Sally has had a varied career from trade union activist, teacher, community development worker and family centre leader before taking up a full-time post leading 0-5 teacher education at Sheffield Hallam University.
The strong lessons Sally has learnt about collective voice, collaboration and social justice are brought together in her current role.
Sally uses relational pedagogy to ensure that trainee early years teachers support the social development and emotional wellbeing of the children in their care. Relational pedagogy is a method of working with children which incorporates the growing understanding of the neuroscience behind feelings of safety and readiness to learn and how this can be developed through positive, consistent relationships.
Sally also uses relational pedagogy to develop and support trainee teachers to address social justice in their own teaching and within her relationship with students to ensure that they reach their potential whatever their starting point and levels of confidence.
Sally is committed to raising the profile and status of early years education and care. She has been instrumental in building a strong regional network of early years partner settings, using her contacts and networks from her previous roles. This innovation has meant that students, alumni and mentors become part of the university early years ‘family’ and are committed to ensuring future students are supported to achieve their potential.
The principles of these approaches to teaching, student support and partnership working led to the first ‘Outstanding’ grade in the country for an Early Years Teacher Status course.