Dr Susannah Smith
Senior Lecturer in Primary Education
BEd (Honours), MA (Education), PhD
Susannah is a senior lecturer in Primary Education (English) and teaches on the English modules of the PGCE, School Direct, BA PET and BA PTS programmes.
She also teaches on Professional Studies and Creativity modules, and is an Academic Advisor and a Link Tutor in schools. Susannah supervises dissertations at Masters and Doctoral level.
Susannah joined the University in September 2014. Prior to this, she worked at the University of Birmingham. Before moving into higher education, Susannah taught for seven years in primary schools in Birmingham and Northamptonshire.
Susannah is on the editorial board of The Journal of Reading, Writing and Literacy, is a reviewer for the British Journal of Religious Education, and is External examiner for Masters programmes at the University of Reading.
Susannah’s initial research interest was in early years education and she completed her Master’s thesis on teaching through play. More recently, her doctoral thesis focused on gender aspects of reading, specifically on young successful boy readers.
Susannah’s main research interest is the teaching and learning of English in the early years and primary school curriculum. Within this, her current areas of interest are:
- How young children learn to read
- Gender aspects of children’s reading
- Successful boy readers
- The links between reading and identity
- Socio-cultural influences on children’s reading
- Use of home language in the classroom
- Children’s literature, particularly picture books
- Multi-modal texts in English teaching
- Encouraging children’s voices to be heard in research
- Post-structural feminist discourse and methodologies
In addition to primary English, Susannah also has research interests in the (implicit and explicit) teaching of values and virtues in the primary school.
Articles in academic journals
2013 ‘From values to virtues: an investigation into the ethical content of English primary school assemblies’, in British Journal of Religious Education, Volume 35, Issue 1
Available online at:
2006 ‘The reading behaviours of young successful boy readers in the classroom’, in The Journal of Reading, Writing and Literacy, Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2006
2004 ‘The non-fiction reading habits of young successful boy readers: forming connections between masculinity and reading’, in Literacy, Volume 38, Number 1, April 2004
1999 ‘An institutional report on partnership in the training of teachers’, in Bates, T. (Editor) The Development of Innovative Strategies of Cooperation Between Teacher Education Institutions and Educational Services Thematic Network of Teacher Education in Europe Journal, Volume 1, Number 1, December 1999 (co-authored with Hackett, G., Stanton, J., Woods, J. and Woods, R.)
Published electronically at http://tntee.umu.se/publications/journal1_1.html
Chapters in books
2000 ‘Children at Play’, chapter in Mills, J. and Mills, R. (Editors) (2000) Childhood Studies: A Reader in perspectives of childhood Routledge
2018 ‘Using Social Media to Support Trainee Teachers’ Knowledge and Understanding of Children’s Literature’. Paper given at the United Kingdom Literacy Association conference at the University of Cardiff
2017 ‘Using Social Media to Support the Learning Experience of Trainee Teachers’. Paper given at the Learning and Teaching conference at the University of Chichester
2005 ‘Learning from the reading behaviours of young successful boy readers in the
classroom’. Paper given at the United Kingdom Literacy Association conference, University of Bath
2003 ‘The non-fiction reading habits of young successful boy readers: forming connections between masculinity and reading.’ Paper given at the United Kingdom Reading Association conference, Homerton College, Cambridge
1999 ‘An institutional report on partnership in the training of teachers.’ Paper given at the Thematic Network of Teacher Education in Europe conference, Lisbon
2013-2014 ‘Knightly Virtues’. Team member on this research project with colleagues from the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham
‘Monitoring the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies in Birmingham primary schools’. Team member on the literacy team for this research project with colleagues from University of Central England (now Birmingham City University)
Smith, G. and Smith, S. (2012) From Values to Virtues: An Investigation into the Ethical Content of English Primary School Assemblies’. British Journal of Religious Education. pp. 1-15. ISSN 0141-6200