Sarah Smith

Dr Sarah Smith BA Hons, Dip. Teaching, MA, SFHEA, EdD

Programme Leader for the Primary PGCE

Sarah Smith is an Associate Professor who is the Programme Leader for the PGCE in Primary Education at the University of Greenwich. She is also the Programme Leader for the Primary PGCE. She has worked at the university for 17 years initially as a Senior Lecturer in primary English and for the last 7 years as a programme leader.

Sarah worked in a number of primary schools both in the UK and New Zealand before joining the university. She was a leading literacy teacher in Kent.

Sarah has responsibility for planning, teaching and evaluating English and Literacy courses for both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Her key areas of interest are digital literacy, poetry and children’s writing.

Posts held previously

  • 2017 - 2023 Primary ITE Programme Leader
  • 2007 - 2017 Senior Lecturer in Primary Education
  • 1999 - 2007 Senior teacher, St Katharine's CEP School Knockholt
  • 1997 - 1999 Class teacher, Marian Vian Primary School
  • 1993 - 1996 Year 8 teacher, English Lead, Glenfield Intermediate School, New Zealand

Responsibilities within the university

  • PGCE in Primary Education programme leader – designing, co-ordinating and executing improvements on the programme delivery
  • Teaching primary English across the PGCE in Primary Education and the BA in Primary Education
  • MA dissertation supervisor
  • Associate Professor in Primary Education (English and literacy)
  • Chair of the Primary Education Partnership Committee
  • Mentor and member of the GOLD recognition panel, assessing staff HEA award applications from across the institution
  • Member of the ITE management group
  • Member of the School of Education Partnership Board


  • External Examiner at the University of Southampton

Research / Scholarly interests

  • Digital literacy
  • Teachers as curriculum designers and makers
  • Children working with film

Recent publications


Gibson, Poppy Francis and , Smith, Sarah (2018), Digital literacies: preparing pupils and students for their information journey in the twenty-first century. Emerald. In: , , , . Emerald, Information and Learning Science, 119 (12) . pp. 733-742 ISSN: 2398-5348 (Print), 2398-5348 (Online) (doi:

Book section

Reynolds, Deborah , Smith, Sarah, Vallely, Kat (2021), Empowering communication through speaking, reading and writing. Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group. In: , , In: Poppy Gibson, Roger McDonald (eds.), Inspiring Primary Learners. Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group, London , 1 (1st Ed) . pp. 5-24 . ISBN: 9780367110659 ; 9780429024597 (doi:

Conference item

Smith, Sarah and , (2022), What do teachers of digital literacy do, and what can we learn from them?. In: European Literacy Association Conference, 4-6 July 2022, Dublin , . , (doi: ).

Conference proceedings

Smith, Sarah and , (2021), We need to talk about digital literacy. UK Literacy Association (UKLA). In: We Need to Talk about Literacy - why spoken language matters in literacy learning and teaching, 2nd - 4th July 2021, Online , UKLA UK Literacy Association 56th International Conference. UK Literacy Association (UKLA), Oxford, UK (1st) . pp. 34-34 (doi: