First Day Observations 17/01/2017

Tuesday 17th January 2017

Observation – 7X1 (All day tracking)

Lesson One – Science

This was a successful lesson in that the teacher got exactly what he wanted out of the lesson. Cody was given a straight detention as he sat down because he has been a problem for the last couple of weeks and therefore as soon as he did something wrong within this lesson he was going to be punished as he had been warned. The teacher set his stall out early on with the pupils and they responded well. The pupils really enjoyed the lesson and they really enjoy the new rewards system in place here at the academy, and it really aided the flow of the lesson.

Lesson Two – History

This lesson was taught by a trainee teacher and at the beginning of the lesson he set out his rules and what he expects from his pupils during this lesson. There were a number of noisy pupils throughout the lesson, however the teacher dealt with the low level disruption well and even managed to make a joke out of it. That really helped the lesson keep progressing.

Lesson Three – ICT

The first major difference that I had noticed from the first two lessons was the layout of the room for ICT. The teacher began the lesson by creating a new seating plan as the lesson preceding this one was not great for behaviour. The pupils at first did not respond too well to the new seating plan as some remained in their original places and others were moved. The teacher had a fantastic relationship with the pupils and they respond well to her attitude.

Lesson Four – English

The lesson has really entertained and educated the pupils and this is a fantastic lesson to model my own teaching practise against. The pupils have been using the Olympic mascots as a way to introduce the idea of descriptive writing. The teacher was firm but fair with the pupils and moved around the classroom to make sure they were all on task and see how they were getting along.

Friday 18/11/2016 – Liverpool Visit

This Friday we visited Liverpool, more specifically we visited three different buildings of worship within the city centre. The three we visited were the Metropolitan Christ the King Cathedral on Hope Street, the Jewish Synagogue on Princess Road and the first Mosque in Britain on the outskirts of the city centre.

During our three years here at Edge Hill University we have completed a number of visits to the Metropolitan Cathedral. However, on this occasion we were given a tour around all of the stations throughout the cathedral. We were told during the tour that within the cathedral they have the twelve Stations of the Cross, all with very modern looking areas. It is clear to see even though built over fifty years ago that the design of the cathedral has maintained the test of time well and still looks fairly modern. The cathedral was intended to be the same size St Pauls Cathedral in London, however, due to financial issues this never came to fruition. Ultimately though the tour guide believed that the cathedral that the city has now is a lot more suited to the city than the other design would have been. Inside we were also treated to a free lunch and tea which was really nice of them to do. In my personal opinion I believe we have the best two cathedrals in the country for many reasons. One being the relationship both cathedrals have with one another, the second is the contrast in designs of the cathedrals and finally they are walking distance away from one another.

Secondly after lunch we then boarded the bus again and headed to the Jewish synagogue on Princess Road. From the outside the Synagogue does look fairly run down and old, however, once inside the same cannot be said. This was one of the most impressive interiors I have ever seen. The room was grand in scale and design, it was beautifully furnished with a very early twentieth century design. We were given a fantastic talk the Rabbi of Edge Hill University who was an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi and very proud to be. He described his pride of being a Jew and wearing his Jewish clothing wherever he goes. Many questions were asked, however the one that interested me the most was about the dwindling numbers of Jewish people now living in Liverpool. The number is dropping dramatically within Liverpool, otherwise though it is growing in popularity in Manchester and London.

Finally we visited the first Mosque in Britain from the dedication of William Quillium who later changed his name to Abdullah Quillium back in the 1800s. He wanted to spread the good word of Islam around the country and the world and did manage to convert many people over to Islam. I was especially interested in learning about how they are converting the building into a Mosque, student apartments and a museum to the man himself. For me I have never seen anything like this before especially with a Mosque.

This trip has been very beneficial with my experience with religious buildings within Liverpool. After living in Liverpool all of my life it was surprising to see the Synagogue and Mosque here as they are never really mentioned before, however they are fantastic to look at and visit. I will definitely be visiting these places with a RE class whenever possible. The day was worthwhile and very enjoyable.

First Solo Lesson of Year Two Placement 03/05/2016

Enquiry Focus / Key Question: how to stay hygienic whilst going through puberty

Lesson Objectives:

All Pupils – will be able to explain what happens to certain aspects of their body during puberty.

Most Pupils – Understand the differences between boys and girls during puberty.

Some Pupils – To be able identify and design a Ven diagram to show the similarities and differences between both boys and girls during puberty.

For my first individual lesson I was asked to produce a lesson on the important of remaining hygienic during puberty to a top set year 8 class.

Starter Task

The pupils where asked to draw key images into their books and label each of them with the correct aspect of puberty. They where given an image of the human body 9Blank) and had to put arrows to where the changes would take place.

As the lesson progressed the pupils completed various short task including note taking from a YouTube video and group discussions.

Main Task

The pupils completed a blank work document filling in all of the blank spaces from information they had learnt from this lesson.

Plenary Task

The pupils completed a Ven diagram with the differences between boys and girls during puberty.

Overall I feel this lesson went well for my first of the placement. It took a while to find my rhythm again with time management, however, once I was at the front of the classroom it was like I had never been away.




First Day of Placement 25/04/2016

Group of Multiethnic Hands Holding Teaching

Upon arrival at my second placement, I had already been informed of my timetable for my first week, I has already travelled to the school the day before to ensure I was not late in the morning. I began by meeting my Personal Mentor (PM) and discussing with her what the plans are for me on my first day and what to expect in the coming weeks on placement. I then attended the all staff meeting that they have at the beginning of every week, where I was then introduced by the Principle to the rest of the staff. This is a large school of over 1300 pupil between years seven to thirteen in the sixth form, therefore there is a large number of staff here that also include a number of trainees from various different Universities’ including Edge Hill University.

I proceeded to have a meeting with the Principle. He described to me what it meant to be working here and the standards I must uphold in order to be successful. We then continued to discuss my background and my interest in teaching. Afterwards, I completed the necessary health and safety check, handing in my DBS certificate and a form of identification. I then sat in the end of my first lesson observation with a lower set year 7group learning about Sex education.

For the rest of the day I observed a further two Religious Education lesson’s and getting my feel for the school. I finished with a tour of the school, it is a large school with a number of different sites, however, I am mainly based upon one floor and three classrooms.


Research Methods Lecture Ten 16/03/2016

This lecture was completed in two parts. The first being an information session on our academic posters and the second being on the importance of continuing academic research whilst teaching.

Poster Design

Our posters need to be visually stunning and they must grab the attention of the reader from the beginning, no matter where they are seeing it. It must also entice us to look further and see what it has to say and possibly even conduct our own research.

There are a number of different things that must be taken into consideration before beginning the poster.

  1. Know the purpose – I must know why I am designing the poster. I must be clear about the key data I am using and the information and messages I want to get across to the audience.
  2. Know the target audience – Knowing my audience is important. How old are they? Who are they>
  3. Location of the poster – This is important because it will determine how long someone is able to look at my work.
  4. Size and Format – Always make sure I know the size and format of the poster before beginning. I must decide whether it should either be on landscape or portrait

How Research Can Help Schools

How school leaders perceive research

  • Research increases professionalism
  • Research provides criticality and challenges the status quo
  • Research can change teachers mind-set

How teachers learn from research

  • Research influences what teachers think about
  • Research influences how teachers think


“Its a  way of developing a more reflective practise in the organisation… for me, as a leader nurturing that, it generates a debate both within departments and within the whole school” (Secondary Headteacher).

Practical Purposes

  1. To inform decisions around investment
  2. To gain a deeper understanding of the problem
  3. To inform practise
  4. To encourage a critical and reflective learning community

Berlin (2009) talked about the perceptions both positive and negative. The negative being the teacher receiving more work.

Ethical Awareness

  • Paying more attention to G & T students (Maybe less to other students)
  • Grouping G&T students together

Research as a third voice

  1. 1st voice – Personal views and values, shaped by experience
  2. 2nd voice – Colleagues views and values, shaped by experience
  3. 3rd voice – Views and values of research, shaped by evidence and theory


Research Methods Seminar Nine 02/03/2016

The Research Process

Where will I be getting my source of information from?

Existing Information – Records, Reports, Logs and Journals

People – Participants, Parents and Teachers

Observations – Video, Photo’s and Artwork

Common Methods Used

  • Survey
  • Case Study
  • Interview
  • Observation
  • Dairies
  • Group Assessment
  • Portfolio Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Tests
  • Document Review

The quantitative methods most commonly include, surveys, questionaries”, tests and using existing databases. The qualitative methods include, focus groups,  unstructured interviews and unstructured observations.

  • Quantitative methods produce numbers
  • Qualitative methods produce words

Both have their own strengths and weaknesses, often however it is good practise to you more than one research method at one time. This is called ‘Triangulation’. This is important if we want to have accurate and varied results.

Triangulation – The use of multiple sources and methods.

Recurring, reflecting, recording and authenticating

Recurring – We do not all take in or perceive the world in the same way. Therefore, different observes will see different things to yourself and see your research differently to yourself.

Reflecting – It is very difficult for researchers to be objective about their own work. Another difficulty is being unbiased when reflecting on your own expectations.

Recording – The recording of data will vary depending on the level of participation and structure of the observations.

Authenticating – It is important to implement credibility in my methodological plan. This should be done through thoroughness and confirmation.

  • All data methods are capable of gathering quantitative and qualitative data.
  • There is no single data method that can guarantee credible data.

Stages of Data Coding

Coding qualitative data.

Miles and Huberman (1994). “Codes are tags or labels for assigning units of meaning to the descriptive or inferential information complied during a study. Codes are usually attached to chairs of varying sizes, words, phrases, sentences or entire paragraphs.”

Codes should be:

  1. Valid
  2. Mutually exclusive
  3. Exhaustive

Open Coding

The data is carefully read, all statements relating to the research question are identified. These codes are then noted, and each relevant statement is organised under its appropriate code.

Axial Coding

Using the codes, the researcher records the qualitative data and searchers for statements that may fit into any of these categories. Further coding may also be developed in this stage.

Once these stages are complete, the researcher should be able to ask themselves these questions and become more analytical.

  1. Can I relate certain codes together under a more general code?
  2. Can I organise sequentially
  3. Can I identify any casual relationships

The forth stage is selective coding, this includes reading through the raw data that explain the concepts. The researcher should also look for data that is contradictory, as it is important not to be selective. I must avoid what is referred to as confirmation bias, or the tendency to seek evidence out that supports my own beliefs.

What to look for ?

  • I should look for patterns and regulations that occur.
  • Try to identify key words to help try and make sure of the data
  • Look for statements that not only support my theories, but also refute them
  • To build a comprehensive picture

Using raw data to support analysis

As a rule of thumb, I should use direct quotes from observations only when:

  • They describe a phenomenon well
  • Show cases or instances that are unusual
  • To show data that is unexpected

Member Validation – As someone to critically comment upon the accuracy of my findings.

Triangulation – Combining the analysis with findings from different data sources is useful as a means to demonstrate trustworthiness is the analysis.

The Audit Trail – To ensure reliability, all research should have an audit trail by which others are able to judge the process through which the research has been conducted.

Reflexity – Means that researchers critically reflect on their own rule written the whole of the data collecting process.


  • Although qualitative and quantitative are different in nature, but try to seek valid conclusions and avoid errors.
  • There are a number of ways to approach qualitative analysis
  • Three key stages.
    • Data reduction
    • Data display
    • Conclusion
  • Data reduction takes place through a process of coding.


Research Methods Seminar Eight 24/03/2016

Data Collection

What is the best way to go about collecting data? To begin with, there are a variety of different ways and means in which data can be collected. Firstly,

Conducting a Survey

Conducting a survey capable of generating credible data:

  • Through Planning
  • Meticulous instrument construction
  • Comprehensive Piloting
  • Deliberate Execution

When asking questions it is very important in the way in which the questions are asked, this can determine the execution of your survey.

Open Questions – These questions ask respondents to construct answers using their own words. Open questions can generate rich and candied results and data, however, it can be difficult to uncode and understand.

Closed Questions – Force respondents to choose from a range of predetermined response. This does not give you complete results like the open questions do, however it is easier to de code the results and to understand.

Some additional considerations must be taken into account, for example: providing clear background information, logical organisation and a user friendly layout. Moving onto interviews.


Structured: Pre established questions.

Unstructured: Draw out information without the use of pre established questions.

Semi-Structured: A mixture of both.

Interview Types

Formal Interview – Perhaps the best way to describe this is like a formal job interview, for example, and office setting, the formal handshake and formal valuable questions.

Informal Interview – An attempt to ignore the rules, an attempt to establish a rapport and to create a more natural environment.

The Questioning Process

Ease the respondents especially the younger ones into the interview, making them feel comfortable.  Ask strategic questions and listen more than talk during the interview process.