Religious Studies | Pearson qualifications

Religious Studies

Subject update | 22 February 2024

February 2024 Religious Studies subject update

Welcome to your Pearson Edexcel Religious Studies February 2024 subject update!

I hope you had a great first half term and a restful February break! 

Thank you to everyone who has been in touch with their feedback; we really appreciate hearing this and understanding the needs of teachers.  We have lots of exciting updates and resources to share with you, including GCSE exemplar answers and content support resources for those teaching Christianity on Specification B. I hope you find them useful!

As always, please do get in touch with me if you have any queries or I can help with anything.  

Best wishes, 

Susan Currey

Religious Studies Subject Advisor 

Read more

If you have any questions, then please do contact me:

☎ Call: 0344 463 2535

✉ Email: TeachingReligiousStudies@pearson.com

💻 Book a Teams meeting with me: https://bit.ly/3rEVLx8

This update includes:

GCSE

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GCSE Religious Studies (Specifications A and B)

To support teachers understand the amended level descriptors, we have published a series of exemplar answers, across the level and mark range.  

This month includes, answers across:

  • Christianity
  • Catholic Christianity

In next month's subject update, answers will include:

  • Islam
  • Judaism

Please note that as these use exam questions from the 2023 series, you will need your Edexcel Online login to access these.  

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Christianity exemplars

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Catholic Christianity exemplars

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Following the recent updates made to the Sample Assessment Materials, we have carried out a thorough review of our GCSE specifications for Religious Studies A (1RA0) and B (1RB0) and made the following improvements:

  • We have made it easier to navigate each specification, by including Paper/Religion references (e.g. 1A, 1B, etc) throughout the documents.
  • We have reviewed the content and made numerous minor updates to improve consistency in spelling and punctuation. In some instances, we have also corrected errors and reorganised and rephrased content so that it is clearer what needs to be taught.
  • We have updated language to reflect current practice and our ambition to improve diversity, equality, and inclusivity across all our qualifications; one example is the use of the term ‘same-sex sexual relationships’ which replaces language which is now considered outdated.
  • We have updated the taxonomy for ‘evaluate’ in Appendix 3 to align it with the revised level descriptors.

Specification A

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Specification B

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Full details of all changes made for Specifications A (1RA0) and B (1RB0) can be found by following the links below:

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We advise the use of these updated specifications from September 2024 but, as changes made do not alter the substance of what is taught, these documents
can be used immediately.  

As part of our commitment to helping teachers understanding the content within our GCSE specifications, we have released a series of resources to support teaching Christianity across Papers 1B, 2B and 3B.

You will need your Edexcel Online login to access these resources.  

Paper 1B

1B

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Paper 2B

2B

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Paper 3B

3B

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We will be releasing a series to support the teaching of Islam next month.  

Following the event we ran in January to discuss any outstanding questions you may have regarding the amends made to our GCSE level descriptors, we have collated all questions and answers into one document.  

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FAQs

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Throughout March, I will be offering three drop-in Q&A session to give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding the amends to our level descriptors at GCSE Religious Studies.  

These will not include new training, but will provide you the opportunity to discuss any queries you may still have.

Date Time Booking link

Tuesday 5th March

16:00 - 16:30 (GMT)

Booking link
Thursday 14th March 16:30 - 17:00 (GMT) Booking link
Monday 25th March 15:30 - 16:00 (GMT) Booking link

To support teachers, I've created two bitesize videos focusing on AO1 skills at GCSE Religious Studies:

  • Video 1 focusing on AO1: Recall questions
  • Video 2 focusing on AO1: Comparison questions

AO1 Recall questions

Pearson Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies: AO1 Recall questions
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AO1 Comparison questions

Pearson Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies (Specifications A and B): AO1 Comparison questions
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We are now offering a mock marking and moderation service for GCSE Religious Studies.  

The Pearson Edexcel Mocks Service can help your students gain vital insight into the examination process, while saving you valuable time.  These services will be using the amended level descriptors to give you the opportunity to see how questions perform under the new criteria.  

These services are currently available to order now for the following most popular papers:

Specification A: Paper 1A, Paper 2F, Paper 3A

Specification B: Paper 1B, Paper 2C

*You can request other papers on an ad-hoc basis

 

What is the Mocks Service?

The Mocks Service for GCSE Religious Studies helps you to achieve consistency in marking across groups of schools, departments and cohorts. Students sit exam papers. The papers are marked by Edexcel senior examiners applying the new level descriptors and the results are uploaded to ResultsPlus for detailed question level analysis.

It is designed to be flexible for your needs:

  • Submit entries for the whole qualification or only entries for one paper
  • Submit your whole cohort, cohorts across the Trust, a sample, or as few as 5 papers

What is the Moderation Service?

Our moderation service helps support teacher understanding of the Pearson Edexcel mark scheme and provide confidence that marking is consistent across schools, departments and cohorts. Our moderators supply commentaries and reports to help identify areas that need improvement and that could benefit from additional CPD.

We recommend you submit a sample of around 15% of your own marked papers which will be reviewed by our team of Pearson Edexcel moderators. Within 21 days of us receiving your papers, we will provide personalised script commentaries and a detailed moderation report outlining trends and gaps in marking and feedback on student responses.

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examWizard

'examWizard' is a free exam preparation tool containing a bank of past Edexcel exam questions, mark schemes and examiners' reports for a range of GCSE, GCE, Functional Skills subjects & BTEC sectors.

It allows you to select and build your own mock exams with access to past exam questions across series.  

examWizard

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To support you, we will be running a training session focusing on how to use examWizard and get the most out of this tool.  

Date Time Booking link

Monday 18th March

16:00 - 17:15 (GMT)

Booking link

CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) have a range of resources available to support the Edexcel Specification A qualification.  

International GCSE RS

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International GCSE Religious Studies

To support teachers who may be new to teaching this course, we have created a new guidance video on getting a broad overview of the assessment for this qualification.  This video aims to explain the structure of the assessment across units/papers.

Pearson Edexcel International GCSE Religious Studies - Getting Started: Introduction to assessment

Pearson Edexcel International GCSE Religious Studies - Getting Started: Introduction to assessment
Play
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Thank you to those who completed our recent survey.  The winner of the £30 Amazon voucher has been randomly selected and will shortly be receiving an email with their voucher enclosed.  

Following on from this, the International GCSE Religious Studies team at Pearson Edexcel would like to hear your views about our current International GCSE Religious Studies qualification.

As part of our improvements work, we will be meeting with a series of stakeholders to understand their views on the current specification and assessment.  

If you'd like to have your voice heard and would be willing to have a short 15-minute Teams to discuss your views, please complete the following form:

Please note that as part of this research, we will not collecting any personal information. We will only use the information you provide in connection to this piece of research, and we will not publish or share this information with any third party.

examWizard

'examWizard' is a free exam preparation tool containing a bank of past Edexcel exam questions, mark schemes and examiners' reports for a range of GCSE, GCE, Functional Skills subjects & BTEC sectors.

It allows you to select and build your own mock exams with access to past exam questions across series.  

examWizard

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To support you, we will be running a training session focusing on how to use examWizard and get the most out of this tool.  

Date Time Booking link

Monday 18th March

16:00 - 17:15 (GMT)

Booking link
A level spec image

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AS and A Level Religious Studies

At A level Religious Studies, we have three different question types which assess AO2 (Analysis and Evaluation):

  • 12-mark 'Assess' questions
  • 20-mark 'Analyse' questions
  • 30-mark 'Evaluate' questions

To support teachers understand the different requirements across each, we've put together a document to identify the key differences. 

AO2

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examWizard

'examWizard' is a free exam preparation tool containing a bank of past Edexcel exam questions, mark schemes and examiners' reports for a range of GCSE, GCE, Functional Skills subjects & BTEC sectors.

It allows you to select and build your own mock exams with access to past exam questions across series.  

examWizard

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To support you, we will be running a training session focusing on how to use examWizard and get the most out of this tool.  

Date Time Booking link

Monday 18th March

16:00 - 17:15 (GMT)

Booking link
desk icon

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Enrichment and Teaching and Learning Support

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.  

TOTM

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TOTM

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The BBC World Service 'heart and soul' channel has some really interesting and useful content that can support our Religious Studies quaifications.

You can find out more at the following link:

I hope you found this update useful. 

Please get in touch with me if you have any questions!

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