Dr Jacqueline Hosts the Roundtable ‘Children and Mental Health’ at the Bright Start Conference

The Bright Start Conference 2020 was a unique opportunity to connect with and learn from global leading experts across Early Childhood Care and Education. As part of the conference, Dr Jacqueline Harding hosted a roundtable on the topic of children’s mental health. The roundtable brought together the voices of teachers, early childhood educators, counsellors, art and music therapists, child mental health workers, occupational therapists and health professionals.

Read more about the event here.

Dr Jacqueline Harding works on the new BBC series for children ‘My Very First’

Dr Jacqueline Harding, CERS’ guru of children’s television, has been working on a new series for the BBC which has just gone live. The show ‘My Very First’ is a documentary series following a group of children as they discover, learn and experience things for the first time. Although it’s television for children, the programme aims to help parents and carers to extend their understanding of child development and how to support their children as they learn and grow.

Find out more, visit the BBC website.

Early Years: Finding Our Voice – – transcript, briefing & video of the event

The Leadership in Early Years Education RIG held an online symposium on Tuesday 19th January 2021. We were fortunate to welcome a fantastic trio of speakers to the event, bringing local, national and international perspectives to the issue of making the early years sector better heard in society and policy.

Our speakers were:

  • Aaron Bradbury Coffey, academic, author and early years campaigner
  • Taneshia Thompson, nursery manager at Brixton Community Nursery, part of LEYF
  • Ellen Dektar, specialist on advocacy work for childcare policy in California

Each speaker gave a ten-minute talk on their professional views and experiences. These talks were followed by breakout room discussion for participants and then an open dialogue among speakers and participants.

We want to make the lively discussion as accessible to as many as possible, and so we’ve published the following outputs:

Early Years Leadership in a Post-Covid World – transcript, briefing & videos of the event

The relaunched Leadership in Early Years Education RIG held an online symposium on Tuesday 10th November 2020. We were fortunate to welcome a fantastic trio of speakers to the event, bringing local, national and international perspectives to the problem of how we move forward as a sector in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Our speakers were:

  • Julian Grenier, headteacher of Sheringham Nursery, working with the DfE on EYFS reforms
  • Sharon Quamie, baby room leader at the New Cross Nursery, part of LEYF
  • Professor Julie Nicholson from Mills College CA, trauma-informed practice specialist

Each speaker gave a ten-minute talk on their professional views and experiences. These talks were followed by breakout room discussion for participants and then the opportunity to pose a few questions to the speakers.

We want to make the lively discussion as accessible to as many as possible, and so we’ve published the following outputs:

Event: Gender Matters in the Classroom – Free Middlesex University Webinar, 25th Nov 2020

On Wednesday 25th November, Middlesex University a free webinar focused on what can practically be done to address gender stereotyping in the classroom.

About this Event

Gender stereotyping in the classroom limits expectations and confidence amongst children, and reinforces unhelpful ideas about what women and men can do in adult life. This webinar, co-hosted by the Middlesex University Department of Education and the Gender & Diversity Research Cluster, offers insights from recent initiatives designed to recognise the significance of gender in the classroom. Significantly, speakers consider what can practically be done to address these gender issues.

The webinar includes presentations by:

• Professor Jayne Osgood (gender and childhood expert, Middlesex University),

• Caren Gestetner (CEO of Lifting Limits),

• Catherine Fraser-Andrews (teacher and recent graduate of MA Gender & Sexualities who has altered her school policy and practice to be more gender inclusive),

and will be introduced and chaired by Professor Suzan Lewis and Dr Bianca Stumbitz (Gender & Diversity Research Cluster, Middlesex University).

More about the presentations

Based upon years of research into gender and childhood Jayne Osgood advised the production of the 2018 BAFTA nominated (BBC2) documentary ‘No More Boys & Girls: can our kids go gender free?’. She subsequently contributed to a book aimed at teachers, that built upon the success of the TV series:‘The Equal Classroom: life changing thinking about gender’ (2020). Jayne will speak about the importance of research to inform practices designed to tackle gender issues in childhood.

Teachers’ direct experiences of being involved in such initiatives will be shared; a short pre-recorded contribution from Graham Andre (the teacher featured in the BBC2 documentary) provides a sense of what it was like to become aware of the embedded nature of his stereotypical language and practices, and the difference small changes made in his classroom.

Lifting Limits shares a similar concern with gender stereotyping in childhood and is actively working with primary schools to tackle gender stereotyping through a whole school approach. Caren Gestetner will talk about Lifting Limits’ schools programme, findings from the year-long pilot in 5 London schools (in the Borough of Camden) and the impact that supporting school staff to recognise and address stereotyping can have for schools and their pupils.

This will be followed by a presentation from Catherine Fraser-Andrews, a teacher from Cambridge who recently revised her school’s policies and worked with her staff team to action change to tackle gender issues.

Participants are invited to discuss the implications in relation to gender related issues that they themselves encounter in their practice and to consider changes that could be made in their classrooms (for pupils and students of all ages).

The event is part of a broader commitment by Middlesex University to incorporate greater gender awareness into its teaching programmes with the aim of improving practice and developing approaches to gender inclusivity in education.

Event: Early Years Leadership in a Post-Covid World, 10th Nov 2020

Early Years Leadership for a Post-Covid World
An Online Symposium
4.30-6pm (GMT), 10th November 2020

What kind of early years leadership do we need over the next few years?
What are the challenges we face and how can we overcome them?
How important is the early years sector and early years leadership in post-Covid social recovery?

As we move towards the end of an exceptionally challenging year for early years education, we would like to relaunch the Leadership in Early Years Education Research Interest Group (BELMAS) with an online event about the role of leadership in the recovery and outlook of the sector. Early years settings have a vital part to play in the post-Covid world, though their situation is more precarious than ever. Through brief presentations and open dialogue, the 90 minute symposium will explore the future of early years leadership, the challenges ahead and the road to recovery.

Three speakers will open the discussion with their thoughts:

  • Professor Julie Nicholson, specialist in trauma-responsive early childhood education
  • Julian Grenier, headteacher of Sheringham Nursery School, author and advisor
  • Sharon Quamie, baby room leader at the London Early Years Foundation New Cross Nursery

The event is free, but places are limited. Sign up for the event here: