Monday 29th January
I met up with Lydia this morning to discuss what I had done last week and to fill her in on what needed to be done. At the end of the day on Thursday, I had spoken to one of the teachers Katie who has given us work to create a lesson for her year 10 textiles class. I gave this to Lydia so that we could get a kick start on it before going back into school tomorrow. I informed more of what needed to be done for the product design lesson which she said she would do tonight ready for the first lesson tomorrow.
In the morning, we sat in on presentations done by PGCE students. There was a small group of them who’s specialism’s ranged from Design & Technology, Computer & ICT and Art & Design. Their presentations were about their primary school placement and how they’d used that to learn from as they went into their secondary school placement. It was great to sit into some PGCE students presentations to see what it is they are doing within their placements as this will be a situation I will be in within a couple years time when I do my PGCE course. They all spoke about the different challenges they faced, with them going to a variety of primary schools, ranging from very small and merged classes to a large and affluent primary school with a lot of equipment. As it came to different schools with different levels of economic background, each student teacher was faced with different challenges however a theme throughout was a challenge of behaviour management. It was good to hear how they all overcame this and it was interesting to compare it my experience within the school where I am only observing rather than teaching.
After the presentations, we then had a discussion as a class about our experiences within the school. We all seemed to be having really different experiences which is great to hear and I enjoyed listening to what other people have been getting up to in different schools. A couple of the students seemed to have been given more responsibility with their schools, with one of them having actually taught a lot of classes and not observed many at all. We spoke about the positive and negative experiences we are having within our schools and with a few of the others explaining how much they are doing, it’s shown me that I definitely need to be more proactive within the school to be in more lessons and get a better experience. At the moment, we have a lot of work to be getting on with so I am learning a lot about lesson planning and the content taught within design & technology which I think is really helpful, but I’m not getting a huge amount of experience within classrooms – other than in the pupil trail and the year 11 lesson I observed.
Tuesday 30th January
Today, it was supposed to be all 3 of us in however, Lydia and Aviva were sent home as they did not have written proof they had DBS even though it had been cleared. This was frustrating as we were hoping to continue with more work today. I continued with starting to prepare for the textiles lesson and made sure everything was prepared for lesson 5 where I was going to be giving our product design lesson plan to Matt Wrigley to teach to his year 10’s. For the lesson I have the presentation, a print-out for the brief and a hand-out for the manufacturing systems. Unfortunately when it came to doing the lesson, we weren’t able to do it. Matt is away on a school trip today lessons 1-4 and tomorrow lessons 1-4 so understandably we need to adapt around his timetable and since he needs to be in the year 10 lesson to teach what we have done, we are limited on the amount of lessons we can teach in. Because of missing today’s lesson, it means that we won’t be able to teach the product design lesson. This is really frustrating since we had spent a lot of time on the lesson but we are not in school enough days of the week to be able to plan around all of the year 10 product design lessons.
Wednesday 31st January
Since we are unable to do the product design lesson anymore, I explained this to Lydia and Aviva so we started to discuss potential ideas of what to do instead. We are definitely going to be teaching a textiles lesson so we knew that we would be able to hit that criteria; so as well as this we thought it would be a good idea to do a presentation about our work to group of students that are thinking about student art & design are university. We will speak with Matt about the level of students he would like us to give it to but I think a presentation about the types of work we are creating at university, would be really beneficial to the students as it may help them with their ideas of what they want to do next after leaving school. Each of us could talk about our course, how we got there, the work we are creating and ideas of what we want to do next. This could also be a chance to offer advice if anyone is confused about what they want to do after leaving school. It’s a really scary time especially when you’re not sure what you want to do next and I know when I was in their situation I had no idea what I wanted to do after leaving school/college and I really benefitted from speaking to older people who had gone through what I was going through.
We were beginning to try and plan the textiles lesson but we’re getting quite confused as to how to teach it. The criteria Katie told us to teach was “CAD/CAM equipment for cutting templates accurately and continuously” and “cutting tools: round or band knives, automated die cutters for products of constant shapes, computer controlled cutting machines and laser cutters”. We had a conversation with Katie to help us with potential ideas of how to teach it. She was so helpful! She explained that in the lesson previous to when we’ll be teaching, they will be learning about manufacturing systems (which conveniently we’d learned about for the product design lesson) which leads itself really nicely into CAD/CAM as there are a lot of links. It’s a class of 12 year 10’s who are very much mixed ability with a few of them who are very much creative learners, so though their creative work is brilliant and their really enthusiastic about it, she said that she struggles to get them to focus on the theory. So this will definitely be a challenge for us to create a lesson that is engaging and that they want to learn the theory that is taught. She also explained how they love doing tasks rather than being talked about so it would be a good idea to create games within the lesson as this way they’ll be more interested in learning about the theory.
Katie has given us two lessons to teach this class and she was so understanding in making sure that we would have a strong body of work at the end of the two lessons; as well as this she ensured we knew what we needed to do and wasn’t struggling. This was really helpful as we all feel confident that we’re heading in the right direction. The plan for the two lessons is that within the first one we will focus on the teaching the theory. So at the start we will play a video as a starter to get the class engaged and then ask them questions afterwards. We will then move onto a 10/15 minute slide show where we will talk about CAD/CAM and the different equipment, getting them to fill in a table on each as we go along. After this, we will divide them group into groups of 4 and separate the class so that they can each rotate around playing games. There will be 3 types of games: the one with will be a series of flashcards where they will answer the questions on cutting tools; the second will be a series of design processes where they will need to put in the right order and the third will be a CAD/CAM Q&A game board where they will need to match the question with the right answer. At the end of the lesson, we will then have a plenary; a quick fire question/answer just to make sure they’ve understood the lesson. The second lesson, we will split the class into 3 groups again and get them to create a revision sheet each. Katie explained that she has given the class a space on the wall where they can create revision material to go back to when it comes to sitting their exam. We will give each group a topic and an iPad – provide them with potential resources to – and allow them to research about it and create a revision board. This would be a continuation of what they’d learned in the previous lesson and since it will be a creative task, it should get all the students involved. We should emphasise that they must design their boards and take pride in what they are doing. If they each spend time on creating this board together it will get them talking about the topic and hopefully help them remember it better. For us as well, this will help up with knowing if the students have understood the work and allow us to have the students create work that will definitely impact them with their exam.
Textile lessons: Tuesday 6th and Tuesday 8th February, lesson 4
Thursday 1st February
Today we continued with the textiles lesson ensuring that we had everything in place for the classes we were teaching next week. We continued with creating the materials and ensured we had everything in place for the first lesson. We had a presentation, video and 3 games. We have planned the 2nd lesson however we have put off creating the material and written lesson plan for it as we want to see how well the first lesson goes so we can plan the appropriate lesson.
Textile lesson material:
At the beginning of the lesson we will show a video that gives an introduction into CAD/CAM. We will then show a presentation about CAD/CAM, the different tools involved and the different cutting tools. After the presentation, we will split the class up and do the 3 games we have created: noughts and crosses (they have play against each other in teams as a noughts and crosses game where they have the get the answer right to be able to put their counter on that question); flash cards (test their knowledge on cutting tools) and textile design industry game (they have to put in order of manufacturing a garment). They will also we given a cutting tool hand out with the information on the different tools that they need to know about them.
Today was getting very frustrating as other than the lesson we had to plan, there was nothing else for us to do. We had asked to observe some lessons however the teachers were very busy and we felt that we were getting in the way. We decided to go over to the art block and we were able to observe a year 12 a-level art class. It was really interesting to see the amount of work being produced and the standard was genuinely so high. They were using a vast variety of materials to make work – including bleach with ink which I’d ever seen being used before – which was great to see so much experimenting during school. Not many of the students wanted to progress with art & design, only a few did, but that being said it was inspiring to see so many students take art so seriously even though it isn’t something they are going to continue with. It was refreshing being in the art studio to see so much creativity and passion in the work; I feel that this is something that is sometimes lacking in the design and technology department as it is such an academic subject as well as being creative.