Dr Sarah Hall

Dr Sarah Hall

School of Education
Senior Lecturer 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).  

Sarah took part in the debate 'RE for Real' in 2015 (from 6:08, 16:41)


  • 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 and the Religious Education School Direct route. 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 is also acting as second supervisor to two PhD candidates and also works with those undertaking the MA in Teaching and Learning and Undergraduate dissertations in the field of education and religion. Sarah also provides the primary course ITE course with the necessary training and seminars on Religious Education within a KS1-2 framework. Sarah also is the lead for the Whole School Issues course which is delivered to the entire 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 another RE PGCE course.

Sarah is particularly interested in Holocaust and art as a way of approaching this emotive area of study and delivered a recent joint paper at the British Association for Holocaust Studies, 2nd International Conference on Teaching the Holocaust through art and the use of the Birmingham RE syllabus 24 dispositions. Sarah is also very interested in experiential learning, growth-mind-set and wellbeing/SRE/PSHE and how this can be developed for a new generation of learners.  She leads the PSHE programme for secondary trainees in which they get to gain a qualification in PSHE teaching.  Sarah held the post as Secondary RE school-based adviser for Manchester Diocesan and as such has experience of working with colleagues across the Diocesan and beyond; she is currently an elected member of the Birmingham Church of England Education board.  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, the most recent being a contributor to the new Oldham Religious Education Syllabus “Thinking, Enquiry, Creativity, Response” (2014-2019)  

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 presented a seminar to an international audience on teaching Holocaust within the KS3 Religious Studies/Education classroom at the Yad Vashem conference 2011 and 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.



PGDipEd (QTS) Religious Education trainees, and supervision of Masters dissertations. Her administrative responsibilities are those normally associated with PGDipEd Religious Education tutor. 

Lead for PGDipED (QTS) Whole School Issues Programme.

Postgraduate supervision

Sarah is currently supervising, as second supervisor 2 PhD dissertations in the fields of Religious Education and SRE (Sex and Relationships Education).

Religion and Sexuality Education: A narrative study with Christian young men.


Her research interests include:

  • Holocaust education
  • Teaching and Learning strategies and their impact upon differentiation and stretch and challenge
  • RE and art
  • Religious literacyReligious pedagogical models

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


Hall, Sarah (2008), Survival Skills in S. Elton Chalcroft, A. Hansen and S. Twiselton (eds.) Doing Classroom Research. A step-by-step Guide for Student teachers. (OUP, 2008), ISBN: 13 -9780335228768 

Book reviews 

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, pp218-221.

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.

Mark D. Futato, Beginning Biblical Hebrew (Winona Lake, Ind: Eisenbrauns: 2003). Published in Journal of Semitic Studies, Volume 51 (1), 2006, pp.176-178.

Feb 2003 - 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.

Conference papers

(National and International Papers only)                    

Dec 2015: AHRC M3C & WRoCAH DTP Policy Engagement Workshop: Religion Education Government Policy. Religious Education in the UK Today: Academic Perspectives and Plenary Panel Discussion member.

June 2015: British Association for Holocaust Studies, 2nd International Conference. Teaching the Holocaust through art and the use of the Birmingham RE syllabus 24 dispositions (joint paper with Caroline Slifkin) and Plenary Panel Discussion member.

February 2015: Westminster Faith Debates. RE for Real. A consultation on RE. Panel member for open discussion on RE.

August 2008: International Teachers Conference. Yad Vashem, Israel. Teaching Holocaust within Religious Studies in the UK.

View all publications in research portal