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Ms Gemma M Ryder

Senior Lecturer

Cass School of Education and Communities

Gemma M. Ryder is a Senior Lecturer in the Cass School of Education and Communities. She teaches on the foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate early childhood programmes. She is additionally an Adult Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) and a Higher Education MHFA Champion.

    My passion for working in early childhood began when I qualified as an NNEB trained Nursery Nurse, working in a private day nursery and progressing into the role of a Senior Nursery Nurse with the 0-5 years age group. My experience led me to work in Further Education as an Early Years Work Placement Coordinator for students studying on the CACHE childcare and education courses. I have worked in Higher Education for 5 years as an assessor, mentor and Programme Leader on the Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) pathways and as an early childhood lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University and the University of East London. I have worked with private and not-for-profit day nurseries, private and state schools and families and have also gained practical experience shadowing and supporting staff at Head Start / Early Head Start organisations and a paediatric centre for children with special educational needs and disabilities in Chicago and Joliet, Illinois. My first degree is a BSc (Hons) in Health Sciences and I have a Masters in Early Years Professional Practice. I have additionally completed the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) training and have PG Cert in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. I am currently studying for a Professional Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

    PGCert Learning and Teaching in HE; MA Early Years Professional Practice; Early Years Professional Status, FHEA


    • Developing leadership skills in young children
    • Prosocial behavior and dispositions in the 0 – 3 years age group
    • Working with families in challenging circumstances

    • Developing practical skills on non-vocational degree pathways
    • Early childhood leadership skills and experiences in practitioners with unrelated degrees.
    • Leadership experiences of early childhood practitioners and professionals
    • Professional safeguarding
    • Supporting the needs of early childhood staff who have special educational needs, specific learning differences or mental health conditions.

    • Early Years Professional Status and Early Years Initial Teacher Training
    • Early childhood undergraduate and postgraduate training and experience
    • Experiences of online learners


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    Leading in Early Childhood

    Davis, G. and Ryder, G.. (2016). SAGE Publications Ltd.



    I am particularly passionate about workforce development and early childhood leadership, reflective practice, developing communities of practice and the development of prosocial skills in the under-3s age group. My experiences teaching on the EYPS / EYITT programmes have allowed me to specialise in understanding the needs of undergraduate and postgraduate early childhood professionals and the impact higher level learning has within the sector.


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    Foundation Modules:

    ED3091 Placement in Context: Play and Learning

    ED3094 Social, Emotional and Mental Health

    Undergraduate Modules:

    ED6016 Leading and Managing Partnerships in Early Years

    Postgraduate Modules:

    ED7001 Research Methods and Dissertation in Early Childhood Leadership and Practice

    ED7410 Critical Reflection on Leadership of Practice in Early Childhood

    Early Childhood and Education Subject Area