Specialist Leaders in Education

Nicola Turner

Early years, assessment, leadership of CPD, leadership of curriculum, ICT, ITT/NQT support, behaviour

Balham Nursery School & Children’s Centre Services | Early Years Deputy Headteacher | SLT

I am passionate about the importance of the early years phase of education and specialised in this for my PGCE, following the completion of a psychology degree. Subsequently I also completed an MA in which I chose to focus on SEND and inclusion before completing my dissertation on the then new EYFS section ‘characteristics of effective learning’, unpicking how they presented in a typical 2-, 3- and 4-year old through action research. I find external links very useful for my own reflection and development and as such am part of a couple of larger network groups in London and strive to attend conferences to stay abreast of the most recent and relevant research to ensure best practice based on evidence, which I then share with colleagues.

I firmly believe in keeping children at the heart of all we do in education, starting from play-based provision that is supported by a challenging and open-ended environment as well as skilled and knowledgeable practitioners. Over recent years we have worked particularly on how best to incorporate ICT in the curriculum and environment, finding creative ways in which it can encourage children to engage in group learning, support their investigations, highlight their fascinations and stimulate conversations.

I especially enjoy supporting adults in being lifelong learners and as well as identifying CPD needs. I frequently plan and lead in-house sessions on topics such as interactions, observations, early phonics, mathematics and creative use of ICT. I have also successfully mentored both students training to work in the early years and NQTs.

I lead on the data moderation, collation and analysis in school and have worked hard to ensure that as far as possible all that we do has a direct and positive impact on children’s learning.