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Nicola Stobbs

Senior Lecturer in Centre for Children & Families

Institute of Education

Contact Details


tel: 01905 542506

Nicola was an undergraduate at the university when she left school at eighteen and came to study for a teaching degree. She lived in Ledbury Hall, and has happy memories of nights in the Dive as well as shopping and eating in and around Worcester. She still enjoys the friendly atmosphere that made her feel so at home all those years ago.

Nicola is married with three sons. She loves shopping, reading and playing the piano.

In her professional life she started work as a primary school teacher with a year six class, later moving to year one and becoming responsible for creative play throughout the school. Sometimes she wishes she could return and share what she has learned about play since then.

After a maternity break she began working in a pre-school setting and was promoted to manager during which time she wrote articles for “Practical Pre-school” magazine, joined a Local Authority working party to produce the “Nursery Profile/School Transfer Document and ran a course entitled “Creating a Stimulating Learning Environment.” She was also asked to join the “National Primary Strategies” team and was a mentor for many students from various schools, colleges in the area, as well as the university. A highlight was attending a study week in Reggio Emilia, Italy, which encouraged her to consider the importance of the environment on learning.

As her experience grew in early years she undertook more qualifications, completing her masters and EYPS. One of her proudest achievements was being awarded a distinction for her masters dissertation on social withdrawal in young children.

In September 2012 she took up a 0.6 post within the Institute of Education with professional expertise in the area of parenting and families. She is also the lead assessor for Early Years Initial Teacher Training at the University. She achieved the status of Fellow of The Higher Education Academy in 2014.



Early Years Professional Status

MA Early Childhood

Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education


Teaching & Research

Teaching & Research

Research Interests:

Nicola was involved in research into the “Family Links” nurturing programme, parenting needs of Kinship Carers and recently wrote a book entitled “Early Years Placements” with university colleague, Dr Jackie Musgrave.

She has also completed research into the parenting needs of kinship carers as well as how to support students to have an outstanding placement experience.

She is currently involved in a widening participation project to try and increase the number of “words in use” of language deprived young children.

Teaching Interests:

Nicola’s teaching interests involve relating practice experience to theory; the influence of the environment and social injustice on children’s learning success and preparing trainees for becoming reflective and committed practitioners.



Professional Bodies

Professional Bodies




Presentation of paper at the Worcester Teaching and Learning Conference June 2013-Exit Sips; a useful tool for students and lecturers?

Presentation of paper at the TACTYC conference held at the NIA Birmingham on 2nd November 2013 Intervening or Interfering- using research to inform research; a personal journey to create a living educational theory on how best to support young children displaying social withdrawal.

Presentation of paper at TACTYC conference held at the NIA Birmingham on 1st November 2014:

Does our preparation of students for placement align with practitioners’’ expectations?

Presentation of paper at International Children’s conference Ipswich, 14th July 2015:

What are the parenting needs of Kinship Carers?:

Presentation of paper at international ECEERA conference, Barcelona, 8th September 2015:

They’ve got to want to be there- why some students have better placement experiences than others


Nicola recently co-authored a book with her colleague Jackie Musgrave entitled “Early Years placements. A critical guide to an outstanding work-based learning experience.” Published by Critical Publishing Ltd.

External Responsibilities

External Responsibilities