March 2016 Religious Studies update

Wed Mar 30 11:00:00 UTC 2016

This update aims to support you in the lead-up to first teaching of the new GCSE and AS/A level Religious Studies (2016) qualifications.

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New Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Religious Studies 

Specifications

Our draft GCSE Religious Studies specifications and sample assessment materials haven’t yet been accredited by Ofqual and, understandably, we’re getting queries from teachers asking when they will be accredited and what’s changing.

We’ve recently received some further feedback on our GCSE specifications and assessments from Ofqual and we’re currently working to address the issues raised and to address the key concerns from the recent consultation with the REC. We’ll share updated draft materials once we’re able to confirm the changes we’re making. We don’t have a specific date for accreditation, but we will inform centres as soon as the specifications are accredited.

If you’re intending to offer one of the new Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Religious Studies specifications, please let us know, so that we can keep you updated.

Support for the new GCSEs

There are two-year and three-year course planners, plus mapping to the Catholic Directory online in draft form - you’ll find these under ‘Course materials’ then ‘Teaching and learning materials’ on our GCSE Religious Studies (2016) page.

More support will be available once the specification is accredited, including:

  • Getting Started guides
  • detailed schemes of work.

We’re working on some exemplar answers with examiner commentary, as we know you’re keen to see answers at different levels. We’re looking for more schools to get involved with this and send us student answers to questions from the sample assessment materials - if you’re teaching the new course already with Year 9 and would be interested in taking part, please get in touch with us.

Free GCSE Getting Ready to Teach events

We’re running Getting Ready to Teach events around the country and online over the next few months. The face-to-face events are full-day sessions, while the online events run for 2 hours from 4-6 p.m. During the event you will:

  • consider the structure, content and assessment of the new qualification, and the support available to guide you through the changes.
  • explore possible teaching and delivery strategies for the new qualification, including co-teaching the full and short courses. 
  • explore each of the papers. 
  • have the opportunity to network, discuss best practice and share ideas with other teachers. 

Depending on the accreditation status of the materials, some of these events may be based on the latest drafts of the materials.

To book a place on one of these events please visit our training page. If you don’t have an Edexcel online account or experience problems booking online, please email trainingbookings@pearson.com.

Events for Specification A

Date

Location

Code

13/06/2016

London

15GBAR01/02

30/06/2016

Birmingham

15GBAR01/03

05/07/2016

Manchester

15GBAR01/04

22/06/2016

Online event

15GOAR01/02

Events for Specification B

Date

Location

Code

05/05/2016

London 15GBAR02/08

09/05/2016

Liverpool 15GBAR02/13

14/06/2016

Manchester 15GBAR02/10

22/06/2016

Leeds 15GBAR02/11

27/06/2016

Birmingham 15GBAR02/12

28/06/2016

London 15GBAR02/03

30/06/2016

Manchester 15GBAR02/09

06/07/2016

Manchester 15GBAR02/04

11/07/2016

Birmingham 15GBAR02/05

13/07/2016

Leeds 15GBAR02/06

14/07/2016

London 15GBAR02/07

19/05/2016

Online event 15GOAR02/04

08/06/2016

Online event 15GOAR02/05

04/07/2016

Online event 15GOAR02/03

07/07/2016

Online event 15GOAR02/06

If your chosen event is full, you can add your name to a waiting list and we’ll consider putting on extra events if there is sufficient demand.

Published resources for our new GCSE (9-1) specifications

Several publishers are producing materials to support the new specifications.

Specification A

Pearson is producing one combined student book with comprehensive coverage of Catholic Christianity and with Islam or Judaism as the second religion, as well as a Teacher resource pack with guidance for Catholic Christianity. Further information is available on the Pearson Schools and Colleges website.

Hodder is producing a student book covering Catholic Christianity (Study of religion and Philosophy and ethics), with Islam or Judaism as the second religion. Further information is available on Hodder’s website.

OUP is producing a book for Catholic Christianity, with Islam and Judaism as the second religion. Further information is available on OUP’s website

Specification B

Pearson is publishing six student books, providing coverage of the specification content for Christianity and Islam, with each book covering one of the three possible papers. There will also be Teacher resource packs with supplementary teacher guidance for Christianity and Islam. Further information is available on the Pearson Schools and Colleges website.

Hodder is publishing a student book that covers Religion and ethics through a study of Christianity, and Religion, Peace and Conflict through a study of Islam or Judaism. Further information is available on Hodder’s website.

OUP is publishing six student books, covering each of the three paper choices for Christianity and for Islam. Further information is available on OUP’s website.

New Edexcel AS/A level (2016) Religious Studies

Specifications

We’ve recently received some further feedback on our AS and A level specifications and assessments from Ofqual and we’re currently working to address the issues raised. We’ll share updated draft materials later this month, once we’re able to confirm the changes were are making.

If you’re intending to offer the new Edexcel Religious Studies AS/A level, please let us know, so that we can keep you updated.

Support for the new AS and A level

We’ll be providing:

  • course planners
  • schemes of work
  • a Getting Started guide
  • mapping documents.

These will be available on the website once the specification is accredited.

Free AS/A level Getting Ready to Teach events

We’re also running Getting Ready to Teach events for the new AS and A level qualifications. The face-to-face events are full-day sessions, while the online events run for 2 hours from 4-6 p.m. During the event you will:

  • consider the structure, content and assessment of the new qualification, and the support available to guide you through the changes.
  • explore possible teaching and delivery strategies for the new qualification, including co-teaching the AS and A level. 
  • explore Paper 1, Paper 2, Paper 3 and Paper 4. 
  • have the opportunity to network, discuss best practice and share ideas with other teachers. 

Depending on the accreditation status of the materials, some of these events may be based on the latest drafts of the materials.

To book a place on one of these events please visit our training page. If you don’t have an Edexcel online account or experience problems booking online, please email trainingbookings@pearson.com.

We hope you’ve found this update useful. 

Best wishes 

Religious Studies Team

Religious Studies
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