Researching with children and young people
The Department undertakes research into children’s experiences, rights, voices, perspectives, and practices. In researching children’s lives and learning, the group uses a variety of social science perspectives and explores local, national and global challenges.
The research expertise of the strand encompasses a range of areas, including, but not limited to:
- Early education and learning
- Teaching, early childhood pedagogy and curriculum
- Education policy
- Professional development and learning for educators
- Language development
- Researching multilingually
- Parental engagement in children’s learning
- Literacies, learning and identities
- Sociology of childhood
- Ethical and methodological approaches of research with children
Our staff have experience in examining and supervising research students in the area of research with children and young people. We welcome new postgraduate research students to conduct research with us.
Changing perceptions of Roald Dahl in the
primary school sector and beyond: Dahl family reading
Creating welcoming learning
Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Sounds Bristolian: From talk to writing at
Fonthill Primary School
The Sounds Bristolian initiative, launched in 2015 by the UWE Bristol Centre for Linguistics (BCL), led by Dr Kate Beeching sets out to chart and celebrate the range of different languages and language varieties spoken in Bristol, including Bristolian.
This project brings together researchers in BCL, eight student volunteers from both the
Linguistics and Education Departments, primary teachers
and pupils to develop activities around the languages, dialects and
accents of Bristol, and how these can be translated into written
English. Insights from research and publications by academics in
BCL will be drawn upon to inform materials
Student volunteers will support teachers in helping pupils to value their own variety, to recognise register and how it changes according to context and mode of delivery (eg informal spoken, formal spoken, text message, written document), and to develop their writing in standard English.
Outcomes from the project will include a colourful poster celebrating register differences and learning activities which will be piloted in primary classrooms, revised and published in hard copy format and online.
Expert practitioners working in the Baby
Professional childminders working in South
The Reading Recovery Bristol
An illuminative evaluation of the Phonics
Screening Check: Listening to the voices of children and their
The Phonics Screening Check (PSC) was introduced in England in 2012 for year one children. There have been criticisms of the check in relation to its reliability and appropriateness as an assessment for early reading, although supporters see it as a valuable tool in securing early reading progress. However, the government’s own evaluation (2015 p8) concluded that it “did not find any evidence of improvements in pupils’ literacy performance, or in progress, that could be clearly attributed to the introduction of the PSC”.
With this in mind, this study seeks to illuminate through evaluation, the intended and possible unintended consequences of the PSC foregrounding the voices of those most affected by the PSC: children and their teachers. The study focuses on a range of schools in the City of Bristol, selected for their diversity in relation to attainment data (PSC and reading) and socio-economic status.
Available from eprints.
Project contact: Jane Carter
An evaluation and impact study of the Bristol Reading Partner (BRP) intervention on Initial Teacher Training students (ITE), children's reading and partnership schools' reading attainment
'Being a reader' has a significant impact on a child’s future social and economic success. This project builds on work over the last six years which has involved the training of second year ITE students in the Bristol Reading Partner (BRP) intervention programme. It has targeted over 1,200 underachieving children.
Students work with two identified children over a period of five weeks, implementing the intervention programme for 20 minutes twice a week. Teachers assess children before and after BRP using the British Ability Scales test (BAS), generating a standardised score and reading age. Children typically make an average of four months' progress over the five weeks of the intervention.
This research will focus on the nature of the student interaction with children during the intervention and try to identify the factors that contribute to the success of the programme in relation to children’s progress.
Project duration: July 2018 to July 2019
Project contact: Jane Carter
Oracy and storytelling in
Children as engineers
Children as Engineers, a four-year project led by Dr Fay Lewis and Juliet Edmonds, paired undergraduate Initial Teacher Education students with undergraduate engineering students, training them in the use of engineering challenge materials which they then delivered in upper key stage two classrooms.
The impact of participation in the project for these students was evaluated and indicated that for the pre-service teachers there were significant benefits in terms of their science and engineering subject knowledge and the confidence in their ability to teach these subjects (a key factor in ensuring positive outcomes for children).
This positive pedagogical practice has now been embedded within engineering and educational undergraduate programmes to ensure that all students can experience such work rather than just volunteers.
Investigating the use of children’s
literature in classrooms across Europe
There is ongoing research cooperation between our Department and other departments across UWE Bristol.
- Dr Jane Andrews
- Dr Maryam Almohammad
- Helen Butcher
- Jane Carter
- Dr Sarah Chicken
- Juliet Edmonds
- Joan Foley
- Dr Fay Lewis
- Laura Manison Shore
- Dr Dean Smart
- Karan Vickers-Hulse
For further information about the strand, please contact any of the members above by following their staff profile links.