Staff Profile


Ms Polly Bolshaw

Senior Lecturer

School: Educational Studies - Undergraduate Programmes

Campus: Broadstairs

Tel: 01227 924559

Profile summary

Polly Bolshaw joined CCCU as a lecturer in December 2013.  Prior to that she worked as a sessional seminar tutor on the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies at CCCU, having completed her MA Early Years (New Leaders in Early Years) at the institution.  Polly has also achieved Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) and worked as an Early Years Professional for two years within a Sure Start Children's Centre prior to her current role.  In 2014 she gained a PGCLT HE (Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education).

Polly teaches primarily on the BA(Hons) Early Childhood Studies programme.  She also teaches on the FD Early Childhood Education and Care, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education and Care and the MA Early Childhood Education. She has previously taught on the Foundation Degree Professional Studies in Early Years as well as the BA(Hons) Early Years Leadership programme.  She acts as a dissertation supervisor to final year undergradute Early Childhood Studies students and has also supported as a placement mentor to undergraduate entry pathway students completing their Early Years Teacher Status.

Academic interests include policy and practices impacting on the early years sector and also services within the UK aimed at supporting young children and their families. 

External activities

Conference Presentations

Where shall we play? How shall we play?. Men in the Early Years Conference, Bradford, UK, 18th July 2017. Joint author.

Exploring children's perceptions of the gendered nature of the early years workforce69th Annual OMEP World Conference, Opatija, Croatia, 23rd June May 2017. Joint author.

Exploring the Transformational Impact of International Study Visits on Early Childhood Studies students69th Annual OMEP World Conference, Opatija, Croatia, 22nd June 2017. Joint author.

Exploring Early Childhood Studies students' experiences of an international study visit to Berlin8th TEAN Annual Conference, Conference Aston, 11th May 2017. Joint author.

Whole Earth?: Developing an Early Childhood Education response. Sustainbility in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities, Canterbury Christ Church University, 7th July 2016. Joint Author.

Exploring male early childhood studies students’ perceptions of working with young children in terms of a viable career choice. OMEP European Conference 2016, Canterbury, Christ Church University, 7th May 2016. Joint author.

Whole Earth?: Developing an Early Childhood Education response. OMEP European Conference 2016, Canterbury Christ Church University, 7th May 2016. Joint author.

Whole Earth?: Developing an Early Childhood Education response. Symposium on Sustainable Development Research at Universities in the UK, Manchester Metropolitan University, 6th April 2016. Joint author.

New Leaders in Early Years: Making a difference for children in England. 67th OMEP World Assembly and Conference, Washington DC, 27th July 2015. Joint author.

An exploration of the concept of “school readiness” and the role of Sure Start Children’s Centres in supporting this. Making a Difference: Transforming Early Years Practice, Canterbury Christ Church University, 10th November 2012. Sole author.

New leaders in early years (NLEY): making a difference for children in England.  At the Crossroads: New Directions in Teacher Education, Canterbury Christ Church University, 16th - 18th July 2012.  Joint author.

Early years intervention – exploring learning and development.  Teach First Conference 2011, Institute of Education, 19th November 2011.  Joint author.

Invited Talks

Developing an Early Childhood Education response to Education for Sustainable Development. Early Childhood Research Group Symposium, Anglia Ruskin University, 18th May 2016. Joint author.


Polly is a member of OMEP (World Organisation for Early Childhood) UK.

Publications and research outputs

Josephidou, J. and Bolshaw, P. (2020) Understanding Gender and Early Childhood: an introduction to the key debates. Oxon: Routledge.

Kemp, N. and Bolshaw, P. (2020) 'Education for Sustainability in Early Childhood Education: Sustainability Transformation through Collaboration', J., Armon, S. Scoffham and C. Armon (eds.) Prioritizing Sustainability Education: a comprehensive approach. Oxon: Routledge.

Bolshaw, P. and Josephidou, J. (2019) Introducing Research in Early Childhood. London: Sage.

O’Connor, S. and Bolshaw, P. (2018) ‘Inclusive Policy and Practice’, in S. Powell, and K. Smith, (eds.) An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies. 4th Ed. London: Sage, pp.187-196.

Meehan, C., Bolshaw, P. and Hadfield, E. (2017) 'New leaders in Early Years: making a difference for children in England', Early Child Development and Care, DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2017.1324436.

Bolshaw, P. (2017) ‘Learning to be Literate’, in C. Ritchie, (ed.) Exploring Children’s Learning 3-11. Oxon: Routledge.

Bolshaw, P. (2015) 'Developing the professional identity of vocationally trained students in university - experiences with action research on the Foundation Degree 'Professional Studies in Early Years' In Maier-Hofer, C. (ed.) Applied Childhood Studies: An introduction to the paradigm. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer, pp.107-132.

Bolshaw, P. (2013) What is understood by the concept of “school readiness”? OMEP UK Updates, April 2013, pp. 14-15.


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Last edited: 13/12/2018 21:16:00