Conference and AGM 2016

CONFERENCE/AGM 2016: a great success!

Title:  Principled Early Years Practice: Valuing our past, debating our present, inspiring our future
Date: Saturday 19th November, 2016.   Venue: Park Crescent Conference Centre, International Students House, 229 Great Portland Street, London. W1W 5PN.

More than 80 delegates attended TACTYC’s one-day 2016 Conference at the Park Crescent Conference Centre, adjacent to the International Student House in London. We enjoyed a varied programme of three keynotes and thirteen workshop presentations as well as a range of poster presentations. Delegates also enjoyed networking opportunities and an excellent range of marketplace stands.

TACTYC President Wendy Scott opened the conference by welcoming everyone and introducing commissioning editor Annamarie Kino from Taylor and Francis who launched the TACTYC book series and the first book in the series: Exploring the Contexts for Early Learning: Challenging the School Readiness Agendawritten by Rory McDowall Clark. Later in the conference day, Rory then led a session in which she discussed her new book and invited delegates to consider and debate issues around school readiness and its implications for early childhood and beyond. Wendy then introduced our first keynote, Dr Julian Grenier, head teacher of Sheringham Nursery School and National Leader of Education, who spoke engagingly on ‘Assessing and celebrating young children’s learning: what can we learn from the past and how might we shape a future beyond levels?’

Following the coffee break, TACTYC Executive member Dr Jan Georgeson introduced:

Professor Jayne Osgood (Middlesex University,  whom TACTYC invited to make a return visit as a conference speaker this year to share findings from the 2016 study commissioned by TACTYC on early years’ qualifications. The study had been undertaken by herself, Alex Elwick, Leena Robertson, Mona Sakr and Dilys Wilson, and Jayne’s keynote was entitled “There’s still a long way to go”: beyond bewilderment towards a hopeful reconfiguration of Early Years qualifications. The report will be available to download from the website soon.

Over the lunch break, the TACTYC AGM took place. Poster presenters shared an excellent range of work undertaken in the field and delegates enjoyed the marketplace stands. Following lunch, the workshops offered research briefings which addressed an eclectic range of issues across three themes: (i) Learning, Development and Care in Early Childhood, (ii) Professionals in the Early Years and (iii) Partnerships and Pedagogies in the Early Years. For Research Briefing papers see below. A lively discussion forum also took place, with presentations focused on Parent Partnership, Training and EYs Assessment. The full poster and workshop programme also appears below.

TACTYC Executive member Rosa Collins then introduced our third and final speaker Dr. Jools Page (Sheffield University) whose keynote Love in a Cold Climate: Constructions of Care, Intimacy and Love within a contemporary early childhood discourse drew on Jools’ research Professional Love in Early Years Settings (PLEYS) to raise important questions concerning affective aspects of work with our youngest children.

Professor Jane Payler’s plenary concluded the conference by revisiting some of its highlights, then delegates enjoyed one last cup of tea before heading home.

We look forward very much to welcoming you to TACTYC Conference 2017 which is already in the planning!  And Conference 2018 will be very special as it’s our 50th anniversary!

Dr Jane Murray and the Conference Team


  • The whole conference was beneficial however having the opportunity to present at the workshop and network was very beneficial
  • Networking with other like-minded professionals, meeting with other EY lecturers
  • An opportunity to share our research thinking in a safe friendly environment an learn and reflect in wider sessions too.
  • Key note speakers, networking, professional development – keeping up to date!
  • The last keynote was very interesting and challenging in the sense that often in early years, staff feel that they can’t love children
  • Listening to current and ongoing research led to the start of reflective moments
  • Thank you for organising this conference.
  • It was a real pleasure to be here!









Research Briefings

Learning, Development and Care in Early Childhood 

Chair: Maulfry Worthington

Anne Purdon 

(Norland College)

A comparison of free time activity choices of third culture kids in Albania and children in the UK
Charlotte Vidal-Hall 

(University College London)

Help, I’m feeling paralysis about ICT’: changing beliefs and practice around computer integration in the early years
Maulfry Worthington and Bert van Oers 

(Department of Theory and Research in Education, VU University, Amsterdam)

Children’s social literacies: meaning making and the emergence of graphical signs and texts in pretence
Professionals in the Early Years 

Chair: Dr Joy Chalke


Dr Joy Chalke 

(University of Portsmouth)

Head, Heart and Hands: constructing a holistic approach to explore professionalism in the early childhood workforce
Julie Kent, Caroline Farley, Sue Hobson 

(Nottingham Trent University,

Loughborough University Nursery)

An evidence-base for organisational change based on pedagogical leadership.
Sarah Lightfoot 

(University of Cambridge)

Building professionality through a non-positional approach to early years educator leadership
Partnerships and Pedagogies in the Early Years 

Chair: Dr Carolyn Blackburn

Dr Carolyn Blackburn 

(Birmingham City University)

The value of relational pedagogy and professional love to early childhood intervention and child/family wellbeing for children with complex disabilities
Nicola Firth 

(University of Huddersfield)

The ‘Disengaged’ and ‘Underachieving’ Boy? Boys’ Early Educational Experiences of Pedagogical Practices
Dr Ruth Price-Mohr Pre-school parental engagement through a personalised literacy programme
Discussion Forum Parent Partnership, Training and EYs Assessment 

Chair: Rosa Collins

Charlotte Hardacre and Gill Noble-Grey 

(University of Cumbria)

Using Authentic Family Learning principles to develop parental involvement in early childhood education
Hannah Young 

Pedagogista at Little Jungle Nursery

Contesting the cross-national assessment of early years outcomes involving the testing of 5 year old children (International Early Learning Study (IELS)) proposed by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Karen McInnes and Pat Black 

(Bath Spa University)

Emerging dilemmas for Early Years ITT trainees and teachers

Poster Presentations

Clarrie Smith 

(Leeds Trinity University)

Experiences of professional transitions within contemporary early childhood professionalism: Early thoughts on a doctoral research study
Michelle Malomo and Samantha Sutton-Tsang 

(University of Worcester)

Graduate Practitioner Wheel of Progression
Nathan Archer 

(University of Sheffield)

How care-full is early childhood assessment? 


Sarah Procter and Lynne Truelove 

(Sheffield Hallam University)

Early Years Vision and Values
Jo McEvoy 

(University of Huddersfield)

The pedagogy of group gathering times in nursery and reception classes: A scoping review of the literature.
Sophie Beadle 

(Kingston University, Pippa Pop-ins)

The Pedagogy of Story-time for Two-year-olds 


Heather Elliott and Heather Davies 

(York St John)

The continuing quest for balance: the position of the Key Person in bridging the duality of assessment purpose in the Early Years Foundation Stage in England

Conference papers – you can read them below if you click on the title.

Children’s Social Literacies: Maulfry Worthington;    ‘Help, I’m feeling paralysis about ICT’: changing beliefs and practice around computer integration in the early years: Charlotte Vidal-Hall;    An evidence-base for organisational change based on pedagogical leadership: Caroline Farley, Sue Hobson and Julie Kent;     Parental engagement through a personalised literacy programme: Dr Ruth Price-Mohr;    A comparison of free time activity choices of third culture kids in Albania and children in the UK: Anne Purdon;    Head, Heart and Hands: Constructing a holistic approach to professional identity and professional development in the early childhood workforce: Dr Joy Chalke;    The value of Relational Pedagogy and Professional Love: Dr. Carolyn Blackburn;    Building professionality through a non-positional approach to early years educator leadership: Sarah Lightfoot;  The ‘Disengaged’ and ‘Underachieving’ Boy?: Nicola Firth.


Papers for the AGM are here:  Chair’s ReportJournal Editors’ ReportWebsite Report and here are the Minutes of the AGM 2016 .

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