Early Education Associate
Helen Lewis is an experienced consultant and trainer who is passionate about young children’s learning and development. Helen has worked as a primary school teacher, a curriculum consultant for four local authorities In Wales, and as an inspector for Estyn. She has held Visiting Lecturer roles at the Institute of Education, London (Primary PGCE), and Bridgend College (Certificate in HE: Early Years) and as an Honorary Tutor at Cardiff University. Her current role is as Senior Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education, leading a Primary PGCE course, and supporting schools and settings in developing research practices. Helen is particularly interested in the provision of high quality, real-life opportunities for children to develop creative and critical thinking skills and positive dispositions to learn. Her PhD focused on the development of young children’s thinking, and in particular in their metacognitive skills. She has attended study weeks at Harvard University’s Project Zero; the Reggio Emilia Institute, Stockholm and the International School of Amsterdam, and has presented her work at national and international conferences. Helen is a Committee member of the Let’s Think Forum Council and a Lead Mentor for the Chartered College of Teaching Helen has run numerous development courses for teachers and leaders in the early years and primary sector. To underpin her consultancy work, Helen draws on her own research projects that keep her in regular contact with practitioners and children. She is currently involved in projects that explore effective feedback; curriculum development (especially within the Welsh context); children’s views of themselves as learners and the impact of animals in schools and settings. Her courses always blend a variety of practical ideas and examples with clear connections to underpinning theory. She is author of numerous articles such as Puppy dog tales: the benefits of dogs in early years settings and Video–stimulated reflective dialogue - a useful tool for re-examining and reflecting on practice. She has co-authored several books including An A to Z Guide to Out-of-class Learning (3-11): Literacy, Numeracy and Beyond! and the recent titles Learning and Teaching Thinking Skills in Schools and Teaching on a Shoestring: An A-Z of everyday objects to excite, engage and extend young learners.