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3 Year GCSE?

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by kwhitby, May 9, 2017.

  1. kwhitby

    kwhitby New commenter

    Hi all,

    At my school we have started implementing a 3 year GCSE for the AQA specification of RS. We are the only subject that has converted to a three year GCSE at our school as yet, and we're finding that quite a few students aren't there with their mindsets.
    Is anyone else doing a three year course and able to provide some advice on how to help Y9s cope with the step up?

    Many thanks,
  2. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    I am currently in a school where I am the sole RS teacher. After attending AQA training for the new GCSE (9-1) spec, with the trainer being one of the authors of the AQA approved textbooks saying she's running a three year GCSE RS in her own school, I decided to move my Year 9 students straight unto the new spec from Jan 2017.

    I have already completed one of the four ethics and philosophy units with them and we're currently working on the second unit. I would probably not finish it before the end of this school year due to end of year exams and activities, etc. However, that is a chunk already dealt with. Year 9 students in my school choose their GCSE options after Easter and commence GCSE work in Y10. So, those choosing RS next year (Y10) already know that part of what we should be looking at from next year had been covered and examined, boosting their confidence. Of course, some won’t take RS, arrogantly and ignorantly dismissing it as irrelevant. Others are, however, taking it, knowing that they are already enjoying, and doing well in, it. So my advice is to constantly drum it into their consciousness that starting earlier gives them an advantage. I tell mine, if you’re willing to get a 9 and ready to work together with me, you’ll get it. I’ll guide you; we’ll do the work together with a view to getting to the desired destination. For me, commitment is the key. I am committed to it if they are.

    Next year, my plan is to cover all four ethics and philosophy themes with my Year 9. In Year 10, I would deliver the Study of Religion themes (two world religions). Term 1 of Year 11 would then focus on contents not yet covered (if any), and the rest of the academic year would focus on exam skills—perfecting 4, 5 and 12 markers. I aim to deliver 100% (9-5) pass rate for those opting to take RS. The advantage is that I have free hands to run things as I deem fit and I'm determined to use that opportunity to maximize excellent result outcomes—part of this is a design of a LTP which sets the stage right from Year 7. Hope this helps.
    VolvelleEducation likes this.
  3. VolvelleEducation

    VolvelleEducation New commenter

    You sound like you've got it sorted!
  4. kwhitby

    kwhitby New commenter

    Thank you, that's really helpful! I'll look into starting with themes in Y9 as it might work better for engagement. Our students have RS as a compulsory subject so the whole cohort will be completing the 3 year course.

    We currently have two hours a week in Y9, one hour focusing on Christian beliefs and practices and the other hour focused on 2 out of the 4 themes. As they start their other GCSEs in Y10, we drop down to an hour a week. Y10 focuses on Jewish beliefs and practices and Y11 on the other two themes.

    Out of interest, who is the trainer you spoke to on the course?

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