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Challenge at GCSE

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by Ilovetravel, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Ilovetravel

    Ilovetravel New commenter

    Wondered if anyone had any ideas on this.
    Imagine you have a class with some students who are A/A*. They know how to answer exam questions exactly and get full marks.
    How would you then challenge them when there is no more they can do? I personally don't think you should confuse students by giving them more than they need for an exam, especially when you're down on thier list of priority exams.
    Any thoughts/ideas? Thanks

  2. Get them to teach under achieving/less able students the technique via peer marking , writing mark schemes for questions rather than just answering the questions etc. There's quite a lot you can do really.
  3. Ilovetravel

    Ilovetravel New commenter

    they did this but my feedback said that wasn't highly challenging [​IMG]
  4. BlueJuno

    BlueJuno New commenter

    Personally I'd challenge them by enabling them to apply their knowledge and understanding to current issues.

    Perhaps (when working on a 'model' answer with your other students) provide them with a newspaper article/blog/review/comment etc. and ask them to reflect on it. Ask them to consider how we can apply our knowledge and understanding of key ideas to this real life issue and how we can use it on the exam answer. Or better yet get them to use the skills required for 'IB theory of knowledge' and consider the merits of the source? I'd ask questions such as how practical are these beliefs in real life? How has this resource developed your understanding? Have your views changed in light of this? An example could be to refer to the recent BBC news article on the 'dumping' of unidentified body parts from 9/11 and beliefs about life after death/funerals/materialism etc.

    I would agree I'd be reluctant to give 'extra' work. Encouraging them to think of the topic or issue beyond answering an examination question could engage them...?

  5. ramaduds

    ramaduds New commenter

    Think less about challenging them in terms of 'RE knowledge' and more in terms of skills. I can imagine an A*/A class, but not a class that are perfect at all the employability skills and PLTs. Perhaps you could get them to design and plan a lesson, deliver it and evaluate it. You could get them to work on bridging the gap between GCSE and AS level by considering some AS evaluation questions. You could debate issues that surround the topics you teach (e.g. if your teaching medical ethics, then discuss the ethics of the human genome and biotechnologies etc...). This can help them see the 'bigger picture' and understand the links. You could focus on the skills of team work, emphasising that you are assessing their ability to work together rather than achieving the final product. You could get them to create a piece of drama, dance, poetry or art that focuses on a theme they have studied. You could get them to create an A*/A grade Revision Guide that requires research etc... I've just realised I could go on forever and ever... It's about time my creativity came back!!! Anyways have fu with your group, it's been a while I've had a similar class.
  6. I use differentiated Challenge Cards to extend the higher order thinking skills. This is all useful and learning is much much more than passing an examination.
  7. Would it be possible to have a copy of your Challenge Cards?
  8. durgamata

    durgamata Occasional commenter

    Get them to read more widely, give them a choice so they can follow their own interests - preferably this can explore source texts such as the Gospels, plus the work of prominent members of the different religions, such as Sufi poets for Islam, Mother Teresa / Corrie Ten Boom / Martin Luther King / Desmond Tutu / Rowan Williams spring to mind for Christianity - the list is endless.
    They are usually A* because they are really interested and knowledgeable all ready, just encourage that interest.
    Another thing I have done is asked them to work in pairs to prepare a Power Point display on an aspect of the curriculum that others are finding difficult or boring. - or on an item in the news which relates to religion.
  9. RCMJ

    RCMJ New commenter

    Or you could be radical, recognise that the GCSE RS course is designed to be accessible to a huge and very differently gifted range of pupils, and get all bah-harrumphy and show them O-level papers from a year or three back. O&C and London boards (from memory) both used to produce really quite challenging papers in both RS and Philosophy. You could give them a question from one of them as an independent learning topic.
    Or challenge them by actually doing some RELIGIOUS studies. Mine have generally loved doing some biblical parallels work, especially on a narrative they know well, like the Christmas story. Watch their faces when they compare and contrast the four gospels and discover that Mark has no birth narrative of any kind, and the descriptions of each key character differ widely from gospel to gospel. There are any number of gospel parallels available to make the comparisons easier, but they may gain something from constructing their own, comparing text with text in columns. They will have the thrill of going home knowing something that their parents don't know and won't immediately believe, and they can feel like question-setters on QI[​IMG] They'll also have a wonderful moment at any Christmas-type assembly/worship that you might have next year when they can be reminded of their discoveries.
    Good luck!

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