Staff profile

Ellen Yates

Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood, Programme Leader MA Childhood


Working with Children and Young People


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


Institute of Education


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a senior lecturer in Early Childhood, teaching across both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. I am the Programme Leader for MA Childhood and I am also currently the Stage 3 leader and Direct Entry tutor on BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach a core module, Positioning Childhood, on MA Childhood and two core modules at stage 3 of BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies; the final year research module, Independent Studies; and a practitioner-based module, The Critically Reflective Practitioner. I also teach two undergraduate option modules which reflect my interests: at Stage 2, Emerging Literacies in the Early Years and, at Stage 3, Creative Opportunities and Possibilities.


Professional interests

I am interested in children and young peoples’ participation and agency through play, creativity and literacy.


Research interests

I have completed research into leadership in the early years and student creativity and confidence. I also completed some joint staff/student research on children’s views on play provision.  I am currently engaged in research into children’s meaning-making (how they make sense of life events) through a ceramic arts project.

Membership of professional bodies

I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Recent conferences

I have recently presented papers at the following events:

Experience in industry

International experience

Additional interests and activities

I am a ceramic artist in my spare time and have had past exhibitions at Derby Museum and Art Gallery; One Step Beyond (2011); Wirksworth Festival (2011); and Royal Derby Hospital and Evolve (2013). I work out of a studio in Alvaston, Derby, alongside others and have regular open studio events in November each year.

Recent publications

Yates, E. (2018) 'Play' in Johnston, J., Nahmad-Williams, L., Oates, R. & Wood, V. (eds) (2018) Early Childhood Studies: Principles and Practice (2nd edition) Abingdon: Routledge

Yates, E and Twigg, E (2016) Developing Creativity in Early Childhood Studies Students Thinking Skills and Creativity 23C (2017) pp 42-47 DOI information 10.1016/j.tsc.2016.11.001

Simmons, H and  Yates, E (2014)  Leadership in Early Childhood : Leaders Views on Their role  in  Thomas, M ( Editor) (2014) A Child's World Contemporary issues in education: CAA Aberystwyth University; Aberystwyth

Yates , E and Simmons, H (2014) The Student Practitioner as future Leader in Oates, R & Hey, C (2014) The Student Practitioner in Early Childhood Studies Routledge: Abingdon