Helen Sheehan

Dr Helen Sheehan BA (Hons), MA, EdD, PGCE, FHEA

Senior Lecturer


Subject leader for the Secondary Religious Education PGCE and cluster lead for Secondary Humanities and Social Science PGCE courses.


Prior to working at Sheffield Hallam I taught Religious Education in secondary schools in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. As well as leading RE departments, my work also involved working closely with trainee teachers, eventually leading to me being responsible for all teacher training and NQT induction work within the school.
I have worked at Sheffield Hallam since 2005 leading the Religious Education (RE) specialism within the Postgraduate Certificate in Education course. In this role I have developed the subject specific element of this course to prepare trainees in subject specific knowledge and pedagogy. My teaching and seminar work with students explores developments in the secondary RE curriculum, professional practice in RE and critical reflection in the subject. I maintain my interest in my own subject area through contributing to broader RE networks both regionally and nationally.
Within the programme I also oversee all of our humanities and social sciences PGCE provision. I support part-time and seconded subject specialist tutors in History, Geography, Citizenship & PSHE, and Social Sciences, overseeing the day to day running of these programmes and offering additional support to students on these courses as required.
I am also contribute to the general education elements of the secondary PGCE programme. I have helped to develop a programme of study followed by all secondary postgraduate trainees. As part of this I deliver lectures and develop seminar materials for secondary trainees from all subject areas.
I am also involved in other areas of the work of the teacher education department. I am the RE subject lead for both our undergraduate and postgraduate primary RE provision and I work with Teach First on their secondary RE course. I also have a diploma in Trauma and Mental Health Informed Schools (Practitioner Status) and teach our Trauma Informed short course to teacher education students across all phases.


Secondary RE provision and collaborative working across HEIs to secure strong subject ITE provision.  The place of subject specialism and pedagogy within ITE programmes.


Department of Teacher Education

College of Social Sciences and Arts

I am the course leader for the RE PGCE course, and responsible for all humanities PGCE provision (RE, History, Geography, Citizenship and Social Sciences).

PGCE Religious Education

Developing and Reflecting on Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy in Secondary Religious Education


My research focuses on subject specialism and pedagogy within Teacher Education programmes.


I have contributed some chapters to - Hramiak, A. and Hudson, T. (2011) Understanding Learning and Teaching in Secondary Schools. Longman  (as Helen Cook).

Sheehan, H. (ed). (forthcoming). Mentoring Religious Education Teachers in the Secondary School. Routledge.


Other activities

Member of NATRE and AULRE

I am a member of Sheffield SACRE and, working with Learn Sheffield, lead the local network groups for Primary RE Co-ordinators and Secondary RE Specialists.

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