Approaches to a good science lesson.


  • Active learning and planned, purposeful play
  • development of problem-solving skills and analytical thinking skills
  • Emphasis on children explaining their understanding of concepts, informed discussion and communication.
  • development of scientific practical investigation and inquiry.
  • use of relevant contexts, familiar to young people’s experiences.
  • appropriate and effective use of technology, real materials and living things.
  • building on the principles of Assessment is for Learning.
  • collaborative learning and independent thinking.
  • assessing risk and benefit of science applications.
  • demonstrate progress through their skills in planning and carrying out practical investigations, inquiries and challenges, working individually and collaboratively, promote thinking skills, provide opportunities to consolidate and apply learning and describing and explaining their understanding of scientific ideas and concepts.
  • The key concepts have been clearly identified using five organisers:
    • Planet Earth
    • Forces, electricity and waves
    • Biological systems
    • Materials
    • Topical science.
  • While every child and young person needs to develop a secure understanding of important scientific concepts, their experience of the sciences in school must develop a lifelong interest in science and its applications.
  • stimulate the interest and motivation of children.
  • use questioning very well to recall and consolidate learners’ knowledge through peer and self-assessment.
  • move away from low level tasks such as copying notes, cutting out sections from handouts, pasting into jotters and colouring in .
  • working independently as well as collaboratively giving opportunity to discuss
  • learning out-of-doors, field trips, visits to science centres, local, national and sometimes international facilities .
  • develop scientific literacy and investigative work.
  • scientific communication through slideshows, scientific information posters, photographs, film clips or role play and other types of performances.
  • Learning outcomes and success criteria are often shared with children and young people in order to focus their learning and to allow them to understand what learning will look like and allow them to evaluate their learning.
  • Good Practice Example 30 In a pre-school nature kindergarten, the children spend almost all of their time outdoors. This provides them with a rich natural environment which is used very effectively to promote early science skills and develop children’s interests in living things. Children are developing their powers of observation and investigation very well. They are well aware of change and its effects on them, for example, their own growth, changes in weather, trees, flowers and plants. Children enjoy observing living things, for example, they know where to find the ‘toad’ outdoors in the garden. They are learning about planting and growing and know that you need sunshine and rain to make some things grow for example, carrots, peas, onions, strawberries, tomatoes, planting trees. Through their daily walks into the wild wood, children explore their natural environment and fulfil their inquiry, creativity and problem-solving skills.


Importance of relationships at the early stages on life.

Relationships are key for children at a young age. I watched a video by Suzanne Zeedyk and John Carnocha on the development of the brain in the early stages of a child’s life. This video made me as a practitioner realise how important it is to promote, in my classroom, positive relationships between everyone.

The video was all about the way in which the brain development can be affected by the way in which the child has been brought up. For example if the child has been brought up in an unsafe or hectic environment then this could affect their development due to them stressing about other things at home. Whereas if a child has been brought up in a safe and calming environment they are more likely to be focused and worrying about other things. Also taking these factors into consideration it also affects their communications skills. The child who is in the hectic environment might see such things as domestic abuse and may be frightened to communicate due to being scared of what they have seen. However the child in the calming environment will be less stressed and will be more than confident to communicate with others. The living environment has a massive impact in many ways on how well the child is able to develop and this video highlights this majorly.

For me,  all children go through many things out with school and this may be the reason as to why some children may not be developing as quickly as others. My role as a future primary teacher is to make sure the classroom is a safe, well nurtured and happy place for every child to be in. I will promote positive relationships within the class so that every child feels welcome and involved at school which they might not feel these things at home. These positive and trustworthy relationship will be promoted around the school so that all children are feeling this way.

Mathematics workshop

Today I attended my first mathematics workshop. If I am honest I was quite nervous for this workshop due to my maths not being very good. I feel I lack confidence within this subject as when I was at school I enjoyed maths and didn’t mind going to the classes however now that I have been out of school for a couple of years I feel my maths skills and confidence have weakened majorly. I always had the opinion that I couldn’t do it and always had a negative image of it as so many peoples perception is that they ‘hate’ maths.

Today at the workshop it was all about why we teach maths and the perceptions that everyone has of maths. These perceptions were made a long time ago and have not changed for our generation and this is why the subject has such a negative image. I feel after this workshop I felt a little better about the subject as it was not an intense workshop where you were fired questions and you had to answer. Tara allowed us to discuss the answer and then feedback to the class. It has made me more confident about the subject and my perception on maths has changed as I don’t feel nervous anymore when I have a maths workshop.

This workshop also made me come to a realisation that it is also all about your attitude towards the subject that will be of great benefit to teaching a class. Having a positive attitude towards the subject brings out the best in the children as if they can see you are enthusiastic about the subject they will usually try their best within a lesson.


Reflection, why is it important to reflect?

Reflection is one of the most important ways in developing as a future primary school teacher. Reflecting on my work makes me aware of my own strengths and weaknesses. Highlighting your weaknesses allows you to react quickly and improve and progress as a practitioner.

Within the first semester at university, when completely tasks or being involved within discussions I came to the realisation that I had very low confidence. I did not have the confidence in myself to speak out within workshops or lectures or even have the confidence to complete work as I did not think it was good enough. As the semester went on I didn’t gain full confidence but I realised that everyone is different and everyone learns in different ways. If I didn’t speak up then I wasn’t engaging with everyone in my group and this held me back as I wasn’t learning from my peers and my peers didn’t get my view point.

Now I look back on this and I am so glad that I reflected on my confidence when I did because now I am a much more confident person and will now speak out in front of larger groups of people. I have gained the confidence to ask questions to my peers and lecturers if I don’t understand something as no question is a silly question. Reflection within the teaching profession is key for instances like this when it may be one of your weaknesses but reflecting back on it you can make it into a strength by working on it. Within this profession you will have to do a lot of reflection as you will be progressing and learning throughout the whole time of being a teacher, there may be some things you struggling more with but its all about improving.

Dance Workshop

My first input within the module Teaching Across the Curriculum was a dance workshop. The workshop opened my eyes to realise that it not only is an aspect which keeps the children active it also allows them to develop many other aspects of their learning. It allows the children to have fun whilst developing themselves.

Dance as an area within the curriculum is a very important aspect as I realised more after the workshop. Dance can increase the child’s confidence majorly. I feel dance brings out a creative side in everyone and allows the children to be open minded and express themselves. It allows the children to come up with new creative ideas to show everyone. By showing their new ideas to their classmates this allows the children to gain the confidence to stand in front of people and perform. Due to the children being able to be themselves they see this as an opportunity to have fun and its a new exciting way to learn instead of being in the classroom.

I am a dancer myself and the workshop made me realise its not all about making a routine or learning a routine. Dance can be so much more and can actually relate to many areas of the curriculum if you plan the lesson correctly and effectively. For example Numeracy is incorporated within dance as you are always counting to the music. An example which was given at the workshop was R.M.E incorporated into dance, learning about religion on the move. Drama could be incorporated by using movement instead of language to be dramatic. I feel dance can be taught in many ways and can develop many aspects of the curriculum.

Dance also is a very social aspect. It allows the children to get to know each other by working together. This was proven at the workshop when I met more people on my course that I had not spoke to before.  Meeting new people will bring out different characteristics from everyone. It will develop each child’s confidence by seeing all the different characteristics within the group. For example if one child is more confident at performing in front of people than another child, the child can encourage the other child to not be scared to perform and this will be developing the child to be able to do this in the future.

The workshop for me was the perfect insight to see how dance can be taught in many different ways and can meet the curriculum in many other aspects too. I look forward to putting this knowledge into practice when out on placement.

Racism and Patriarchy

I attended a lecture on Tuesday morning about Racism and Patriarchy which made us aware of what has happened many years ago and what is going on now to do with these subjects.

The first section of the lecture was on Racism. We firstly looked at how the concept of race emerged in the 18th century and looked at the sociological perspectives on racism. We then looked at a young 14 year old boy, Emmet Till’ story. This story was an eye opener for me as it emphasises how much has changed since 1955. It emphasises that everyone should be treated the same no matter how they look or the way they live. This section on racism made me even more aware of the importance of treating every child the same with respect and as a future primary teacher I will bring this attitude with me into the classroom.

The second part of the lecture was on Patriarchy. We firstly looked at the Portrayal of women in power in Greek drama, it was emphasised that Ancient Greek was a male dominated society. We then looked at the sociological perspectives of patriarchy. Equality of women, we spoke about the suffrage. We looked at how in 1922 women were being kicked off the beach for wearing too short swimming costumes. In 2016 women are still being told what to wear or what not to wear. In the late 20th century images it showed how much women were discriminated. We watched a video called #likeagirl. I group of young girls  and boys were gathered and were asked questions about girls for example “run like a girl”. The boys and girls both did actions and both portrayed that girls are not motivated and are much weaker than boys. However some young girls portrayed them as being strong and trying their best. Women have been given this stereotype of being weaker. This has made me realise that it is very important in my role as a future primary teacher to make sure these stereotypes don’t effect the children and that all children should try their very best.

The outcome of this lecture was to make us all aware of the importance of racism and patriarchy and what is going on in society nowadays. This lecture certainly did this and made me realise that it has changed very drastically since 18th century however racism and patriarchy still take place to this day.

Workshop on inequalities which grabbed my attention.

My first workshop I took part in from my Values: Self, Society and The Professions module, with my classmates and lecturer, was on structural inequalities. The workshop was done in a very clever way.

We all were split into groups with approximately 6 people in each group. We were given an envelope with certain resources in each pack. Our task, as a group, was to create a new product which would help a new students at Dundee University. Each group had different resources, some groups had more of a variety of materials whereas other groups were very limited to what they could make due to lack of materials. At the end of the session we would have to do a two minute presentation on out new product.

We all tried our best with what we had and all created a product. When creating our product the lecturer did not interact with my group at all but would be commenting on other groups ideas as ‘fantastic’. The groups with more resources were the groups he would give very positive feedback whereas the group I was In had less resources and he was very negative towards my group. It came to presenting the presentation and again he emphasised the same feelings to each group by ignoring our presentation but engaging with the other groups and making comments. The lecturer explained that he was just acting and that he was emphasising the structural inequalities.

This opened my mind as it was very enticing way to put the point across about inequality. It emphasised more to me that every child should be treated the same no matter what situation that child is in. You should not jump to conclusions as you do not know the circumstances that the child is in.

I am glad I was in the group which was treated more negatively than others as it made me realise what the child would be feeling if this were to happen to them.  I felt so disheartened that we had created a product that we thought was very good considering the lack of resources whereas the other groups felt very good about themselves and were very motivated throughout the task as they were getting praised. It is very important to treat every child the same as this may have a big impact on their learning how well they achieve.

Structural inequalities reflect four areas in Standards for Registration by the General Teaching Council for Scotland. They are Social justice, Integrity, Trust and Respect and Professional Commitment. All children come from different backgrounds, some may be from more deprived areas whereas others may be from wealthy areas. This should not matter and every child should get the same learning experience no matter what. All professions should work together and communicate to give the child the best possible experience at school, to make them feel safe.



Identifying my skills and abilities

Activities for unit 1 Personal and Interpersonal Skills and Abilities

  1. Identifying Skills and Abilities

Activity 1

  1. Below are a list of skills and abilities. Complete an audit of where you are now. Record this in your learning journal/portfolio.

Rate yourself (1=Not very well developed; 3=very well developed)

Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
Self confidence                     x
Self-discipline                     x
Team Work                     x
Act as a Leader                      x
Listen to others                     x
Write for academic purposes                      x
Computing Skills                     x
Be Creative                     x
Problem solving                     x


Activity 2

  1. Complete the audit below, using the information from the table above.
Recognition Reflection Action
Skills already developed How I will use these How do I know (evidence)**
Self confidence Having confidence in yourself when teaching will show that you are confident in what you are teaching but also will emphasise confidence to the children who you are teaching.
Self-discipline When studying at school I had good discipline as I was very organised and was very punctual when meeting deadlines. This will shine through in order for me to meet deadlines further.
Team Work Team work is a big attribute for me as I have worked in teams in all my jobs previously. This will be very important in order to meet the needs of individual children.
Act as a Leader The children must have a leader in order for the classroom to have control. A leader is not only going to be in charge of the children, but it will give the children someone to look up too, a role model.
Listen to others It is important that children and adults feel they can speak to you with confidence and that you will listen and be there for them. Teachers need to build trusting relationships with the children in order for them to feel safe and secure while at school. I feel I am a approachable person and like listening to all the different points that people may have on a situation.
Write for academic purposes Throughout my time at university I will be developing my skills of academic writing through my eportfolio or writing essays.
Computing Skills I will use my computing skills to create different learning materials such as powerpoint etc.
Be Creative I will use my creative side to make lessons more interesting and enjoyable for different age groups. Make my lessons my own.
Problem solving I will use my problem solving skills where there is a problem that needs to be overcome and take into account what is the best way to do so.


Recognition Reflection Action
Skills to be developed How I will develop these How do I know (evidence) **
Act as a leader I will develop my confidence more in order to be a better leader.
Organise and plan I will be organised and planned by creating plans for each lesson I am going to teach in placement so that it runs smoothly for each class. Also will be organised so that I am also making sure my written work is on time.
Debate formally and informally I will be able to gain these skills by getting involved in group discussions with my classmates.
Build social networks I will make sure I am creating discussions with my classmates.
Think critically When researching on different topics throughout studying I will be critical in what information I will use.
Generate new ideas I will make sure that I am trying my best in assignments to put my ideas out there. In placement I will also be able to show my new ideas.

** This section should be completed as you identify when/where/how you have used/developed these skills.

My inspirations for becoming a teacher.

I strongly feel that teaching is in my blood. My family has been passionate about education through many generations. I am positive this has made me decide to pursue a career in teaching to follow in the footsteps of these very inspiring family members, but also has influenced my affinity with children.

Due to my experience previously, it has made me realise that watching a child develop into their own individual person and seeing how much they can achieve is one of the most rewarding things in life. Being a main influencer in the early stages of a child’s development would give me a good sense of pride and satisfaction. In addition to this, it would also give me great enthusiasm to see children develop their new skills throughout all years of teaching.

A teacher in particular at primary school still remains a true inspiration to me as she was very organised, planned and very determined. She showed the great bond that a teacher and pupil can make and how this influenced on the learning process ahead. Her method of teaching encouraged and motivated me to become like her and pursue a career in teaching so I can have that impact on ‘my pupils’. When becoming a teacher, I feel,  you are much more than just an educator you are a role model and friend towards the children, this is what I wish to become.