I started teaching in 1992 and my teaching career focused on Reception and KS1.
I joined Bath Spa University in April 2006. I am Programme Leader for the three Education Studies Foundation degrees (FdA): FdA Teaching Assistants, FdA Early Childhood Studies (Weston College) and FdA Early Years (Sector Endorsed). These work based degrees are taught in local FE Partner Colleges and enable students to explore and develop reflective practice in their current role. I manage these programmes with a commitment to working in partnership with local employers and to supporting work-based learning in early years and schools in order to raise the professional practice, qualification levels and career progression of the students.
From April 2014 - August 2015, I undertook a secondment to Bristol Local Authority as an Early Years Consultant developing systems-led working in early years settings. I have extensive experience working Local Authority roles as an Early Years Teacher Consultant in Wiltshire LA (2000 - 2003) and in Bristol LA (2003 - 2005).
My career has given me valuable experience of working effectively with all sectors in the children's workforce at both a local level and also at a national level with bodies such as SureStart, Sector Endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years National Network, OFSTED, and the DFE.
I also run the PMP PG Cert course in Art Room Practice.
- BA (Hons) University of Exeter
- MA Early Childhood, Bath Spa University
- PGCE University of Leeds.
- BA (Hons) - Latin, University of Exeter 1985-1988
- PGCE - Early Years and Literacy, North Riding College, Scarborough, University of Leeds 1991-1992.
- Regional Chair of the South West SEFDEY Network and member of the National SEFDEY Committee (2011-ongoing)
- TACTYC Association for Professional Development in Early Years
- Practitioner views on play
- Leuven Involvement and Well Being Scale
- The practice of Reggio Emilia preschools
- Work-based and contextual learning in the early years and for teaching assistants
- Making young children's learning visible
- Working in partnership with parents.
Research and academic outputs
Bennett, V, Friend, S and Henderson, N (2016) 'Holistic development: children playing.' In: Trodd, L, ed. The early years handbook for students and practitioners: an essential guide for the foundation degree and levels 4 and 5. Routledge, London, pp. 140-158. ISBN 9781138776395
Bennett, V and Henderson, N (2012) 'Young children learning: the importance of play.' In: Ward, S, ed. A student's guide to education studies. 3rd ed. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 168-177. ISBN 9780415809689
Bennett, V and Henderson, N (2008) 'Young children learning.' In: Ward, S, ed. A student's guide to education studies. 2nd ed. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 152-161. ISBN 9780415465373
Mature female learners activating agency after completion of an education foundation degree: professional progression and the teacher shortage crisis
Bovill, H, Harrison, N, Smith, H, Bennett, V and McKenzie, L (2021) 'Mature female learners activating agency after completion of an education foundation degree: professional progression and the teacher shortage crisis.' Research Papers in Education, 36 (2). pp. 196-215. ISSN 1470-1146
Bennett, V and Smith, H (2016) Voices of resilience and success on the foundation degree and beyond. In: Western Widening Participation Research Cluster Symposium, 23 June 2016, Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Bath, UK.
Bennett, V (2013) The voice of experience: resilience and success on the foundation degree for teaching assistant. In: 9th Annual BESA Conference, Education, Past, Present and Future, 28 June 2013, Swansea Metropolitan, University of Wales, Swansea.
From teaching assistant to teacher: capitalising on the skills and experience of TAs on an ITT programme.
Bennett, V and Smith, H (2013) From teaching assistant to teacher: capitalising on the skills and experience of TAs on an ITT programme. In: TEAN Annual Conference Strengthening Teacher Education, 17 May 2013, Aston University, Birmingham.
Bennett, V and Hay, P (2007) The role of adults in supporting children's learning. In: BESA Third Annual Conference Alternative Visions of Education, 6 July 2007 - 7 July 2007, Bath Spa University, Bath.