Student publications

We are proud to offer a showcase for ECS students’ selected reviewed work

Our objective is to support and promote the ECSDN student voice and showcase students' engagement with contemporary childhood and children's workforce issues.


Dr Jackie Musgrave


Dr Eva Mikuska


We ask the student’s tutor to act as first reviewer this time by reviewing and selecting only one suitable paper per institution.

The requirements for the student publications are as follows:

  • L4 Reflection on aspect of practice/ role of the student practitioner: Word limit 1000-1500
  • L5 View or commentary on a contemporary issue: Word limit 2000 – 2500
  • L6 Report on leading practice underpinned by research: Word limit 3000 – 3500
  • L7 Report on author’s recent or current research findings: Word limit 4000 - 4500

Criteria for selection:

  • Relevance of topic or theme in the context of Early Childhood Studies
  • Use of appropriate sources from literature
  • Satisfactory quality of academic writing.
  • For M level submission the work must be based on a small piece of original research (documentary evidence or original data). The submission must include a brief justification of research methodology used.
  • Programme Leaders must confirm with the selection committee that they have approved the submission by signing the application and sending the submission from their university email account.

2024 Journal Publications


We are pleased to share volume 2 of the ECSDN journal

Message from the editor:

It has given me tremendous pleasure to read the papers that have been submitted for the Early Childhood Studies
Degrees Network Student Publication Opportunity following the last call for papers.
Part of my pleasure came from seeing the high quality of the papers from the five students in different universities around
the country. The students have written about their research including a range of different subjects.

- Dr Jackie Musgrave, The Open University

Download the ECSDN journal below:

2023 Journal Publications


Welcome to the first ECSDN student publication journal

The place of research evidence to inform early childhood education effectiveness has received increasing attention in the last two decades and is making an important contribution to evidence informed policy and practise.

The student papers in this edition celebrate the extraordinary range of research into early childhood education and care.

Access the student papers by clicking on the button below:

2021 Publications


  • Anna Hughes: Investigation of the Influence of Social Media as a Communication Medium on Parent- Practitioner Partnerships within the Early Years: Parent and Practitioner Perspectives.
  • Anna Perry: Supporting Gender Identity in the Early Years.
  • Aurora Lastrico Costa: How living in a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or asexual (LGBTQIA+) family and disability can influence a child’s ability to thrive in society. 
  • Ausra Awuson-David: Physically Active Pedagogical Approach: Supplementing Traditional Teaching Methods in Primary School Classrooms
  • Chloe Dickinson Macrae: A report into how education and health policies are integrated into pediatric music therapy.
  • Constance Beatrice Hurr: The importance of storytelling when supporting children’s language development.
  • Corinna Bagga: 'Supporting children’s language and literacy development through shared book reading’ – Leading Practice underpinned by research.
  • Daniela Laslau: Investigating the use of technology and its impact on child development in the early years: A case study exploring practitioners’ and parents’ views.
  • Donna Holden: An Investigation into the use of online learning journals to enhance the keyperson role and potential barriers to the use of it.
  • Elizabeth Newcombe: Supporting Early Childhood Education for Sustainability using themes in children’s picture books about the environment.
  • Emily Evans: Exploring how outdoor experiences and in particular a beach and rockpool activity can support young children’s holistic development and learning. 
  • Emma Search: The Global Pandemic: An opportunity to re-focus on outdoor environments for the benefit of social interactions development.
  • Helen Clark: Introducing the Forest School approach in an Early Years setting.
  • Helen Rosenbach: Family Dynamics: Socioemotional development in autistic and neuro-typical siblings.
  • Holly Dennis: Exploring a personal John Muir Award experience in the context of sustainability education in the early years.
  • Imogen Bagley: An investigation into the social development implications of national lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic on children in the Early Years from the parents’ perspective.
  • Jacob Street: Outcomes of Active Paternal/Father Engagement (APE) on a child, parents and why schools should maximise APE within school programs.
  • Julie Forte: The Prevalence of Anxiety in Children with ASD Compared to Typically Developing Children.
  • Kelly Blenkinsop-Clarke Leading change: The impending changes of Additional Learning Needs in Wales.
  • Lauren Clajanne Brumble: International Comparisons: Exploring Outdoor Play in Wales and Denmark.
  • Lauren Mills: Have you thought about becoming a real teacher? The COVID-19 pandemic and the public perception of the value of the early years worker. A discourse analysis of the early years ‘professional’
  • Lisa Lane: With reference to two different countries, compare and contrast how key political agenda and social and/or cultural perceptions of children, might have an impact on the quality of early childhood provision.
  • Lydia King: A Teacher’s Perspective on a Child’s Social Interactions Upon School Entry.
  • Mark Moloney: How children learn and develop from birth - Drawing on differing perspectives of child development, critically discuss the importance of a rich language environment from birth to eight, and its relevance to a child becoming a ‘social being’.
  • Natalie Wilson: The ‘In the Moment Planning’ Approach in an Early Years Setting.
  • Paige Hall: How COVID-19 affected my learning: A Level 4 student’s Reflective Account (An edited reflection)
  • Penny Newell: Quality Teacher-child interactions in the early years. What does ‘good’ look like?
  • Rachel Harrison: Language and literacy development: A sociocultural perspective
  • Rachel Hopkins: Leading Practice: The Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Transformation Programme in Wales
  • Rebecca Staples: What are the views of early years practitioners on the provisions of risky play and its relevance in supporting children's development and self-confidence?
  • Rhyannon Dynes: Disney and Children’s Perception of Gender Roles and Expectations.
  • Sacha Jarvis: SEN Practice: Who leads the way?
  • Sara Louise Llwyd: Implications of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) 2018 Act for Early Years Education and Care practice in Wales.
  • Sophie Penfold: Has the COVID-19 Pandemic affected children’s emotional literacy and are we doing enough to support them?


  • Alexandra Wilson: Improving young children’s language development
  • Charlotte Rose Allison: International Perspectives of Outdoor Play: what are practitioner perspectives on early years outdoor play and Forest School provision in the UK, Canada and New Zealand?
  • Cheryl Anne Evans: Supporting language and literacy in the early years
  • Claire Walsh: Covid 19 - Safeguarding within Early Years Practice
  • Jade Hicks: The importance of storytelling when supporting children’s language development
  • Kate Smith: Ethical vegan educators: holding a vegan belief system in a non-vegan school culture
  • Kelly Blenkinsop-Clarke: How active storytelling can promote and develop essential language and literacy skills
  • Lauren Lewis: The importance of storytelling in supporting children’s language and literacy in the early years.
  • Mikki Barrett: Critical Analysis of Globalisation within Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Rebecca Stevens: “There’s no time for a story today”: Why time should always be made for storytelling
  • Rhian Evans: How Shared Stories May Promote Children’s Early Literacy and Language Development in a Digital Era
  • Ruby McLellan: How the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issues of domestic violence and child abuse
  • Sarah Evans: Importance of storytelling
  • Sinead John: Storytelling - The Importance of Storytelling on Early Childhood Literacy and Language Development
  • Stacy Lister: An in-setting display and how it promotes play based learning
  • Tasnim Rahman: Children, Culture and Globalisation: A case study response 

2020 Publications


  • Aurora Lastrico Costa: Reflection on an aspect of practice/ the role of the student practitioner
  • Faizah Mulla: Working together with children and families in the community
  • Jeanette Sykes: Nature Deficit Disorder; What do four-year olds think about nature?
  • Kym Goddard: Exploring Reception Children’s Epistemic Insight (EI): A Small-Scale Case Study
  • Niamh Walby: Using observations and interviews to investigate whether children’s communication and social communication through play differed within the indoor and outdoor environment
  • Rachael Summerscales: Educating from the care perspective: exposing the tensions between maternalism and early education expectations in key person relationships
  • Theodora Ohemeng-Mensah: Reflection on an aspect of practice / the role of the student: Building positive relationships in early years settings
  • Tuesday Gayden: Marriage should be abolished in favour of civil partnerships?


  • Hannah Dray: What could influence a child’s ability to thrive in a diverse society?
  • Jennifer Stanley: Working with children in poverty: A guide for new Early Years Practitioners
  • Katie Azad: Should early childhood practitioners be prioritising children’s creativity?
  • Katie Durrant: The Impact of War, Conflict and Political Violence on Children and their Families
  • Laura Stinson: Parents Involvement in their Children’s Learning
  • Lauren Emery: What does Neuroscience offer ECEC practitioners' in supporting children with emotion regulation?
  • Lydia Dykes: Raising understanding of Islamophobia in Early Years settings
  • Marie Ray-Trotter: A reflection on the use of songs in the teaching of English as a foreign language to young learners
  • Nia Rebecca Williams: Examining the marginalisation and stigma encountered by LGB parents and young children

2019 Publications


  • Lucy Benford: Children as Learners - Schemas
  • Hannah Dray: Reflection
  • Viktorie Luzova: Bilingualism
  • Anna Buchanan van Doorn: Leading practice underpinned by research; a practical example
  • Anastasia Karagiannidou: Reflection
  • Clare Hinde: Reflection on practice
  • Faye Tanner: The Role of the Practitioner in in Safeguarding
  • Rachel Iles: An analysis of Quality Assurance models
  • Emma Hewitt: An exploration of the relationship between schema and language
  • Rachna Joshi: Exploring Froebelian Legacy
  • Chloe Storr: LGBT Inclusion in the Early Years


  • Tess Barrows: Gender
  • Catherine Birchal: Inclusion in Mainstream Primary Schools for Children with ASD
  • Thomas Chambers: An exploration of Peru’s education system within a global context
  • Lauren Edwards: What are we really preparing children for?
  • Beth Wilkinson: Makaton in Early Years
  • Arianna Ribis: Can disabilities influence a child’s ability to thrive in a diverse society
  • Natasha Heaney & Rebecca McBride: Gender Inequality in Relation to Global Disparities and Unequal Childhoods

2019 Publications

  • Sam Sheath: A Cross Cultural Analysis Examining Bed Sharing Practices
  • Zara Khan: How can sign language be implemented into mainstream schools to promote inclusion?
  • Liona Elliott: Analytic Commentary – Nonsense Play
  • Lydia Mountcastle: Effective Leadership in Early Childhood Settings
  • Faye Harvey: An Investigation into Children’s Transition from Reception to Year 1
  • Katie McKinney: Contesting Childhood Essay
  • Amy Stevens: Contemporary Perspective of the Outdoor Learning Area in Year One
  • Ingrid Miller: How are Children with Diabetes Supported in Primary Education: a Teacher/Parent Perspective
  • Rochelle Felix: Exploring Ghanaian Children’s Perception of Friendship
  • Maxime Perrott: The Features of Modern Childhood
  • Lynne Hill: Considering the Use of Children's Books and Digital Media to Support Emerging Literacies within an Early Years Setting
  • Kristen Stead: The Manipulation of Play by Society is Constraining the Power of Play to Empower

2017 Publications

  • Charlotte Hunt: A Reflection on your Professional Development
  • Simmran Singh: Developing Leadership in the Early Years
  • Dane Pollard: Can Technology Revolutionise Pedagogy in the Early Years?
  • Pollyanna Whitehead: Report on Research Findings - An Evaluation and Analysis of Family Service Provision
  • Verity Brown: Animal Assisted Intervention - What is the Impact on Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their Social Development?
  • Marianne Adams: Reflection on an Aspect of Practice / The Role of the Student Practitioner