This year saw the second examination series for the reformed GCSE Religious Studies course. In this concise post Ewan Brady – RS Subject Advisor, shares some of the key headlines from the exams series and offers some exam tips for your students.
I’d like to share with you how delighted we are to see our senior examiners discuss in the Examiners’ Reports how impressed they are with the knowledge and understanding and analysis and evaluation displayed by this year’s candidates. I’ve included 5 exam tips you can share with your students too.
We were pleased that candidate scripts also suggest that the introduction of structured question and answer booklets in the 2019 exams has helped with candidates’ timing, which had been an issue in 2018.
If you haven’t read the Examiners’ Reports before they provide a detailed commentary of the exam paper, followed by a question by question analysis with exemplar material from candidates with commentaries. If you’d like to know more, we’ve written a specific blog on how you can make the Examiners' Reports work for you.
The reformed GCSE has essentially brought together two different GCSEs in Religious Studies – World Religions and Philosophy and Ethics. In the past students would take one or the other – now they must study both.
Students learn about the Beliefs and Teachings and Practices of two religions and then learn about Philosophy and Ethics from the perspective of one of these religions.
It is vital for students to understand that the religious teachings lead to the development of attitudes and values.
Knowledge of sources of wisdom and authority enhances religious knowledge and is vital for understanding in both parts of course – Beliefs and Teachings and Practices, and Philosophy and Ethics.
We’ve held an online update for GCSE Religious Studies and an Exam Feedback Professional Development event in London. Both events were well attended and you’re invited to join us for our free online update planned in January - Improving your delivery: GCSE Religious Studies (9-1).
We also have face-to-face Professional Development events on ‘Improving your delivery – preparing from the GCSE Religious Studies exam’ planned for London and Manchester next term.
This new exam prep Professional Development event aims to help you develop your understanding of how to prepare your students for GCSE Religious Studies exams and explore revision planning techniques as well as teaching and learning strategies in approaching the assessment.
And finally Candidate exemplars, with examiner commentaries, have now been published on the website and complement our Examiners’ Reports.
If you have any queries or questions, you can comment below, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or follow us @OCR_RS.
You can also sign up to subject updates and receive up-to-date email information about Teacher Networks, Professional Development events and resources and support for Religious Studies.
Ewan Brady, OCR Subject Advisor
Ewan Brady joined OCR as a subject specialist in June 2014. Since joining OCR Ewan has been responsible for a number of subjects including Law, Government and Politics and Sociology. Ewan led the redevelopment of our new AS and A Levels in Law for first teaching in 2017. He took over responsibility for Religious Studies as Subject Advisor in 2017.