STEEP's 8th Annual Early Childhood Conference

Readiness for school?

Readiness to learn!

Underpinning future learning through a language rich curriculum

Keynote speakers

We are delighted to be joined at the conference by:

Mine Conkbayir

Mine is a lecturer, award-winning author and trainer. She has worked in the field of early childhood education and care for over 17 years. Mine is the winner of the Nursery Management Today (NMT) Top 5 Most Inspirational People in Childcare Award.

She is currently undertaking a PhD in early childhood education and neuroscience to develop her work in the complex and challenging subject of infant brain development. Her key objective is to bridge the gap between neuroscience and Early Years discourse and practice. She hopes that her research will provide the necessary evidence to seek solutions to this persistent issue, with the ultimate goal of enhancing provision for babies, children and young adults.

Jean Gross CBE

Jean Gross CBE is a popular speaker on children’s issues and the author of a number of best-selling books including ‘Time to Talk’. She was formerly the government’s Communication Champion for children, responsible for promoting the importance of good language skills. Recently she chaired the ‘Bercow: Ten Years On’ independent review of services for children with speech, language and communication needs. She has frequently acted in an advisory capacity to government on early years issues and currently sits on an expert group looking at government plans to improve the communication and language skills of under-fives.

Anjali Patel - Lead Advisory Teacher

An experienced senior leader, Anjali taught children throughout the primary age range. She has been an assistant headteacher, led the KS1 phase and the EYFS as Head of 0-5s, been the leading teacher for mathematics and developed the role of teaching assistants. Anjali has worked for a Local Authority as language and literacy consultant. Anjali writes regularly for Teachwire and BBC Bitesize, sharing good practice in early years literacy.  Anjali leads our teaching team and, as well as teaching throughout our programme, is responsible for the development and delivery of our Early Years work.

What children’s book character would you love to be? Anjali says, “Anna Hibiscus in Atinuke’s stories epitomises what it is like to be a child growing up with family around her, dealing with the issues and dilemmas of childhood and extra ones created by her mixed heritage and the social circumstances of the people that she meets.”

Charlotte Hacking - Learning Programme Leader (Central)

An experienced teacher and senior leader, Charlotte taught across the primary school age range before holding several posts including Assistant Headteacher and Leadership posts in Literacy, Early Years Foundation Stage, more able pupils and KS2. She was a literacy consultant within a Local Authority, focussing on Early Years, Phonics and Primary Literacy. She has written blogs and articles for a range of publications including Teach Primary and Books for Keeps. She is the governor of a secondary school with responsibility for teaching and learning. 

Charlotte’s special interests lie in Early Years, early reading development, the development of writing and the use of picturebooks and poetry to raise children’s engagement and attainment. She developed and leads the CLPE’s ground breaking Power of Pictures research, investigating the impact visual literacy and illustration can have on children’s reading and writing. Charlotte also led and developed the CLPE’s Power of Poetry research project, designed to highlight the importance of poetry as a vehicle for improving children’s engagement in and enjoyment of reading and creative writing in schools, as well as being on the judging panel for the CLPE poetry award, CLiPPA.

She tweets at @charliehacking

The books that made Charlotte a reader were Rosie’s Walk and Goodnight Owl by Pat Hutchins and Gargling with Jelly by Brian Patten.