Senior Lecturer in Centre for Children & Families
Institute of Education
tel: 01905 542506
Nicola began her professional life as a primary school teacher. She undertook various leadership positions during this time, including assuming responsibility for creative play.
Nicola developed an interest in early years and managed a pre-school setting for many years. During this time, she wrote articles for “Practical Pre-school” magazine, joined Local Authority working parties, ran courses and was invited to contribute to the “National Primary Strategies”. Nicola undertook her MA in Early Childhood and researched ways of supporting children who are socially withdrawn. Her research included gathering evidence on comparative approaches to early years education and care. A visit to Reggio Emilia, Italy, inspired her to consider the importance of the environment on learning.
In September 2012 Nicola took up a post within the Institute of Education with professional expertise in the area of parenting and families. She is the lead assessor for Early Years Initial Teacher Training at the University. She became a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy in 2014.
In 2017 Nicola took on the role of acting course leader for the BA in Early Childhood (Professional Practice). She is committed to ensuring that students have a fulfilling experience as they prepare for work with children and families.
Early Years Professional Status
MA Early Childhood
Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
- Teaching & Research
Teaching & Research
Nicola is interested in supporting students make links between theory and practice; the influence of the environment and social injustice on children’s learning and preparing trainees for becoming reflective and committed practitioners.
Nicola has undertaken research with kinship carers, service providers and kinship children to ascertain the perspectives of all concerned. She has also undertaken a funded widening participation project to try and increase the number of “words in use” of children in an area of deprivation.
Recently, Nicola undertook a project with level five students to create a toolkit for students on placement in order to support their understanding of how to promote positive behaviour in young children. She has also undertaken research on supporting students to have an outstanding experience in placement.
- Professional Bodies
Member of TACTYC
Co-authored book entitled “Early Years Placements: A Critical Guide to Outstanding Work-Based Learning”. Published by Critical Publishing Ltd March 2015
Article in Nursery World, July 2015, “Getting the most out of student placements” (co-authored)
Article in the International Journal of Birth and Parenting (Vol 4, issue 2, Winter 2016/7 co-authored). Becoming a kinship carer – education and support needs of grandparents who are parenting
Contribution to book chapter: Kinship Care: what are the real issues here? In Foster Care Matters - The Inside Story. A textbook for foster carers and associated professionals (forthcoming – publication date not known; co-authored)
Contribution to book: An International Perspective on Pedagogic Documentation (Early Education) Publisher: Sage. (2017) Chapter 3: Developing Pedagogical Documentation within the EYFS curriculum framework; chapter 8: Developing undergraduate student practitioners’ knowledge and practice; and chapter 11: Processes and materials to support professional understanding of Pedagogical Documentation
Co-editing book: Studying for Your Early Years Degree: skills and knowledge for becoming an effective practitioner, (2017) publisher: Critical Publishing Ltd; plus, writing two co-authored chapters: Assessment and feedback, and Learning in the Workplace
Co-authored article in Nursery World: Parent Talk: Helping parents in Smethwick to support their children’s language development
Presentation of paper at the Worcester Teaching and Learning Conference June 2013-Exit Sips; a useful tool for students and lecturers?
Presentation of paper at the TACTYC conference held at the NIA Birmingham on 2nd November 2013 Intervening or Interfering- using research to inform research; a personal journey to create a living educational theory on how best to support young children displaying social withdrawal.
Presentation of paper at TACTYC conference held at the NIA Birmingham on 1st November 2014:
Does our preparation of students for placement align with practitioners’’ expectations?
Presentation of paper at International Children’s conference Ipswich, 14th July 2015:
What are the parenting needs of Kinship Carers?:
Presentation of paper at international ECEERA conference, Barcelona, 8th September 2015:
They’ve got to want to be there- why some students have better placement experiences than others
- External Responsibilities