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Helena Thomas – Bath Spa University

Personal statement

Helena leads and teaches on the Secondary English PGCE. She was an English teacher in London schools before working as a local authority English consultant in Tower Hamlets. Following this, Helena went into Initial Teacher Education as a Senior Lecturer in Education for Canterbury Christ Church University (Teach First) before joining Bath Spa University in 2013.

From the beginnings of her career as an English teacher, Helena’s interest has always been in the opportunities her subject presents for creativity, collaboration, and pupils’ personal growth. She is currently involved in two inter-university research projects investigating the teaching of creative writing and KS3 literature in English schools. In addition, Helena is undertaking doctoral research into novice teachers’ experiences of the English curriculum.

Academic qualifications

  • BA(Hons) University of Durham
  • MA University of Salford
  • QTS University of London, Goldsmiths' College.

Professional memberships

  • National Association of Teachers of English

Conference presentations

  • Thomas, H. (2017),"Working through the ethical implications of educational research", PGCE Research Conference, Bath Spa University, UK, 23 June 2017
  • Thomas, H. (2018),"Imagining Possibilities in English Teaching: Using conceptions of the imagination from Kant and Hume to Maxine Greene in order to teach writing to 11-18 year olds", Wild Things Conference, Bath Spa University, UK, 30 April 2018
  • Thomas, H. (2018)," Supporting novice teachers of writing: Imagining possibilities in English teaching", National Association of Writers in Education Conference, York, UK, 9 November 2018

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Drama in English
book_section

Thomas, H (2021) 'Drama in English.' In: Watson, A and Newman, R.G, eds. A practical guide to teaching English in the secondary school. 2nd ed. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 105-115. ISBN 9780367553364


Teacher agency in the selection of literary texts
article

Watson, A, Kelly, L, Foley, J, Kneen, J, Chapman, S, Smith, L and Thomas, H (2022) 'Teacher agency in the selection of literary texts.' English in Education. ISSN 0425-0494


Teaching Key Stage 3 literature: the challenges of accountability, gender and diversity
article

Kneen, J, Chapman, S, Foley, J, Kelly, L, Smith, L, Thomas, H and Watson, A (2022) 'Teaching Key Stage 3 literature: the challenges of accountability, gender and diversity.' Literacy. ISSN 1741-4350


The dance and the tune: a storied exploration of the teaching of stories
article

Smith, L, Thomas, H, Chapman, S, Foley, J, Kelly, L, Kneen, J and Watson, A (2022) 'The dance and the tune: a storied exploration of the teaching of stories.' Changing English, 29 (1). pp. 40-52. ISSN 1469-3585


English teaching and imagination: a case for revisiting the value of imagination in teaching writing
article

Thomas, H (2019) 'English teaching and imagination: a case for revisiting the value of imagination in teaching writing.' English in Education, 53 (1). pp. 49-60. ISSN 0425-0494


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