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Annual National Conference 2018


Conference theme:  Partnership and interaction in language development

Hosted by the Birmingham branch

The importance of early language development is widely accepted, as shown for example by the status of Communication and Language as one of the prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage in England and by initiatives within the government's Social Mobility Action Plan to "close the word gap" in the early years. 

This year's Annual National Conference will explore the development of early language, the role of the adults around the child in fostering language development and how practitioners can strengthen their practice through reflection and action research, as well as drawing on an established body of research to underpin their practice. 

We are also delighted to include a seminar on the Friday disseminating the findings of an EU-wide project on child-centredness in quality early education settings.  The conference offers an opportunity to hear from nationally and internationally acclaimed speakers, to network with colleagues and view examples of high quality early years provision in Birmingham.  Come and join us!


Friday 11 May

12.30-3.30pm Visits to settings - a chance to visit outstanding early years nursery and reception provision in Birmingham (more details will be sent to delegates after registration)
5.00- 6.00pm Seminar: Child-centred diversity in quality early childhood education and care - sharing outcomes from an EU-funded project, Dr Verity Campbell-Barr, Plymouth University; Dr Jan Georgeson, Plymouth University and Professor Paolo Sorzio, University of Trieste
6.00-8.00pm Followed by the Opening Reception at a central Birmingham venue

Saturday 12 May 

University of Central Birmingham, McIntyre House

9.00am Registration opens
9.30am Welcome Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive, Early Education


How high quality language environments create high quality learning environments Professor Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Temple University


Learning, Playing and Interacting: the adult role in supporting children’s thinking Helen Moylett and Nancy Stewart
11.30am Refreshment break


Engaging in our own Sustained Shared Thinking: Practitioner/Teacher research in practice Di Chilvers
12.45pm Lunch break
2.00pm Action research methodology Professor Chris Pascal
2.45pm Being a practitioner-researcher: questions and next steps - Discussion panel of researchers
3.45pm Closing remarks
4.00pm Close of conference

Read full session descriptions and speaker biographies.

Download a list of local hotels offering discounted rates.  Those nearest to the venue are the Copthorne, Holiday Inn and Ibis.  These links are provided for the convenience of delegates and do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation.

To book a place, scroll down and complete our online booking form

Make sure you are logged in as a member to book at the member rate.

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
Helen Moylett
Nancy Stewart
Di Chilvers
Chris Pascal
Event type: 
Annual National Conference
University College Birmingham, McIntyre House, Charlotte Street, Birmingham, B3 1PW
Saturday, 12 May, 2018

Members: £125.00 (Saturday only) or £150 (Friday and Saturday)
Non-members: £175 (Saturday only) or £205 (Friday and Saturday)

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