Hannah Wainwright

Hannah Wainwright


I completed my first degree in History in 2009 and undertook my PGCE in 2010, before beginning my career as a primary school teacher that autumn. I completed my master’s degree on a part-time basis whilst continuing work as a classroom teacher between 2012 and 2014, and my masters’ research focussed on supporting mathematical vocabulary development for children learning English as an additional language. One of my favourite parts of being a primary school teacher was the scope that I had to engage with the arts, particularly music and drama, as part of my classroom practice. While I was teaching, I became increasingly interested in the ways that they might be used to support children who were seeking sanctuary in the UK and decided to pursue a PhD to understand more about this. In 2021, I was thrilled to be awarded a Department of Education Scholarship, which enabled me to begin my PhD studies in Leeds. 


Research interests

My PhD research asks how involvement in participatory theatre might contribute to a sense of belonging for refugees, particularly in the context of the UK’s current asylum arrangements, which see sanctuary seekers housed in initial accommodation before being moved across the country at very short notice. I am particularly interested ethnographic, arts-based, and participatory methodologies and the affective, material, and relational elements of place.


  • MSc Teaching and Learning (Oxford)
  • PGCE Lower Primary (York St. John)
  • BA (hons) History (Cambridge)