Jo Warin, Rachel Hehir, Charlotte Van Wely, Gary Wilson and Alice Sharp
Masterclass Room A | 9.30-12.30

Jo Warin, Rachel Hehir, Charlotte Van Wely, Gary Wilson and Alice Sharp

Recent research is demolishing gender stereotypes and questioning the nature-nurture, boy-girl divide, with important implications for early years practice.

This masterclass will:

  • challenge current thinking about boys’ learning and development
  • give an overview of recent research into gender
  • revisit the principles of the EYFS and the Unique Child
  • provide best practice advice on helping boys’, and girls’, to flourish

Masterclass timetable:

9.30-9.45: Coffee and welcome, your chance to network

9.45-10.45: Reassessing nature and nurture

Learn about:

  • why we need to see gender as non-binary and part of a continuum
  • common myths in boys’ and girls’ learning and development
  • the impact of nature and nurture on the developing child

Speaker: Jo Warin, senior lecturer in the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University, specialising in gender. She is co-author of ‘Men, Masculinities and Teaching in Early Childhood Education: international perspectives’.

10.45-11.00: Boys’ literacy: action research in Bristol

Find about the action research 'Anytime is story time Bristol ­– engaging boys in reading’.

Speaker: Rachel Hehir, assistant manager/lead practitioner, and Charlotte Van Wely, early education support/lead practitioner, Brentry & Henbury Children's Centre, Bristol

11.00-11.15: Coffee break, your chance to network

11.15-12.15: Changing attitudes; rethinking provision


  • current attitudes to gender within the early years sector
  • how to banish stereotypes
  • establish developmentally appropriate expectations of the child
  • put the Unique Child at the heart of provision
  • create ‘enabling environments’ that enable boys, and girls, to achieve

Speaker: Gary Wilson, early years consultant specialising in boys’ learning and author of ‘Raising Boys’ Achievement’.

12.15-12.30: Approved by Dads: reflections on a Glasgow project

A training project is boosting the numbers of male early years practitioners in the city – and transforming the lives of its participants.

Speaker: Alice Sharp, managing director of Experiential Play, which developed the ‘Approved by Dads’ training project in partnership with Glasgow City Council

Full rate for attending 9.30-12.30 masterclass: £150 (+VAT) / Early bird rate £125 (+VAT) for bookings made by 8th December.

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