Press Release

08 October 2013

Three Christ Church students completing their New Leaders in Early Years postgraduate study at Medway have recently returned from the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education's (OMEP) 65th World Congress and Conference in Shanghai.

Three Christ Church students completing their New Leaders in Early Years postgraduate study at Medway have recently returned from the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education’s (OMEP) 65th World Congress and Conference in Shanghai.

Kerry Lawrence, Jemima Murray & Hannah Kasprzok
Kerry Lawrence, Jemima Murray & Hannah Kasprzok

Jemima Murray, Hannah Kasprzok and Kerry Lawrence are all final year students on the New Leaders in Early Years programme. The two year programme is a national pilot run by Christ Church and funded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership, which enables students to become Early Years Teachers and gain an MA in Early Years.  

The three students were invited to attend the prestigious 65th OMEP World Congress and Conference with the theme, ‘Enhancing the Development of Early Childhood Education: Opportunities and Quality’, where they discussed early years issues across the globe.

2nd from left, Liz Hryniewicz, 4th from left, Jemima Murray, next to her Kerry Lawrence  and next to her Hannah Kasprzok
2nd from left, Liz Hryniewicz, 4th from left, Jemima Murray, next to her Kerry Lawrence and next to her Hannah Kasprzok

Liz Hryniewicz, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Childhood Studies, also attended the conference.  She said: “Our students were welcomed as early years experts and had a wonderful opportunity to network with colleagues from 79 other countries and to hear about the Chinese focus on early years first-hand from the Minister for Education.”

Kerry Lawrence and her fellow students jumped at the opportunity to attend the Conference. Kerry said: “When we found out we had the chance to attend the annual OMEP conference we were over the moon and started writing our proposals for sponsorship.

“The three of us feel very privileged to get sponsored to go to the conference. It provided much food for thought and was thoroughly refreshing to be discussing globally significant issues in the inspiring environment of Shanghai.”

Jemima Murray made an exceptional contribution to the Conference, presenting her research on The Roles and Progression of Early Years Professionals in England to the Conference. The trip has been hugely beneficial to Jemima, she said: “The course has given me so many opportunities. Not only have I visited and presented research in Shanghai, I have had the chance to present my research at a conference in Medway as well as attending guest lectures from the most inspiring people in early years.”

“Attending a conference in China was just fantastic and incredibly eye opening. It allowed us to expand our international scope on early years knowledge and networks which is so important in a modern society.”

The Early Years Teachers learnt how different cultures can also impact on the way children develop and learn. Hannah said: “The trip to Shanghai has changed the way I have been approaching my studies here at Christ Church. I can now tackle various challenges as I have an international perspective of early years issues.

“I was able to meet academics from all over the world which enabled me to gain first-hand knowledge about the early years in China.

“Visiting the local kindergarten was particularly insightful for me as it was a fascinating comparison to the setting I work in currently.”

Previous students have visited the World Congress and Conference, contributing valuable research and knowledge that has given this year’s cohort of students the opportunity to be invited again this year.

The students accompanied Janet Morris, President of OMEP UK, who provided sponsorship for them. OMEP UK (www.omepuk.org.uk) is one of the sponsors for the prestigious New Leaders in Early Years programme, which aims to attract high achieving graduates from any discipline into the early years workforce to improve the future for children and families.

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 94% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2012 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2011/12 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

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Last edited: 05/12/2017 04:25:00