Monthly Archives: October 2015

What are the Scottish Government doing to close the attainment gap?

Attainment levels in Scotland are a major issue, there are many issues which affect attainment levels such as social class, gender and ethnicity. Reading performance has decreased from 2012 to 2014. However, the Scottish Government are trying to close the attainment gap using different techniques.

  • The Scottish Attainment Challenge which has been set up to aide the learning of children and young people in the most deprived areas of Scotland. The Scottish Attainment challenge consists of two sections, attainment Scotland fund and universal support. Attainment Scotland fund is a new £100 million initiative which focuses on supporting children from extremely deprived areas, focussing mainly on literacy, numeracy and health and well-being in primary schools. Universal support is improving upon previous initiatives to try and close the attainment gap. These initiatives include raising attainment for all programme and early years collaborative, P1-3 read, write, count campaign and access to education fund.
  • The Education (Scotland) Bill which was passed in March 2015, the bill has a strong focus on improving attainment level. The Bill enhances children’s rights and requires councils and Scottish ministers to report about progress within attainment. The Bill works alongside the Scottish Governments existing efforts to improve attainment levels and education standards.



To me reflection is an integral part of life, I believe if we do not reflect on situations then we will never learn. When writing reflection allows the reader to get an insight into who you are as a person, it allows the reader to have a deeper insight into the situation making them feel like they are going through this. Reflecting allows you to draw upon past experiences and come to a point whereby you can portray your point of view. Being reflective allows the reader to be critical of themselves or of a situation which happens through processing our thoughts. When writing it is important to be reflective as this shows the reader exactly what happened as you can put feeling and emotion into the writing whereas if you do not reflect and just describe a situation the reader may find it lifeless and uninteresting.


Oxford Dictionaries definitions (no date) states integrity means:

“The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.”

I believe a teacher must show integrity as they are trusted by many parents/carers to not only teach their child but also to look after and care for their child during school hours. A teacher with strong morals is likely to pass these on to children who look up to them and see them as a role model (which they may not have at home). I believe if a teacher is not honest with themselves or others around them then this makes them unprofessional and untrustworthy.

The term patience means:

“The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” (Oxford Dictionaries definitions, no date)

Being in the teaching profession it is essential that you have patience, children will not always follow your instruction however, being a professional you must remain calm and handle the situation. Parents/carers may also test a teacher’s patience it is crucial that you remain professional and explain situations to parents without seeming aggressive.

Oxford Dictionaries definitions (no date) states tolerance means:

“The ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.”

Tolerance for a teacher is a significant part of their role, teachers must tolerate children’s behaviours (even when they are challenging) and understand that each child may not come from a stable home environment. Teachers have to be tolerant in regards to parents/carers as they may disagree with your choices and challenge you upon this, teachers must remain professional and defend their decision in a professional format.

The term fairness means:

“Impartial and just treatment or behaviour without favouritism or discrimination.” (Oxford Dictionaries definitions, no date)

It is essential that teachers are fair in all decisions they make, teachers must not stereotype the children or classify them in regards to gender, ethnicity or class. Teachers must avoid having favourites and treat all children the same regardless of their abilities or background.

Oxford Dictionaries definitions (no date) states empathy means:

“The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”

Teachers must have empathy in regards to understanding that children all come from different home lives. Teachers must be approachable and allow children to express their feeling freely without judgement. Teachers should let the children know that if they have concerns that this information must be passed on however if not it will be kept confidential.



Oxford Dictionaries definitions (English) (no date) in Oxford Dictionary. Available at : (Accessed 13 October 2015).



Professionalism and the Online World

What challenges/opportunities you may be faced with when marrying the personal vs the professional presence on social media?

I think in the profession of teaching you need to be extremely careful about how you act in the online world. Teachers are human and are entitled to have a life out with the classroom, which GTC Scotland recognise. However, teachers must also remember that what they post online can affect their career and that anything posted online is there for life even if you delete it from your account. There are various challenges teachers will come across with social media such as students/parents trying to add you as a friend and your own friends becoming unhappy that you are unwilling to let them tag you in a photo or status. I personally believe having just one account for both personal and professional life is much healthier as there is no confusion of which account you should be posting certain aspects of your life on. However, I believe teachers should make all aspects of their social media sites private and explain to friends that you have to protect your career so there are certain things which cannot be broadcasted to the online world. I believe that parents or even colleagues may question your decision to be using social media within the classroom as a teaching aide for children. However, as a teacher you need to be able to explain and justify the reasons why you are using these resources. Although some teachers may become sceptical of using their personal social media sites and expressing their opinions, I believe as long as it is done in a professional manner that is polite then this is acceptable.

How are the challenges/opportunities afforded by social media framed? How will you frame things – positive or deficit viewpoint?

The media has a greater role to play now than it ever has before, it can affect many professionals lives including those of teachers. The media grasp onto aspects of individuals lives and can interpret situations to be more extreme than what they are. There are many cases of teachers having inappropriate relationships with either pupils or colleagues, which all make the news headlines. However, we never see the healthy relationships between teachers and pupils in newspapers or online. This in my opinion shows how cruel the media can be to tear apart an individual’s life, I certainly do not agree with inappropriate relationships between teachers and pupils, but I do believe the media should focus on the healthy aspects of school life and promote a positive view of teachers rather than a negative one.

When I become a qualified teacher I would like to use technology within the classroom as I believe technology has vast amounts to teach children as well as myself. Children are growing up with technology from birth and this needs to be seen as an advantage for them rather than a negative effect that it will affect their learning, when in truth if used properly it can enhance their learning. I believe strongly that if you teach children about how to be safe on the internet then there should be no harm in using it to aide learning.

Although it is a hard task to achieve I believe people need to change their perception of social media and the online world understanding that this could enhance learning for all generations and see the internet as a positive place to learn.