Before moving into Higher Education in 2010, I enjoyed a varied career as a primary school teacher in schools across the country and I taught in all age groups, from Foundation Stage to Year 6. During that time, I was also a vocal coach for the national 'Sing Up' strategy. I have special interests in both English and music.
Before joining the primary team at the Institute of Education, I worked at Liverpool Hope University, where I took on various roles including year head, primary English lead, and Early Career Teacher lead. I taught on both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. In addition, I taught on masters and EdD programmes, and was a departmental ethics lead. I have a particular interest in social justice, and my doctoral study grew from a project called the Hope Challenge, which aimed to develop student teachers’ understanding of how to work in schools in challenging circumstances.
Professional memberships and activities
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Member of the Chartered College of Teaching
Doctorate in Education: University College London Institute of Education
Master of Arts in Victorian Studies: University of Liverpool
Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice: Liverpool Hope University
Postgraduate Certificate in Education: University of Reading
BA (Hons) Latin with Greek: University College London
All aspects of primary teaching with specific expertise in the areas of English and music.
I am particularly interested in the role of music in developing children’s phonological awareness in preparation for early reading. Being aware that music is often a subject which primary school teachers lack the confidence to teach, as part of my doctoral studies, I conducted a piece of action research in which I developed a resource bank of musical activities using just the singing voice and un-tuned percussion instruments to support the Early Learning Goals related to music, phonological development and several aspects of Phonics Phase 1 Letters and Sounds.
Drawing on the notion of a ‘Cycle of Enactment’ (Lampert, Franke, Kazemi et al., 2013), I then worked with groups of student teachers with whom I firstly shared the rationale for this project. The students and I rehearsed the activities together and they observed me enacting those activities with children in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Subsequently, the students collaboratively planned, taught, and reflected upon music sessions with small groups of children in the same settings.
The findings suggested that the teaching model and the use of the resource pack developed the student teachers’ competence and confidence to teach music, and their understanding of the impact that musical activity can have on other areas of learning. This has been disseminated through various conferences (including BERA, 2017 and Rome, 2017) and academic seminars, as well as an article in the Educational Action Research Journal, 2019.
Veronica Poulter & Tina Cook (2020) Teaching music in the early years in schools in challenging circumstances: developing student teacher competence and confidence through cycles of enactment, Educational Action Research, DOI: 10.1080/09650792.2020.1765185
Poulter, V. (2018). ‘Teaching Latin to Primary School Children at Liverpool Hope University: An Impact Study’. Journal of Classics Teaching vol.19 issue 38