Social Justice and Inclusion in Scottish Education

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Why are social justice and inclusion key concepts in Scottish education?

This essay will explore the significance of social justice and inclusion within Scottish education today. They are interlinked and imbedded within educational policy, legislation, frameworks, and the substantive articles from The United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (UNCRC) which empower children’s entitlements, and promote active citizenship. The General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) also highlighted social justice and inclusion as a responsibility within the teaching profession, by establishing them as core themes in maintaining values and commitments for all students throughout their education. (, 2012)

Social Justice

Social justice is an equivocal concept, however there is an overarching egalitarian theme present throughout, which aims to remove barriers for people, to promote an equal society where fairness is fundamental, and to ensure opportunities are available for all (, 1999) This links heavily with inclusion, embracing every child and respecting diversity. Despite the immersion within Scottish policy and legislation, ambiguity remains over successful implementation to achieve social justice pragmatically and coherently, and to ensure that all children and young people are benefitting from a rich and fulfilling education.

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Barriers faced by children and young people in Scotland today include poverty, disability, race, culture, sex, gender and religion. Some people believe that underachievement can be detected from an early age with socio-economic background being a key contributor affecting language, cognitive, social and emotional development. (T. G. K. Bryce et al, 2013, p866) Others would disagree, suggesting that children and young people’s outcomes are not always predetermined (Pollard, 2014, p480) The fact remains that children are entering primary school with established academic disadvantages, which is impacting their experience and attainment during school. (T. G. K. Bryce et al, 2013, p866) The subsequent results of these disadvantages could continue through secondary school, potentially harming their future outcomes. Although there have been improvements in performance over the last decade, variations are still apparent between councils, schools and individuals. (, 2017), and children are still experiencing exclusion from education due to poverty, inequality and disability. (Pollard, 2014, p410)

The Scottish Government has introduced many initiatives such as The Early Years Framework and the Child Poverty Strategy as approaches to help target inequalities for children before they are established, by extending and strengthening support for parents and communities in addition to the children themselves. Despite these structures in place, children from the most affluent areas of Scotland are still significantly outperforming those from the most deprived areas in language, literacy and numeracy skills (, 2017) hence, contributing to the widely conversed poverty related attainment gap.

The Scottish Attainment Challenge was another approach aimed at tackling disadvantages for children and young people. The scheme, strengthened by the support from the Curriculum for Excellence (CFE) and Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC), introduced the Attainment Scotland fund which provides schools located in the most deprived areas, access to £120million to spend on additional resources. The scheme grants flexibility to Head teachers, allowing them to spend money to help raise attainment. Although this approach could offer a partial solution to the crisis, there have been concerns over spending variations between local authorities, (, 2017) therefore it is crucial for the government to monitor these expenditures to reduce disparities. Specialist support must also be provided for Head teachers to ensure they are managing the money effectively and focussing on key areas where gaps in attainment exist. Poverty is deep rooted within Scotland and the government must continue to extend support if multigenerational changes are to be made. (, 2016)

Despite social justice being enthralled by poverty, there are other areas where inequalities are present and must be managed to improve egalitarianism. Issues regarding gender have impacted experiences faced by children in school over the years with homophobic bullying, harassment and sexism occurring. In the past, gender inequality was rife in Scottish education with comparisons being made between the achievement of boys and girls. Gender stereotypes were linked to socialisation processes and this subsequently impacted opportunities, subject choice and progression routes for both boys and girls. (T. G. K. Bryce et al, 2013 p875) In 2006, strategies were put in place to address gender inequalities in Scottish Schools, with the implementation of the CFE. Four capacities were developed to promote equality and fairness by creating more opportunities for children to build confidence, resilience and values. The Gender Equality toolkit for staff was also created using a range of quality indicators to ensure Scottish schools promote gender equality. (, 2007) Although the current Scottish curriculum has been described as gender neutral (T. G. K. Bryce et al, 2013, p875) the government is aware that gender inequality is still a concern in Scottish schools. They developed the Delivering Excellence and Equity in Scottish Education plan to target areas for improvement and have since re-examined progress through the Next Steps document. It is vital for the government to consistently monitor progress on equality to uphold children’s rights and ensure their targets are succeeding.

Scotland has seen a dramatic increase in migration over the last decade and consequently, has become extremely multi-cultural and multi-linguistic (, 2015) Although diversity is embraced in Scottish schools today, it has created some barriers in the past. Children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) were seen as an inconvenience and lack of bilingual teachers and resources were not available. Children were then segregated from school and sent to specialist language units. (T. G. K. Bryce et al, 2013, p895) This would have impacted their educational experience in school and further separated them from society. The Scottish government has since focussed on ethnic inequalities with legislation such as Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004/09 and GIRFEC. These frameworks put children at the centre and support their needs, to ensure they have access to equal opportunities to learn and develop.

To further promote social justice in Scottish education, the government identified the importance of highly skilled teaching professionals, who consistently challenge children, stimulate their learning, support growth and development, and help them build sustainable, equitable outcomes. (, 2012) The importance of investing in high quality teachers was highlighted in Graham Donaldson’s review of teacher education, Teaching Scotland’s Future (2011). He acknowledged the need to strengthen teaching and reinforce leadership (Donaldson, 2010) as these are vital elements for enhancing school experience for children.

Social justice also features heavily in the GTCS Standards for Provisional Registration (SPR) alongside inclusion which suggests that modelling and demonstrating professional values as teachers is fundamental towards removing barriers and creating learning opportunities for all. Improving teaching standards will impact children’s educational experiences and opportunities indefinitely, however inconsistencies may remain between teachers, schools and communities. Children must remain at the centre of future planning; and support must continue for schools, parents and communities to create a robust network for the future of Scottish education.


Like social justice, inclusion has multiple interpretations, however, the predominant focus is on, “presence, participation and achievement” as cited by Ainscow (2005) (Pollard, 2014, p421) All children are entitled to learn regardless of their skills, abilities or needs and should not be discriminated against. This is further emphasised in article 2 and 28 of the UNCRC. (, n.d.)

It has been suggested that effective learning occurs in the classroom through social activities, paired work, and using collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches. Lev Vygotsky was a developmental theorist and an advocate for inclusion. He strongly believed that encouraging children to work together would co-construct knowledge and understanding whilst building social, emotional and behavioural skills which are essential for children’s development. Vygotsky’s work was fundamental and has built the foundations for many educational policy documents. Theorist Jerome Bruner also believed that social and cultural influences during learning are crucial. His notion was that any child can learn at any stage of development provided there are scaffolds and support in place. (McLeod, 2014)

Those with a strict alliance to inclusion would argue that all children, regardless of their additional support needs (ASN) should be taught in mainstream classes. (Riddell, 2009) This would promote participation and acknowledge children’s rights. The UNCRC is rooted in educational policy and legislation and should be exercised and applied in schools. Children should be allowed to share their perspectives, take ownership of their learning and be aware of their entitlements when it comes to their rights. Some schools however, remain apprehensive that inclusion may unintentionally promote exclusion. They believe that inclusive approaches may have a negative effect on children, impacting overall achievement of pupils. These differences in opinion reflect Black-Hawkins suggestion that “There can be no such institution as a fully participatory one, but it is an aspirational well worth pursuing” (Kristine Black-Hawkins, 2007, p47)

In the past, children requiring additional support were segregated from mainstream schools and thrust into special schools to effectively cater for their needs. Traditionally in Scottish education, there was an emphasis on redistribution rather than recognition. It was considered acceptable to remove “the difference” from school instead of recognising variation, and adapting to meet the needs of children. (Riddell, 2009) This may have been beneficial to those with severe learning difficulties, however local authorities had great control over systematising children and deciding who required special provision, thus cementing the disability and deepening marginalisation. (T. G. K. Bryce et al, 2013, p252)

Other versions of inclusion have placed less focus on educational location, and more on the quality of the education, for example, if, support and resources are in place, then the location of learning is irrelevant. The removal of children from class to receive additional support for areas such as literacy may help them academically in the future, however it may impact their participation and social development in the class. This style of inclusion evolved from integration. Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) were welcomed in schools, but taught separately in an educational base. This was a step forward from segregation, but still affected children’s inclusion in class.

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 was introduced to facilitate inclusion and tackle discrimination. The Act identified that needs are not fixed entities. All children may require additional support at some point throughout their school experience as they grow and develop, therefore educational settings must be responsive to this. (, 2004). As a result, they changed the term Special Education Needs (SEN) to Additional Support Needs (ASN).

Those teaching and working in schools are critical towards the implementation of inclusion practices. The national Framework for Inclusion was designed in conjunction with the GTCS, and highlights expectations and standards of student teachers and qualified teachers throughout their professional career. The framework reflects current educational policy and legislation and is heavily supportive of social justice and inclusion. It identifies progressive steps towards values and beliefs, professional knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities that are required to generate a comprehensive education system in Scotland. (, 2014)

To further promote inclusion in Scottish schools, various approaches to assessment have been developed as a way of tailoring work to meet the needs of children, whilst monitoring progression and learning. Assessment is for learning (AIFL) is a formative approach which utilises students prior learning to adapt teaching to meet the individual needs of students. AIFL incorporates class discussions, promotes autonomy, ownership and independence for children and young people. (Pollard, 2014, p354) Learning intentions and success criteria are shared with the class to indicate the overall objective and can be designed with input from the children, to ensure they are challenging as well as achievable for everyone. (Pollard, 2014, p361) To promote self-management, children can self, and peer assess which not only builds on their reflection, but may also scaffold their learning. (William, 2016)  If practiced proficiently, this approach to teaching will enhance inclusion and social justice with the classroom.


Social justice and inclusion will continue to remain key concepts in Scottish education as they are central for towards creating equity and fairness for children and young people whilst upholding their rights. Children of today will soon be responsible for sustaining our society and looking after welfare, therefore we must support their education and enrich their learning to help them in the future (Pollard, 2014, p482)

However, to generate an unprejudiced system of education, the government must continue to action strategies to target inherent social inequalities to build a sustainable environment. This complete overhaul may take years to action, nonetheless, “restructuring schools to ensure they are more responsive to student diversity” (Kristine Black-Hawkins, 2007, pg21) will facilitate this transformation.

Lesson 1 The Blitz





Prior knowledge elicited from the teacher and WW2 workshop


-3-hour WW2 workshop

-Treaty of Versailles, mapping of the allies and axis, leaders of Britain and Germany, outbreak of war, declaration of war.

-Experience working in groups and in pairs

-Experience working on comprehension reading activities

-K requires additional support for dyslexia has the option to use a laptop to aid work.

-S has English as an Additional Language (EAL) and requires support for literacy.

-M requires additional support for literacy


Prior Knowledge from my lessons

Propaganda- what is propaganda, types of propaganda, who was it aimed at, black propaganda.

-Propaganda posters- types of posters, persuasive writing styles, features of posters.




E’s and O’s

from CfE


I can investigate a Scottish historical theme to discover how past events or the actions of individuals or groups have shaped Scottish society. SOC 2-03a



3 Learning Intentions (LI)



To develop our knowledge on the Blitz and how it impacted Scotland during WW2.

To further develop our skills in analysing text and extracting information.

Success criteria (SC)


(I can…/Can I …?)

I can explain what the Blitz was and what the German word means -all children

I can explain when and why the Blitz happened and the effect it had on Scotland -all children

I can work effectively in a group and contribute ideas and information. -all children

I can speak confidently in class. -all children


I can analyse and understand text -all children

I can attempt to extract and apply the information to answer questions. -most children

I can answer in full sentences when required. -most children

5 Learning and Teaching Activities



Introduction (15 mins)

  1. Introduce LI and SC
  2. Explain the lesson plan- Children will work in groups to discuss the Blitz before working independently on a comprehension reading activity.
  3. Use seating arrangement to group children.
  4. Ask children to discuss and decide as a group who will write information on a whiteboard and who will feedback to the class.
  5. Ask the children a range of questions such as:
  • What was the Blitz
  • What does the word Blitz mean?
  • Why do you think Scotland was bombed during the Blitz?
  • What would you have done when the air raid sirens went off to keep safe?
  1. Give children the chance to discuss each question as a group before writing down their answers on the white board. (This will further assess their prior knowledge)
  2. Ask the designated member from each group to share their answers with the class. (support their responses with verbal praise)
  3. Give a detailed explanation after each response is shared.
  4. Introduce the prepared PowerPoint, further clarifying and providing evidence to support the questions above.
  5. The PowerPoint goes into more detail about areas of Scotland that were bombed, reasons why and key dates in history.
  6. Maintain pace throughout, allowing children to respond to any information delivered. Can ask further questions to each group throughout the slides if applicable.

Main (35 mins)

  1. Introduce the activity to the children.
  • Children will work independently to read an information worksheet on the Blitz and extract key information to answer related questions.
  1. Emphasise the Success Criteria
  • I can analyse and understand text -all children
  • I can attempt to extract and apply the information to answer questions. -most children
  • I can answer in full sentences when required. -most children
  1. Explain to the children to place their hand up if they require additional help
  2. Teacher circulates the room to support S, M, and K and any other children requiring information.


Plenary (10 mins)

  1. Link back to Success Criteria: I can explain what the Blitz is and German meaning, when and why it happened and what impact it had on Scotland.
  2. Ask questions to the whole class. If they struggle to answer, they can “phone a friend” before answering to the class.
  3. If children do not wish to speak aloud, refer to the whiteboards so that children had respond using those instead.
6 Resources:



Lesson plan

White board and pen

Worksheets for children




Lev Vygotsky Social constructivist- Collaborative working.

Jerome Bruner -Scaffolding

Dylan William -Assessment is For Learning.


7 Assessment of Pupils’ Learning and Next Steps


I can explain what the Blitz is and what the German word means.

  • All children managed to answer this question on the worksheet and SA managed to answer this out loud in class during the plenary.

I can explain when and why the Blitz happened and the effect it had on Scotland.

  • Most children knew roughly when the Blitz happened however 10 children struggled to write the dates of key cities that were bombed in Scotland in chronological order. This could have been explained in more detail during the introduction with examples displayed on the board
  • 5 children managed to correctly explain that Scotland was bombed because it had many industrial areas. Others created their own ideas without including details from the text. This suggests that children either found the text too difficult to interpret, or they did not fully understand the activity objective.
  • S found this hard to grasp. I overlooked the fact she is in a lower set for maths, therefore she may find numbers difficult to manage.


I can work effectively in a group and contribute ideas and information.

  • All children including S, M and K had the opportunity to speak in the group and collectively come up with answers to the questions I asked using the white board.


I can speak confidently in class.

  • M, C, C, D, G were the nominated children to feedback their answers to the class and they were able to do this confidently.
  • A and J also answered questions effectively during the plenary, gaining them “house points” as a reward.


I can analyse text, extract and apply the information to answer questions.


  • Many children struggled with finding the information in the text even though I emphasised this at the beginning of the lesson. Some were guessing the answers. After a discussion with the class I reviewed where children could find the information. After rewarding house points to J who managed to complete the questions by extracting information from the text, the rest of the class began to concentrate on doing the same.
  • M and S struggled to understand some of passage and questions, therefore they required additional support to break down the questions to find out what was being asked. They also required guidance on where to find the information in the passage.
  • K also requires additional support, however she managed to complete this section without any issues. She did not require a laptop to aid her work.


I can answer in full sentences when required.

  • Most children managed to write in full sentences when the question asked for a detailed response. S and M struggled to write detailed sentences. They both preferred to answer using as little detail as possible, sometimes only using 1-word answers.

Next Steps

  • Recap on this session and refer to the learning intention.
  • Revisit comprehension success criteria to remind children how to complete such activities.
  • Complete a second comprehension activity to assess their learning and progress.
  • investigate differentiated work for S and M. Try different methods for them to answer questions e.g. more collaborative work.
  • Create an imaginative diary entry piece as a child during the Blitz, recording key information learned from this lesson e.g. Date, place, time, what happened, how would you feel, outcome.


8 Evaluation of My learning and Next Steps



  • First time using the smart board for a class lesson.
  • Used various methods of teaching in the same lesson (SMART board presentation, white board question/answer, group work, independent work, comprehensive reading)
  • Good pace
  • Balanced time effectively between those requiring additional support.
  • This activity enabled children to build relationships and work successfully as part of a group. This style of lesson was adapted from Lev Vygotsky’s theory on social constructivism. Vygotsky was a pioneer of social learning and believed it was an essential step in children’s development to learn from their peers. This would inevitably provide a scaffold for their learning. Jerome Bruner was inspired by Vygotsky’s social constructivist theory although he developed a slightly different approach to social learning. He studied children’s stages of development and believed that all children have the skills and abilities to learn, however this may occur at different rates. He developed a scaffold approach to encourage and support learning. Scaffolds could be temporary and provided by the teacher or peers to encourage and support learning. These scaffolds would then be removed systematically when learning is secure.
  • I incorporated AIFL in the form of a discussion at the beginning of the session and a plenary at the end. This was reminiscent of the strategies suggested by Black and William

Areas for development

  • I had originally planned to give a differentiated version of the text and questions to M and S to aid their working, however the teacher suggested that they could be given the same text as everyone else, however alter the success criteria to respond to their abilities. I therefore provided them with the same comprehensive reading passage and activity as the rest of the class. On reflection, I feel that providing them with differentiated text may have been more appropriate for them. They struggled to comprehend some of the passage and related questions. I believe the differentiated sheets would have challenged them enough whilst allowing them to achieve the same success criteria as the rest of the class.
  • I should have modelled the task slightly better and used effective questioning techniques to ensure the children had complete understanding of the activity before beginning. In future I will practice this method of teaching.
  • I should have examined the first question with the children and demonstrated how to extract the answers from the text. I have observed them doing this type of work before therefore I just assumed that they could manage it. In future I will demonstrate this more effectively for the class. This would have further enhanced the scaffolding theory I tried to incorporate into the lesson.
  • I could have been a little more creative with my activity, i.e. more group work. One half of the class could have done the first questions and the second half of the class could have done the second half of the questions, then they could have shared their answers with the class. This may have cut down the time of the lesson but allowed the children to continue learning. In future, I will explore different methods of collaborative work e.g. carousel and jigsaw lessons.
  • I underestimated the difficulty of this task for class. I must therefore be more aware of possible areas of complexity. Having noticed that some children were facing the same problems, I should have paused the lesson and highlighted to the rest of the class the areas causing the most problems. This may have reduced the number of children puzzled over the same questions.


Which of the SMART targets/SPR standards from your PROP form have been addressed?


use communication methods, including a variety of media, to promote and develop positive relationships and to motivate and sustain the interest of all learners;

I used the smart board for my power point presentation which proved effective. It provided children with visuals to help aid their understanding of the Blitz and where it happened. Children could visualise areas on the map and see parts of the country where bombs were dropped. This was an effective way of supporting those with ASN who may have struggled to follow the literacy part of the slides.

This also links with my Professional Values and Commitments SMART target as I wanted to incorporate real-world issues into my lesson. The visuals from my PowerPoint slides would allow children to relate the WW2 bombings to real places in Scotland.


Lesson 2 Maths







  • Whole class have experience working in groups and individually.
  • Whole class have practised sharing their working on the class white board.
  • Small group experience for the Protractors (think pair share)



Cognitive-Whole class group discussion and problem solving on the class whiteboard:

  • finding equivalent fractions
  • simplifying fractions
  • ordering fractions
  • changing decimals and percentages into fractions
  • finding the fraction of a number
  • finding the percentage of a number


K, M and E have missed sessions on the above cognitive prior learning due to absence.


G, M, E, D have identified themselves as “needing more practice” with fractions using the AIFL traffic light tray system after each maths session.

The rest of the class have identified themselves as “feeling confident” with their learning.


  • K has Dyslexia which may impact her learning (can use the laptop if needed)
  • Whole class have shared problem solving verbally.


E’s and O’s

from CfE




The Protractors: I have investigated the everyday contexts in which simple fractions, percentages or decimal fractions are used and can carry out the necessary calculations to solve related problems.  MNU 2-07a


Compasses Group 1 and 2: I have investigated the everyday contexts in which simple fractions, percentages or decimal fractions are used and can carry out the necessary calculations to solve related problems.  MNU 2-07a

Compasses Group 1 and 2: I can show the equivalent forms of simple fractions, decimal fractions and percentages, and can choose my preferred form when solving a problem, explaining my choice of method.  MNU 2-07b

Compasses Group 2: I have investigated how a set of equivalent fractions can be created, understanding the meaning of simplest form, and I can apply my knowledge to compare and order the most commonly used fractions.  MTH 2-07c


3 Learning Intentions (LI) Success criteria (SC)


(I can…/Can I …?)



To consolidate our learning of fractions, decimals and percentages.




Compasses group 1

To further develop our skills calculating a percentage without a calculator.

Compasses group 2

To further develop our skills ordering fractions, decimals and percentages.


To further develop our skills calculating a percentage without a calculator.


I can apply my learning from fractions, decimals and percentages and complete an assessment on these areas. 





I can find the percentage of a number by converting the percentage into a fraction in the simplest form.





I can convert fractions, and percentages into decimals in the simplest form, and order them from largest to smallest.


I can find the percentage of a number by converting the percentage into a fraction in the simplest form.




5 Learning and Teaching Activities


Learn-Its (10 mins)

  • Children arrive in class and begin their Learn-Its independently (mental maths practice)

Introduction (10 mins)

  • Go over the Homework due for next week. (ask children verbally how to work out problems and share 1 example from each question with the class)
  • Go over the lesson management plan with the whole class emphasising the teachers position throughout (see appendix 1)
  • Introduce the Learning Intentions and the Success criteria (differentiated for each group)
  • 3 groups:
  • The Protractors-working independently on an assessment
  • The Compasses Group 1-continuation of work from previous session (working out the percentage of a number) independently
  • The Compasses Group 2- additional examples working out equivalent fractions, ordering fractions, decimals and percentages and finding the percentage of a number.
  • Explain to the children if they are stuck with a question whilst teacher is working with a group, to follow these steps:
    • Ask your shoulder partner
    • Place your name on the white board
    • Move on to the next question.
    • Teacher will respond when available

Main section (10 Mins)

  • The Protractors and Compasses Group 1 work independently.
  • Explain to Protractors and Compasses Group 1 that they can join the teacher led session with Compasses Group 2 if they feel they need more consolidation.
  • Compasses group 2 work with teacher.
  • Teachers uses examples on white board and asks children to show their working on mini white boards.
  • Children share their working.
  • Teacher shares methods on the board.
  • Teacher asks if confident completing examples
  • Compasses Group 2 begin work
  • Teacher checks with G, M, E, D, K and E to ensure they are confident with their learning.

(10 mins)

  • Teacher refers to board to address the names of children stuck on questions.
  • Teacher checks on Protractors and Compasses Group 2 to ensure they are confident in their learning.
  • Teacher refers to G, M, E, D, K and E to check they are managing.


  • Refer to learning intentions and success criteria.
  • Ask children to place their workbooks in the traffic light trays
6 Resources:


SMART board

Lesson plan

Daily Management Plan

Class white board.

Medium mobile while board

Mini white board pen and rubber

Maths workbook

Tee Jay Maths book 2b

Review Revise and Recap Assessment sheets

Additional fractions worksheets




Jerome Bruner -Scaffolding

Dylan William -Assessment is For Learning.


7 Assessment of Pupils’ Learning and Next Steps


I can find the percentage of a number by converting the percentage into a fraction in the simplest form.

Compasses Group 1

G and A struggled with a few of the percentages, however once I reminded them to change the percentage into a fraction and work from there, they managed to complete the examples.

T and E struggled when it came to 5% and 2 ½ %. I told them a straightforward way to work it out is to find 10% first.

Compasses Group 2

Most children managed the examples from the board however D and J struggled initially before working out the answers as a group.

I checked with G, M, E, D, K and E, who had missed previous sessions whether they were comfortable with their understanding. All children agreed that they were confident to begin working on examples.

I stopped class half way through and reminded the children to refer to the fraction and percentage table they had copied the previous day to help them with their working.

I can convert fractions, and percentages into decimals in the simplest form, and order them from largest to smallest.

Having discussed this as a group and using scaffolding with the children to engage in some examples, all 10 children in Compass group 2 managed to convert fractions and decimals to percentages and sequence the examples for largest to smallest.


The “I” and J continued their assessment from the previous day. Both children had placed their workbook in the green confident tray, the previous day, therefore I was happy with their capabilities. I did monitor them in between teaching to ensure they were managing well.

Next Steps

  • Go over the tricky percentages like the ones mentioned above with all children except the protractors and J, A, and Z from Compass group 1 who are managing their working effectively.
  • The Protractors to finish their assessment before moving on to next topic.
  • All Compasses to be assessed to evaluate areas of focus from the topic.
  • Official third maths group to be developed called “The Rulers” to provide challenge to those requiring stimulation, whilst supporting those needing additional time and scaffolding.
8 Evaluation of My learning and Next Steps



  • Effective use of daily management plan to organise time spent with those needing additional support.
  • Children placing names on the whiteboard when stuck worked well when managing the whole class- time was well co-ordinated.
  • The AIFL traffic light strategy (children place workbooks into traffic light trays. Green emphasised confidence in working, yellow emphasised needing more practice in the working and red emphasised a lack of understanding) used in the previous session helped to organise and divide time between the groups for this session. This was taken from Dylan William’s AIFL research. He is a pioneer of such strategies and suggested that “teachers do not create learning, learners create learning, teachers create the conditions in which students learn” (William, 2016) therefore was important for me to acknowledge what aspect of children’s learning required support for them to achieve.
  • Content was pitched at the appropriate level using scaffolding techniques. I focussed on theorist Jerome Bruner and his technique of creating a platform for learning. As children before more confident through practice, the scaffolds can be removed allowing them to work independently and positively.
  • Pace of the lesson started well.


Area’s for development.

  • By the end of the session, some children (G, J, D and E) were becoming a little disruptive in the class. I did not enforce the behaviour management strategy on them as I was helping JA with his working. I must therefore be more aware of my surroundings and manage the class more effectively to ensure learning is not compromised.
  • I also slightly ran out of time include an effective plenary, again this was due to clarifying a question with J. In future I must manage my time to complete a successful plenary at the end.
  • This style of lesson requires more practice to improve fluidity.
  • Could have integrated the groups more throughout parts of the lesson to avoid inadvertently labelling.


Which of the SMART targets/SPR standards from your PROP form have been addressed?

2.1.5 Have knowledge and understanding of the principles of assessment, recording and reporting.

I understand the importance of AIFL and incorporated this into the lesson to provide feedback from future lessons.

2.3.1 Have knowledge and understanding of relevant educational principles and pedagogical theories to inform professional practices.

As mentioned above, I focussed on Jerome Bruner’s social learning theory to scaffold children’s learning and Dylan William’s AIFL strategies.

3.1.1 Plan coherent, progressive and stimulating teaching programmes which match learners’ needs and abilities

The lesson met the needs of the children as those in the Protractors were being challenged through assessment, Compasses Group 2 were being challenged through the high level of work set for them and Compasses Group 1 were being challenged through teacher input and class work.

3.1.2 Communicate effectively and interact productively with learners, individually and collectively.

I shared the learning intentions and success criteria during the introduction and explained the format for the lesson with the children.

I communicated well through teaching Compass Group 2. This was reflected in their work at the end of the session. 

Lesson 1


I planned to share the learning intentions (LI) and success criteria (SC) at the beginning of the session to give children a clear indication of the expectations from the lesson. Displaying them on the board would allow children to refer to them throughout the lesson to ensure they are making steady progress. (Pollard, 2014, p361)

The lesson would begin with a discussion, to assess children’s knowledge and understanding of the topic and to facilitate my teaching throughout. Dylan William emphasised the importance of using evidence of children’s learning, to adapt teaching and meet the needs of all learners (William, 2016) This strategy is linked with assessment is for learning (AIFL) techniques and promotes inclusion by allowing all children to engage in the discussion.

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The lesson would incorporate collaborative work. This is an effective way of scaffolding by learning through peers. Pollard, 2014 p411 described learning as a social activity and should be embraced at every opportunity to encourage inclusion. This style of teaching also reflects the work of social constructivist theorist Lev Vygotsky who believed social interaction was key to cognitive development. He also emphasised the role of language in learning. To share and express ideas can impact children’s skills and abilities. (Eysenck, 2013, p127)

I added a plenary at the end to revisit the initial questions asked during the introduction. This allowed all children to participate and answer in a format they preferred. This reflected AIFL and contributed towards their next steps.


On reflection, children were engaged and intrigued to learn about the Blitz. They also verbally cited prior knowledge during the introduction. Complications began during the comprehension section. I failed to predetermine some complexities within the task which resulted in confusion amongst the children. I explained the LI and SC during the introduction, however, on reflection I should have effectively demonstrated how to complete the activity successfully, by modelling some examples. This would have linked closely to theorist Jerome Bruner’s idea that any child can learn at any stage if appropriate support and scaffolds are in place.

I could have differentiated the activity more effectively for two children in the class requiring additional support. Although their SC related appropriately to their abilities, I felt the passage was incomprehensible for them which may have damaged their confidence and competence with the task.

Professional Development

In future I may experiment with SC to allow children to build their own. This would promote inclusion, encourage independence and facilitate ownership of learning which is an integral part of AIFL. I also need to be more adaptive to learners needs as this is fundamental towards AIFL and is a responsibility as my role as a teacher.

Although the lesson began to crumble during comprehension, I did not follow through with my initial plan to be more responsive to learners needs. In future, I will stop the lesson periodically to further clarify or demonstrate information to restore confidence in those who are struggling.

I will experiment more with collaborative work to support S and M who struggled with the activity. Working in strong partnerships could enrich their learning and support their social, cognitive and linguistic development, resulting in higher achievement.

Evaluating this session has identified I need to have a prominent role within the class during independent working. Circulating the room was not structured and supportive enough. I could have divided my time between tables and remained for a designated amount of time.

Lesson 2


In comparison to the first lesson plan, I itemised prior learning into 3 categories, social, cognitive and linguistic. This would highlight individual needs of children more efficiently. This method links closely to Vygotsky theory as he cited social, cognitive and linguistic skills as integral in children’s development.

The management of this lesson was developed after evaluating my methods of differentiating in previous lessons. The school is very responsive to research and passionate about AIFL approaches and has strongly incorporated this into their aims and values to ensure every child has equal opportunities to learn. (School, n.d.)

I planned to share the learning intentions (LI) and success criteria (SC) at the beginning of the session to inform children of the objective. (Pollard, 2014, p362) This was to be revisited later during the plenary to monitor achievement.

To assist planning for this session, I integrated the traffic light system into my previous lesson to help me plan for this supplementary session. This method of assessment was taken from AIFL strategies suggested by Dylan William which promoted autonomy, and allowed children to take charge and identify their strengths and weaknesses. (Siobhan Leahy, 2013)

A development from the first lesson plan included managing my time more effectively. I used the structure from the daily management plan (see appendix 1) to expedite this. I divided my time between the class to ensure support was administered evenly depending on the needs of the children. Taken from the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009, I am aware additional support needs (ASN) are not fixed and children may require further input from the teacher at various stages. (, 2004).


Planning this lesson was detailed and meticulous. Using the traffic light system enabled me to identify areas where additional support was required to meet the needs of all children. I used this information to facilitate my management plan to ensure I balanced my time between each group to scaffold, and reinforce learning. It was critical to ensure that managing the class in this way did not initiate ability grouping, as this could affect the achievement within the class. Children are completing the same level of work however; some children require additional teacher input to advance with learning.

Towards the end of the lesson, some children who had placed their name on the board requiring assistance became disruptive. I also ran out of time to include an effective plenary. This may have impacted the success of the lesson and must be resolved for future lessons.

Professional Development

Time management and teaching strategy could be further practised to secure performance. Structuring the lesson plan minute by minute may result in successful management therefore this will be investigated in future lessons.

Management of children who are waiting for teacher input when they are experiencing difficulties will need to be further addressed, to ensure their participation and disruption is not compromised whilst they wait.

More collaborative approaches to learning could have been used during this session to give children the chance to build relationships and learn from their peers. I will try to incorporate this into the maths sessions in the future.

Appendix 1

Time Groups
10.50-11.00 Whole Class Learn-its
11.00-11.10 Whole class


-Go over homework

-Go over daily management plan

  Group 1 (Compasses)


LI: To further develop our skills calculating a percentage without a calculator.

Group 2 (compasses)


LI: To further develop our skills ordering fractions, decimals and percentages.


LI: To further develop our skills calculating a percentage without a calculator.

Group 3 (Protractors)




LI: To consolidate our learning of fractions, decimals and percentages.


11.10-11.20 Independent work


Tee-Jay page 123

  1. Copy table
  2. Exercise 2,3,4
  3. Page 124 and 125
With Teacher 


Ordering fractions, percentages and decimals.

Finding the percentage of a number

Independent work


Tee-Jay 3a Assessment on paper

11.20-11.25     Teacher refers to list of names on board requiring help.
11.25-11.35 Teacher checks on group


Independent work

Tee-Jay page 123

  1. Copy table
  2. Exercise 2,3,4
  3. Page 124 and 125



Independent work

  1. Tee-jay page 121 Copy and fill in table
  2. Page 123

Copy table

Questions 4-5

Teacher checks on group


Independent work

Tee-Jay 3a Assessment on paper

11.35-11.40 Whole class plenary


  • Place workbooks in coloured trays



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