Deborah Nicholson

Personal statement

I joined the Primary/Early Years PGCE team at Bath Spa University in April 2010. I lead the English team, who aim to give Bath Spa Teacher Researchers knowledge and understanding of different aspects of literacy, ensuring that they have active learning experiences and time to reflect on new knowledge together. My particular interests are the teaching of reading and writing, and the teaching of literature.

I also have a role as an Academic Tutor for a group of Primary PGCE students, which involves providing tutorial support and supervision of school placements.

In addition to the PGCE I am a module leader on an Education Studies course, called Childhood, Reading and Children's Literature.

I have been working in Education for 34 years. I was a primary teacher in 3 multicultural schools in London for 15 years, teaching across the primary and early years age range, for 6 of those years as a Deputy Headteacher.

I went on to become an Advisory Teacher for Primary English at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) in London, where I worked for 10 years. I was able to work with many creative teachers and schools, to help them develop resources and key teaching approaches. I designed and ran accredited courses for teachers, for example a long course for English Co-ordinators, and provided school based INSET. I developed writing projects for schools that combined a focus on literature with opportunities for writing at length, and was involved in the development of the highly influential Power of Reading project that works with schools and teachers across and beyond London. I worked on Reading Differences, which was jointly launched by QCA and CLPE, intended to stimulate and guide the teaching of literature from all parts of the world in the primary school.

I began teaching again in a Cardiff school after that, and was a classteacher for 2 years. This gave me important recent and relevant experience in classrooms. I then joined a Cardiff family learning project working with schools and families on Family Literacy, which added a dimension to my experience that I found very valuable and fulfilling.

  • MA Greenwich University
  • BEd Goldsmiths, London University.

Professional qualifications

  • M.A. in Education Management and Language and Literacy, Greenwich University 1992
  • DPSE in the Teaching of Reading and Writing, Greenwich University, 1987
  • B.Ed (Hons) Goldsmiths College, University of London, 1981.

Professional memberships

  • The United Kingdom Literacy Association
  • National Association of Teachers of English.

Teaching specialism

  • Learning to read, children becoming reflective readers
  • Children's literature
  • Writing and the writer.

Recent professional updating

  • Conference on new English curriculum 2012
  • Writing Symposium UKLA 2012
  • UKLA conference 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.


Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Whole to part phonics: how children learn to read and spell

Dombey, H, Moustafa, M and Nicholson, D (1998) Whole to part phonics: how children learn to read and spell. Centre for Language in Primary Education/Language Matters; Heinemann, London. ISBN 0325001200

The national context for the curriculum

Ansell, C and Nicholson, D (2014) 'The national context for the curriculum.' In: Cremin, T and Arthur, J, eds. Learning to teach in the primary school. 3rd ed. Routledge, London, pp. 283-299. ISBN 9780415818193

Putting literature at the heart of the literacy curriculum

Nicholson, D (2006) 'Putting literature at the heart of the literacy curriculum.' Literacy, 40 (1). pp. 11-21. ISSN 1741-4350

Co-ordinating English

Barrs, M and Nicholson, D (2001) 'Co-ordinating English.' Language Matters. ISSN 0309-1678

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