You are here

  1. Home
  2. Mrs Kat Vallely

Mrs Kat Vallely

Kat Vallely

Profile summary

Professional biography

Kat Vallely is a Staff Tutor in Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport (ECYS) at the Open University where she supports tutors across three programmes including: Childhood and Youth Studies, Education Studies – Primary and Early Childhood (E102, E103, E109). In addition to this role, Kat is also part of the ECYS Athena Swan team which is currently focused on embedding activities relating to the recent Bronze Award and undertaking key research.

Alongside her work with The Open University, Kat is also a trained coach and works with individuals looking to develop them both professionally and personally. 

Kat has worked in Higher Education since 2017, supporting both trainee teachers and practising teachers, as well as successfully leading cohorts of students through their Primary Education degree programmes. Kat has held subject lead responsibilities for English and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), whilst also being named Primary Safeguarding trainer across undergraduate and post graduate qualifications. In addition to these roles, she has also worked as a School Experience Tutor, supporting students and their school mentors within practice-based settings.

Prior to working in HE, Kat was a practising teacher and taught across Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and KS1 in London schools. She held a variety of positions including EYFS lead, Subject Leader, Phonics Lead, and was a Local Authority SATS Moderator.

Research interests

Kat’s research interests include:

  • Children and young people’s identity development
  • Children’s communication and language skills
  • Children and young people with care experienced backgrounds
  • Childhood mental health
  • Qualitative research methodologies – developing participatory, responsive approaches through multimodal forms of communication 

Kat is currently working on a scholarship and research project with the ECYS Student Voice and Wellbeing (SVWB). The SVWB group provides strategic direction and leadership to develop an inclusive, valuable, and supportive space to encourage partnership working that strengthens student voice and facilitates opportunities for empowerment which ensures student voice is heard, listened to, and acted upon. The group encourages participation from under-represented student groups and aims to promote positive wellbeing through making opportunities to increase the role of student voice within and across their OU experiences as a student. The scholarship and research project work that Kat is currently working on is aiming to explore Student Voice and how it is included in module planning, production, and maintenance across ECYS.

Teaching interests

In Higher Education Kat has taught a range of topics, subject areas and courses including:

  • PGCE Primary 
  • BA Hons Primary Education
  • BA Hons Education
  • Literacy and Language
  • Early Years Education
  • Learning Outside the Classroom
  • Safeguarding
  • Relationships and Sex Education
  • Reading for Pleasure
  • Writing for Pleasure
  • Teacher Professionalism
  • Technology Enhanced Teaching and Learning
  • Student Learning Experience
  • Pedagogy, Learning & Teaching
  • Teacher Wellbeing & Self-Care


Impact and engagement

From 2018-2021 Kat was the United Kingdom Literacy Association’s (UKLA) Regional Representative. In this role, Kat implemented global monthly CPD opportunities through Twitter (#UKLAChat). These chats featured four key questions that ignited curiosity, wonder and exploration. As answers were published during the live chat, respondents were able to learn, discuss and share ideas. These interactions received international recognition and showed commitment to equality through the broad range of topics that were covered each month. In her role as Regional Representative, Kat also sat on both the National Committee and Executive Committees at UKLA.

Since joining The Open University Kat is working with Professor Teresa Cremin, including as the role of Reading for Pleasure mentor. Within this role she is supporting schools in gaining their national certification towards becoming an accredited Reading for Pleasure School. 

Further impact and engagement activities include Kat planning and organising annual education conferences, where she held responsibility of effectively managing the budget, whilst ensuring that the day was stimulating, inclusive of all attendees and engaging throughout. Additionally, she has been responsible for inviting members of the wider community, such as: Roma Gypsy Story Tellers, The Reflecting Realities Team, Non-binary individuals within education, and The Holocaust Education team to share their insights and perspectives during organised educational events.

Kat has also contributed to the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Projects where she has joined other QAA members to explore shared areas of interest in the pursuit of an enhanced student learning experience.

External collaborations

  • University of Greenwich (PT lecturer)
  • University of Middlesex (External Examiner)
  • UKLA



Wow...what a moment! A month ago, this child wasn’t really interested in reading at all. (2022-11)
Vallely, Kat and McDonald, R
English 4-11, Autumn(76) (pp. 10-13)

Effectively Engaging Students on their Devices with the use of Mentimeter (2018)
Vallely, Kat Sarah Anne and Gibson, Poppy
Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, 11(2)

Relationships and sex education: how does getting to know ourselves, our children and their families create a recipe for an inclusive RSE learning environment? (2022-07-07)
Kerr, B and Vallely, K
In: Carden, Catherine ed. Primary Teaching: Learning and Teaching in Primary Schools Today (Primary Teaching Now) (pp. 485-496)
ISBN : 1529761042 | Publisher : Learning Matters

Relationship and Sex Education: Valuing and Respecting Difference (2022-02-24)
Vallely, K. and Kerr, B.
In: Ogier, S. ed. A Broad and Balanced Curriculum in Primary Schools. Educating the Whole child. (pp. 89-101)
ISBN : 1529761042 | Publisher : Learning Matters

Empowering communication through speaking, reading and writing (2021)
Reynolds, Deborah; Smith, Sarah and Vallely, Kat
In: McDonald, Roger and Gibson, Poppy eds. Inspiring Primary leaners: Insights and Inspiration Across the Curriculum (pp. 5-23)
ISBN : 367110652 | Publisher : Routledge

Consistency, nurture and relationship building (2021-12-15)
Vallely, Kat

Identity development, relationship building and achieving a sense of belonging (2021-12-15)
Vallely, Kat

I think…that all teachers should do this so they can learn new stuff like us [Blogpost] (2019)
Vallely, Kat
Literacy for Pleasure

Multimodality (2018)
Bearne, Eve and Vallely, Kat
UKLA Occasional Paper, UKLA