Research articles by UWTSD Early Years students accepted for publication by the ECSDN Journal


UWTSD’s Early Years Team are delighted to announce that nine of its students have had their journal articles accepted for publication by the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN), one of the key organisations supporting early years education and care.

UWTSD’s Early Years Team are delighted to announce that nine of its students have had their journal articles accepted for publication by the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN), one of the key organisations supporting early years education and care.

All the articles have been written by second year students studying on the University’s Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status degree programme.   The students include Sinead John, Lauren Lewis, Kelly Blenkinsop-Clarke, Cheryl Evans, Rebecca Stevens, Jade Hicks, Sarah Evans, and Ally Wilson.  The research was part of the ‘Language and Literacy in the Early Years’ module coordinated by Senior Lecturer Alison Rees-Edwards.   She explains:

 “One of my favourite modules to deliver and to assess focuses on babies and children’s language development. For me, learning about babies cooing and babbling and how this evolves to first words, then grammatically correct sentences, is fascinating and part of my enjoyment, when lecturing, stems from seeing our students finding this process equally as fascinating.

One aspect of the module is the role of the adult and an effective way for students to reflect on the way they can support children’s language development is to record themselves undertaking a storytelling activity. Although children are not present, it is easy to see how they would enjoy the way the students effectively use characterization, onomatopoeia, rhyme and repetition when telling a story.”

During the process of marking and assessing the students’ course work Alison Rees-Edwards was very impressed with the quality of the work that had been presented by her students as part of the module.   Therefore, when the call came from the by ECSDN for journal article publications, Alison believed it was the perfect opportunity to showcase the excellent work presented by her students. Alison added:

“It is truly encouraging to see students engage so positively with an assignment, so when the opportunity came to submit a sample of students’ work to be considered for publication by ECSDN (Early Childhood Studies Degree Network), this module immediately came to mind. I was delighted that nine students were happy to edit their scripts submitted for their assignment. This was no mean task as their scripts needed to be adapted into research papers whilst they were also working on ongoing assignments.”

However, the hard work was worthwhile with the ECSDN publication accepting all nine submissions which has allowed the students to see their work being shared across the early years research community.  The feedback from the student following such an opportunity has been very positive.  Here is a selection of the students’ response when presented with the news by Alison Rees-Edwards.

Rebecca Stevens:

 “I was flattered to be asked to submit my article for a journal, especially as I have a keen interest in Early Years language development. I very much enjoyed reading and writing for the module.  It was quick and easy to submit, and with the support of Alison, I am proud to now be able to add this opportunity to my CV for the future.”

Kelly Blenkinsop-Clarke:

"Honestly Wow!! I am completely shocked but absolutely over the moon that they wish to publish my work. I honestly cannot believe it and lost for words. I did have to keep re-reading it to believe it. I cannot thank you enough for giving me the opportunity, for helping and supporting me through the process but also for believing in me and my work.”  

Jade Hicks: 

“Thanks again for this opportunity it has really made me believe in myself and pushed me to go further with my education, so thank you.”

Sarah Evans:

 “I cannot believe it! I am totally shocked and so chuffed. Thank you for everything, I really appreciate it. I was nervous about submitting the article, but the process was straightforward and the support I had from yourself gave me the encouragement to submit it."

 Ally Wilson

“I'm really grateful for the opportunity to do something like this and for the support I've received throughout the process, I didn't think it would ever be possible for me to achieve!”

Cheryl Evans:

“When I was asked if my work could be put forward for consideration to be published, I was surprised and delighted. However, I wondered how I was going to complete editing my piece, in addition to my full-time job and completing other assignments for my degree. My workload for my job had increased due to Covid-19, which meant time was very limited. However, it was a topic I was interested in researching, therefore, I was determined to have ago at completing the publication. Once finished and sent off, I waited to hear back.  When I saw I had received an email announcing that my work had been accepted and would be published I was elated. I had to read the email several times to check if I had read it correctly. All my work and interest had paid off. I feel delighted to have my piece published.”

Rhian Evans:

“It was a surprise when I received the email to say my article had been selected by ECSDN for publishing, but I am so pleased that I made an extra effort to complete it alongside the other modules. Thank you, Alison, for thinking of me for this experience.”

Alison Rees-Edwards highlights the importance of being able to work in partnership with her students.  She commented:

“The opportunity to collaborate with these students, outside of lectures and tutorials, providing them with guidance on how to edit an assignment for publication has been most rewarding and I was absolutely delighted and proud that all nine have been chosen for publication. I am sure that they have found the process beneficial for their future assignments and I, for one, cannot wait to see their names and research published soon. Well done all!"

You can read all the publications by clicking on the ECSDN website.

Natalie Macdonald Programme Director for Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status, added:

"We are immensely proud of our students and the ECSDN’s recognition of the quality of their work. Showcasing work from early years practitioners is a testament to their commitment to supporting young children and an example the calibre of the early years profession.

'As an early years team, we are proud to provide an avenue for the professional and personal development of our students through our flexible day or evening degree programmes in English or Welsh. We are dedicated to supporting the development of the early years sector and celebrating our fantastic practitioners.”

If you would like to join the Early Years Education and Care course and have similar experiences to the students in this article please visit or get in touch with Glenda Tinney via

The University have both daytime and evening study courses available with a widening access policy to support students with a range of pervious experiences to join our programmes.

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 07384 467076 /