workshops that are available at the V&A. When planning a trip to the V&A Museum to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of Scottish History I would be using this as an introduction to the topic, I would provide the children with a means of taking photographs and ask them to photograph areas of the museum they find most interesting and would like to investigate further. I would encourage them to ask lots of questions during the visit to help develop their initial enquires. From this, on the return to school, there would be a class discussion and a vote upon an area of Scottish History the class found most interesting during the visit and would like to learn more about. This would then lead the direction of the enquiry and the children will investigate further into this area and develop their understating of this event, its impact and how it has influenced life today. Pickford, Garner and Jackson (2013) give an example of using fieldwork to a museum before beginning an area of learning just as I have explained, they suggest that doing this helps to create questions and an initial hypothesis. From there the children can do research and use other resources to test their hypothesis and find the answers to their questions (Pickford, Garner and Jackson, 2013).

Taking part in fieldwork should encourage children to develop their understanding of the world and their place within in it as citizens, they should seek to enquire about what they see; investigating, making connections and asking questions (Pickford, Garner and Jackson, 2013). Fieldwork allows children to learn through enquiry, to develop their understanding of the world through an engaging and memorable learning experience (Hoodless, 2009; Catling and Willy, 2009; Witt, 2013).



Catling, S. and Willy, T. (2009) Teaching Primary Geography. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Foley, M. and Janikoun, J. (1992) The Really Practical Guide to Primary Geography. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.

Harnett, P. and Whitehouse, S. (2017) ‘Creative Exploration of Local, National and Global Links’ in Cooper, H. (ed.) Teaching History Creatively. 2nd edn. Oxon: Routledge, pp. 157 – 170

Hoodless, P. (2009) Teaching Humanities in Primary Schools. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Owen, D. and Ryan, A. (2001) Teaching Geography 3-11 The Essential Guide. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Pickford, T. Garner, W. and Jackson, E. (2013) Primary Humanities: Learning Through Enquiry. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications

Witt, S. (2017) ‘Playful Approaches to Learning Outdoors’, in Scoffham, S. (ed.) Teaching Geography Creatively. Oxon: Routledge, pp. 47 – 58.

Emotional and Controversial History

I have taken the social studies module this year as I was never overly engaged with history and geography at school. I remember very little about what social studies topics I done at primary school, the only one I do remember is the Vikings and that was because the teacher used to bring the shared TV in and we would watch some videos (I remember thinking it was amazing getting to watch TV in school). Apart from this my experiences are very limited and so I have taken this module to develop my understanding and discover ways in which I could make teaching of social studies in the classroom more relevant and enjoyable.

On the first week of the social studies elective we had an introduction to the history aspect of the module looking at why we teach history in the primary classroom. We were looking at what skills and knowledge we should develop through the teaching of history and we were advised to read The T.E.A.C.H Report which was published by the Historical Association in 2007. The report focused on the importance of teaching emotional and controversial historical issues, it stated that “The study of history can be emotive and controversial where there is actual or perceived unfairness to people by another individual or group in the past. This may also be the case where there are disparities between what is taught in school history, family/community history and other histories. Such issues and disparities create a strong resonance with students in particular educational settings.” (Historical Association, 2007, p 4). The report states to have good practice when teaching emotive and controversial history teachers must;

  • Have a clear purpose and rational that emphasises identity, values and diversity.
  • Teach history as both a body and form of knowledge.
  • Allow for independent inquiry.
  • Provide time and opportunity to reflect and cover different perspectives and beliefs.
  • Explore different narratives and the past from different perspectives.
  • Expose learners to large variety of sources.

(Historical Association, 2007)

However, the report stated that many teachers refrain from teaching emotive and controversial history due to their lack of subject knowledge (Historical Association, 2007). However, Hoodles (2008) debates this, they suggest that teachers often think they know little about a particular historical subject but when they are given time to think about it they do know a lot about it, they just don’t know where they learned it. Furthermore, the report suggests teachers refrain from teaching emotional and controversial history as they feel certain issues are not appropriate for certain age groups (Historical Association, 2007). Even though the report is seen to be critiquing teachers for not teaching emotional and controversial history to younger pupils I can fully understand why they don’t. It is my opinion that it is not appropriate to teach young children about brutal wars and mass death, I believe if we teach emotional and controversial history then it should be age appropriate and we should ensure what we are teaching does not majorly upset or offend any of our pupils. The report does recognise this point and states if teachers were provided with more guidance and encouragement then they would be able to improve the teaching and learning of emotional and controversial history and have a better understanding of what they could potentially teach and to what stage (Historical Association, 2007).

I struggle to think of what emotive and controversial history I studied while at primary school, I think the closest I got was studying World War Two and watching Goodnight Mr Tom. As much as this was emotive, I feel there could have been a lot more emotive and controversial issues explored through the context of World War 2. I hope in my teaching I can find a winder variety of contexts to explore emotional and controversial history, but I would also like to explore the emotional and controversial issues of today’s society and make the links between the two.


Historical Association (2007) The T.E.A.C.H Report. Available at: (Accessed on: 14th September 2018)

Hoodless, P. (2008) Teaching History in Primary Schools. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Demand Planning

Recently in Discovering Maths we looked at the maths within supply chains and logistics. The area which I found most interesting in this was demand planning. Demand planning is a multi-step supply chain management process used to create a prediction of sales for a particular period of time (TechTarget, 2017). Used effectively demand planning can help business to improve the accuracy of their predictions, show when sales of a product are at its highest and lowest and therefore enhance the profitability of products (TechTarget, 2017).

In the workshop we had a go at creating our own demand planning sheet for a business that we had made up. At the start of the first quarter, which for any business runs from April to June, we had a budge of £5,000. The goods we had to buy from were Christmas selection boxes, champagne (bottle), soft drink (2l bottle), beer (x4cans), whole frozen turkeys, ice cream wafers (box of 10), bunch of bananas, celebration luxury hampers, crisps (x12multi pack), sherbet dib dabs, bread (loaf), milk (1l), tins of beans (x4), luxury biscuit selection, premium durian. The aim of our demand planning was to do exactly what TechTarget (2017) said, we were to work out which products we believed would be at their peak in terms of sales during this quarter in order to generate the most sales.

We continued our demand planning into quarter 2 (July – September), quarter 3 (October – December) and finally quarter 4 (January – March). Each quarter we made a profit which we were able to carry over into the next to spend on more stock and again try to generate more profits.


As you can see from the photos, every quarter we focused on what the season was like at this time, for example during the summer we bought ice cream cones and soft drinks, in winter we bought section boxes and luxury hampers. This however was our downfall as we didn’t consider the products that stayed reasonably high in terms of sales all year round, the biggest of these being baked beans. Due to not considering these kinds of products we ended up coming away with the lowest profit compared with the rest of the class, however we were still positive in that our demand planning did make us a profit.

The sales of the baked beans got me thinking about other products that sell well throughout the whole year, so I decided to look into this. It was very difficult to fine exactly which products make to most profit for businesses as there are lots of other aspects to consider such as shipping cost and supplier costs (Simpson, 2014). However, I did read that in the last year the supermarket chain Tescos’s profits have rose considerably compared with what they have predicted (Cox, 2017). In the Independent’s article a spokesperson for Tesco said that one of the main reasons for the rise in their profits was because of their exclusive fresh food brand (Cox, 2017). This surprised me as supermarkets cannot carry over any fresh food stock into the following quarter due to their shelf life and so many of these items need to be written off. For the supermarkets this means that they still have to pay the shipping and supplier cost even though it is likely the will not sell any all of the fresh items and therefore make no profit to take forward. However, with the fresh food products being a large contributing factor in the considerable rise in Tesco’s products it seems to me like the customers here love their fresh foods.

This is an activity I would be liketo use with a class in the upper school of primary. This is something which I think they would find enjoyable and would help them develop their knowledge in areas of mathematics such as money and percentages.



Cox, J. (2017) Tesco Reports £1.28bn Annual Profit and First Full Year of Growth Since 2010. Available at: (Accessed on: 24th November 2017)

Simpson, E. (2014) The Hidden World of Supplying a Supermarket. Available at: (Accessed on: 24th November)

TeachTarget (2017) Demand Planning. Available at: (Accessed on 27th November 2017)

Maths and Medicine

Medicine. It is something we all hate but without a doubt something we all have to take at some point in our lives. However, mathematical knowledge is something you and any medical professional need to have before administering any kind of medicine.

For some medicines it is quite easy to follow the dosage intrusions, for example with paracetamol you are advised to take between 1 and 2 500mg tablets every 4 hours within a 24 hour period. This means that the maximum does of paracetamol for an adult is 8 500mg tablets in 24 hours, ensuring there is the advised 4 hour cap between (NHS Paracetamol for Adults, No Date).  In order to prescribe yourself with paracetamol you must have mathematical knowledge about quantities, so how many is 2  and also a good understanding of time. To stop yourself from overdosing you will need to know how long 4 hours is, as well as figuring at what time these 4 hours will have past for you to take another does, if you require it.

For children, paracetamol dose are different to adults as the dosage changes by age and children receive their paracetamol through a liquid syrup. This image from NHS Paracetamol for Children shows the different ages and the dosage that goes with this.

Even though you receive a measuring spoon with liquid paracetamol, it is not known what age the child who is going to be taking it is and so it standard to give a 5ml spoon with a 2.5ml on the other end. This mean that if you child is 8 – 10 years they will require 7.5ml, you need to know to give them a 5ml dose and then 2.5ml, straight after each other in order to make that required does of 7.5ml. Similarly, with a 10ml does you need to know to give the child two 5ml dose in order to make a 10ml. This mathematical knowledge is essential to ensure that you do not give the child an overdose and they end up in a serious condition.

When a patient is in hospital they trust the medical professionals to help them get better and so this also means that they trust that the medical professionals have sufficient mathematical knowledge to ensure they are not given an overdose or not enough medication to help them feel better.

Some of the data medical professionals have to record look a bit like this:


Now I’m not going to pretend I know what these charts mean or what they can predict purely because I’m studying to be a teacher and not a medical professional. However, what I do know is that it requires a lot of mathematical knowledge to be able to create these charts, furthermore it is essential that the medical professionals have a deep understanding of what the maths is telling them and be able to interpret this into a diagnosis such as high blood pressure.

Medical professionals often have to use a person height and weight to calculate how much of a specific medicine they can receive (Hothersall, 2016). For example, say I am in hospital and require some medication, the dosage I receive based on my height of 4ft 11 and a weight of 7 stone will be smaller a smaller dose than someone who is 6ft 10, weighing 11 stone. If I was to be given the same dose of this specific medicine as the person who is 6ft 10 weighing 11 stone, it is most likely I will become more ill than what I was originally (Hothersal, 2016).

In the future I plan to take a greater interested in administering medicine and how much mathematical knowledge it requires to do so. I have been fascinated by the variety of areas of mathematics that can be used in medicine and I would like to deepen my understanding of this.


Hothersall, E (2016) Numeracy: Every contact counts (or something) [PowerPoint Presentation]. ED21006 Discovering Mathematics. Available at:  (Accessed on: 13th November 2017)

NHS Paracetamol for Adults (Not Date). Available at: (Accessed on: 13th November 2017)

NHS Paracetamol for Children (No Date). Available at: (Accessed on: 13th November 2017)

Maths and Music

Are maths and music connected? This is a question I never thought I would ask myself and the answer was even more surprising… yes, they are!

At first I must say that I did not see the link between the two. In my opinion I view maths as a very structured subject. It has set formulas and for each question only one set answer, something in which music is not. Music, to me, is a way to express your feelings and emotions; it is free for you to do what you like with, you are free to make your own styles, there is not set structures and not set answers. However, even though musicians do create their own music they use maths to help them develop, express and communicate their ideas (Shah, 2010)

There are many aspects mathematical knowledge that musicians use when playing and creating music, one of the simplest aspects is being able to count, for example a musician needs to be able to count the number of beats in a bar. A musician also uses their mathematical knowledge when looking at rhythm, scales, intervals, patterns, symbols, time signatures, overtones and pitch (American Mathematical Society, 2017).

Maths is not only used to help musicians to create and play music, it is also used to help them to tune and play their instruments. Mathematics is able to explain how strings vibrate at certain frequencies and that sound ways are used to describe these mathematical theories (Shah, 2010).

However, it is not just string instruments such as violins and cellos that use their frequencies to help with tuning and playing, a pianist will also do this. But the maths is not always enough and so a pianist will use the frequencies along with their knowledge of the sound of the keys in order to tune the piano (Sangster, 2017).

Seeing first-hand the ways in which maths and music connect is something I have enjoyed. This has made me consider the possibility of using music as a way of explaining mathematical concepts such as patterns and sequences in my teaching practice. I believe that doing this well bring an element of enjoyment as well as a large amount of engagement from pupils as this would be an interactive activity that could be used with a variety of ages and stages within the primary school.



American Mathematical Society (2017) Mathematics & Music Available at: (Accessed on: 6th November 2017)

Sangster, P. (2017) Discovering Maths: Music and Mathematics [PowerPoint Presentation]. ED21006 Discovering Mathematics. Available at:  (Accessed on: 6th November 2017)

Shah, S. (2010) An Exploration of the Relationship between Mathematics and Music. Available at: (Accessed on: 6th November 2017)

Maths and Art

I have never really been overly enthusiastic about maths and I have most defiantly never been enthusiastic about art. The two as individuals give me much anxiety and I often believe the myth that your either good at maths or literacy, the two never hold the same value. I also had this view towards art and so, when I realised we were going to be receiving a lecture on maths and art together, I must say I felt a strong sense of dread. However, I was amazed and how simply maths and art could be connected. My original thoughts were that we would be using our mathematical knowledge to create large portraits, how one would do this I do not know.

Piet Mondrian is one artist who bring maths and art together. He was famous for creating geometric abstract pieces of work (Piet Mondrian 1877 – 1944, no date). This abstract style he created was quite simple, he would create a grid of black and white horizontal lines on white paper. The black lines would create a variety of different sized squares and rectangles which he coloured in using only 3 primary colours; he called this piece of art Neo – Plasticism (Piet Mondrian 1877 – 1944, no date).

A mathematician whose work has artistic connections was Fibonnaci. Fibonnaci created different sequences, one of his most famous was the golden spiral.  Fibonnaci created a mathematical sequence that if you start at 1 and add the two numbers before it you will create the Fibonnaic’s sequence (Meinser, 2015). Doing this myself I found that the sequences goes in the order of 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 etc. Fibonnaci discovered that using this sequence as dimensions for squares he would be able to create a perfect spiral inside of them; today this spiral is known as the golden spiral (Meinser, 2015).

The golden spiral can be seen most of all in nature. FIbonnaci’s sequence can be seen in sunflower seeds, pinecones and pineapples (Meinser, 2015).

“Is God a mathematician? Certainly the universe seems to be reliably understood using mathematics. Nature is mathematics. The arrangements of seeds in a sunflower can be understood using Fibonacci numbers. Sunflower heads, like those of other flowers, contain families of interlaced spirals of seeds – one spiral winding clockwise, the other counter clockwise. The number of spirals in such heads, as well as the number of petals in flowers, is very often a Fibonacci number.”

(Pickover, 2009, p.100)

A progression from Fibonnaci’s golden spiral was that from using this sequence a golden ratio could be determined for line segments. This special ratio will appear when a line is spilt into two segments. We divide a line into two segments so that the ratio of the whole segment to the longer part is the same as the ratio of the longer part to the shorter part (Pickover, 2009, p.112).  The ratio is determined by using the formula:

(a + b) / b = b/a

The golden ratio is 1.61803, however not every line segment will equate to this, it will only occur if the numbers used appear in Fibonacci’s Sequence.

I started off by creating my own golden spiral, then by using the dimensions of the rectangular boxes and substituting these into the golden ratio formula I was able to determine the golden ratio. I also done this using the dimensions for my Mondrian drawing, however I was unable to determine the golden ratio in these, meaning that the dimensions did not occur in FIbonnaic’s sequence.

Maths is often used when creating patterns. Maths can be used to determine the length of the line or the size of the boxes within a pattern. One example of this is fractals, a fractal is a never ending pattern which is self-similar across different scales (Robb, 2017).

I went into the lecture on maths and art with the feeling of dread and came out in amazement. I had no idea about the variety of ways that maths could be linked with art and that I could do it. I now feel passionate about bringing maths and art together and it is something I plan on researching further to take with me onto to placement and in my career as a teacher to ensure that children do not feel the same feeling of dread I first had when I saw the title Maths and Art.



Meisner, G (2015), Spirals and the Golden Ratio, Available at: (Accessed on: 27th October 2017)

Pickover, C. A. (2009) The Math Book From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics. London: Sterling.

Piet Mondrian 1877 – 1944, (No Date),  Available at: (Accessed on: 27th October 2017)

Robb, A (2017) ‘Maths and Art’, [PowerPoint Presentation], ED21006 Discovering Mathematics, Available at: (Accessed on: 27th October 2017)