Lauren Whale

Lauren Whale FHEA ,MA, PGCE, BA Hons

Teaching Fellow

Teaching fellow (Early Years) Since March 2019 however, from September 2016 I have been an hourly paid lecturer/maternity cover and have taught on various courses for the Early Years and Childhood and youth studies courses. Since September 2015 I have been a mentor for the Early Years Teacher Status ITT and have achieved the mentor accreditation in excellence. I am currently a tutor for the Early Years Teacher Status ITT.

I have a professional background in Early years, working and leading in settings for over 20 years within the private, voluntary and independent sector. My last position within the Early Years sector was as a manger in a nursery for funded two-year olds in a deprived area of Kent.

I am passionate about the benefits of developing reflective practice in Early Years students and trainees as I believe this strategy is a step towards bridging the gap between theory and practice. I have developed a reflective, social-pedagogy that involves working with families, not just the children, to make a positive impact on well-being, developing resilience and quality practice. My current areas of interest are developing practitioners leadership skills through a variety of strategies and supporting students to achieve high quality practice through a triangulation of communication.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I am an accredited mentor for the Early Years Teacher Status ITT.

I have been trained in moderating children's development in order to facilitate practitioners making best-for judgements about children's development using the Early Years outcomes.

As part of a collaborative team within the Early Years department, we developed a best practice guide for supporting EYTS ITT mentoring.

Posts previously held

    • 2014-2015 Nursery Manager
    • 2014-2015 Local Authority Moderator for children's development.
    • 2013-2014 Head of Preschool
    • 2012-2013 Senior Nursery Nurse
    • 2005-2012 Foundation Stage Teaching Assistant
    • 2009-2012 Leader of breakfast and after school club
    • 2010-2011 Childminder
    • 2003-2005 Toddler Room Leader
    • 1999-2000 Deputy Supervisor of Nursery
    • 1999-2000 Coordinator of After school/holiday Club
    • 1995-1999 Nursery nurse, promoted to Deputy.

Responsibilities within the university

I am currently a tutor for the EYTS ITT, developing and planning weekly sessions related to the Early Years Teachers standards and to support the individual needs of trainees with professional and personal matters. I support other mentors with assessing practice and evidence, providing a quality assurance method. I develop partnerships with schools and early years setting to support trainees with their learning and to establish how to deliver high quality practice.

As a mentor for the EYTS ITT provide face-to face support on a tri-weekly basis that includes assessing observations of trainees teaching practice, giving feedback and leading reflective discussions based around the Early Years teaching standards, encouraging trainees to make connections with their previous learning and how to apply this to their teaching practice. I set targets with trainees for their professional development, provide feedback on monthly reflective logs and offer pastoral support.

As a placement visitor across the Early Years programmes I observe students in practice and set targets with them to develop their professional and academic development.

Research / Scholarly interests

Currently writing a collaborative book on leadership within early years to promote high quality practice, to be published by Sage.