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Sally Pearse

Sally Pearse BA (Hons), MA, PGCE, EYPS

Principal Lecturer


Head of Early Years Education (0-5), Course Leader PGCE Early Childhood Education and Care with Early Years Teacher Status, teaching on the Early Years Foundation Degree and Module Leader for International Perspectives, teaching on the 3-7 QTS Course, training students across the department in the Thrive Approach to support children's emotional development

  • About

    After graduating from University of Sheffield in 1985 with a degree in Sociological Studies I worked for a number of years as a civil servant and became an active trade unionist and Branch Secretary. I completed my MA in Women's Studies at Sheffield Hallam while working and then returned to Hallam to do my PGCE with QTS in 1997.

    After a brief period of teaching in Primary Schools I discovered my love of Early Years while covering for a colleague and soon after took up the post of Community Development Worker with a remit of establishing early years provision in an area of disadvantage. This project went from strength to strength and I became the Project Director of a 60 place day nursery that was judged as "Outstanding" by Ofsted and used as an example of best practice by National Strategies in relation to equality and working with Roma Families.

    I returned to Sheffield Hallam University to complete my Early Years Professional Status in 2007 and in 2008 took up a part-time lecturing post while continuing to manage the nursery and community project. I took a leading role in establishing the Community Childcare Forum in Sheffield which forged links between community providers in areas of disadvantage. I trained as a Thrive Practitioner in 2012 and became a Thrive Trainer in 2013. I made the move to become a full-time member of staff at Sheffield Hallam University in 2014 and became course leader for the PGCE Early Childhood Education and Care with Early Years Teacher Status and the Head of Area.

    In 2017 the work of the 0-5 Team on developing shared vision and values document with students and partners was the Sheffield Hallam University nomination for the HEA Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence.

  • Teaching

    Department of Teacher Education

    Social Sciences and Arts

    Department of Teacher Education
    Social Sciences and Humanities
    Early Years (0-5).

    My particular areas of interest are:

    Children's social and emotional development

    Trauma and mental health informed practice

    Working with parents and communities

    Teaching through relationship

    Outdoor Play

  • Research

    Action research project with Thrive and schools in the North East (2014) to assess the impact of this Approach on children's learning and wellbeing.

    I am currently on an EdD programme and am researching reception class teachers' perceptions of professional love.

  • Publications


    Pearse, S. (2020). Is There A Role For Universities In Developing Early Years Services? (March 2020). Hempsalls.'s/2020%20Mar.pdf

  • Other activities

    Consultancy : In 2016 I worked with Thrive to develop a short course for Early Years and Primary trainee teachers. In 2017 I was the external expert for the development of the Diploma in Trauma Informed and Mental Health Practice validated by the University of East London.

    Chair of the South Yorkshire Branch of Early Education
    Chair of Trustees for Darnall Community Nursery, rated as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted (2018).

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