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Centre for Family Research

We have a worldwide reputation for innovative research to increase understanding of children, parents and family relationships

CPD for Educators (2021-23): free CPD series run by the Ready Or Not team.

Professor Claire Hughes and her team on the Ready or Not study held a series of 12 virtual CPD events during 2021-23.

These sessions were designed to inform and stimulate discussion covering a range of topics to support teachers. Topics included home-school communication, friendships in the classroom, outdoor play and development of social and cognitive skills.

See recordings and handouts from the sessions, below.



Childhood Worry; Schools Mental Health & Wellbeing

4th March, 2021

Speakers: Dr Charlotte Wilson from Trinity College Dublin and Dr Praveetha Patalay from UCL


Dr Charlotte Wilson is a Clinical Psychologist at Trinity College Dublin and author of a book entitled “Understanding Children’s Worry”.

Click here for a summary handout of Dr Wilson's talk.

Dr Praveetha Patalay is an Artist and Academic, based at UCL. Praveetha works on causes and effects of depression in children and adolescents. She has recently been elected to the prestigious Forbes list ’30 under 30’ for science and health. You can read more about Praveetha and her work here or see Praveetha's Forbes profile here.

Click here for a summary handout of Dr Patalay's talk.


Mitigating the impact of the pandemic – A panel discussion

6th May, 2021


"How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected schools?" - Tania Clarke (PhD Student), University of Cambridge.

Tania's PhD project investigates how experiences of wellbeing in school relates to Primary pupils' academic attainment. In collaboration with Cambridgeshire PHSE, Tania has been delivering mental wellbeing workshops for Year 5 and 6 pupils.
Click here for a summary handout.

"Tracking children's mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic" - Dr Edwin Dalmaijer.

One year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had collected data from hundreds of children aged 7-9 years. This allowed us to study how life in the “new normal” affected children. We found a mixed bag of results, with an increase in depressive symptoms, but also stable levels of anxiety.
Click here for a summary handout from Dr Dalmaijer's talk.

"Supporting Schools through the Covid-19 Pandemic" - Dr Adam Baron, University of Edinburgh.


Outdoor play and the importance of nature

1st July, 2021


"Fostering children’s connection to nature" - Sam Friedman (PhD Student), Centre for Family Research.

"Why outdoor risky play matters" - Dr Jenny Gibson, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

Here is a summary handout for Jenny's talk.


Tools for monitoring progress and wellbeing

2nd September, 2021


"Rating School Readiness: the Brief Early Skills and Support Index (BESSI)" - Dr Rory Devine, University of Birmingham.

"‘How I Feel About My School’: a new measure for children (HIFAMS)" - Kate Allen (PhD student), University of Exeter.


Tuning into thoughts and feelings

4th November, 2021


"Family influences on mindreading" - Professor Claire Hughes, Centre for Family Research.

"Mindreading in the playground" - Dr Elian Fink.


Ethnic diversity in the classroom

6th January, 2022


"Multilingual children at school and at home" - Dr Napoleon Katsos, Cambridge Bilingualism Network, University of Cambridge.

"Multicultural Friendships" - Dr Humera Iqbal, UCL.


Neurodiversity in the classroom

3rd March, 2022


"Understanding Developmental Language Disorders" - Dr Umar Toseeb, University of York.

"School experiences of children with Down syndrome" - Dr Hana D’Souza, University of Cambridge.


Shared Picture Book reading

5th May, 2022


"Parents, Pre-schoolers and Picture books" - Keya Elie (PhD student, Centre for Family Research.

"Stories as a tool for promoting social understanding" - Dr Serena Lecce University of Pavia, Italy.

"Helping Parents Share Picture Books" - Katherine De Wilder University of Oxford.


Flexibility and Focus

7th July, 2022


"Early family influences on self-regulation" - Professor Claire Hughes, Centre for Family Research. 

"Can interventions improve children’s self-regulation?" - Dr Michelle Ellefson, University of Cambridge.


Early numeracy and maths anxiety

8th September, 2022


"The importance of spatial thinking for mathematics in the primary school years" - Professor Emily Farran, University of Surrey.

"Understanding Maths Anxiety" - Dr Dénes Szücs, University of Cambridge.


Building Bridges between Schools and Families

3rd November, 2022


"Strategies for engaging parents" - Anne Parker, Foundation Years Trust.

"Parents’ experiences of children’s transition to school" - Caoimhe Dempsey (PhD student), Centre for Family Research.


Supporting teachers relationships with children

5th January, 2023


"Relational Pedagogy and Early Language Development" - Dr Sandra Mathers, University of Oxford.

"Using Video Feedback to Enhance Teacher-Child Relationships" - Dr Christine O’Farrelly, The PEDAL Centre, University of Cambridge.