Category Archives: edushare

Science Literacy

After a recent input on the ‘Science Literacy’ we were asked, in groups, to produce an informative short piece related to the input. Not only was this to consolidate what we had learned but also to develop our understanding, awareness and appreciation of what ‘Science Literacy’ really is and how fundamental it is within the classroom.

‘Scientific literacy’ is increasingly seen as the primary goal of school science.”(Miller, 2007) This wasn’t always the case due to many teachers in primary and secondary schools having a slight fear towards science as a subject. Therefore as a result, this derogatory attitude was understandably passed on to their students. Negative attitudes could be a result of the teachers not being able to understand concepts or formulas concerning certain scientific processes due to being uneducated themselves from a young age. Thus meaning that for them to then teach their own pupils in depth could be daunting. However, there is now an ever increasing consideration- and quite rightly so- that Science should be up there with the standard core subjects such as math and English.

Science has been evident in some shape or form since the beginning of time, for example, cavemen lighting fires to gain heat, to cook or to use as a source of light. The misconception of whether something has a scientific purpose behind it or why something happens is the problem which still occurs in today’s society. For this reason solely it is essential for schools to start making children literate concerning Science. For example, when carrying out experiments one main process children work by is also known as POE (Predict, Observe and Explain). In order to do this they have to have a firm knowledge of simple concepts that they can then apply in future experiments or day to day on goings. Thereby giving them the ability to comprehend and then explain what may or may not happen and most importantly why.

The MMR vaccine controversy of 1998 is one of the most commonly known examples of where a lack of scientific literacy has led to inaccurate media reporting.

This controversy was created by Dr Andrew Wakefield, who carried out an investigation into the three in one vaccine for the prevention of measles, mumps and rubella. Wakefield’s research paper, which was published in the medical journal The Lancet, claimed that there was a link between the vaccine and a child’s likelihood of developing autism. This caused great concern for parents and resulted in the widespread decline of children receiving the vaccine in the UK and Ireland.

It was not until 2004, and later again in 2010, that this claim was discredited by leading specialists who carried out further studies. They discovered that Wakefield had manipulated his findings, but more to the point, that there was in fact no link between autism and the MMR vaccine.

This public consumption of false, misleading information caused a significant increase in the number of children who contracted measles, mumps and rubella. This is a prime example of how easy it is to be wrongly influenced and why scientific literacy is so important.

As teachers, we must foster an environment that allows pupils to develop their scientific literacy and understanding of concepts and ideas. Ensuring the classroom environment promotes thinking, listening, questioning, talking, play, exploration and experiment is pivotal to the broadening of scientific vocabulary for children. Looking at the idea of ‘fair testing’ at primary school level links closely to the development of strong scientific literacy. Through consideration of what it means to conduct an experiment under fair test conditions, pupils can begin to understand the need for all variables to be kept the same, apart from those which are being tested for. This developing of understanding will help pupils to ensure that once they have measured what they already know, all future experiments and investigations will produce accurate results which correctly inform the progression of their knowledge.

Encouraging pupils to investigate good and bad examples of ‘fair testing’ will allow them to explore and engage with science. Where everyday objects are used for such exploration – such as a motorbike race – science becomes much more accessible for children and a developing interest is likely to be reflected in their developing vocabulary in relation to science and experimentation.

We hope that by reading this, if you were unsure of what the term ‘Science Literacy’ meant and how it relates to everyday life, that now you do!




Hello! Bonjour! Hola! Guten tag!

Languages. We all have one but should we just stop at that?

I believe that as teachers, we would be depriving our pupils if we did not incorporate other languages of the world into our classroom. It is ever more apparent that these days huge numbers of people do not just live in the country of their birth for their entire life. So are we really equipping the children with the basic fundamentals for life if we do not grant foreign languages with a high level of importance within the classroom?

I was fortunate enough to spend time and live with Spanish students for three weeks in Edinburgh whilst they visited Scotland. I was there to teach and improve their English. In the morning they went to language school and then spent the afternoons and evenings with us- sight seeing, playing games in the park and going shopping. Whilst all the time speaking in English.  Many a time we faced difficulties where nor one or the other could understand what the other was trying to say. Which as you could imagine could be extremely frustrating! However we always got there in the end!

The thing that made this extremely difficult was the fact that I cannot speak Spanish. I could sing you the odd Spanish song from past experiences of strutting my stuff on the dance floor to them, but no where near what was needed to have a conversation! If I had been able to speak their language fluently it would have been all to easy for us to just start communicating in Spanish when they got tired of English, completely defeating the main purpose of their visit!

Speaking a second language for a long period of time can be exhausting and witnessing that first hand of the students I was with made me truly respect and appreciate what they were doing.  Many of these young people spoke more than just the two languages. When I asked why,  they explained that by having a knowledge of other languages it opens up job opportunities all round the world for them. It would enable them to travel the world to see and experience all the different cultures we have. They believe that it’s only fair that if you travel to somewhere new, you as the guest, should make the effort to know at least some of the native language.

I love to travel. Especially as I lived in Germany when I was younger I love exploring new places!  Personally, I believe it’s really important for children to have a passion and desire to want to know about the world they live in and the people living in it. Many families cannot afford to take their children abroad so as a teacher it would be my wish to bring those countries into the classroom. We don’t necessarily need an aeroplane or boat to raise awareness of the outside world to children. We just need creativeness, imagination and passion. I want to ensure that any future pupil of mine leaves my classroom having a good idea of what living in another culture would be like and for them to have the desire to maybe visit that country in the future. I want them to know phrases of languages which could then be built on as they get older and used all around the world!

This country is a great place to live but when there is so much more greatness to see, let’s not shy our children away from that. Encourage exploring. It’s a bit like trial and error- you have to try things to see if you like them. You have to try new things to learn and as teachers we are there to facilitate that learning.

Get your backpacks on, we’re going on a round the world trip..classroom style!


After a lovely day at Portobello beach in Edinburgh with my lovely Spanish and English speaking friends!



“A primary teacher? Seriously Emily? You could do so much more than that..”

Today I was asked by an old friend what it was I was studying. After I replied, explaining I was studying to become a primary teacher the response I got was, for me, an extremely sad one.

“A primary teacher? Seriously Emily? That’s not exactly difficult is it? Baby sitting kids all day and teaching them the alphabet isn’t a proper job! You could do much more than that! Teacher training is harder than the actual job itself!”

I can’t quite put into words how shocked and upset this made me. I couldn’t think of anything to say in return. Is this really what people think of primary teachers? I have dedicated so much time in order for me to be able to obtain the training needed to become a teacher- it’s all I have ever wanted to do. So for somebody to think that I was wasting my time on a career they didn’t deem worthy of being given the time of day hurt a lot. I don’t know about you but I would never talk down to someone like this or discard their chosen career. Especially one that would be affecting the future generations of children.

I realise many people share that same belief as the individual I bumped into today. Surprisingly I actually feel sorry for them as maybe primary school for them was not an enjoyable or memorable experience. Where would the world be without primary teachers? Children need that education experience in order to be equipped with the tools they need to develop into successful, well-rounded adults. Not every parent would have the time to spend 5/6 hours a day educating their children. Despite feeling rather deflated by those comments I’ve turned that into determination. I am more determined than ever to try and inform as many people as possible as to how much work, dedication and passion teachers put in within and outside the classroom and how much they care about the job and people they are helping. I believe that the lecturers , tutors and fellow students I have surrounding me are so passionate about the profession they are part of that I know a positivity towards primary education is extremely strong. I have chosen to turn this negative into a positive and I encourage anyone who experiences a similar situation to do the same.

I am a student teacher and proud to say it.

Let the blogging bonanza continue!

I have just spent the past half an hour or so reading posts from many of my peers.  These posts were extremely interesting and really demonstrated that they have fully submerged themselves into the life of reflection. Looking back at posts you can see progression throughout and how their authors have developed the way they write about lectures, books they have read and personal experiences.  For me, I especially love the posts where there is some kind of personal link to the post. I feel it is really important and enjoyable to get a sense of what kind of personality the individual has. We might not necessarily know the face to match the name but sometimes reading posts make you feel that by the end of it you really know what kind of person they are.

Writing a blog post enables those who may have reservations about sharing their thoughts and feelings face to face with others to get their opinions and beliefs heard. I feel that through reading one and others ePortfolios that actually as a year group we can become much closer.  Having the engagement with those whom you don’t know very well can help brake down any boundaries you feel may still be there, because after all  we are still getting to know everyone! Not only does it help with our personal communication it opens up a window for us to establish our own place to begin professional dialogue.

We are all still learning. In fact, nobody ever stops learning. This is why I believe that even if you feel insecure about that what you are writing or worry people will make judgments – don’t! We can’t expect to be perfect and everyone is entitiled to make mistakes. That’s how we learn.  Everyone has their own opinions so express them! I know for me I worry what people will think about what I write. However, I want to take the opportunity to thank my peers and other glow users for feedback they have given me online or in person about things I’ve written. It’s really helping to build my confidence in sharing feelings and opinions with the wider online community.

Let the blogging bonanza continue!

You at the back! Point your toes!

Everyone can dance. You might not feel like that’s the case when you realise nobody wants to be seen with you when the music starts, but trust me, you can.

I first started dancing at  the age of eight- excited by the prospect of getting my own little pair of tap shoes that I could make as much noise in as possible! Oh the fun I was going to have on the kitchen floor!! Like everything when you first start it was difficult and took a lot of hard work to pick up the technique. However after MANY dance classes I was starting to turn into a fairly competent little mover. 2007 came my first big show, the excitement I felt to start the show routines was incomparable. So you could imagine my disappointment when I was dressed as one of the three little pigs from ‘Shrek.’ Curly tail included.  Despite my rather ‘pinky’ appearance I tap springed my way across that stage like no other pig had before!

The dance school I attended planned a trip for us to go and see the dance phenomenon, ‘Riverdance.’ That was eight years ago and from that moment since I have been Irish dancing. I enjoyed tap classes but Irish was something so different that had me hooked from the moment I started and has done ever since.  Not only is it a great way to keep fit but is an opportunity for you to forget about any worries or problems you have. You can immerse yourself in the steps you’re doing, the music, the beats coming from your shoes and the story you’re trying to tell.

The freedom you get from dance is something that I believe is rather rare. I feel that dance is an extremely important thing for a school to incorporate into their curriculum. It is a chance for children to express themselves in a safe and creative way. It is  giving them a chance to break free from any negative issues they may be experiencing at home or in the classroom. Instead of fighting, a child that feels angry about certain events can let that energy out through movement for example.

Dance should not be something a child or adult  feels embarrassed by or that they may be judged by others for what they look like doing it. Nobody has the right to make another person feel insecure about themselves. I’ll admit that I’ve often been caught having a little boogie to myself looking in no way in control of my limbs but I was having a great time so I guess that’s all that matters!

So, fellow student teachers let’s not care what we look like, let’s just play that music and alongside our children, DANCE!

You know you want to..


Anyone Can Be A Professional

I chose to watch One Born Every Minute. It was such a great way to demonstrate professionalism working at its very best.  The programme has opened my eyes to the core of what a professional is.  Yes, it’s about conducting your work in a suitable way and having correct behaviour , impressive presentation and possess the knowledge needed to carry out the job,  but I now believe that it is so much more than that. Professionalism is about the passion and love you have for what you’re doing. Waking up every morning looking forward to the work you will be carrying out and the impact it will have on others. I’ve learned that professionals don’t just do their job for themselves- they do it for others. A professional cares about the welfare of the people they are helping- it’s all about looking at the wider world and being prepared to go that extra mile for someone you don’t even know.  Selfless acts of kindness and a commitment and dedication to others is what professionalism is to me. You are loyal to those you are helping. The midwives demonstrated all of these skills and more.

I believe that anyone has the ability to become a professional. We need to step away from the idea that professionalism is all about academic excellence. Just because a person achieves top marks in exams does not mean they will necessarily be more effective in a profession than someone who doesn’t. As we set off on our route to becoming teachers it’s vital that we understand that nobody should be bound to society’s preconceived stereotypes.

Anyone can be a professional. Anyone can have that love, passion and dedication required, but we must never confine anyone so that they cannot utilise these just because that‘s the way generations have before. We want future generations to live to their full potential no matter what their situation and to do that mindsets have to change.

Values of a Professional

An attribute I feel a professional requires is that of fairness. Fairness is important to being professional as showing signs of preference towards one person over the other or perhaps allowing one child to behave in a particular way that others can’t, could create a very tense and unpleasant atmosphere in the classroom. Being an individual that promotes fairness is an excellent way to gain trust and respect from others. Both of these are vital to gain from the children you teach and helps create a bond with them. Fairness also works hand in hand with equality. For me, a professional needs to be able to treat everyone equally and understand that any kind of discrimination of anyone in the work place of work is just not acceptable. In a classroom setting this could not be more important.

Another attribute is Justice, which helps create a safe and healthy environment for all to work in. Justice means no tolerance to what is wrong and championing what is good and right. I feel that justice in a classroom environment creates a better sense of community and shows children the difference between right and wrong. By doing this it would hopefully improve a child’s self-discipline and help them develop their own set of morals. Justice demonstrates that unacceptable behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated and there will be consequences as a result of such behavior. Implementing justice at a young age would hopefully mean that children will grow up having developed a solid understating of how to treat others in a respectable and appropriate manner.

I believe that respect means treating others how you would like to be treated yourself. Showing and receiving respect is so important in a profession. It can help create much needed working relationships. Thus, meaning that you are exposing yourself to a much greater wealth of opportunities as you can work alongside a broad range of people that can all bring their own talents to the table. In the end, this could result in a much more positive working environment. Showing respect towards pupils in the classroom is important as pupils would then begin to respect you back and it also demonstrates to them that they must respect each other.

Patience is extremely important in all professions. When a teacher displays patience, it shows to the children how to behave in difficult or compromising circumstances. In a classroom, things can go against us and try to test us, so being patient and calm allows for straight and clear thinking and an ability to successively teach and control the class. Children can be unpredictable and not always behave in a way which we deem as appropriate or sometimes not understand a specific element that you’re teaching. Therefore, by being calm and patient we can deal with the difficulties in a composed manner and not let the small issues reflect negatively on a child’s learning environment.

Honesty works simultaneously with trust. Gaining a pupil’s trust makes them more likely to want to open up with you and share problems they might be facing or are concerned about. Teaching children to be honest will allow them to grow up to be responsible and successful adults. Honestly is vital in a profession as without honesty you have no trust and without trust there is no respect and with little respect for someone it means you have even less patience with them. All of these work hand in hand and without one of these key elements a professional environment just can’t work.


Having taken time to consider what reflection means to me I have come to the conclusion that I think reflection means to look back on a past experience. We should use reflection to learn, develop and improve on something we’ve already done. By doing this we can improve the quality of our future experience. Reflection is all about positively criticising past actions and thinking about what was done well and what we can do to improve. It is also about thinking clearly about what we felt during certain points and what we can do to enhance these feelings positively. Reflection is key to further our learning and without it we deprive ourselves of the chance to grow, build on what we have and continue in a positive direction. We are thereby taking control of our own learning and are being open minded to learning and adapting – skills that are so important for teachers to possess. I hope by reflecting I will be able to continuously improve all aspects of my work.

Safety Online-TDT

As an a educator, you are a role model. A role model sets examples and through the correct use of social media there is no greater opportunity to for these examples to be set.

Online technology is brilliant for adding another dimension to the classroom experience but great caution has to be taken in regards to what is used and how we use it. Utilising technology to communicate with children outside the classroom is also a very beneficial tool. However, when having that interaction with the pupils it can only be done on official channels of communication: using a formal and courteous tone so that the pupils don’t push the boundaries when they are back in the classroom.

To me, I feel that it is extremely important and very much a necessity to show pupils how to be safe online and the importance of doing so. Highlighting the need to be safe isn’t a way to try and hamper their fun and learning online, it is to try and protect them from the dangers that the internet sadly possesses. Moreover, as a teacher you have a duty of care to those children so if any issues are brought to your attention that suggest a child’s online safety is being compromised, you must inform your line manager immediately.

When online and using social media there are certain precautions that need to be put in place. Firstly, never accept a friend request from a pupil on a personal social media profile. If you are going to use approved social media to correspond with pupils it is highly recommended to make one account for personal use and a separate one for your professional use. Any personal accounts should ideally be made private and prevent anyone being able to tag you in pictures/posts without permission. When it comes to what you are posting it is very important that before hitting that ‘share’ button you consider whether or not it would compromise your professional and personal integrity. In addition, never discuss pupils or criticise the school you’re at or employer. It is highly unprofessional and could cost you dearly.

The internet is a fantastic way to enhance learning and taking that little bit of time to ensure your safety and the safety of your pupils when using it makes for a much more enjoyable experience.

‘Study Skills’ TDT

Having read pages 236 – 280 of the ‘Study Skills book’, it has been brought to my attention that there are certain aspects of my English I can make an improvement on. Reading the recommended pages I soon realised that some of the information I was reading I had actually considered to be just basic knowledge. However, on reflection I now realise that this ‘basic knowledge’ I just assumed I knew, isn’t quite as sharp as I would prefer.

The book really highlighted to me the importance of using punctuation correctly and the necessity of precise spelling. I was already aware of how important these both were but now that I am at University I have to be writing pieces that are clear and concise. This means that the expression and spelling all have to be completely accurate. From reading about this I’m going to be more conscious of what and how I’m writing and be sure to double, if not triple check my work before submitting.

The most interesting piece of advice I discovered during my reading was a completely new way of laying out a paragraph. ‘Study Skills’ suggested that a paragraph should be laid out as such:

  • Topic sentence
  • Developer Sentence
  • Modulator Sentence
  • Terminator Sentence.

I feel that this plan for a paragraph is very useful and will make essay writing that little bit easier and hopefully enhance the quality of my work.

This book is bursting at the seams with advice and suggestions and I hope to take on board this valuable information to further develop my writing skills.