I have lived in Whitstable for over 30 years and, both as a parent (although it is now many years since my children have left school) and education professional, have a good knowledge of the local community and the schools in the area.
I recently retired as a senior lecturer and the Programme Director for the BA Primary Education programme at Canterbury Christ Church University where I was also a member of the Primary English team. I joined the university in 2008 following fourteen years of working in Kent Primary Schools where I enjoyed teaching across the primary age phases. During my time in schools, I enjoyed being a member of the senior leadership team and also undertaking roles as Literacy Lead, Key Stage Lead.
At CCCU, I taught Primary English courses across a range of initial teacher education programmes alongside professional studies courses and MA programmes. One of the many roles of the Programme Director was to develop strong collegiate links with local schools that offered to support the professional development of CCCU Primary Education students. This has therefore allowed for a good insight into a wide range of primary schools across Kent and Essex.
Although I have a keen interest in children’s development, my main areas for academic research lie in the development of children (and students) as readers and writers.
Being a passionate reader, I derive great professional pleasure from encouraging children's and students' deep engagement with books. Such is my interest in this field, that for over 10 years I ran a successful children’s literature book club for the BA Primary Education students. I currently lead several Teachers’ Reading Groups for the Open University Reading for Pleasure project and have the real pleasure of working alongside the Swalecliffe teaching team in this capacity.
I am also a panel member of the Cheltenham Literary Festival Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils project.
I have been an active member of the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) for many years and am currently the Immediate Past President of the Association.
Since 2018, I have enjoyed being a co-opted governor for a school in Canterbury where I am a member of the Quality of Teaching and Learning, and Pupil Progress and Achievement committees.