Dr Sarah Hall

School of Education
Reader in Religious Education
Senior Tutor and Senior Fellow of the HEA

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Sarah is passionate about the role that outstanding Religious Education has in shaping young people's lives and equipping them for the modern world as reflective and tolerant thinkers. She has an extensive vocabulary of teaching and learning strategies which inspire teacher trainees and pupils in school to enquire and respond to religion in a creative and reflective way whilst developing religious literacy.

Sarah worked in a large Manchester school as Head of department for the 8 years teaching KS3 and KS4 Religious Studies and Citizenship and KS5 Philosophy, Ethics, New Testament and Hebrew Bible. She is passionate about delivering creative, innovative and inspirational Religious Education which has at its core a promotion of pupil based reflective enquiry. Sarah held the post of Secondary RE School-based Advisor for the Manchester Diocesan (Church of England) and continues to work in senior roles within GCSE/A Level examining. Sarah has recently been involved in helping develop the new GCSE and GCE Religious Studies materials for one exam board. Sarah has a particular interest in Holocaust education and has worked for the Holocaust Education Trust as an educator since 2006 on their Lesson from Auschwitz (LFA) programme.

Sarah’s previous experience within teaching at Higher Education has been lecturing within the area of Biblical Studies at BA and MA level specifically within the areas of Biblical Hebrew, Introduction to Religion and Theology and Hebrew Bible (The University of Manchester 2000-2004).  


  • Sept 2005-June 2006: PGCE Secondary Religious Studies with MA enhancement. St Martin’s College, Lancaster.
  • Sept 2009-May 2010 Leadership Pathways. NCSL. (Now the NCTL)
  • Sept 2000-Sept 2004: PhD Biblical Studies, The University of Manchester
  • Sept 1999-Sept 2000: MA Biblical Studies, The University of Manchester
  • Sept 1996-Sept 1999: BA (Hons) Religions and Theology, The University of Manchester


Sarah is currently responsible for the University based secondary PGDipED Religious Education course. Her current role involves university based training and seminar sessions for Religious Education trainees and working closely with partnership mentors and schools delivering training. Sarah also is a supervisor to PhD candidates working in Religion, Religious Education and RSE/Mental health and works with those undertaking the MA in Teaching and Learning. Sarah is the lead for TE2 which focuses on PSHE study and school based work; this course is delivered to the entire primary and secondary PGDipEd cohort during university based weeks. Sarah helps to run, with a school based colleague, the Birmingham RE Teacher Meet sessions which take place, here at the University, and are open to all RE trainees and those teaching RE in schools across the partnership and beyond.

Sarah is also involved in the wider University as a lead in the Birmingham Project and also works closely with colleagues in Theology and Philosophy. In the School of Education, Sarah has been involved in a Peer Collaborative Conversations project and working with humanities ITE method tutors to develop new ways of delivering creative collaborative pedagogy and andragogy. Sarah is also currently an external examiner for several other PGCE courses and is a member of the Education Board of the Religious Education Council and on the editorial board of the British Journal of RE.  Sarah has worked for OCR Exam board since 2006 in a variety of senior examining roles within the field of Religious Studies at both GCSE and AS/A2 levels specifically within the subject areas of Judaism, Jewish scriptures and Hebrew. 

She has worked at local and national level writing, developing and trialling Religious Education syllabuses and resources.

Sarah has a very keen interest in Holocaust education. She has taken part in national and international programmes focusing on Holocaust educational pedagogy including the Holocaust Education Trust (HET) Teacher Training Seminar, Yad Vashem, Israel (2006),  Lessons From Auschwitz Educator Training, Poland (2007), Yad Vashem International Holocaust Conference, Israel (2007),  Imperial War Museum Graduate Holocaust Fellowship (Dec 2006-2008), Holocaust Education Trust (HET) Teacher CPD in Berlin (2011) and the Yad Vashem International conference in Israel (2014).  Sarah remains an educator on the Lessons From Auschwitz programme working with both 6th form pupils and delivering teacher CPD.

In this video clip, KS3 pupils learn about the Holocaust.




Postgraduate supervision

Religious Education

Literary theory and re-reading narrative within Biblical texts especially through a feminist lens

RSE (Relationship and Sex Education): policy and school context

PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education): policy and school context including work on RSE and Mental Health

PhD, MRes and EdD supervision


Can Learning Power provide a viable pedagogical framework for the personal development approach to Religious Education? (PhD)

Exploring Young Women’s Experiences of statutory Relationships and Sex Education in Catholic Schools (PhD)

How can parables be taught within a KS2 classroom? (PhD)

An exploration of the effect of using experiential and visual art activities in Religious Education on pupils’ mental wellbeing (PhD)

Challenging fear: teaching LGBTUA+ relationship and sex education (RSE) from a trainee teacher and teacher educator perspective. (EdD)


The Lived Sexual Ethics of Christian Young Men: Religion and Relationships & Sex Education in England (PhD, 2019)

Teachers perceptions and experiences of teaching statutory Relationships and Sex Education in Catholic Schools (MRes, 2019)

Does the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education enable pupils of all faiths and none to learn about, and from Religious Education? Teacher perceptions. (PhD 2018)


  • Holocaust and genocide education within a school context, and post-holocaust theology in the classroom
  • Literary theory and re-reading narrative within Biblical texts especially through a feminist lens
  • RSE (Relationship and Sex Education): policy and school context
  • PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education): policy and school context including work on RSE and Mental Health
  • Secondary School based subject mentors as ‘HEI teachers’ through their work with students undertaking professional courses
  • Tutoring and managing ‘the tutor’ in a HEI context

Other activities

She is an active member of the Girl Guiding Association as a Guide leader. She is also a member of the following national associations:

  • AULRE : Association of University Lecturers in Religion and Education (UK)
  • NATRE : National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (UK)
  • SOTS : Society of Old Testament Studies (Elected membership)
  • UCU: University and College Union


Recent publications


Delbauve, M, Hall, N, Hall, S, Stolberg, T & Wilson, K 2017, 'Collaborative conversations: developing a new way to view and approach peer-observation', Education in Practice, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 19-21. <https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/teaching-academy/documents/public/EiP-June-2017/Delbauve-et-al-Collaborative-Conversations.pdf>

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Hall, S 2008, ‘Chapter 3: Survival Skills in Doing Classroom Research’ (pp. 27-37) in Sally Elton-Chalcraft, Alice Hansen, Samantha Twiselton (eds), A step by step Guide for Student Teachers (OUP, 2008) ISBN-13: 9780335228768. in S Elton-Chalcraft, A Hansen & S Twiselton (eds), A step by step Guide for Student Teachers. Oxford University Press, pp. 27-37.

Book/Film/Article review

Hall, S 2018, 'Review of A.Strhan, S.G. Parker, S.B. Ridgely (Eds.), The Bloomsbury Reader in Religion and Childhood (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017). Published in Educational Review, Volume 70 (3), pp. 384–385. Print ISSN: 0013-1911.', Educational Review, vol. 70, no. 3, pp. 384- 385.

Hall, S 2016, 'Review of Sturla Sagberg, Holistic Religious Education: Is it possible? - The complex web of religion, spirituality and morality (Waxmann Verlag GmbH, 2015). Published in British Journal of Religious Education, Volume 38 (2), 2016, pp. 218-221. Print ISSN: 0141-6200.', British Journal of Religious Education, vol. 38 , no. 2, pp. 218-221.

Hall, S 2006, 'Review of Antony F. Campbell, I Samuel. Volume VII. The Forms of the Old Testament Literature (Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, 2003). Published in Journal of Semitic Studies, Volume 51 (1), 2006, pp. 187-190. Print ISSN 0022-4480.', Journal of Semitic Studies, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 187- 190.

Hall, S 2006, '• Review of Mark D. Futato, Beginning Biblical Hebrew (Winona Lake, Ind: Eisenbrauns: 2003). Published in Journal of Semitic Studies, Volume 51 (1), 2006, pp.176-178. Print ISSN 0022-4480.', Journal of Semitic Studies, vol. 51, no. 1.

Hall, S 2003, 'Review of A. de Pury, T. Römer, J Macchi, Israel Constructs it’s History. Deuteronomistic Historiography in Recent Research (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000). Published in Journal of Semitic Studies, Volume 48 (1), 2003, pp.169-171. Print ISSN 0022-4480', Journal of Semitic Studies, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 169-171.

View all publications in research portal


Teacher education; religious education; secondary schools; PSHE and sex education