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Philippa Thompson

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Philippa Thompson B.Ed, MA

Senior Lecturer


My professional career has been varied and involved teaching in a wide range of educational settings. I have worked in educational fields in England, Australia and Hong Kong. Settings I have taught in nursery, infant school and primary schools; Family Centres; International Schools and Outdoor Education. As a Community Teacher/Early Years Advisory Teacher for Sheffield Local Authority, I developed training for the PVI and maintained sectors in Early Years as well as child minders and parents. I joined Sheffield Hallam University as a Senior Lecturer in 2006 with a strong passion for creative teaching. My aim is to develop and support enthusiastic, knowledgeable and passionate adults to work alongside children and families in the field of Early Childhood. My research spans a range of subject areas but are all underpinned by an interest in young children's well-being and learning.


My professional career has been varied and involved being involved in a wide range of educational perspectives. My teaching career began as an early years teacher in a range of infant and primary schools leading to Senior Management level and guiding three Early Years departments to achieve an OFSTED grade of 'outstanding'. I spent three years travelling and working in Australia and South East Asia working in a range of services such as Outdoor Education (7-19 year olds), Hong Kong Chinese kindergartens teaching English and a class teacher in an International School following an North American Curriculum. On my return I worked in a local Family Centre supporting children and families with a range of health, social care and educational needs.

I was then appointed by the Local Authority as an Early Years Advisor to the private, voluntary and maintained sectors which involved supporting head teachers, teachers and teaching assistants to become engaged with action research and develop excellent early years practice. I also ran community learning groups, supporting parents to understand key early years concepts which led them to be significant contributors to record keeping within the settings.

I secured the post of Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education with a responsibility for the education strand of the course in 2006. My responsibilities include teaching, planning and developing new course materials on the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree and liaising with schools and settings across South Yorkshire to develop meaningful work-based learning opportunities for students. I am also part of the National Early Childhood Studies Degree Network raising the profile of our highly skilled graduates.

Teaching interests

play, pedagogy of play

outdoor learning, forest schools

children with high learning potential (gifted children) in mainstream school

children with anaphylaxis

young children's literacy development using popular culture

young children's motivation and self-confidence within the learning environments

learning environments for young children, the role of the adult in early years


Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion

College of Social Sciences and Arts

Relevant Action Research

2010 -2012 Supporting infant schools to develop their outdoor learning, Sheffield

2005- 2006 Supporting Early Years settings by use of the ECERS (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale), Sheffield LA

2000 -2002 Media Boxes, Birley Spa Community Primary School, Sheffield

Funded research

2011 Boys and Reading; Leading Transformational Change


Other activities

2016 Striving for average? Perceptions of gifted children and parents in mainstream primary schools.

2016 Forest Schools (chapter to be published later this year for Open University)

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