Childhood and Youth

Meet the team

A warm welcome from the Childhood and Youth Higher Education team at University Centre South Devon. Our programmes focus on children and young people in a range of settings that include education, community, social care and youth justice. Our team are passionate about making a difference to the lives of children, young people and families. We possess a wealth of research and professional experience and expertise in a variety of sectors including education, youth and community, social work, youth justice and crime investigation.  Our team challenges, inspires and motivates professionals and practitioners of the future, using current academic research, industry connections and evidence-informed approaches.

Jo Button

Main areas of teaching

  • Play
  • Autism
  • Forest School
  • Early Years Care and Education
  • Outdoor Education

Bio

Within Early Years Education outdoor play in the natural world encourages curiosity, challenge, magic and adventure. Children’s feelings of fear, exhilaration and fun are associated with ‘risky play’ activities. This type of play is often seen at Forest School, when tree climbing, lighting fires, and whittling. I love to inspect the benefits of this play, however within a ‘risk-averse’ society, there are often barriers from teachers, parents or practitioners. Looking at the perspectives and views that we all hold about what is ‘too risky’, can inform practice to ensure consistency across staff, and a clear message to parents and children about the culture and ethos of a setting’s views on the value of play.

Sabrina Connolly BA (Hons)

Main areas of teaching

  • Working with children, young people and families
  • Module Leader: Lifespan Development

Bio

With an ambition to become a teacher, I began my academic journey some ten years after leaving formal education. Throughout my studies, I had the privilege of working in a variety of educational settings, including a forest school, a mainstream primary school and a specialist provision that supports the pastoral needs of children and young people with SEND. Currently, I teach in both the FE and HE sectors across a range of qualifications, with a particular focus on child development, inclusive education and SEND. My main passion as a teacher is to support students to achieve their own ambitions.

Research and scholarly activity

Published book chapter – Neale, A. and Connolly, S. (2022). ‘Child development and neurodiversity: Every classroom, every child and every family are unique’, in E. Tarry (ed.) Challenges in Early Years and Primary Education: Employing Critical Thinking Skills During Turbulent Times. Abingdon: Routledge.

Dr Issy Hallam BA (Hons), MA, PGCE, MEd, SFHEA, MBPsS

Main areas of teaching

  • The psychology of teaching
  • Learning and education
  • Special education needs, disability and inclusion
  • Research methods

Bio

I have been teaching psychology and education at UCSD for seven years, prior to that I worked in primary and special schools supporting children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, and before that, for ten years in the international development sector as a political campaigns manager focusing on children’s and women’s rights. Alongside my teaching role I also manage the UCSD Student Support Hub and tutorial programme. I am in the final stages of my PhD investigating the psychology of UCSD students’ persistence during the COVID campus closures and the role of personal tutors.

Research and scholarly activity

  • Hallam, I. C. (2022). Mental health, wellbeing, resilience and character: helping children to flourish at school, in Tarry, E. (ed.) Challenges in early years and primary education: Employing critical thinking skills during turbulent times. London: Routledge, pp. 141-155.
  • Hallam, I. C. (2017). Promoting social cohesion during blended learning in a Foundation Degree. The STeP Journal: Student Teacher Perspectives, 4(2), 113-123. http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3155/
  • https://eprofile.exeter.ac.uk/isabelhallam/ Issy has achieved Senior Fellow status with the Higher Education Academy and is a Recognised Senior Advisor for the UK Advising and Tutoring Group

Caroline Knight BA (Hons), MSc

Main areas of teaching

  • Safeguarding Children and Young People
  • Youth Justice and Victimology
  • Policing, Young Offenders
  • Youth Justice practice and intervention
  • Multi- Agency working

Bio

I had a late start to academic life, having spent 30 years as a police officer. My police experience was in crime investigation and within specialist areas such as working with victims and child interviews. I came to South Devon College initially to take my teaching qualifications, but got bitten by the academic bug and never left. I gained a BA (Hons) in Child Development and Education and then a MSc in Criminology and Criminology Psychology. I keep myself up to date by, for example, sitting on a scrutiny panel for Devon and Cornwall police; on the Torbay Safeguarding Partners business forum and I am a safeguarding governor for a local education trust with both secondary and primary schools.

Research and scholarly activity

Published book chapter – Knight, C. (2022) ‘What are you going to do about it? Responsibility, risk, and realities; considerations for safeguarding children’. In Tarry, E. (ed.) Challenges in Early Years and Primary Education: Employing Critical Thinking Skills During Turbulent Times. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kelly Laywood BA (Hons)

Main areas of teaching

  • Working with children, young people and families

Bio

I have worked with vulnerable children, young people and families for over 14 years, working as an Anti-Social Behaviour Case Manager and a Family Intervention Project practitioner before qualifying as a Social Worker in 2014.   As a social worker I have worked within various child social care teams including a Looked After Child Team and as a supervising social worker within a local authority Fostering Service. My main interest is in Trauma Informed Practice.  I am currently  a module leader and lecturer at South Devon College and the University Centre South Devon, contributing to working with children and young people practice-based courses.

Research and scholarly activity

Published book chapter – Laywood, K. (2022) ‘Adverse Childhood Experience: How a trauma aware classroom can improve outcomes for children’. In Tarry, E. (ed.) Challenges in Early Years and Primary Education: Employing Critical Thinking Skills During Turbulent Times. Abingdon: Routledge.

Anna Neale BSc (Hons), PGCE, SFHEA, MSc

Main areas of teaching

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Perception, Thought and Consciousness
  • Child Development
  • Supervise undergraduate dissertations

Bio

Anna is the Senior Head for Society, Education and Development at the University Centre South Devon and a psychologist by background. Anna has published research in fields of social and developmental psychology, focusing on the psychology of aggression, neurodiversity and children’s social relationships. Anna has an MSc in Criminal Psychology.

Research and scholarly activity

Anna has achieved Senior Fellow status with the Higher Education Academy

Publications:

Benenson, J. F. & Heath, A. (2006). Boys withdraw more in one-on-one interactions, whereas girls withdraw more in groups. Developmental Psychology, 42, 272-282.
Neale, A. (2019). A proactive targeted approach to preventing adolescent aggression. Pastoral Care in Education, 37 (1), 33- 53. DOI:10.1080/02643944.2018.1562494.
Neale, A. & Connolly, S. (2022). ‘Child Development and Neurodiversity: Every classroom, every child and every family are unique’. In Tarry, E. (ed.) Challenges in Early Years and Primary Education: Employing Critical Thinking Skills During Turbulent Times. Abingdon: Routledge.

Qualifications

MSc Criminology and Criminal Psychology
PGCE Post Compulsory Education
BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminal Justice Studies

Kelly Smith BA (Hons), PGCE, FHEA

Main areas of teaching

  • Education
  • Working with children and young people
  • Social policy

Bio

I have been a part of UCSD for almost 10 years now, having first studied my FdA Early Years Care and Education, then completing my BA (Hons) Child Development and Education. I also have experience in working within primary and secondary schools.

Research and scholarly activity

Achieved Fellowship status with the Higher Education Academy. My research interests are based within educational and social policy and practice.
Child playing with lego

Sam Smith BSc (Hons), MEd, FHEA, MBPsS

Main areas of teaching

  • Social Psychology
  • Positive Psychology
  • Individual Differences
  • Research Methods
  • Undergraduate Dissertation

Bio

I have taught at UCSD for twelve years within a range of psychological and educational disciplines. I am the research coordinator for level 6 student projects within Society, Education & Development, and lecture on various research-based modules. I am currently undertaking a PhD at University of Exeter, researching the impact of cooperative learning on social harmony in post-compulsory education.

Research and scholarly activity

Smith, S. (2020) Teaching further education students the effects of naive realism, to support social development and mitigate classroom conflict. Educational & Child Psychology; Vol. 37 No. 3

Lisa Rogers BA (Hons) FHEA

Main areas of teaching

  • Professional Practice and Professional identity
  • Module leader for: Professional Practice, Professional and Personal Development, Compassionate Practitioners and Leaders, Alternative Pedagogies.

Bio

Lisa is an education and childhood lecturer and programme lead at UCSD, where she also coordinates the Higher Education Children and Young People courses. She is currently studying with Leeds Beckett University and is midway through a MA in Childhood Studies and Early Years. Prior to her University teaching career, she worked as an Early Years teacher, as well as in Early Years management. She continues to maintain close links with local schools and settings through her undergraduate student’s placements. Her research interests are Professional Practice and practitioners’ construction of professional identity.

Research and scholarly activity

Published book chapter : Rogers, L. (2022). ‘A toolkit for negotiating professional identity in Early Years and Primary settings’, In Tarry, E. (ed.) Challenges in Early Years and Primary Education: Employing Critical Thinking Skills During Turbulent Times. Abingdon: Routledge.

Dr Estelle Tarry

Main areas of teaching

  • Areas of research
  • Comparative education
  • International education
  • Primary and early years education learning and teaching
  • International students
  • University students
  • Teach on level 6 Education Psychology and dissertation
  • Supervise teaching assistants
  • TE

Bio

I started my career as a primary school teacher. I then went on to be Head of School in Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Netherlands. Through the Council of International Schools, I inspected a school in Melbourne Australia. My career then moved to Higher Education and I was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Northampton where I was Programme Leader for the BA Learning and Teaching, MA supervisor and PhD supervisor (4 completions). During this time I worked with the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) and led their first international teaching assistants conferences in Paris/France and Rome/Italy. After which I led me to leading teaching Assistants workshops in Baku/Azerbaijan, Amsterdam/The Netherlands, Spain/Milan, Ukraine/Kyiv and Romania/Bucharest. Presently, I lecture Level 6 Education Psychology and and Dissertation, and I am on the research team.

Research and scholarly activity

The writings of Jonothan Neelands, Journal of Education for Teaching, Vol. 37 No.3, p.p. 365-366. I have presented papers at the following conferences: 2021 – Presentation on ‘Research’ at the University Centre South Devon Research Showcase 2014 – Chair for Teaching Assistant Focus Session at the COBIS 32nd Annual Conference, London 2012 – Paper on ‘Intercultural Understanding’ at the Alliance for International Education, Doha, Qatar 2011 – Two papers ‘Is west really the best’ and ‘Researching experience of an expatriate Indian community in the United Kingdom; a perspective on cross cultural research’ at the 4th Learning and Teaching conference ‘Global Learning’ Northampton University 2011 – Seminar given ‘Stakeholders for Successful International Schools’ on the certificate for Teaching Assistants in an International Context at the COBIS Conference, London 2010 – Presented poster ‘East meets West; The meeting of minds’ at the PhD Student and Supervisors Conference Univeristy of Northampton 2009 – Paper given ‘Reasons why Thai’ students choose to study at British Universities’ at the Society of Research in Higher Education Conference, Cardiff

Dr Matt Vince PhD, PGCE, AFHEA

Main areas of teaching

  • Sociology of Religion, Islam, Muslims in Contemporary Britain
  • (Religious) Education
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Teaching: Representations of childhood and youth

Bio

I currently work as the Academic Outcomes Facilitator at UCSD, supporting students with final research projects and employability skills. Prior to this, I was leading on a funded research project developing resources for secondary Religious Education teachers for Cardiff University’s Islam-UK Centre, alongside various teaching responsibilities. I also have experience teaching and Primary and Secondary level. My research expertise centres on the sociology of religion, specifically Islam and Muslims in Britain, and Religious Education.

Research and scholarly activity

Projects

TRS-UK School Engagement Survey 2020 (2020, Theology and Religious Studies – UK)

Publications

Vince, M. and Jones, T. (forthcoming) ‘Student experience(s) and an ‘integrated’ pastoral approach to employability at higher education: a case study’, in Daniels, K. and Hansen, S. (eds), How to Enable the Employability of University Graduates, Oxford: HEPI
Vince, M. (2021) ”I don’t necessarily identify myself as a Muslim [RE] teacher?’: considering the limitations of the category ‘Muslim’ in the case of ‘Muslim RE teachers’, Journal of Beliefs and Values, 42(1), pp. 19-32.
Vince, M. (2020) ‘‘Neutrality’, Muslimness and the whiteness of RE professionalism’, Journal of Religious Education 68, pp. 371-383. (10.1007/s40839-020-00114-6)
Vince, M. (2019) “I feel as though I’m doing the job of the Imam for them”: considering ‘tactical’ Muslim leadership through the case of Muslim RE teachers’, Religions 10(7), pp. 420 – 436. (10.3390/rel10070420)
Vince, M. (2018) Muslim Identities in Contemporary Britain: The Case of Muslim Religious Education Teachers. PhD Thesis. Cardiff University. Available at: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/121264/ (Accessed: 21 June 2022).
Vince, M. (2016) Review of Islamic Education in Britain: New Pluralist Paradigms, by Scott-Baumann, A. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 37(1).
Wider Writing
Vince, M. (2021) ‘What does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain? Talking about identity in the classroom’, RE Today (Spring)
Vince, M. (2018) ‘Socrel Member Interviews: Matthew Vince’, SocRel News, British Sociological Association
Vince, M. (2017) ‘Being There’: A brief reflection on shadowing Muslim RE teachers’, Islam-UK Centre Blog, 24 October. Available at: https://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/islamukcentre/matthew-vince-being-there-a-brief-reflection-on-shadowing-muslim-re-teachers/ (Accessed: 11 May 2021).