ECIS EARLY CHILDHOOD
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
The early childhood special interest group aims to transform practice through professional learning opportunities that feature leading practice and are evidence-led; a further goal is, where appropriate, to create research and research opportunities around particular problems of practice.
We, the ECIS EC Special Interest Group, are a group of volunteers with diverse experience in early childhood education. We are committed to empowering EC educators in our international community to develop themselves professionally and positively impact young learners’ lives. We come together throughout the year to discuss and debate hot topics in EC and design our early childhood conferences, webinars and discussion groups. We know that all EC teachers are researchers! Therefore, we plan conferences where EC teachers learn from each other and provide opportunities for our EC community to continue their learning journey by keeping up to date with recent developments and research in our field.
- Advocating for children’s right to play
- Committing to forging international and supportive professional relationships
- Promoting learner agency and high-quality learning environments
- Encouraging innovative educational methods and impactful learning
- Promoting well-being and mindfulness for educators and children
OUR NEXT EVENT
Early Childhood Connect & Converse: Elevating Emergent Writing: 28 March
Early Childhood Connect & Converse: Supporting Speech and Language: 25 April
Early Childhood Connect & Converse: A spotlight on literacy in the first 1000 days: 23 May
MEET THE COMMITTEE
Lynsey Briek (Chair)
Lynsey Briek is an early childhood educator and leader with more than 15 years of experience in the field. She is currently undertaking a master’s in leadership in early childhood education. Lynsey is passionate about the work of Ferre Laevers and the importance of well-being and involvement in education. She is interested in emergent curricula and learning landscape design that fosters the autonomy of children. Lynsey enjoys using a workshop approach across the curriculum and views documentation as vital to uncover young children’s thinking.
As an advocate for movement and the importance of physical development, Lynsey has developed outdoor education sessions in the settings she has worked to provide children with the time to connect with nature and engage in authentic and ‘risky’ play. Lynsey has been instrumental in designing responsive EC programmes incorporating concept-based inquiry within free-flow indoor/outdoor environments with elements of Montessori and Reggio-inspired practice.
John O’Toole (Deputy Chair)
John O’Toole has recently completed his 30th year of teaching at the American School in London and his 35th working in American and international schools. John is a trained and experienced integrative arts psychotherapist. His particular interests include; learning through a sense of belonging, self-expression, and valuing diversity. He strongly advocates the benefits of play and creative arts in Early Childhood and the child’s growth through relationships.
Beatrice Moccia is an energetic, optimistic and caring Early Years educator and leader who currently works as Assistant Principal for Curriculum at the Leipzig International Kindergarten. She carries an international nine years of experience in Early Years luggage. So far, she has had the opportunity to work in schools around Europe, such as Ireland, Spain, Italy and Germany. Education hasn’t always been her vocation, but she instantly fell in love with her career when she discovered it. She has always been inspired by the impact of happiness in people’s lives and has thus made the inspiration of happiness a goal in her career.
As a curious lifelong learner, this passion for education has especially taken her to deeply research and study positive psychology applied in the Early Years. As both an educator and a leader, she seeks to offer the learning community opportunities to make their learning path meaningful and valuable.
Charlotte Rands is Head of Primary at the British International School of Stockholm with a background in early years teaching and leadership. She has taught in the UK and international schools in Vietnam and Sweden. Charlotte is passionate about empowering staff to drive change through collaboration. Using this approach, she has worked collaboratively across schools to design learning projects for EYFS, developed a bespoke EYFS curriculum at BISS and supported the development of a more play-based Year 1 approach to support an effective transition from the foundation stage into Key Stage 1. She developed a passion for teaching phonics when implementing a county-wide initiative across Warwickshire, England.
Pam Mundy is currently Consultant Director of Schools and Education for NEOM Education, Research and Innovation, part of the new Giga city of NEOM in Saudi Arabia. She is a Founding and Board Member of the ground-breaking EIG international network, Business Women in Education. Pam also operates as an innovative school designer and consultant to many of the world’s leading school and education groups in her specialist areas of early years, bi-lingual learning, international and intercultural learning, strategic leadership, and school improvement and development.
An internationally renowned author and keynote speaker with global recognition for her specialism in Early Childhood Learning and Development, international education, school design and start-up, particularly in Saudi Arabia, SE Asia, the UAE, Latin and Central America, China, Japan, West Africa and the USA, Pam’s recent Executive roles have included international posts as; Director of Education for the Dar Al Marefa Schools, Dubai, Chief Academic Officer for Knightsbridge Schools International and Director for Quality Assurance and Professional Development for World Class Learning (now part of the Nord Anglia Education Group) based in Houston, Texas.
Pam provides advice and guidance to new ‘start-up’ schools, including brokering and securing investment and selecting key partnerships for a wide variety of high net-worth education development projects. Pam holds positions on UK and international Education Boards and ground-breaking international Early Childhood – G12 education research groups.
Fiona Carter is the Director of Education for Wellington Colleges International and specialises in monitoring and supporting the quality of education in Primary and Early Years across the group. After spending the previous four years in China, she is now based at Wellington College in the UK. She is fortunate to travel to the group’s schools in SE Asia and connect with inspirational and pioneering educators in the UK and worldwide in the field of these vital age phases.
She sees sharing ideas and networking with like-minded educators as key to constant improvement and self-reflection on creating the maximum conditions for learning for children, their families, and teachers alike. She is a great advocator of the need for schools to keep well-being and Involvement at the heart of all practice and strategic thinking, coupled with a view of assessment needing to be meaningful and holistic.
From working directly with Professor Ferre Levers and author of the Mona Lisa Effect, Matthew Savage, she continues to spread the word internationally as a speaker and strategic advisor to schools. From recent work in bilingual education, Fiona is now focusing a lot of research and development support on developing the most impactful immersive and co-teaching models in current schools in the group and prospective ones in new territories. Vital to all of this is her view of the child as a capable, curious and independent thinker who thrives in exceptional learning environments, in and outdoors.
Karen Dolan is an Early Years Leader and educator with over 30 years of experience working in Scotland and at the International School of Luxembourg. recently completed a Master’s in International Education Administration, where she researched topics such as COVID-19, Technology, well-being, Inclusive Education, Leadership, and Outdoor Learning. She believes in a developmentally appropriate play and inquiry-based curriculum inspired by the Reggio Emelia approach and Project Zero classroom. She believes in a developmentally appropriate play and inquiry-based curriculum inspired by the Reggio Emelia approach and Project Zero classroom. As a CIS Accreditation Evaluator, she has worked collaboratively to reflect, evaluate and drive school improvement.
She is a member of both the Wellbeing and DEIJ committees at ISL, subjects she is deeply passionate about. Karen is currently leading and learning as her team implement a new multi-age approach whilst working towards PYP authorisation. She believes early years education is the most challenging yet most important work and is dedicated to sharing joy and challenges, hoping to enable continuous and meaningful improvement.
Dr Arunabh Singh
Dr Arunabh Singh is the Director – Principal of Nehru World School, Ghaziabad. An Alumnus of King’s College London and Hindu College – Delhi University, he is passionate about innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and igniting young minds. A proponent of the distributed leadership model firmly believes, “Technology may not replace teachers, but teachers who use technology effectively will replace those who don’t.” Dr Singh is a School Standards Setting Committee member under National Education Policy, India 2020, Cambridge South Asia Advisory Board and a British Council School Ambassador. He is an educational visionary, a renowned keynote speaker and an entrepreneur chairing the Federation of the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Sophia Moros is the Director of Early Childhood and Development, PJ-Grade 2, at the American Community Schools, Athens, Greece. She has over twenty years of experience in education, serving in various capacities, including administration, teaching, and supporting staff. She advocates for strong parent-school partnerships and is currently orchestrating innovative programs for ACS Athens School, including her design of the Early Childhood Mascot, Conscious Cub and much more. With sufficient international experience and an open mind to possibilities, Sophia is a firm believer in the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”, as an entire community of people must interact positively with children for children to emulate safe and healthy experiences in their futures.
SUPPORTING OUR ECIS COLLEAGUES
The early childhood special interest group aims to support and empower colleagues by making research accessible to busy educators and sharing best practices through facilitating informal discussions, webinars, and conferences in light of the global pandemic and its impact on the learning and well-being, of children and educators. We want to help to know your wants, needs and passions. So please tell us about your problems in practice and challenges, and let us help by holding discussion meetings to support you.
Please scan the QR code and let us know how we can best serve you!
USEFUL RESOURCES AND LINKS