Portrait of Ms Judith Hunter Ms Judith Hunter

j.hunter@hud.ac.uk | 01484 478135


Qualifications: MA, CertEd

Judith Hunter was a Senior Lecturer in the Early Years team at the University Centre Barnsley (UCB), appointed in November 2010 and in August 2014 joined the Childhood Studies team at the University of Huddersfield. Her extensive teaching career began in 1982, working in a variety of high schools in Leeds and Wakefield followed by a move to a College of Further Education in 1995. Whilst at Wakefield College in 2008, she was appointed Advanced Practitioner in Early Years, with responsibility for the Foundation Degree and the collaborative provision with the University of Huddersfield BA Early Years with Early Years Professional Status (EYPS). Since moving to the University teaching interests include play and learning, language development in the early years, the reflective practitioner and professional practice. Judith is also the Admissions Tutor for BA Hons Childhood Studies and is heavily involved in admissions and recruitment for both Childhood Studies and Early Years programmes.

Judith has a Masters Degree in Educational Improvement Development and Change programme. Research interests focused on the role of an Early Years Professional and managing change in their leadership roles in any capacity; from changing staff,  through to changing settings and practice. Looking at the process of change and how it is managed, the relationships and processes that happen during any change, the impact that professionals have on line management, leadership and practice within the setting and the changes in professional identity during a period of change.

Research and Scholarship

Current research interests aim to investigate the outcomes for young children of participation within a Forest School pedagogy and context. To explore the children’s and practitioners’ views concerning the learning potential of the outdoor environment and to identify and discuss the kinds of activities and pedagogical approaches available. Judith is currently working with staff at a local school to develop a Forest School area in the school grounds. Working with the staff the intention is to incorporate regular access to the outside ‘learning zone’ area across a range of subjects within the National Curriculum and the EYFS. It is hoped that as the project develops the practitioners will recognise the potential for something other than normal content based learning and that it provides a special space for children to develop a broader range of understanding, skills and attributes.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Hunter, J (2017) ‘Preparing professionals to listen to and respond to children's voices in a university course: Using the Mosaic approach.’. In: 27th EECERA International Conference, 29 Aug - 1 Sep 2017, Bolgna, Italy


Hunter, J (2016) ‘Engaging Children and Young People: Creative methods and Research Ethics. What's so interesting outside? An illustration of 'floor books' by young children.’. In: Engaging Children and Young people: Creative methods & Research Ethics, June 2016, University Of Huddersfield

Hunter, J (2016) ‘Leuven scales of well-being and involvement’. In: SEPD Staff Conference 2016, ,


Hunter, J (2015) ‘What's so interesting outside? An exploration into the different affordances of outdoor play spaces and the relationship to early childhood pedagogy PhD Proposal’. In: The Great Outdoors? Children, Young People and Families in Natural and Rural Spaces, 9th - 10th September 2015, University of Northampton


  • Member of the Association for the Professional Development of Early Years Educators
  • Member of the British Association for Early Childhood Education
  • Member of Training, Advancement and Co-operation of Teaching Young Children (TACTYC)
  • Member of the European Early Childhood Research
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Research Degree Supervision

  • Professional identity in the Early Years
  • Play 
  • EYFS 
  • Language Development
  • Outdoor play 
  • Forest school

Further information is available about Research Topics and Supervision within the School of Education and Professional Development.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Organiser 'Finding a Voice' Conference
  • Liaision with Keynote speaker: Professor Sir Al Aynsley Green and Clive Worley from Amnesty International for the Year 3 Childhood Studies Student Conference ‘Finding a Voice’ 
  • Admissions Tutor for Childhood Studies
  • Marketing and recruitment for Childhood Studies and Early Years Undergraduate provision for SEPD

Teaching and Professional Activities

Currently teach on;

  • BA (Hons) Early Years (part-time) - Senior Practitioner
  • BA (Hons) Childhood Studies; Employability: Empowering the Critical Practitioner, Language and Communication for Effective Inclusion, Finding a Voice
  • Masters session; Outdoor Play and Forest Schools 
  • BA (Hons) Major Study and Masters Studies  - Supervisor:

Module leader and tutor for;

  • Empoyability: Empowering the Critical Practitioner
  • Language and Communication for Effective Inclusion

BA (Hons) Childhood Studies Year 2; Personal tutor
Childhood Studies; Admissions Tutor