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Who are you? with Penny Borkett – NAPE 063

Mark Taylor (Vice Chair of National Association for Primary Education) talks to Penny Borkett. Penny wrote an article for the Primary First Journal issue 29 entitled:

Who are you? – The importance of building identity in the early years and the place of culture within this.

Penny has spent many years working as a teaching assistant in a variety of schools. She decided to study as a mature student for a degree which focused on children in the early years. After completing that degree she decided to continue studying and completed her MA. At the time she was working as a Portage worker in a Children’s Centre in a multi-cultural area so became very interested in inclusion and working with communities from other parts of the world.

She then worked for a while as a Children’s Centre Co-ordinator before moving to Sheffield Hallam University to teach.

Penny’s book Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in Early Years Education reveals how cultural diversity can be celebrated in every early years setting. Acknowledging the impact of culture on a child’s development and identity, the book demonstrates the need for practitioners to appreciate cultural difference, value diversity and ensure inclusive practices.

Alongside comprehensive discussion of current and historical policy relating to multiculturalism and relevant sociocultural theory, the book provides practical guidance and resources to support practitioners in responding to the challenges of working with families and children from diverse cultural backgrounds. Chapters focus on topics such as:

  • policy and the role of the practitioner
  • sociocultural theories relating to child development
  • building working relationships with families
  • the impact of culture on a child’s identity
  • enabling environments and inclusive strategies.

Including case studies, reflective questions and suggestions for further reading and research, this essential book will help early years practitioners and students to embrace the varied cultural heritages of the children in their care.

National Association for Primary Education publish a professional journal called Primary First 3 times a year. It is FREE to NAPE members or can be purchased for £5 from the National Office.

NAPE are creating a series of podcasts from Primary First contributors to hear from the people and organisations behind the written word.

If you would like read a past issue of the Primary First journal you can receive a FREE e-copy by visiting

To purchase issue 29 and read Penny’s article please contact

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