September 2022 Religious Studies subject update

15 September 2022

Welcome to your Pearson Edexcel Religious Studies September 2022 subject update.

Hello colleagues,

Welcome back!  I hope the start of term has been smooth so far and that students are settling back into your classrooms. 

I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the resources and events we have upcoming to support you when delivering Edexcel Religious Studies qualifications this year.   As always, any questions then please do get in touch!

Best wishes, 
 
Susan Currey
Religious Studies Subject Advisor 

Read more

In this update,

  • New to Edexcel CPD events: GCSE and A level
  • A level past questions overview documents
  • Summer 2022 exams feedback CPD events: GCSE and A level
  • Summer 2023 - return to normal series: GCSE, International GCSE and A level
  • Assessment and Marking Training: GCSE and A level
  • A level RS Anthology support: Resources and CPD event
  • Support for GCSE (d) questions - events and resources
  • AS level - Teaching 9-mark 'Assess' questions
  • Provisional exam timetables: GCSE, International GCSE and A level
  • September Topic of the Month
  • Removal of GCSE Short Course Religious Studies
  • Candle Conferences
  • Association of Philosophy Teachers
  • 'Philosophy gets Schooled' podcast

'Free' New to Edexcel CPD events

We are running two events for those who are new to teaching GCSE (Specification A&B) or A level Religious Studies with us.  These will provide an overview of the course, specification content and assessment requirements.  

These events will be useful if you are new to these qualifications or if you simply would like a refresher. 

If you are unable to attend these, they will be available to view at a later date as a pre-recorded video.  

Pearson Edexcel GCE A level Religious Studies: New to Edexcel (for those new to teaching or those who would like a refresher)

Wednesday 21st September 2022

(16:00-17:30)

Available to book now
Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Religious Studies Specification A and B: New to Edexcel (for those new to teaching or those who would like a refresher)

Wednesday 28th September 2022

(16:00-17:00)

Available to book now
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A level Religious Studies Past Questions overview

We have collated all Edexcel A level Religious Studies past questions across years for each paper.  

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This provides an overview of the different questions asked on each paper over the qualification cycle so you can see how a topic has been assessed in different ways across the cycle.  

The index document (seen above) allows you to access each paper overview (like that on the right).  The index document also includes links to associated mark schemes for each year.  

Access the Exam Question Paper Index

Alternatively, each overview is available on our A level qualification page under 'Assessment materials'.

A level Qualification Page

'Free' Summer 2022 exam feedback CPD events

We are running three feedback events to help reflect on the Summer 2022 exam series:

  • Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies - Specification A
  • Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies - Specification B
  • Edexcel A level Religious Studies

These events will offer insights from the series, considering how particular papers and questions performed, identifying common areas of strength, misconceptions and areas of development.  

Pearson Edexcel Feedback from Summer 2022 exam series: GCE A level

Thursday 13th October 2022

(16:00-17:00)

*Date changed from 29th

Available to book now
Pearson Edexcel Feedback from Summer 2022 exam series: GCSE Specification A (Faith and Practice in the 21st Century)

Tuesday 4th October 2022

(16:00-17:00)

Available to book now
Pearson Edexcel Feedback from Summer 2022 exam series: GCSE Specification B (Beliefs in Action)

Wednesday 5th October 2022

(16:00 - 17:00)

Available to book now

Summer 2023: return to normal series

In Summer 2022 Religious Studies students were provided with Advance Information, identifying the major focus of the exams which students could use to help focus their revision.

Earlier this year the Department for Education announced the return to full subject content and assessment coverage for subjects such as Religious Studies in Summer 2023.  They have stated that their “intention is to return to the carefully designed and well-established pre-pandemic assessment arrangements as quickly as possible, given they are the best and fairest way of assessing what students know and can do.”

Teachers should therefore plan and work on the basis that Summer 2023 will be a normal exam series with no Advance Information, however the DfE and Ofqual stated that they will “continue to monitor the path and impact of the pandemic and evaluate the delivery of arrangements this year, including the provision of exam aids, such as formulae sheets, and advance information to support students’ revision, before finalising 2023 arrangements.”

Read the DfE announcement

We will update teachers if we receive any further updates from the DfE and Ofqual on Summer 2023.

'Free' Assessment and Marking CPD events for GCSE and A level Religious Studies

We are running two events to help you understand assessment across GCSE and A level Religious Studies.  These will cover the different question types within each qualification, how to interpret the mark schemes and how to award levels and marks.  

These events may be useful for those new to our qualifications and to more experienced teachers.  

Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Religious Studies Specification A and B: Assessment and Marking training 

Wednesday 12th October 2022

(16:00-17:30)

Available to book now
Pearson Edexcel GCE A level Religious Studies: Assessment and Marking Training

Wednesday 19th October 2022

* Date changed from 5th October

Available to book soon
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A level RS Anthology support

Earlier in the year, we released some guidance to support your teaching of the Anthology, focusing on its purpose and how to approach 'Clarify' questions within the exam.

Access guide to using the Anthology at A level

'Insight into the Anthology' CPD event

To support further, we will be offering the following CPD event to help consider different ways of approaching the Anthology at A level Religious Studies.  

This is suitable for new and experienced teachers.  

Pearson Edexcel GCE A level Religious Studies: Insight into using the Anthology Wednesday 9th November 2022 Available to book soon

GCSE support for 12-mark (d) questions

Earlier this year, we released some advice and annotated exemplars of (d) questions across Specification A and Specification B.

Specification A exemplars (PDF|1.7 MB)

Specification B exemplars (PDF|1.7 MB)

To continue this support, we will be releasing further examples of Level 4 answers from the summer 2022 series along with a support resource looking at different levelled answers to the same question.

Alongside the 'Assessment and Marking' CPD event that is running for GCSE Religious Studies, we are also offering another event focusing specifically on (d) evaluation questions.  

Insight into (d) questions CPD event

This will be an online CPD event focusing specifically on (d) questions.  This will look at the level criteria, example answers and T&L ideas to use within the classroom to support the teaching of skills for this.  

Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Religious Studies Specification A and B: Insight into (d) evaluation questions

Wednesday 16th November 2022

(16:00 - 17:30)

Available to book now

AS level - Teaching 9-mark 'Assess' questions

I have put together the following video, looking at the level criteria and answers achieving across the mark range for AS 9-mark 'Assess' questions.

View video on approaching 9-mark 'Assess' questions at AS Level Religious Studies

nb: Please note that this is specific to our AS qualification.  There will be separate guidance for our 12-mark 'Assess' questions at A level.  

Videos

Summer 2023 - Provisional exam timetables

The provisional exam timetables are due to be released at the end of September. These will be available to view on our webpage:

Access Provisional Timetables

These will then have a two-week consultation period before JCQ review the feedback.   Any feedback about these should be sent to timetables@pearson.com

Final exam timetables will then be released in October/November and can be found on our webpage.  

Access Final Exam Timetables

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September edition of 'Topic of the Month'

Every month, we release an edition of 'Topic of the Month' with the aim of supporting cultural capital and stimulating discussion within the classroom.  Each edition ties a current news event to our qualification content and enables students to see the bigger picture of what they are learning and how it relates to the world around them.  

Each edition includes a link to an article alongside some key discussion questions to encourage thought around the subject.  

Our previous editions can be found on our qualification pages under 'Topic of the Month' tab:

GCSE Specification A

GCSE Specification B

A level

Our September edition looks at two key articles.  One focusing on charity within Islam, and the second looking at a conversion from atheism to Christianity.  

Access September edition

Removal of GCSE Short Course

Please be advised that the GCSE Short course in Religious Studies has been withdrawn now.  The final assessment opportunity for this qualification was summer 2022. 

Read further

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Candle conferences

Live Candle conference events are returning to support students of GCSE and A Level Religious Studies.  These include events on:

  • The Religious Experience
  • Rights and Wrongs
  • The Puzzle of Christianity

Alongside these, they also offer bespoke student events, teacher CPD events and a number of online courses.   

To find out more or for information about booking, view their website or email info@candleconferences.com

To access more information

Association of Philosophy Teachers (APT)

The British Philosophical Association (BPA) is setting up the Association of Philosophy Teachers (APT), which will be the main network and professional body for anyone teaching philosophy in schools. It is designed to be inclusive - even if you aren't teaching a course called 'philosophy' but are teaching some philosophical ideas, you would be very welcome to join. 

At present all you need to do is email admin@bpa.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list.  

There will also be a launch event, with training and talks, on Monday 26th June 2023 at King Edward's School in Birmingham.

To access more information

Philosophy Gets Schooled podcast

Professor Simon Kirchin (Director of the British Philosophical Association) has launched a new podcast called Philosophy Gets Schooled  which is aimed at school students and teachers. 

There are in-depth episodes which see Simon discussing topics with teachers and shorter episodes in which Simon gives summaries.  Most of the content so far have focused on ethics including common A level topics such as Utilitarianism, deontology, metaethics, war and peace and sexual ethics.  This Autumn he will be moving on to epistemology and philosophy of religion.  

Podcast episodes can be found on the website or wherever you get your podcasts (Apple, Spotify, etc). 

If you would like to appear in future episodes, just email Simon at s.t.kirchin@kent.ac.uk or write in with questions from teachers or students that can be discussed within these episodes.   

To access podcast webpage

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