Di Chilvers is an advisory consultant in early childhood education, a writer and author of several books and articles on philosophy and practice in the early years.


Di’s work is based on 38 years’ experience in education and influenced by the early years philosophy of Reggio Emilia, the Danish kindergartens, particularly Forest Schools and the Te Whariki Early Years Curriculum in New Zealand.


Having originally trained as a Nursery Nurse (NNEB), Di became an early years teacher and worked in further and higher education. For many years Di taught in Nottingham where she developed a particular interest in children’s thinking and talk, play and child-led learning.

Di has worked in Ghana where she discussed how young children learn through play. She also worked with students on a degree programme in early intervention and support for families, at the University of Nizwa in Oman. Several study tours to Reggio Emilia, Denmark and India have given Di a wide perspective on early education.
She was a National Strategies Regional Adviser for the Early Years Foundation Stage and a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at Sheffield Hallam University where she developed and led a range of programmes.
Di has been a member of Early Education for over 32 years and was the Chair of the Sheffield Branch. Di is also a Board Member of the Sheffield Hallam University Institute of Education and a Trustee (Non-Exec Director) of the Five Rivers Multi Academy Trust in Sheffield.


Source: watch me grow.

Keynote synopsis: "You're making my memory come back" - Reflections on young children's creativity and critical thinking



Bernadette Duffy has worked in a range of settings over the last 30 years. Originally teacher trained, she was Head of the Thomas Coram Centre in Camden, one of the first schools to be designated as a Children’s Centre, for twenty years.
The author of Supporting Creativity and Imagination in the Early Years and co-editor of Contemporary Issues in the Early Years, Bernadette is a speaker on a wide range of early years issues in this country and abroad.
Bernadette was part of the devising of the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, Birth to Three Matters and the EYFS Framework.
Over the years Bernadette has been a member of a number of advisory committees, including for the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister; Department for Education; the Qualification, Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Cambridge University Primary Review.

Bernadette is Vice President of the British Association for Early Childhood Education and trustee of the Incorporated Froebel Institute and is currently working as an early years consultant.


Keynote synopsisThe Creative Curriculum - The Importance of Creativity and Critical Thinking